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Best shed 2023: Keep your garden tools safe with the best garden sheds

Come rain or shine, here’s our pick of the best garden sheds you can buy

The best sheds can turn an outdoor space into a useful, practical and even elegant part of your home. If your vision of a garden shed is a basic wooden hut with a rickety door, inside which there’s an old lawn mower you need to get rid of, think again. There is in fact a wealth of different sheds to choose from, and they’re often more affordable than you might think.

Sheds are the ultimate problem solver for anyone who needs extra space. More than simply a home for trowels, timber and terracotta, a shed can be everything from a micro-garage to a home office. It’s one of the most versatile additions you can make to your home, but understanding which shed is best for you is imperative.

In this guide, we will take you through the wondrous world of sheds – explaining everything you need to know to make the best purchase possible. We may even be able to convince you that a shed can be stylish too.

Best shed: At a glance

How to buy the best shed for you

What size do I need?

It’s possible to buy a very small shed, which basically functions as a storage locker – but it’s not really a shed unless you can get inside it, which means a footprint of at least 6ft x 4ft.

That’s a bare minimum, of course: it might be fine for storing a few tools and a mower, but if you’ve amassed a collection of garden implements, especially electrical ones, you’re going to want more space. A 6ft x 8ft shed is big enough for you to walk into even when it’s filled with tools. You can get much larger sheds than this, which are worth considering if you’re looking for a workshop as well as storage space – but the prices rise sharply and you’ll need a big garden.

What materials should I look for?

A classic garden shed is usually made of softwood such as pine, cedar or spruce. Of these, cedar is the least likely to rot but also the most expensive, while red pine is less prone to developing holes where knots have fallen out. Wooden sheds are usually treated with preservative, but will require occasional repainting through their lifetime. Look for an FSC mark so you know that the timber has come from well-managed forests.

Alternatively, you can choose a shed made from plastic or metal. Neither has the traditional look of wood, but they do have advantages: plastic sheds are light, snap together easily and can be simply disassembled should you need to. They’re largely maintenance-free too, although an untreated plastic structure might melt if there’s a fire.

Metal sheds tend to be heavy and harder to assemble, but they offer the best security and, if properly looked after, can last a very long time. The caveat is that they’re prone to condensation, which could drip onto your electrical items.

Whichever material you choose, your shed will need to be built on a suitable base, typically of wood or concrete, which you may have to buy and install separately. And remember that your shed’s floor will be made of the same materials as its walls and roof, so make sure it’s sturdy enough for whatever you want to put in it. A chipboard floor may bring the price down, but it can bow under heavy loads.

Finally, think about the roof. Wooden sheds are often topped with felt, which can become loose or torn in high winds. Be prepared to nail it back down or replace it as needed: you don’t want your shed to lose its waterproof covering. And check that the roof overhangs the walls by at least 5cm so run-off water doesn’t find its way inside.

What about windows and doors?

For a large shed, it’s nice to have windows you can open on a warm day – but if your shed’s only used for storage then a fixed window is fine. Toughened glass is resistant to breakage (or at least will break more safely), but plastic is cheaper.

As for the door, consider which way you want it to open and its position in relation to your garden. Metal sheds can be fitted with sliding doors, if access is a challenge. Look for a weather bar above the door to deflect rain away and make sure the opening is tall enough for you to enter without ducking – if you don’t, you’ll regret it when you’re backing out with your mower.

How much should I expect to spend?

A typical 6ft x 8ft shed will set you back around £300, not including the base and any clearing and levelling of the ground that needs to be done. Features such as extra security will push the price up, and the cost naturally increases with the shed’s size.

How secure should the shed be?

A strong padlock on the door is a good start, but there’s much more than this to shed security. For a start, a basic padlock hasp can be replaced by one that’s designed to hide its screws. Similarly, if the door hinge screws are exposed, that’s another point of weakness: replace the hinge with one that covers its screws, and replace the screws with longer bolts with their nuts on the inside. You can even use superglue to make sure the nuts won’t come off.

Windows are weak points and allow thieves to see what you’ve got. If you don’t need to let the light in, consider covering them with security sheets or painting over them. Alternatively, you could cover them with strong wire mesh or even fit curtains and keep them closed when you’re not around.

Another way to make thieves’ lives harder is by locking bulky tools together with a bike lock or chain. Small, easily stolen items can be locked inside a plastic or metal box, which hides them from view as well as protecting them. And many local police forces offer marking schemes to help identify your property if it’s stolen and recovered.

If you’re really worried about crime, battery-operated wireless burglar alarms are ideal for sheds. If your shed is small and light, think about anchoring it down or bolting it to a wall so it can’t be tipped over – and make sure that your home insurance covers outbuildings.

