Garden shed

Building a garden shed

When considering a new shed, summer house, or greenhouse etc, there are a number of things you should consider before hiring someone to erect the building for you. The information below, kindly supplied by leisurebuildings, (a UK based garden building company) discusses the important issues of new garden buildings.

The Best Location
Planning Permission
Maintain Your New Garden Building

How Do I Decide The Best Location For My New Shed? Back to top

It's a question that is heared a lot, "where is the best place to site my building ?" and the answer is always the same, "it depends on what you're using it for." Here are some points to remember when siting the building:

Keep in mind the position of the sun. If you're siting a greenhouse or summerhouse, you will probably wish to locate the building directly in it's path. However, if you're locating a workshop, it's unlikely you'll want to be working in a building heated by the sun's rays!

Similarly, if it's a greenhouse or somewhere you'll be working with plants, you'll probably want there to be a water supply close-by. Running a water supply down a long garden would be uneconomical, so perhaps a location nearer to the house ?

Electric and phone lines may be a consideration too so, again, perhaps a better idea to consider a location nearer to the house ?

It can get very muddy and damp in the winter, so locating the door of the building next to a path is always good news.

To ensure the longevity of your building, we do not recommend that trees or shrubs overhang the building.

You should position the building a minimum of 12" away from walls and fences for two reason; 1. To allow the fitter to install the building correctly, and 2. to allow you to retreat the building easily

Will I Need Planning Permission for my shed?Back to top

Will you need planning permission ? Generally no, as the building is classed as a 'Portable Building', however it is your responsibility to check with your local planning office. Notable exceptions to the above are listed buildings and conservation areas. It may be that you need to position the building a certain distance from the house, or boundaries, but each area is different, so it is impossible to offer accurate information.

Other general guidelines are that it must not take up more than ½ your garden, it must be behind the building line, it should be 1 metre away from the boundary (although most buildings tend to be nearer than this), it should be less than 4 metres high (if it is an apex building) and should be 50 ft away from the nearest road. Check your phone book for your local council and ask to speak to a 'planning officer' to get the exact advice.

Another thing to keep in mind, is your neighbours reaction - always keep them informed of what's happening, and be prepared to alter the plans you had for locating the building if they object - it's better in the long run, believe me!

How Do I Build A Suitable Base For My New Garden Shed?Back to top

As with any structure, it is essential to provide a firm, level and square base; without which, your building will become unstable and will deteriorate rapidly. Preparations need not be too elaborate and we show the three recommended methods below:

Concrete Base - The best method - provided it's done well. Really only a job for a competent DIYer, or a professional builder.

Rows Of Paving Slabs - Simple, yet effective. Also the best solution if the building may need to be moved in future years. If laying a concrete base, keep in mind the length of time it will take for the concrete to cure before the building can be erected on it.

Treated Timber Bearers - By far the easiest solution! You simply clear the site in accordance with our guidelines, and the fitters can build straight onto the earth.

Whichever method you use, it is important that the end result is above all, firm and square. If you are constructing the base for a building over 12' x 8', a garage, a sectional building, a corner unit, a gazebo, or a building with no floor, a purpose-built concrete base is recommended.

How Do I Maintain My New Garden shed?Back to top

To maintain the quality and appearance of your building we recommend that you retreat any exterior wooden parts within 6 months of installation, and then annually after that. We recommend using Cuprinol 5-Year Woodstain which is available in a range of colours.

Regularly oil any moving parts such as locks and door or opening window hinges.

Keep an eye on the condition of the roofing felt. If it starts to deteriorate, replace it with a good quality replacement - if water starts to seep into the roof, this is the beginning of the end for your building.

All Material provided by, and copyright to

Suppliers of Quality Leisure Buildings

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"Is the view of a gargen shed so important, there are people dying in war and people dying of starvation. How lucky are you to have a room with a view."

C. Tozer

"You need to be less personal and a lot more businesslike and rational or you risk a war with your neighbour which neither of you will win."

Irritable SW London

"My neighbour has just put up a shed in his garden that backs onto mine. The shed is right at the end of his garden, about 12ft high (at the apex) and I'm fairly confident is over 15 sqm. I live in the first floor maisonette overlooking said garden and I have to say I am not amused at all! How can/do I object to this when we've received no notice of this 'shed' (more of a garden office) and he hasn't even had the common decency to ask us if we'd mind. The building now totally dominates our outlook of our garden from the first floor and is, in my mind, totally unacceptable. I will be taking this up with my local council and doing everything in my power to get him to remove it!"

Irritated of SW London