How To Solve Your Garden Storage Problems
We are all looking for ways to increase our living space as life in the 21st century means the size of affordable housing is relatively small. Taking into account all the activities we like to use the home for this can create a problem. So unless you become a lottery winner, and I don’t mean a win for three numbers, we need to make the most of what we have got.
This is where other areas of the home are called into action. If you have a loft then maybe that can be used for some storage however modern timber-framed houses don’t have much space up there due to the number of roof trusses up there. In older houses, which were built with traditional brick walls you will find a great deal of space up there. You do need to be careful when walking in the loft to ensure you don’t put your foot through the ceiling. Ideally, board it out so you don’t have this problem.
As well as using the loft for storage if you don’t have a garden storage shed in the older traditional properties you could consider converting the loft into proper accommodation. This will give a massive boost to your available living space but can be expensive.
The area of the home which is called into action more often than not is the garden. Even in the smallest property there an opportunity to add even a small garden storage box at worse and this will help relieve your home off some of the pressure which builds up. The shed is probably the cheapest and easiest way to gain extra storage space. But like most purchases you need to do a little homework.
There are many garden storage companies on the web so it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the choice. It’s easy to be swayed by price but like most things, if it’s cheap then there is a very good reason for that. This is usually because cheap and unsuitable materials are used such as chipboard, OSB board and cheap plywood. Besides that, the thickness of the framing and wall cladding (the planks of wood for the wall as well as the floor and roof) are so thin and don’t have any strength. Cheap does not always represent good value, certainly, when you want garden storage for your valuables are concerned.
So how do you know what to look for? Well, 1st Choice Leisure Buildings has a Garden Buildings Buying Guide which you can use when making a decision. Read through this before buying and this will help you to dodge the duff sheds and end up with a good value storage building instead. Even after reading this you may still go for the cheapest shed but you will at least know what to expect when it turns up. If you only want a store for a short term, maybe a year or two, then these may fit the bill. The important thing is to know what you are getting before it arrives.
You will find that wooden garden storage sheds are most sympathetic with the garden and will blend it very well. The only downside is that they do need to be treated from time to time. But in real life, ideally, you need to re-treat the shed before its first winter and then every 2-3 years, if it needs it. You will find that the sides facing into the weather will need to be treated that often but the rest of the shed will usually be fine. There are companies offering 10-year guarantees on there sheds but, again, be careful. Read this article before being misled as not everything is as it should be.
By using your garden you can add to your usable space in your home which will please all the family. And when you consider the type of storage buildings available other than the traditional shed such as a corner shed, potting shed or skinny shed you can see these building can suit your needs to a ‘t’.
Protect Your Garden Storage Shed
The shed is a very useful addition to any home or garden and can be used for many things, ranging from general garden storage, a workshop, a hobby room or a place for the children to hang out. What ever it is used for its role is very important and most of the time we don’t realise how valuable – and this relates to the monetary value as well.
If you take a look in your shed you will see items stored away such as the lawn mower for the garden, pressure washers, bikes – which can be quite expensive – as well as power tools, barbecues and garden furniture. Besides that there is a myriad of small tools which don’t seem to be worth very much but it you sit and work out the cost of the spades, forks, shovels, secateurs and other such like tools you will be amazed and staggered.
This is why you, as the owner, need to take steps to protect your valuables that you are storing in there and ensure that thieves don’t have an easy time of it. You may think you are covered by your home insurance but very few policies will cover you for theft if the shed is not locked. Which is understandable if you think about it. If you left your front door open to your house and someone strolled in and stole your TV or whatever you would not expect the insurance company to pick up the tab, would you? So don’t leave your garden shed open to risk.
By locking your garden store you are showing these thieves that you are not an easy target and hopefully they will pass you by. With the garden storage buildings from 1st Choice you will find that these come with good decent deterrents such as a key lock on the door or a strong pad bolt or swivel bolt for you to easily add a strong padlock. On most cheap sheds you will have a turn buckle at best normally. And that is not a great deterrent to your stored items.
As importantly the doors should have strong bracing on the inside to add extra strength and this should be the standard, however, the cheap stores made down to a price won’t have these. Not only are they not as strong you will find that the doors will drop after just a short period. Buyer beware! As they say.