READ NEXT: The best lawn mowers

The best sheds to buy

1. Shed-Plus Champion Heavy Duty Combination: The best workshop shed

Price: £2,799 | Buy now from Shedstore

This is a big shed (measuring 16ft x 8ft) that lives up to its name. You get softwood tongue-and-groove panels with a wax treatment to repel water, toughened glass in the windows, a huge 8.3ft of vertical clearance and a built-in lock. There’s even a 15-year guarantee on the wood, with no need to retreat it.

The interior space is divided into two parts: a large windowed area measuring 12ft x 8ft and a smaller 4ft x 8 ft area with its own door. This lets you use the main space as a workshop while the smaller, windowless area is reserved for storage.

Key measurements – Width: 8ft (2.4m); Depth: 16ft (4.8m); Height: 8ft 4in (ridge)

Buy now from Shedstore

2. Kent Apex Shed: The best all-round customisable shed

Price: From £600 | Buy now from Ace Sheds

Constructed from robust timber, with reinforced glass windows, this shed is an all-time classic design. The single-door entry makes it ideal for storing garden tools, and the versatile sizing means that you can order it to match your needs exactly. It can be specified to match your garden or existing concrete pad, ensuring a perfect fit.

The Swedish red spruce timber gives a timeless look to this shed, and the pre-treated wood means that it will last, even in the most adverse weather. The wood is pressure tested to ensure that only the best quality, most durable wood is used, although regular maintenance will be required to keep it looking its best.

Key measurements – Width: Up to 20ft (6m); Depth: Up to 10ft (3m); Height: 7ft (ridge)

Buy now from Ace Sheds

3. Keter Darwin 6×4 tongue & groove composite shed: The best for easy construction and maintenance

Price: £365 | Buy now from B&Q

If simplicity and affordability are important, then look no further than this offering from Keter. The Darwin is made of a durable resin, and designed to last without any of the maintenance issues that are essential with wooden structures.

What makes this shed special is how easy it is to put together. No special tools are required, and it can be assembled in under two hours.

With a small window for light and ventilation, this shed would suit someone looking to store their garden tools, hassle-free.

Key measurements – Width: 9ft 10in (3m); Depth: 7ft 10in (2.4m); Height: 6ft 8in (ridge)

Buy now from B&Q

4. Malvern Apex Heavy Duty: The best high-security shed

Price: £1,890 | Buy now from The Greenhouse People

The apex is the classic wooden garden shed with a pitched roof, and this range comes in a wide range of materials and sizes – from 6ft x 4ft up to 20ft x 12ft. It’s not cheap, especially once you start adding optional extras, such as cedar cladding, an integrated workbench, shelving, double doors and security upgrades. But the heavy-duty construction with additional diagonal timbers, a three-lever lock, toughened windows and a 12-month guarantee come as standard, making this a great and very sturdy shed.

Width: 8ft (2.4m); Depth: 4ft (1.2m); Height: 8ft (ridge)

Buy now from The Greenhouse People

5. Absco Regent Titanium: The best metal shed

Price: £850 | Buy now from Waltons

Another windowless shed, this one’s made from steel with a silvery-grey titanium finish. You’ll need two people to put it up, but the Snaptite construction system claims to be up to 80% faster to assemble than other metal sheds, using fewer nuts and screws. Be aware that the use of a damp-proof membrane is advised to reduce the risk of condensation, meaning you’ll have some work to do before you can erect it.

Once it’s together, you get a lot of space for your money – and the double doors hinge outward, creating a wide opening that’s perfect for larger pieces of equipment. The galvanised steel is low-maintenance and unburnable, with a ten-year anti-rust warranty, and the doors are secured with a hefty metal bolt with a built-in padlock ring. The screws are exposed, though, so if you’re worried about security, you may want to upgrade it.

Key measurements – Width: 9ft 10in (3m); Depth: 12ft (3.6m); Height: 6ft 11in (ridge)

Buy now from Waltons

6. BillyOh Tongue and Groove Sentry Box Grande: The best for a small footprint

Price: £225 | Buy now from Garden Buildings Direct

If space is a concern, then the compact footprint of BillyOh’s offering may be just what you need. An ideal solution for keeping garden tools neatly stored, this upright sentry-style shed comes with corner shelves included.

A windowless design means belongings are safe and out of sight, while durable tongue and groove boards interlock to provide protection against the weather. It even comes in a fun range of colours.

