Five Bits of Garden Shed Advice You Shouldn’t Follow

For most novice shed owners, helpful guides from experts play a significant role in helping them navigate the unknown aspects that concern all things shed-based. Those guidelines practically save them time by avoiding the mistakes that others have made.

However, with tons of shed-related advice online, it really can be overwhelming to know exactly who and what to follow or not. Some are not even applicable to their situation without their knowing.

Along the way, they may have come across bad information that has affected their buying decision. Have you ever experienced a situation which was similar to this?

So our team has compiled some garden shed advice that many beginners tend to follow, relying on what they read or told to do, even in reality—they should not have to. This guide aims to help you carefully plan and weigh up your choices before purchasing or installing, particularly if you are new to garden buildings.

Garden Shed Advice You Shouldn’t Follow

These tips may sound convincing and compelling, but that is not always the case. Here are the common garden shed advice you should not follow.

You Can Store Anything in Your Shed

If you are using your garden shed mainly for storage, do not fall into the trap of you can store anything in it. 

As we have previously talked about in our recent article, ‘Things You Should Never Store in Your Shed,’ shed may seem like the ultimate place to store all sorts of items. However, there are some things that you should keep elsewhere.

You might think you can use your outdoor building as a storage for your bulk grocery items and canned goods because why not? You bought your shed for storage purposes.

But the problem with keeping grocery items and food, including animal food, is that they can attract rodents and other pests in your shed. Even worse, the canned goods may spoil eventually due to heat and humidity inside the building.

Another case, electronics. If you have unused yet still functioning household appliances, it is better to donate them elsewhere than storing them in a shed—not properly insulated—that experiences extreme heat and moisture.

Otherwise your old DVD players, refrigerators, computers, and TVs will turn into completely useless junk because of their damaged components. 

Note: However, if your shed building is equipped with special features, such as ventilation, insulation, or temperature control system, then you might be able—or it could be possible—to store some of these items. All in all, it is wiser to be cautious and mindful with what you keep inside your shed than to be hasty or do something you may later regret.

You Don’t Need to Call Your Local Planning Authority for Building Approval

Garden buildings are subject to planning permission regulations in the UK. Even so, the conditions and rules may vary from state to state.

Your local planning authority (LPA) or local district or city council will be the one to provide you with a planning permission application. Although sheds do not typically require building approval before construction or installation can get underway, it is best to call your council to know the specific rules beforehand, and for your peace of mind.

Under the limits and conditions section, garden buildings, including sheds, are deemed to be permitted development and do not require planning permission if they meet the following restrictions:


  • The height of the building (one storey) and its eave is not exceeding 2.5 metres. If a dual pitched roof is present or 3 metres with any other type of roof, the overall height cannot exceed 4 metres.
  • The maximum height for a shed situated within 2 metres of a dwelling house boundary is 2.5 metres.
  • There are no raised platforms, balconies or verandas.
  • Other outdoor buildings like log cabins should be at least 5 metres from the main dwelling.
  • Sheds are not permitted on land in front of a wall that forms the principal elevation.
  • Garden buildings should cover no more than half of the area that surrounds the original home.
  • The outbuilding is not to be used as a self-contained living accommodation or have an antenna.
  • Any outdoor structure within the curtilage of a listed building will require planning permission.

For an in-depth guide to planning permission for your garden building in the UK in particular, you might want to read this next: Planning Permission For Your Garden Building.

Note: If you did not inquire about your plan on installing a shed into your property and went ahead with the construction process nonetheless, your local council will probably be notified about it.

Worse, you would be issued with some violations. For that reason, this could halt your work or you might be asked to temporarily leave its construction.

It is better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to make that call and let them know. This way, you won’t end up wasting your time and money in the end.

You Can Position Your Shed Anywhere on Your Property

A garden shed surrounded by trees with leaves falling above while being enclosed with a flower trellis surely do sound whimsical and inviting. But in reality, a shed that has been set next or under a tree, including overhanging branches, leaves, or flowers will cause you a lot of issues in the long run.

Think about when a strong wind or typhoon hit your area, chances are the tree branch will fall on it and later damage the structure. Falling leaves during the autumn season could also be a struggle on your part when it comes to cleaning as they leave marks on the roof.

