Being one of the UK’s leading sheds suppliers, we’re often inundated with enquiries to get advice as to which shed would be best for a plethora of varied plots, plans and requirements – and we’re not complaining, we love speaking to our customers to help.
So we thought it to be a good idea to put together this guide to buying your next perfect shed by pointing out the differences between each type of our most popular shed types, common uses and giving our own personal advice to help you, the customer, make a better informed choice when purchasing your next outbuilding.
People think of sheds far less than they probably should. A shed is a centrepiece to really tie together a garden or outdoor space. Long gone are the days where the shed sat as an aesthetically unappealing lump of plywood to throw junk in – now there’s an vast range of smart, incredibly well built outbuildings that can bring an entirely new feel to an outdoor space and serve a multitude of functions.
Here are some of the our most asked about shed types and the ins and outs of which would be best for you to make an informed choice.
Forget the practicality for a moment that we all commonly associate with a shed – let’s throw that out the window – let’s talk focusing on outbuildings that you could use as a living space for work or for pleasure – depending on your needs of course.
Let’s work through some main differences between Summerhouse and Log Cabins so that you can gain a better understanding of what would be best suited to your personal requirements.
Summerhouses are, for the most part, generally smaller in size than log cabins. You can get a nice compact summerhouse ranging from around 7’x5’ upwards, whereas our smallest log cabin starts at 8’x6’.
Size is generally a deciphering factor (as well as price) when looking at buying either a summerhouse or a log cabin because of space restraints. If you’ve got a smaller space that you’re looking to fill, a summerhouse will be perfect for you, but if you’re looking for something say a little more grandeur – log cabins tend to be the pick of the two.
Differences between the two also become clearer when looking at the materials used in the construction of both outbuildings. Summerhouses are often made in much more the same way that a shed is built with shiplap cladding, but you can find more expensive ones that have groove or tongue panelling.
Log Cabins on the other hand, are generally made from much heavier and traditionally thicker timber such as pine. You might find that you have the option to choose a thicker cladding with log cabins and some also come insulated – this generally isn’t the case with summerhouses.
Purposes for Summerhouses and Log Cabins
Here’s where you can really use your imagination to build your perfect outhouse in-line with your vision. Some of the most common uses for each types are as follows:
Photographed: Our Grizedale Log Cabin
Home Office (extremely popular for those wanting an office away from the home, even if it is just a couple of meters, it has been shown by using a home office that most people’s productivity increases dramatically!)
Man-Cave (or lady-cave, we don’t discriminate!)
To see our most popular Log Cabin and start envisaging what you could do in your space – see our Grizedale – it’s fantastic.
Photographed: Our Vermont Summerhouse
In contrast to Log Cabins, summerhouses can be great for more casual use. So if you’re looking to accommodate a small table and chairs (al fresco stlye!) for example or seeking a reading space in the sun (or out of the sun) then a summerhouse would be perfect for your needs.
Our most popular summerhouse being the Vermont – perfect for those relaxing summer evenings.
An age old question we commonly get asked is whether a Pent Shed or An Apex shed would be better for them and what are the fundamental differences are between the two – and it’s a great question, but the answer is predominantly based on what exactly you’re looking to do with your new outbuilding.
So what are the main differences between a Pent Shed and an Apex Shed?
The short answer to that question is that it’s all in the roof design. An Apex Shed roof has two slopes that meet in the middle along the entire length of the garden building – Apex are among the most commonly purchased shed in the UK today.
Photographed: Our Hampshire Apex Shed
A Pent shed on the other hand, features a single slope with the highest point located on the wall that contains the door. Pent sheds offer a evenly distributed internal height as the roof doesn’t lower each side like the Apex sheds do.
Photographed: Our Hampshire Pent Shed
What purposes are best for each shed?
The roof structure of each shed has pro’s and con’s for all types of purposes. Here are some of the most common purposes for each type:
The Apex shed maybe a better shed for you structurally if you’re planning on working inside your new outbuilding and have tools laid out alongside either of the walls. The Apex roof allows you freedom to move around with ample headspace without furiously cursing at every head bump – perfect for all the DIYers out there looking for space to craft.