Key measurements – Width: 3ft 8in (1.13m); Depth: 2ft 1in (0.65m); Height: 6ft 3in (ridge)

Buy now from Garden Buildings Direct

7. Duramax Duramate: The best plastic shed

Price: £579 | Buy now from Greenhouse Stores

Measuring 8ft x 6ft, this plastic shed is maintenance-free and fire retardant, with double doors and a metal underlying structure. That means it won’t sag – even if you hang heavy tools from the walls or attach shelves. Like most plastic sheds, it needs to be anchored to the ground, but as long as you do that properly it’ll survive winds of up to 115mph. As it’s plastic, you’ll never need to paint it and, for the security-conscious, it has no windows – although you can add one with an optional kit, along with an extension if your storage requirements grow over time.

Key measurements – Width: 8ft (2.4m); Depth: 6ft (1.8m); Height: 6ft 1in (ridge)

Buy now from Greenhouse Stores

8. BillyOh Expert Tongue and Groove Corner Workshop Shed: The best corner shed

Price: From £724 | Buy now from Garden Buildings Direct

Designed to maximise the awkward spaces in your garden, this corner offering from BillyOh cleverly makes the most of its small footprint, offering ample space for storage or for use as a workshop. With both windowed and windowless options available, this shed is a versatile offering, and its robust design means it will last.

Floor to gable double doors makes accessibility a breeze, while the heavy duty, hard wearing floor and ceiling provide a solid shell, capable of withstanding whatever you plan to throw at it.

Key measurements – Width: 7ft (2.15m, including corner overhang); Depth: 7ft (2.15m); Height: 6ft 10in (2.09m)

Buy now from Garden Buildings Direct

9. Tiger Penthouse: The best for plants and gardening

Price: From £952 | Buy now from Tiger Sheds

Natural light is the order of business with Tiger’s Penthouse. Windows span three of the building’s walls, offering the ideal conditions for growing plants, working from home (or the garden), or for a spot to sit in after a garden potter.

Coming in 6ft, 8ft and 10ft sizes, this shed’s versatility makes it the perfect addition to a garden, while optional shelving kits can solve your storage needs.

Tall enough to comfortably stand up in, this is a superb option for those looking to spend a lazy afternoon in and around the garden.

Key meaurements – Width: 5ft 9in (1.75m); Depth: 5ft 9in (1.75m); Height: 6ft 8in (ridge)

Buy now from Tiger Sheds

10. Adley Cambridge Summer House with Side Shed: The best multi-use space

Price: From £1,679 | Buy now from Sheds

Neither style nor functionality are compromised in this shed, with a duality of storage and utility space making it a wonderfully versatile option.

Bifold doors allow for a flexible and adaptable space for working, relaxing or entertaining, while gardening supplies and tools can be securely stored in the separate sentry-style side shed.

Manufactured from sustainably sourced timber, and with shiplap cladding for longevity, the design lends itself perfectly to those who need extra space. The classic design is supplemented by modern features, so this shed looks as good as it is functional.

Key measurements – Width: 10ft 3in (3.12m); Depth: 8ft 3in (2.52m); Height: 7ft (2.15m)

Buy now from Sheds

11: Forest Garden Retreat Shed: The best small stylish shed

Price: £3,199 | Buy now from Cuckooland

If the aesthetics of your potential shed are high on your priority list, this may well be the one for you. Looking like it came straight out of a fairy-tale, this stunningly designed shed features a Canadian red cedar shingle roof set against redwood lapboards – and it’s available in three colours.

Opening windows and a gorgeous interior make this a perfect hideaway, while the steep-pitch roof allows for plenty of headroom. Toughened glass and a secure lock means that your belongings are safe and secure.

Handmade with the highest quality components, the meticulousness of this shed cannot be overlooked.

Key measurements – Width: 4ft 10.3in (1.48m); Depth: 6ft 6in (1.97m); Height: 7ft 11in (ridge)

Buy now from Cuckooland

12: Asgard Gladiator Motorbike Garage Plus: The best for storing a motorbike

Price: From £2,109 | Buy now from Buy Sheds Direct

Is it a garage? Is it a shed? Why not both? Designed with motorbikes in mind, this is one of the most secure options available, and ideal if you plan to store anything from motorbikes to sit-on lawn mowers.

With ample room for all of your storage needs, this is a robust, utilitarian option, and with the backing of the UK Locksmiths Association, it provides top quality security, thanks to its clever five-point locking mechanism.

This isn’t the most traditional of options, and the green metallic construction may not be to everyone’s taste, but the practicality of this motorbike shed is as good as it gets.

Key measurements – Width: 7ft 4in (2.24m); Depth: 10ft 11in (3.33m); Height: 6ft 8in (ridge)

Buy now from Buy Sheds Direct

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