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New shed - any tips?

ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,381

We need to buy a new whed to store garden furniture and the lawnmower and no doubt other sundries such as pots in winter and bags of compost and so on.   i'm planning to get a wooden one but would welcome tips and dos and don'ts.

I'm planning to install a concrete base with a plastic sheet between it and the soil to help keep things dry and to give it an electricity supply. 

Is it advisable to paint the shed staightaway to extend its life and preserve its timber or should modern treatments be OK?  Flat roof or pointy for water run off?   Shelving systems?   Insulation?  Security?  Useful features or points to consider?



"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw


  •  My next door neighbour (who appears to collect sheds) swears by treating the timber every year.  One of his sheds is in its teens and looks brand-new.

    Some timber needs to weather a little before it'll take the wood paint well, but I'd opt for two coats as soon as you can.

    I moved my shed last year so that I could check to see if the door is left open (by me or riff-raff) from the house, but as that created more shadow, i also painted the inside with cheap white emulsion paint.  It's soaked in a little and won't win me any prizes but I can find things easier than I could before.  I plan to add a little window when I've got time as well to help.  Solar lighting is also an option.

    Shelving is important, but be prepared to redesign/move it when you realise that your initial idea at an ordered shed gets covered in bits and peices.

    I'm planning on extenting my shed and adding in guttering and a waterbut.  Don't want to get caught out like I did with the drought last year!  Good places to look for waters butts to buy are your local water authority or council website.  You can often get them cheaper than other shops/sites.  The link from Northumberia Water ( has the cheapest I found assuming you go for the buy one get one half price.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,381

    Thanks Michael.  Good advice about the inside light and visibility and definitely easier to paint before it gets filled.    I'll be looking in to gutters and a water butt when we finally pick our model but I live in Belgium where every house is metered and mains leaks are not tolerated like say in Thames Water so we don't have garden hosepipe bans in droughts.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hi Obs!  will your new shed be made from timber which has already been treated with some preservative or other?  If so, "ordinary" paint on top might not work so well. 

    I had to have the doors to my shed/garage replaced a few years ago - needed to make the opening bigger so as to get the car in - and ever since then I've regretted not using creosote on the (new) doors.  The shed itself dates back to about 1960  (nearly all of the wood is still more or-less OK) - & was used as a sort of workshop, I think, & has been creosoted a number of times over the years. 

    I painted the doors dark green - using one of those paints which "do what it says on the tin", and despite the fact that the wood was new &  had been primed & undercoated, the green paint peeled off after a couple of years.  The doors face south & get the full sun, soo that may have had something to do with the problem - though the other parts of the front (creosoted) are as good as ever.


    How I wish I'd used creosote on the doors in the first place, & not green paint................

  • a good padlock and grid bar for the window.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,780

    If you're going to keep the bird food in the make sure it's mouse proof. Last winter 2 folded garden seats, the shade netting for the greenhouse and a tarpaulin were destroyed and stored pnuts were everywhere.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,381

    Hello HCF.  I don't think you can get creosote any more but maybe a wood preserver wood be better than paint..  The new shed will be timber and, I assume, pre-treated.  I've only looked at sizes and shapes available and sustainable wood sources so far.    I want to make sure the one I choose lasts a good long time.   

    I won't be storing bird food in there but composts and chicken pellets are likely candidates.    The shed will be in the garden and away from easy road access but good point about window security.

    Thanks all.


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hi again Obs - can't you get "proper"  creosote in Belgium either?  Suppose not - EU regs & all that.  However, what I use now is the creosote substitute which seems the next best thing.  I get it in 5-gallon (?metric equivalent) containers from a local place which sells agricultural stuff.  I like it because not only is it easy & quick to apply but also lets the grain of the wood show through & fades eventually to a sort of grey-ish colour on my post & rail fencing, though the colour on the shed looks a bit different - probably because it was treated with the "old" sort of creosote in the past.  As I mentioned earlier, the shed has been here for ages - since this house was built/replaced in the l960s.  I think 50 years' life for any wooden shed is pretty good going! 

    p.s. what news of Rasta & "newer" dog? 



  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,381

    Doggies are fine thanks and gve us much pleasure.   Rasta is really enjoying having a playmate but has become a bit barky as she feels teh need to tell Bonzo everything in case he hasn't noticed someone is coming.     Bonzo is just gorgeous.  Very funny and cuddly and playful and has got over his fears of new experiences so has a lot more confidence.   He's quick to learn but can't manage "Sit" for more than a few seconds if there's food on offer.    They both love long walkies with OH at weekends and holidays and get absolutely filthy.

    Can't walk them myself at the mo as I'm waiting to have my feet fixed.   Right foot gets done at the end of Jan and, if all goes well, the left foot 2 months later.

    How are yours getting along?  

    I like the sound of a treatment that shows the wood and fades attractively.    

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,957

    We used Cuprinol Garden Shades paint. It's made specially for sheds etc and shows a bit of the wood grain through it. There are lots of colours. We chose a soft bluey green and it looks very nice with clematis growing up it. I think you can even paint it over wood that has preservative on it.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,957

    Forgot to answer the other bits. Pointy roof for rain run off. We put insulation on the ceiling, the stuff you buy in a foil covered roll. We bought flat pack plastic resin shelves which we put up. Not too heavy to handle, quite strong, and maintenance free. Make sure it's not too flimsy. Wood tends to swell and shrink a bit with the weather. Make sure there is a decent waterproof roof covering.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
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