There are many questions to consider when you are thinking of buying a new garden shed, summer house, workshop or log cabin with the most obvious one which is what are you going to use the building for. If you can determine this before ordering you can be sure that the shed should be more suitable and meet your needs, straight forward, I know.
So whether you want it for storing your garden tools and equipment or to house your family's bikes and children's toys or to be used as a workshop then you need to work out the best location for it. If the main use is for storage then the bottom of the garden is a good place for it so that it does not use the space nearest to the house. However, you do need to think about how you will get to the shed. Do you have to walk across the lawn or is there a foot path leading down to it. During the wetter days walking across the lawn is not a good idea.
If you are going to use it as a potting shed then a location in the sun is vital. If the area used for the potting shed is in shade you won't get the best out of the shed, you will find those tomatoes, strawberries etc. won't grow as well as they could do even if you buy a potting shed with half glass roof such as this one from 1st Choice. If you are thinking of allowing the children to use it as a play shed then you need to be able to see the shed from the house. However, ideally you should consider a purpose built playhouse in this instance.
A hobby room is another use for a garden shed. In this instance you need to consider the needs of the family, if they are likely to use it. These ideally should look out onto the garden so it can be enjoyed whilst the shed is being used by your family.
After determining the use you will be able to work out the best size for the shed. You don't want it to be too small as you will find you will very quickly fill the space. A little larger than you think will ensure that you will enjoy the building more without being squashed as your demands grow over the years.
Having said that, even in the ideal world, there are limitations due to the size of your garden. This can be a balancing act between the size shed you would like and the size shed which is practical. With this in mind you can measure out the area to ensure that the shed will not shade the house or block out the light to your home.
Ensure that the shed door is wide enough for all your items you want to put in there. Allow for the direction of the door swing to ensure the door does not catch on any obstacles. Ensure that opening windows, if fitted, can open fully or ensure you are happy with how far they will open.
Another thing to consider is maintenance. Is there space to treat the shed or garden workshop afterwards? Ideally allow a little room to get around the shed so you apply some timber treatment, however, generally speaking the sides which you can't get to are normally sheltered from the weather so don't need any extra treatment very often. If you have a small garden then you will need to use every available inch so a pressure treated shed may be best for you.
What I recommend is to fix some gutters on the rear of the shed so that rainwater does not drain down over the back walls. Marley offer a clip on gutter which is easy to add by just using clamps. The traditional method of screwing brackets onto the shed wall is quite difficult if you are unable to get to the shed wall. Alternatively you could buy a shed which has been pressure treated (tanalised) and this will withstand the rain running over the wood. Normally the life span with out doing anything is 15-25 years, well worth the extra money.
Another important thing to consider is the different types of cladding (planks for the walls) which is available. Take a look at this page for information explaining the differences.