There are numerous choices for garden sheds. Before purchasing it is important to define the purpose you have in mind, whether it be for vegetable gardening tool storage, equipment storage, or any other functionality. This purpose will define the location, design, size, and style of structure you need.
Choose a location that places your shed where it will be used the most so that it maintains functionality. If you grow a vegetable garden and need a place to store tools, place it near the garden. Keep in mind whether or not you will want electricity or water in the same location. Sheds can add a pleasing look to the yard, and so it is important to consider how it looks in proximity to other buildings, during different seasons, and does it blend into the natural landscape or is it a show piece.
Choosing a Design
Garden sheds can be completely customized to suit every practical and stylistic need. The primary purpose of the shed will determine it's layout. For example, if you wish to store something large, like garbage bins or a lawn mower, find a design that allow you the ability to easily find other things in the shed without always having to remove the bins or mower. A large door is often helpful! If you are planning on using much of the wall space for hanging, limit the number of windows in order to free up this space. Many sheds are also used for potting, and therefore a bench will be needed.
A garden shed that is too small will create frustration and clutter. The size should accommodate your purpose and the functionality desired. Shed kits can usually be found to accommodate your purpose. Listing all the things that you wish to store in the shed is a good start. Additionally, list all the activities that you may wish to use the shed for (ie. potting, equipment maintenance, etc). Partions are great for separating the space for some of these different purposes. Keep in mind that large sheds may have zoning and permit requirements in your area, while a small shed may not.
Style is a completely personal choice, and there are many styles to choose from. Different styles will use different building materials, so be sure that the construction of the garden shed you choose will withstand the use you require.
Types of Garden Sheds
Below is a list of the more sought after types of sheds.
Outdoor Storage Sheds
There are indoor and outdoor storage sheds. Indoor structures are often smaller but great for storing items like firewood, bikes, toys, household items, etc. Outdoor storage sheds are usually larger and designed to house things like farm equipment, gardening equipment, fuel, tools and any other items that are primarily used in the yard or on the farm.
A lean-to shed is a storage structure that is usually built adjacent to another building, usually for support or aesthetics. A lean-to garden shed can be enclosed or open-ended, and typically has a roof that slopes downwards from back to front. This type of roof gives the appearance that it is 'leaning' against the adjacent structure.
Garden Tool Storage Shed
This structure's primary purpose is the storage of garden tools. Wall space is usually important for a garden tool storage shed so the number of windows should be limited.
Wood sheds often add a great look to the yard but do require specific maintenance. Wood structures require exterior paint/treatment for protection against the weather. Proper interior ventilation will prevent rot, mold and fungus. Regular inspection and maintenance will keep your wood shed in good condition for many years!
English sheds have a history of being a place of escape for the man of the house - a place to relax and tinker. Obviously this has changed; the English shed is now a place for the whole household. These structures are typically A-frame construction and reflect traditional English styles.
Plastic sheds are some of the most common sheds. They are typically the most economical, more durable, lighter, and require little maintenance.
Victorian sheds have an elaborate, ornate and colorful style representative of the Victorian era (1839-1910).
Vinyl sheds are typically wood frame construction with plywood sheeted walls that are covered with vinyl siding. These sheds are often studier than plastic or metal sheds.
Rustic sheds represent a rural lifestyle, often looking home-built. They are usually built from wood that has a weathered look (artificial or real). Rustic sheds are associated with a coziness due to the warm look of wood construction.