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Garden Sheds - How to Choose the best Garden Shed

Updated on August 24, 2015

Garden Shed or No Garden Shed?

Is your garden becoming a storage unit for all of the wonderful tools and garden appliances that you just couldn’t live without? The perfect solution for this problem is a garden shed. Garden sheds can come in a multitude of prices and designs—everything from a centerpiece to a completely hidden natural, even underground storage unit and from less than $500 to well over $10,000.

garden shed

Your specific needs for storage, space usage, as well as preference of size are all things you will need to consider when choosing your garden shed. Price range, materials and visibility of the shed are secondary issues you will need to consider when picking out your garden shed.

Garden sheds are limited only by your imagination. Doghouses can become gardening barns that store not only your garden supplies but also double for the kids’ playhouse and pet headquarters. Gazebos can be beautiful as well as functional by building them up enough to provide storage space below the flooring of your sexy, lovely Southern Gazebo. Your niece’s springtime wedding is a perfect excuse to consider a lovely gazebo.

Outdoor structures can have water and electricity added to make a basic garden shed into an adult playhouse for the family photographer (with a dark room), a space just for you and a space just for your spouse. Wouldn’t it feel great to tell him to dump all of his golfing equipment somewhere other than the doorstep. Send him to the shed first!


Types of Garden Sheds/Structure

The basic types of garden structures that you may want to consider for your needs are:

  • Simple, basic garden shed
  • Gazebo or other Southern style structure with storage
  • Barn, animal headquarters with added storage
  • Kids’ playhouse with garden storage for the adults
  • Studio—an adult playhouse with space for hobbies as well as storage
  • Pool house or cabana with additional storage for gardening.
  • Protection from the elements with no storage such as a three sided structure with a roof or even an arch with ivy growing all over and a table beneath the protect the gardener.

In general, garden sheds can be as simple or as complex as the desires of the gardener. Simpler garden sheds may only protect the gardener from rain while working outside. This may mean a natural cover (such as ivy) growing over an archway with a rustic table beneath to provide working space for the gardener.

Less complex garden sheds can also be as simple as storage units with no electricity, lighting or additional water supply or as complicated as your home with a bit of flair not normally afforded in our homes.

garden shed

Whatever your hobby may be, it can become a part of your storage concept. The storage shed can be a place for you and your spouse to create the artwork you have dreamed of creating or complete those life long projects you have been promising yourself for the last 10 years. Anything from restoring cars to photographs can be tackled with the appropriate planning ahead of time.

They can also be as complicated as the home associated with the garden! Some people don’t want the garden shed to be visible so they make a great, grand effort to conceal the entire storage barn.

Invisible Garden Sheds

Invisible sheds are becoming more and more popular. Natural materials used in both the building of the shed and the planning of the surrounding garden can accentuate the beauty of the shed or entirely hide the shed.

Garden Shed Planning and Building Legally

Most garden sheds will not need a building permit. In most areas, buildings that are 100-110 square feet will not require any sort of building permit. To be sure, you should give your local municipality office a call.

If there is something required, be sure to ask if there are any associated fees. Additional questions you may want to ask are what sort of requirements are necessary (such as property surveys) and are there additional government charges to hook up to electric or water supplies.

As much fun as the planning and even the building process is when picking out your garden shed, there are certain less fun issues to consider. Depending on the type of material used for the structure, remember to check on appropriate finishing and maintenance. Your zone’s weather conditions may play a factor as well as tendency toward natural disasters – everything from mud slides to tornadoes and hurricanes need to be considered in the US.

You should also check on the warranty for the shed or storage unit and what the warranty will cover. Some basic daily activities that the consumer may do can negate the warranty. Keeping animals in the building and using certain cleaning products can negate the warranty so make sure you understand what the warnings are that go along with the warranty.

Don’t let a sale or salesperson rush you into something you aren’t prepared for. Take your time in selecting, research the materials used, the company making the product and the warranty associated with the product before you buy. Have fun with your new adult sized toy!

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I also had alot of issues building my shed. Took me and my wife about 3 weekends to build it. I used parts and windows from

      Be sure to take your time and ask for help when needed

    • profile image

      Brian Hilliard 

      6 years ago

      I recently upgraded my plastic garden storage to a wooden shed but had no clue on how to erect it - useless instructions from gardenbuildingsdirect! But luckily I found a useful hub on this - and managed to build it over the weekend. Next project is a playhouse for the kids...lets hope it comes with some decent instructions this time!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great article. Building your own shed is a cost effective way to het a garden shed. I found some great shed plans at

      They also have a a complete How To Build A Shed page that takes you through all the steps to build a shed.

    • profile image

      Cover garage 

      8 years ago

      Wow. You are a writing machine. Wanted to offer the readers another alternative for wooden and metal storage sheds. A cover garage can also be utilized. It is a fabric covered building which utilizes a metal frame which utilizes a tent like material that is tensioned to the frame. They cost a fraction of what a wooden or metal sided building runs.

    • Ask My HVAC Man profile image

      Ask My HVAC Man 

      8 years ago

      Good article. a lot of good info. Check out this article I found for more info

    • profile image

      sue james 

      8 years ago

      Very informative articles, well done.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      10 years ago from New Brunswick

      A garden shed is a great idea, I find mine most useful, great hub.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      10 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Well done, everything you ever wanted to know about garden sheds :)


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