On the other hand though, if you’re looking to maybe use your new outbuilding as a storage place, then the pent may be a much better option. You do not need the headroom so much for storage, but you’ll have ample headroom for when you walk into the shed meaning you can easily reach for anything you need.
Whichever you choose, whether its the timeless rooflines of the magnificent apex shed, or the modern visual appeal of the pent shed, one things for sure, they’re going to be an incredible asset to your living space regardless.
If you need more advice on any of our pent or apex sheds, don’t hesitate to contact us
Materials are an extremely important factor when looking at investing in an outbuilding and each type has both its pros and its cons. Whether you’re looking for durability, visual appeal or the least expensive – we’ll cover all aspects here for you to make the best-informed decision as to which would suit you best.
Photographed: Our ABSCO Regent Metal Shed
Metal sheds are seen as the ‘tough guy’ of the outbuilding world as most are made from strong iron, steel or aluminium offering high quality and impeccable strength.
The Good News
As its core, the construction usually involves wrapping thin sheets of metal around a central frame. Metal sheds are termite proof and offer extremely good protection against bugs, mould, mildew and other fundal growths that other types of materials just aren’t as good as protecting against. Most metal outbuildings are also fire resistant, so that adds a nice safety element to its arsenal of benefits.
Metal sheds are also seen to be a lot more secure in general to keep
The Bad News
However, metal sheds do also have their drawbacks (doesn’t everything?)
Metal sheds made with thinner metals can be prone to damage and denting (unless of course you opt for a much thicker, stronger outbuilding – you’ll have options).
Also, be sure to check the quality of the roof of your metal outbuilding. Some are also known to collapse from the gathering of accumulated debris on top of the roof causing the metal to rust and eventually, cave. Be sure to make sure that your metal shed is properly treated to make sure that rust can be avoided.
Our team of experts will advise you on everything you know before purchasing your metal shed and our sheds are made from the highest possible materials – so you won’t need to worry too much about the cons here (shameless plug)
Photographed: Our top selling plastic shed
Plastic sheds are by and large the pound for pound (or square footage for square footage) most affordable option and also offer some really good qualities in the durability realm as well as security.
The Good News
As mentioned previously, plastic sheds are affordable and compared to their counterparts, the prices can be (and are) substantially different. So if you’re on a budget but desperately need some storage space – plastic sheds are the perfect option for you.
Unlike metal and wooden sheds, plastic sheds to not have to be treated meaning that even the running cost and upkeep of plastic sheds is extremely low – and that feels good!.
The Bad News
Many think that a plastic shed lacks visual appeal and can add somewhat of a ‘tacky’ feel to a garden, but that is merely down to personal preference. Again, much like any outbuilding everything is based on personal preference and what the outbuilding is going to be actually used for.
Photographed: The Cornwall Wooden Shed
By far the most popular of shed is the classic wooden shed. It’s timelessness, durability and visual appeal has been favoured among many for decades and this trend isn’t slowing down – so that must tell us all something – they’re worth it.
The Good News
The wooden shed offers excellent visual appeal to most and great, lasting quality. If you’re pretty conscious when it comes to appearance, then there’ll definitely be a wooden shed to take your fancy. Wooden sheds offer convenience and flexibility as well. You can make amendments to the structure, expand it and add arrangements.
If properly treated, a good wooden garden shed can last a lifetime – perhaps that’s why they’re so undisputedly popular?
The Bad News
Price is somewhat of a drawback for a truly quality wooden shed and also it’s proneness to damage from insects, termites, mould and mildew – of course if not properly maintained that is.
Wooden sheds do require a lot more maintenance than that of their counterparts, but by and large, this can come at a relatively low cost if you keep on top of it.
We hope you enjoyed this guide and as mentioned, if you need any further assistance we are here to help. With our decades of experience we have dealt with pretty much every situation in which an outbuilding is required – and we’ll come up with a solution.
We look forward to speaking with you soon!