Add in outdoor lighting, a locked gate leading into the garden, noisy gravel to walk on and high prickly bushes and you will find these thieves are likely to leave you alone and your shed and its stored items will remain undisturbed.
A report by M&S backs this up and this report stated that the average shed has about £1000 worth of items in it. This figure had increased over earlier years and is expected to keep rising. The most expensive item according to this report is the lawnmower followed by bikes. These two items are found stored in over half of the sheds in the country.
When asked nearly half of the people questioned said that did not keep their shed door locked which is music to the ears of thieves looking for an easy target. This figure had doubled over earlier years and this is a worrying trend. Only a short while ago police in Narbeth had been warning residents to look after their sheds and to keep them safe. And you will find this message repeated all over the country. So don’t become a statistic lock your outbuilding now and make your stored items safer and the thieves job harder to do.
Choosing The Right Wooden Garden Storage Shed – Box
There are many questions to consider when you are thinking of buying a new 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 footpath 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, rather than for storage, 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 these ones 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 it from the house. However, ideally, you should consider a purpose-built playhouse in this instance.
A hobby room is another use for a garden storage 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 it’s being used by your family.
After determining the use you will be able to work out the best size for the building. 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 which is practical. With this in mind, you can measure out the area to ensure that it will not shade the house or block out the light to your home. Work out how much garden storage space you will need before choosing to ensure you go for the right building.
Ensure that the wooden 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 garden building 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 – maybe just a small garden storage box will do the trick.
What I recommend is to fix some gutters on the rear so that rainwater does not drain down over the back walls. Marley offers 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 back wall. Alternatively, you could buy a one which has been pressure treated (tanalised) and this will withstand the rain running over the wood. Normally the life span without 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.
Time To Get Deck Chairs Out
With the passing of winter officially into Spring and with the unseasonable weather, is now the time to dig out your deck chair out of storage in your shed and enjoy the warmth of the sun on your face, reminding you that Summer is on it’s way. Whilst there may still be a bite in the air, if you place your deck chair out of the wind you can enjoy the delights of being out in the fresh air away from the stresses of modern life. The best way to determine where to sit is watch how the sun travels across your garden, this will determine the best place, hopefully close to your shed. A neat hedge beside the path can also provide shelter for a smart metal table and chairs away from the spring breezes.
Whilst the warmer temperatures, certainly in the Woking and Surrey area, is a welcome break from the depths of winter and the extreme weather from before Christmas, this is surely just a blip before we return to the more normal temperature. Records also show that the rain fall is massively down on previous years meaning that the country’s sheds have been spared the downpours which test them to the full.
When the wet weather does come back 1st Choice customers can look out into their garden with the knowledge that quality does pay off and that all their valuable are safe tucked up in their garden storage sheds – you won’t find the cheap chipboard, OSB, plywood or sheet materials on those buildings. The wet weather really shows the folly of buying cheap as these buildings which are made down to a price are sadly lacking in our more normal wetter climate. When the rain get to these cheap materials you will find your hopes that your valuable garden items will stay dry, just like these cheap roofs, is a forlorn dream.
This is also the time to be looking at your garden building and adding another coat of treatment, if needed, clearing our any things which you have in storage in the shed which won’t be used. Whilst it can be hard to throw away those items which may ‘come in useful’ one day, the fact is that all these items clutter up your shed for years, never being used, make the enjoyment of your shed harder than it needs to be. Having said that, even having been in the garden storage business for over 40 years I am guilty of the above sin, so maybe I should listen to my own advice.
Comprehensive Surrey Display Sites For Viewing
Click on VIEW LARGER Map For Directions
Click on VIEW LARGER Map For Directions
Full installation (Erection) Service Included On Wooden Buildings**
What You Need To Know About Storage Sheds Floors
Different manufacturers use different types of materials for their outdoor storage sheds floors. Whilst some are suitable for outdoor use there are many which should not be used as they are not designed to stand up to the wet British climate and are likely to fail quite soon after delivery.To understand the type of material used we need to know how they are made:-
Chipboard floors:- These are made from wood chips, as its name suggest. These are stuck together and compressed to make a solid material. Absolutely ideal for kitchen cabinets or anything used indoors but outdoors are susceptible to damp. Just a small amount of damp can make the boards fail. As soon as water gets into ant storage shed floor it will be absorbed into the chips making the board swell and then disintegrate. There is nothing you can do to repair this and the floor would need replacing, or at the very least, a floor section.
