How to choose the best garden shed

This is a guest post from Walton’s, who are also on our directory of Shed companies.

How do you choose a garden shed that you’ll get the most out of? The choices can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Ask yourself a few simple questions to kick-start your decision-making process:

Image: Waltons 10 x 8 Premium Overlap shed

  • What do I want to use the shed for?
  • How much space do I have available?
  • What’s my budget?
  • Do I need access to utilities such as power, water and internet access?

Armed with the answers to these queries, you’ll have narrowed the field already, but here’s some help choosing sheds for different purposes.

How to choose the best storage shed

Make sure you’ve got room to expand if you need to

Image: Waltons 4 x 6 Tongue & Groove Overlap shed


There’s plenty to consider with even the simplest of sheds. The first thing you should establish is what it is you need to store – and whether that’s going to expand over time. 

It’s all well and good grabbing a small 4’x6’ wooden shed and filling it with gardening tools, but if you discover in a year’s time that you need more space,it makes more sense to buy a bigger shed – say, something like an 8’x6’ wooden shed with double doors from the outset.

Before buying a storage shed, consider:

  • What do I need to store?
  • How likely am I to need to expand that over time?
  • Where in my garden am I going to keep the shed (do you need easy access to your belongings)?
  • Do I need windows? 

The next decisions to make concern style and material. Is wood, metal or plastic better for your needs? Each has their merits, but for aesthetic appeal and endurance, you can’t beat a well-maintained wooden shed.

Of course, you’ll need an appropriate base for your storage shed, and once you know what size you need, there’s a range of options, from a cheap and cheerful plastic base to strong, durable concrete. 

How to choose the best shed for a workshop

Go large with your workshop – as long as you’ve got the garden space!

Image: Waltons 20×10 reverse apex workshop shed

Size is a key factor for a workshop – you need space for a workbench and also somewhere to store your tools and materials. You might even want a separate small bench or shelf to hold a kettle and some teacups, and a spot for an armchair so you can relax from time to time. 

The smallest size you should consider for a workshop is a 10’x6’ shed – this gives you enough room for a workbench, some shelving and a bit of furniture so that you can work seated if you want to. You’ll also have a extra space for stashing spare tools and materials. 

But if you want to go all-out, and have room to spare, a 20’x’10’ workshop shed will give you space for more workbenches, loads of storage (even in the eaves above head height), and perhaps an area to relax after a few hours’ graft.

Size isn’t everything

Before buying a shed for a workshop, consider:

  • A strong base is vital if you’re using heavy machinery or equipment. For a large building, you’ll need either properly laid paving stones or a sturdy concrete slab.
  • Double doors make access for larger items much easier – and minimises the potential for damage to door frames!
  • You’ll need light to work by. Natural light is great, but consider electric lighting as well. Some solar solutions are good enough to work by, if you have enough outdoor light.
  • Using power tools? It’s not complicated to hook up to the mains, but you must get a professional to do the job
  • Don’t forget security. Curtains, bolts, window locks and padbolts all help to keep expensive kit safe from opportunistic thieves.

Once you’re sure you have a solid enough base to securely support any heavy machinery or equipment you’re using and you’re certain of the amount of space you have in your garden, it’s time to look at some buildings. 

It’s not complicated to get power, an internet connection or even a water supply to your shed – but make sure you use qualified contractors to do this work for you – it’s not worth considering the consequences if you get it wrong. 

If you’re not sure how to complete the transformation from ‘garden shed’ to ‘fully fledged workshop’, take a look at Waltons’ guide to converting your shed to a workshop – it’s packed with tips and advice.

By Andrew Wilcox

I love sheds Founder & judge of Shed of the year - Wilco writes mainly about sheds. About the blog Enter your shed into #shedoftheyear