Buying a new garden building is a potential minefield. With so many different makes and models out there, how on earth are you supposed to know you’re getting a good deal?
With prices varying from a couple of hundred quid to literally thousands, the decision is certainly a tricky one. As is often the case, buying a shed from the lower end of the price spectrum will likely result in you having to spend money repairing or replacing it months or years down the line. Even if you have a guarantee, who knows, the manufacturer you bought it from could have shut up shop for good by then!
When shopping online for a garden shed, it’s easy to be wowed by some of extremely low prices offered by some companies. However, if you dig a little deeper, it soon becomes clear that the manufacturer could only afford to push out garden buildings for such low prices because they were seriously cutting corners at every given opportunity.
With that in mind, here are six ways to make sure you get yourself a long-lasting shed. By doing so, you will ultimately save a load of money and aggravation down the line!
1. Find a voucher!
The best way to save a bit of money on a new garden building is certainly to use a voucher. Most shed manufacturers will run promotions from time to time. You need to be on your toes and make sure you can take advantage of them!
It’s common to see five percent, ten percent, or even fifteen percent off vouchers for garden sheds. When you consider than most are going to cost you at least £500, a discount voucher can leave you with a fair bit extra to spend kitting your new shed out.
Some sites such as WhatShed.co.uk regularly maintain a list of all the current deals and discount codes available on most of the UKs top garden building retail sites. You can see an example of one of the pages by checking out this link to the Waltons voucher page.
2. Check the building materials
Even if your new garden shed has been built by absolute master craftsmen, if the materials they used were terrible, the garden shed isn’t going to be much better. You should pay attention to the variety of wood used in constructions – particularly those carrying a lower price tag.
No one’s expecting you to make become an expert on every type of wood under the sun by any means. Most manufacturers will proudly display the type of wood they use – when it’s worth shouting about. Ideally, you want a slow growing wood. These tend to produce shed components that are much less likely to warp or split over time. If you see a type of wood you don’t recognise, a quick internet search will tell you if it’s a good choice for a shed build.
Pay attention to the glazing too. It’s common on budget sheds and cabins for companies to cut corners by including some dangerously thin glass or even a plastic substitute. Depending on your usage of the building, this might be fine. However, customers often complain about cheap glazing on budget garden buildings.
3. Check the construction methods
To the untrained eye, all sheds probably look kind of similar – four walls, a roof, a floor. Not much to them really. However, it’s important that you pay attention to the small details of how your shed is put together.
Look for tongue and groove joints holding wall, floor, and roof timbers together. This building technique offers much greater resistance to the elements compared to inferior ship lap or other cladding methods. There is a load of information about each of the commonly used techniques in this handy shed-buying guide.
4. Check the finer details
Some manufacturers love to cut to cut corners on their garden sheds. Ultimately, this saves them money and the customer thinks they got a cracking deal. A few months or years down the line when the thing has fallen to pieces, it becomes obvious that a better-quality garden building to begin with would have avoided all this mess.
When browsing sheds online remember to look out for small details. What kind of lock does it come with as standard? Does the roof covering come within the asking price? Will the company deliver the product?
Also pay attention to the way doors and windows are hung. Ideally, for maximum security and heat-retention, you want rebated fittings. Externally hung substitutes offer much less protection from would-be intruders.
5. Shop around
When you’re looking for your dream shed, browse the market. You’re online here - you can visit as many manufacturers as you want in seconds!
The more you get a feel for what’s actually out there, the more easily you’ll be able to spot quality when you see it. Pay attention to product reviews too, there will always be one or two negative ones but if you see hundreds, you know to steer clear of the company, no matter how alluring their prices seem.
6. Visit a showroom
Once you have a shed in mind that you think you want to buy, why not pay the showroom itself a visit? Many manufacturers have examples of their sheds erected on site and are happy to talk you through the building materials and construction methods used in more detail.
Even if the showroom doesn’t have the exact model that you’re wanting to buy up at the time you visit, you’ll still be able to get a really good idea for how the rest of their products look and feel. If their 8’x4’ shed is weak and wobbly, it’s a fair assumption that their 10’x6’ will be just as bad too.
Or… build your own shed from scratch!
This article is designed to help you if you are planning on buying a prebuilt shed. However, if you are more interested in building your own shed from scratch then you should check out the blog post my husband did when we built our own shed, you can check the post out here. Building your own shed means you can have the exact dimensions and look you desire with high quality materials that you won’t usually find in a flat pack. Plus, if you shop around for materials then it could even be a more cost-effective solution.
Remember ‘buy cheap, buy twice’. This is true for sheds too, so make sure you are looking for something that is good value and not just something that is the cheapest price possible. Happy shed shopping!
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Shed images courtesy of handymanben.com