Buyer Beware- Check List Guide When Buying a Garden Shed
If you are thinking of buying a timber garden shed there are many things to consider to ensure you don’t waste your money. With many cheap garden sheds on the market you may be tempted to think these will fulfil your needs but if you intend to use the sheds for many years this can be a false economy.
The main thing to look at is the thickness of the shed framing (effectively the skeleton of the shed). You will find that the cheap sheds often have framing only 28mm x 28mm (that is only 1″ x 1″). Take a look on a ruler and see how small that is. Then try to imagine that this very thin timber has to hold the weight of the cladding, and the roof and felt, although the roof is very thin as well.
Then try to imagine a layer of snow on the roof (it does happen) and think how much extra weight this puts on the shed, does this give you confidence that the timbers are strong enough, is yes, then keep your fingers crossed. The ideal minimum thickness for the framing should be 50 x 50mm (2″ x 2″) which is about four (4) times thicker than you see on these cheap sheds. With this thickness, your new garden shed will withstand everything our British weather will throw at it.
The next most important thing is to ensure that the building is made from proper timber, chipboard and OSB board is not really suitable for outdoor use where there is a chance they will get wet (Right !! England and wet weather go together like Wimbledon and Strawberries) OSB board can be adequate in certain circumstances however if any of the board is cut (which nearly always has to be to meet the size of the shed) then this removes the special waterproof paint which had been applied to the edges. The cut edges of the garden shed floor are then prone to swelling when it gets wet and then that is the beginning of the end of the roof and floor.
With the roof you have to cover it with the roofing felt – how do you do that – you put clout head nails through the roofing felt into the OSB boards which again – potentially if you do not align the nails correctly – allows water to get into the OSB board. When this happens you can expect the roof to shows signs of letting in water and disintegrating. Chipboard is by its name made from woodchips stuck together – which is fine for kitchen and bedroom cabinets covered in melamine – but it is NO USE whatsoever in a shed.
Also, notice that companies offering chipboard or OSB boards describe them as solid sheet materials as they are too embarrassed to tell you the truth. They also do not offer any guarantees on this chipboard and OSB boarded floor as they KNOW they won’t last the minute they get wet.
How do we know all this about Garden Sheds and how qualified are we to say this?
We have been involved in the manufacture of timber garden sheds and workshops since 1979. For over 20 years we ran one of the largest Garden Buildings companies in the south of England and made the conscious decision to only deal with quality materials which we knew would last the test of time. This ethos probably comes from our upbringing. Our father was a Master Butcher in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire and Quality was always the keyword behind his business which he took over from his father.
As you can see we are not just salespeople selling a range of products who know nothing of little about the products but have the history behind us to ensure that when you choose ‘1st Choice’ then you know your building will be ‘1st Choice.
Hi, I'm Robin Antill, founder of 1st Choice Leisure Buildings, and I use my expertise gained over 42 years in the garden buildings industry to understand that each customer is different. With my manufacturing, retailing and customer service experience my articles help people choose their ideal shed, garden workshop, summerhouse, log cabin or garden office needs to suit their requirement and that is key to satisfaction. And what do I do when I'm not writing? You may find me following Grimsby Town Football Club or riding roller coasters - so plenty of 'ups and downs' in my life.