The garden shed or summer house door needs to be designed to work for a very long time so it is important it is made correctly. You will find decent shed and summer house manufacturers take their responsibilities seriously and ensure they will stand the test of time.
As well as the importance of having ledges AND braces on the garden shed door it is important to have THREE hinges as this will help to transmit the weight of the shed door across and onto the door frame. If there is only two then the door may bulge slightly in the middle. With joinery made door then only two hinges are required as the weight of the shed door is supported by the jointed frame.
There are various ways for the door to be kept closed. The very minimum you want is to have a pad bolt with a turnbuckle top and bottom on your door. The pad bolt is a sliding bolt and when closed you can put your padlock onto it to protect your valuables. The turnbuckle is simply a flat piece of metal with a hole in the middle. This is screwed onto the garden shed frame and when turned will hold the shed door tightly into position. This will help to stop any movement on the door when there are large changes in weather conditions throughout the year.
A better option is to have a key lock and handle which you would normally find on the better garden sheds or summerhouses. The normal lock on a ledge and braced shed door would be a rim lock. This means the lock itself screws onto the inside of the shed door. There would be a hole made in the shed door so you can lock the door from outside as well as a handle for opening the door
There are several types of doors available besides the standard garden shed door. You can select double doors with one of the shed doors being a fixed door, meaning this is normally left closed by the use of bolts at the top and bottom of the door, and with the other door as the main access into your shed. When you want the full width of both doors you just unfasten the bolts on the fixed door and you have twice the width. You can select a wider door, typically 3ft wide or you can select a stable door, sometimes known as a barn door. On a stable door, the top half can be open and the bottom half closed which makes it good for keeping animals in, or out, and providing ventilation into your garden shed.
Another thing you should consider for your garden shed is the actual height of the shed door. On most decent garden sheds you will find the door will be at least 5ft 8in tall (173cm) or taller. This really needs to be the smallest door to consider, unless you are from Lilliput, as you will find it quite irritating every time you go in and keep banging your head. On the cheap mass marketed garden sheds you will find, besides not having any door bolts or diagonals braces in the shed door meaning they will drop, that they are very low – some as low as 5ft (150cm). This means to access your garden shed you will get serious neck ache as well as headaches from banging on the shed door frame.
By checking these simple things you can ensure your new garden shed, summer house or log cabin will meet all your needs.
My advice is based on 39 years in the garden sheds business.