Sheds, playhouses and outbuildings are classified as temporary structures so you normally do not need to obtain planning permission for these structures, unless you live in a conservation area. They are relatively simple to construct and can be placed just about anywhere provided there is a firm and flat surface. There are some issues to consider before building your shed.
- How big do you want your shed – the size of your shed should compliment the size of your garden. Try not to overwhelm your garden. Think about the colour and aesthetics of the shed.
- The shed needs to be accessible with a pathway and a sensibly placed doorway.
- Placement of the shed is important, your shed should not be in an awkward position, rather place it where it is out of the way but still accessible, a good place is often against the back or side wall – perhaps the corner.
- Natural light is an issue in winter? Choose the correct side for the window/s to provide maximum light. Is there a danger of overheating in summer?
- Is the shed going to be powered? How will you get the power to the shed? Think underground cables.
- Do you need running water in your shed? Is there a tap nearby where you can source water?
- Try and make your shed versatile – a children’s playhouse can later be made into a workshop or storeroom when they grow up.
Building the shed
A garden shed is fairly simple to build. There are obviously more elaborate options with extra windows and double doors, but most are standardised. Some sheds are even wired and heated, proper heavy duty locks can be fitted for extra security.
1. To begin with you will need to lay a base slab; the slab should be 25mm smaller than the floor of your shed, to ensure proper drainage, for the same reason the slab should also be slightly tilted.
2. Once you have your slab in place you need to centre the shed floor on it. The centre points of the side panels and the floor should all be marked so that they will line up in the next step.
3. Lift the rear gable panel and put it in the correct position using poles to prop it up. Now you can lift any of the side panels onto the base. The gable end and the side panel need to be connected using the framing battens where they meet. Drill 3 pilot holes then fit 50mm countersunk screws to join the gable panel and the side panel at the top, middle and bottom.
4. After tightening the screws, the other side panel can be fixed in the same manner.
5. The front gable (with the door) is next but once fixed you shouldn’t attach the walls to the floor as the frame is not rigid yet.
6. The roof support beam is next – there should be pre-cut grooves for the beam to slot into.
7. Before fixing the beam to the gables, make sure that the shed is evenly set on the floor and that the door opens smoothly without any hookups. Fix the beam on to the gables by using the L-shaped brackets and 30mm screws.
8. Before putting the roof on, Lay the roof panels on the ground, one at a time, with the wooden eave sections flush with the bottom edge of the panel. Measure and mark six evenly spaced fixing positions. Drill some pilot holes and then you can hammer in the nails to attach the eaves to the roof panels.
9. Lift the roof panels into place one at a time. Line them up with the shed frame on the base using the centre markings. Secure the roof panels with 30mm screws along the roof support beam. You can now fix them to the sides and the gable ends of the shed using the 40mm nails, or 30mm nails across the window heads.
10. Finally check again that the shed is square on the base before finally fixing the shed to the floor using the 50 mm nails.
Felting the roof
1. You will need to cut the felt to size with a sharp blade. Cut three pieces, two of them should be slightly longer then the roof panels(+50mm) and one of the pieces should be cut to cover the gap at the apex and extend at least 75mm over each roof panel.
2. Lay one of the pieces over one of the roof panels and nail it, using felt nails, at the top of the panel, there should be a 50mm overhang at the eave. Neatly fix the gable ends and eave ends with closely spaced (100mm) felt nails.
3. Repeat the process on the other side of the roof.
4. Put the third piece of felt over the gap at the apex and nail it using closely spaced felt nails.
5. Tidy up the felt at the corners and hammer in the fascia board on the front and back gables using 4 40mm nails per strip.
Another consideration when roofing your new shed is how accessible it is – at some point you may need to replace the felt. A long lasting alternative could be rubber roofing. Available as one piece of membrane cut to size, there are no joins or overlaps to worry about. If your felt roof leaks, it can be very difficult to firstly see where the problem is and even more difficult to patch. Rubber roofing may seem a little odd for a shed, but will alleviate all these worries. Kits are available from Permaroof and come complete with adhesives and trims.
Permaroof have just released a fantastic new product that offers an alternative to traditional felt roofing - Permaroof In A Box®. The first launch of this great new product is design specifically for sheds. The kit includes everything that you will need in order to cover your shed roof with a long lasting, epdm rubber membrane that also includes a lifetime membrane guarantee.
The membrane is glued to the shed roof using a totally safe, water based adhesive and features no joints that could fail and cause leaks and also benefits from being completely UV stable, so no degrading of the rubber over time.
There are 5 sizes to choose from that cover the majority of available shed sizes but bespoke orders for larger sizes are also available.
The application of the kit is very easy and if you would like more information on fitting you can view the Roof in a Box Fitting Instructions here. If you would like more information on this product click through to the Permaroof website
Most shed windows nowadays are Perspex or acrylic, which are very easy to install. They slide easily into their housing in the window frame.
1. You need to be outside to begin installing the windows, slide the metal window sill into the grooves provided at the bottom of the window frame.
2. Nail in the short strips of wood known as window cloaks, using four 40mm nails in each. This will secure the sill.
3. Now from inside you will be able to slide the Perspex into the frame so that it is resting on the sill. Secure the beading with 25 mm nails. Position the beading over the perspex sheet at the top and sides of the frame and hammer them fully home.
Why not take a look at our video section on building a shed to watch a film on "shed building" for a practical demonstration.