OSB Floors:- This type of shed floor is made from boards which are made from wood shavings. These are glued and the compressed into solid boards. They have a special waterproof paint applied to the edge of the boards and provided the edges are not cut then this can provide for a cheap storage shed floor. However, in my experience, this is not possible very often as the boards have to be cut to suit the size of the shed. By cutting the edges of the board water can get in which will make the board swell and will make the boards disintegrate.
Plywood floor:- This consists of thin layers of timber being bonded together and this gives the floor its strength. Provided exterior plywood is used which is suitable for outdoors and which uses a waterproof glue, then this can be suitable but is relatively expensive.
T&G boards:- T&G timber boards are made from solid timber. After the tree is chopped down the trunk goes into the sawmill and sliced into boards. These then go into another sawmill where they go through a planing machine. This machines planes both side of the timber and applies a tongue to one edge of the board and a groove on the other edge so these timber boards will slot in together to make a long-lasting garden storage shed. If these boards do get any damp on them then they could expand fractionally but will dry out quite easily. Sheds, garden buildings and summerhouses with floors being made from solid timber do not disintegrate or fall apart.
NO Floor:- If you have a garden building with no floor then you will need, ideally, a concrete base for your new garden store to go onto. This base should be the exact size of what the floor would have been and you would need to check this with the factory as this size can vary.
You may find that a 10×8 shed would be 9ft 11in x 8ft 1in or possibly 10ft x 8ft exactly so it is vital the base is made to the correct size. By doing this your new building will sit on the edge of the concrete and would normally have the bottom plank of wood overlapping the base. This helps to ensure that rain and wind won’t blow in.
If you make the concrete larger then the building can be made flush (the bottom plank of wood on your new store will not have an overhang on it) so your building will sit straight onto the concrete. In this instance, it is highly recommended that you seal around the edge of your new building to stop any rain water getting into the building.
Sheet Materials:- If sheet material is offered as an option on your new outdoor shed ALWAYS, ask whether it is made from chipboard, OSB, wafer board, Sterling board or any man-made boarding. You will find that some shed manufacturers describe these inferior materials, certainly for outdoor use where they may get wet, as sheet material as it does not sound so bad. If they have confidence in the product they would describe the flooring using its proper name. Also, you will often find these floors are not covered under their guarantee, always ask and get it in writing, just to be sure.
My advice is based on 40 years in the garden buildings business
Children Are The Future In The Garden
Outdoor storage sheds are the work horses of the garden looking after all the gardening tools, garden furniture, bikes, lawn mowers and golf clubs for instance where as summerhouses and potting sheds serve other purposes. There are also options such as dedicated children playhouses for the younger members of the family. The important thing to remember is that children are very keen on learning and the great outdoors can be an important part of their development.
By including children in the planting and growing of vegetables they will be able to appreciate what is involved in the food being put on their plate. This will ensure that as they grow up they, hopefully, will be more sympathetic to the green aspects to our world, which is important for our future. Besides this they will learn new skills such as patience, working with others, and feeling good with themselves as well as improving their self confidence.
At school they will be able to talk about what they have learnt and hopefully encourage other families to follow their lead. I do remember as a child that I was very keen on the garden and hatched a plan to grow potatoes with my friends and sell them in St Peter’s Avenue (this was the high street) in Cleethorpes. Initially stored in my Dad’s storage shed before I then sold the produce which we had grown. The money would be spent on typical children’s activities and we had a great deal of satisfaction that we had EARNT that OURSELVES.
The children’s playhouse, which can be adapted from any surplus storage building which you may have, is another valuable learning tool for your children, but don’t tell them it for their education. Children being children will rebel against this. However again the playtime with their friends will enable them to bond better with other youngsters and again the art of sharing and being able to use their imagination. This is something that no computer game can simulate. You will find there is a great deal of choice available for children playhouses or, as I say, an existing garden store could be re utilised .
