The garden shed is a familiar site in most people's gardens, and for those of us who do have one they probably won't give their shed much of a second thought beyond using them as storage. However, there is more about the humble shed than most people think about. 

Guest author Lorna Cannell has investigated further:

Sheds are used for many purposes. They can store garden tools and mowers, garden furniture and any useful items; or provide a space for potting plants or a quiet retreat.  However, if they are often poorly designed and positioned they can become an eyesore within the garden.

Sheds can vary greatly in construction and size from small, open sided structures to large sheds with large doors and windows, lighting and electrical points. In fact if you have the space, the budget as well as the correct planning permission, you can go the whole hog and construct a fully loaded, and insulated log cabin, suitable for use as a 'second' property!

Homes with small gardens may benefit from very small sheds such as a corner shed, vertical sheds and tool shed. Larger sheds can provide space for storage, hobbies or even out-buildings and offices.

Careful positioning of the shed can help to prevent it becoming an unwanted focal point within the garden.  

Screening with shrubs will help to soften the shed, so consider growing climbers or shrubs on the shed. 

Alternatively plant beds in the garden directly in the eye line between house and shed to screen the view.  

Trees can help to soften buildings such as sheds, or you may wish to position them behind other structures such as walls or garages.

It is best to position the shed with the apex roof sideways to soften its shape.

Painting the shed a dark colour will actually help to disguise the shed; believe it or not black works very well as it is not a dominant colour in the garden.

If you do not have space to tuck the shed into a handy corner of the garden, consider making the shed a focal point and choose a fancy design. Inexpensive sheds are available in kit form and are usually constructed from wood, metal and plastic. You will need to construct a strong base on which to sit the shed.

Metal sheds are constructed from metal sheathing attached to a metal frame, usually aluminium, galvanised steel or corrugated iron. 

This makes them lightweight and easy to construct. They have the advantage of being fire resistant, so may be more suitable for storing BBQ gases or combustible materials. 

However, they may be more prone to rust, can be easily dented and their lightweight designs makes them more susceptible to being damaged by strong winds. 

Plastic sheds are constructed from moulded plastics such as PVC and polyethylene. They are stronger, lighter and less likely to be damaged or dented than other types of shed. They also require little maintenance and are less expensive than metal sheds. However, the can look intrusive within the garden compared to sheds made from natural materials.

Wooden sheds have the advantage of blending well into the garden environment. However, wooden sheds require regular maintenance such as application of wood preservative to prevent splitting, rot and warping. Coloured wood stains can add another dimension to the shed and make it a focal point. the advantage of wooden sheds is that they can be easily adapted; windows can be cut in, shelves added and additions easily added.

For related articles click onto the following links: FENCE PANELS FOR YOUR GARDEN
SHEDS - A great security feature for your home

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