A new garden shed is a big investment, so it’s worth taking time to work out where best to position it. There are many factors to take into account, so don’t be rushed into a hasty decision. Once the shed has been installed, you can’t just plonk it down somewhere else.
Of course, not everyone has the luxury of choice – some gardens may be too small to allow any flexibility, or you may want to re-use an existing shed base to save time and trouble. But if your garden is big enough to offer more than one alternative site, you should consider all the options.
Thinking through the following points will help you choose the best spot:
What is the shed for?
If you simply require extra storage, the location may not be of great importance as long as the ground is dry and level. However, if you’re intending to use the shed as a workshop, potting shed or hobby space you will probably want a spot that is easily accessible and gets plenty of natural light.
Is the surface level and well-drained?
Choosing a level part of the garden will make the build much easier. If you try to construct a shed on uneven ground you are going to struggle to put it together correctly. Walls will start to warp, doors won’t fit the frames and screw holes may not line up properly. The whole structure will be weakened before you’ve even finished assembly, and it won’t last very long.
Good drainage is also important. A sheltered spot at the bottom of the garden may seem ideal in summer, but could turn into a swamp in wet weather if the shed is set in a dip. No timber building, however well made, can withstand rising water for long!
Is there enough surrounding space?
It’s never a good idea to shoe-horn a building into a tight space – this is asking for damp. The timber needs to breathe, so don’t wedge it up against a wall or fence. Leave enough room (at least a metre) to get all the way round the shed, so you can easily carry out maintenance and repairs.
Don’t be tempted to use the structure as part of your fence or wall. Not all neighbours will be happy with this, and you may face having to take it down if there is a boundary dispute in the future.
You should also avoid installing your shed underneath overhanging trees. The branches can damage the roofing felt, while sap and falling leaves can cause damp.
Where is the sun?
Work out the direction of the sun through the day, and plan accordingly. While spring and autumn sunshine can be very pleasant, a shed may become too hot for comfort in summer if it’s in the full glare of the sun – particularly if any windows face south. A spot that gets shade for part of the day could be a good compromise.
Is there easy access?
It may seem obvious, but putting the shed somewhere readily accessible can make a big difference to the amount of use you get out of it. Having the building next to a path, patio or gravelled area will make it easy to reach and encourage regular use. If there is no path you may be able to make one afterwards, or at least lay down a few stepping-stones across the lawn.
Do you need power?
If you want light and heating in your shed, placing it near the house will make installation easier. Options including using an overhead cable, extension lead or underground cable enclosed in a sleeve. This type of work should be carried out by a qualified electrician.