This was even noted in the papers recently when Lucy and Dom Redmond, keen gardeners, were praised because of their beliefs that the garden should be used to educate their children as well as entertaining them. Their daughters, Tilly and Flori received encouragement to be involved in the garden from a very early age.
Besides the gardening they should be allowed to play freely so they can learn respect for the garden, which is very important. So not only is their home a playground it also includes the great outdoors. Their parent’s view was that children need to learn what can be harmful and by encouraging them to be able to use all the garden with few boundaries this can be achieved. Sometimes we, as parents, restrict what our children can do because we know they can be harmful and this makes sense. However we learnt by being involved in different situations and this way is always the best way to remember.
However, it’s vital that children are taught about the potential dangers of the garden and what items stored away outdoors that they should not touch . It also goes without saying that all dangerous substances which may be lurking in your outdoor shed should be kept securely locked away.
Outdoor Roller Coasters And Sheds
Recently I read my blog about my trip to Denmark for my grandson, Daniel’s, christening and it brought back happy memories of the weekend. And also the day before where I rode the outdoor wooden roller coasters at Tivoli Gardens and Bakken. At the time I mentioned how good wood is and since then this view has been reinforced by riding other wooden roller coasters in America and Germany.
When I started this hobby in 2009, at the age of 58, (which just goes to show we can all be young at heart) I was only keen on the steel roller coasters with their loops and twists. These are good fun however my loyalty changed in 2010 when I went to America. America has many wooden roller coasters where as in the UK they are quite scarce.
The beauty of wood is the noise and the feeling of not always knowing what to expect. A wooden coaster can give a different feel in the morning, mid day or late in the day. The weather also affects these coasters as the wood swells and shrinks accordingly. The intensity of wooden coasters is also a great reason to ride these wonderful outdoor machines.
However, there are probably three types of wooden roller coasters. You have the very old coasters built back pre war which can often be seen as a scenic railway type, such even carry a brakeman to control the speed in a little outdoor shed type carriage. As times has gone on many coasters have been built but unfortunately the intensity of some is actually uncomfortable at best and painful at worse. In the last decade or so new timber coasters have been built which are intense but ARE comfortable and very re-ridable. This, in my view, is how a wooden coaster should be.
In must be said that the perception of wooden roller coasters, and all coasters, is very much a personal thing. What I like and what someone else likes can be totally different. Which is probably a good thing because the queues for the good wooden rides would be even longer.
The timber coasters which I think are the best are built by GCI (Great Coasters International). Their coasters can be described as very fast and intense with loads of banking around corners and quick changes in direction. Their signature appears to be running the track so that it goes back through the station shed during the ride. The sensation of speed is awesome. However, these are very re-ridable wooden coasters. As soon as you get off you want to go again.
In my view most people could ride these, probably best not to have this as your first ride, but after a few rides I’m sure most people would agree. The key to riding these rides is to lean into the corners so that your body is in line with the track as much as possible. Enjoy the ‘air time’ where you float out of your seat a little – you are perfectly safe. Enjoy the sensation of speed, noise and movement. You find your body totally invigorated by this and the adrenaline rush is awesome. It’s just a shame you can’t bottle it and sell it.
These outside wooden coasters show the sheer versatility of timber and what it can do. The timber which is specially treated to resist rot will last an amazing amount of time. When you consider the sheer forces on the track and timber supports of the coasters the fact that timber can contain this forces day in day out, year in year out is nothing short of miraculous.
The only down side in my view is that so few parks in the UK have wooden coasters which seems to be the total opposite of parks in America and in Europe. In my view, as well as many other roller coaster enthusiasts, this is a shame. Having ridden these wooden coasters abroad and seen how popular they are I’m convinced that any park installing a ‘woodie’ would be well rewarded with masses of people heading their way to ride them.
If wood can do this for wooden coasters with all the great strains and forces on it then you can see how good wood is for making outdoor storage garden sheds. However, as in most things, it’s important that the right wood is used, and this means not using the cheapest less durable timber, and ensuring that the wood is probably treated so that is will last a very long time.
The outdoor storage sheds which 1st Choice supplies are normally only made from redwood timber and not the cheaper, less durable whitewood. So if you need outdoor storage and for it to last a long time and made properly there is only one place to go.