So the next time you hear that you can locate your garden shed anywhere you want on your property, reconsider it. Remember, the location should be more than a mere afterthought, as where a shed is placed can be crucial to its lifespan and usefulness.


Here are some things you need to consider when positioning your shed:

  • Closeness to boundaries. Your neighbour won’t be likely pleased if you placed your shed right up against a fence. Moreover, this could be considered illegal and ordered to be demolished. Keep in mind that your shed cannot be placed within two metres of a property boundary if its eaves are over two and a half metres high.
  • Exposure to elements. To protect your shed from the full extent of the British weather, your outbuilding should not be left totally in an open space. Or else, your shed will be weak and eventually damaged.
  • Accessibility. The convenience accessing your goods stored in the shed is one of the top priorities to consider. The location should be able to let you open the door widely for your bulky goods and should be convenient for you when you are going to it.
  • Proximity to the house. Positioning the shed adjacent to your house would not be a smart choice. This might cause disorganisation with your children, pets, and friends. This also means you cannot see the building in full view from your upstairs window, making it a more suitable target for potential burglars.

The area should also be level, secure, and safe. Free from flooding, and accessible on all sides to make maintenance more convenient. It should have some natural light, but not too much to protect your stored items from extreme heat.

Whether you have a large garden or a limited space, you need to find a suitable spot for your shed. In conclusion, your shed’s position is a key factor to consider to ensure you get the best out of it. 

Shed Maintenance Is Not Mandatory

No matter the season, garden shed maintenance is important in the UK. This is particularly true in the winter months as the season poses a threat to your outbuilding. So do not ever think that maintenance is not a big deal.

Considering the harsh weather in the country, from strong winds and heavy snows to rain and potential flooding, you need to ensure that your shed is equipped with full swing protection and maintenance to resist and stand up against the elements.

Regardless of what type of material your shed is, upkeep is required. Otherwise, all your stored items inside will be at risk of damage, and your shed will deteriorate eventually.

Repaints and repairs are necessary for every three to five years at the very least, so it is best to set aside a budget for this maintenance expense. If you use your outbuilding for storage purposes and not as a man cave for a hobby room for your lifestyle indulgences, cleaning and dusting the outdoor structure regularly should be part of your daily routine.

You do not want your shed to look like an actual cave inside, do you? So make sure to make it a cobweb-free environment, and might as well replace the pest control system to keep the bugs and rodents at bay.

Other cleaning maintenance include: ventilating the space from time to time, cleaning the gutter and removing dirt, leaves, twigs and other grimes from the roof. Check out below the varying forms of maintenance for each type of garden sheds.


  • Wooden Sheds – When your wooden shed has not been treated, applying wood preservative is important—unless your outdoor building has already undergone the process of pressure treatment.

A pressure-treated wooden shed is guaranteed to stand up against the harshest weather conditions the UK can throw at it, extending its lifespan compared to its untreated alternative.

  • Metal Sheds – This type of sheds only require less maintenance. But to make sure your metal shed will last longer, you need to focus on the gutters. Ensure that all the gutters are firmly attached to the metal building and are clear of debris.
  • Plastic Sheds – Owning a plastic shed means you need to look out on your building’s roof, especially during winter. Snow can add excessive weight to the roof. If overlooked, your shed might collapse due to the piled up snow.

You Can Only Purchase a Shed During This Particular Time/Season

Time is one of the considerations when purchasing a new garden building. In the UK, autumn is considered as the best time to buy sheds as the prices are often lower than the peak season. Plus, the weather gets chillers, which leads to people being inclined to venture outdoors.

The truth is, you can purchase a shed or any sort of outdoor structure any time and regardless of the season. There is no need to follow a specific timeline as long as your schedule can accommodate the construction and you know exactly what is the purpose of your outbuilding.

Further, with the right professional help, you do not have to worry too much about timing. Skilled contractors are likely able to work in most conditions all year round. But if you decided not to have a professional installation, you may want to consider the extreme conditions.

Installing a garden building when the weather is extreme, for instance—amidst the heavy wind or rain, including frost and snow. Not only do conditions like these will result in a complication but also unnecessary issues further down the line and long term damage to your shed.

In this case, it is advisable to install or assemble your garden building when the weather is dry or mild.


When purchasing a shed or any garden building, do not invest in poor quality. This is especially important if you consider it as an investment. Keep these advice in mind and you’ll be able to use your shed to its full potential.