A gardener’s shed is his castle. But what are the essential features of the perfect shed? We asked Pete Lomax of Cocklestorm to shed some light on the subject…
National Shed Week (1–6 July 2014) celebrates everything about the shed. Besides storing tools, what makes them so special for the nation’s gardeners?
Sheds represent an additional outdoor space to make your own. You can add a personal touch to a shed and it gives your garden a nice finishing touch.
What are the things potential shed owners should look for in a basic shed?
A shed is only as sturdy as the base it is on, so a quality base is a must. You don’t want it to leak so decent quality felt will help prevent that. To protect the shed from the elements, a good wood treatment is essential. You also want to make sure your shed is big enough to suit your needs; if this is storage or an outdoor office you, ensure you have enough room.
And what are some of the more elaborate features available in the modern shed?
The materials have improved, especially with roofing – felt, shingles, rubber roof systems are all more resistant to leaks, which means modern sheds can be used for so much more than you would expect.
Combo sheds are becoming much more popular, basically part shed, part greenhouse. They make great outdoor offices or gyms. Modern sheds can be almost like a mini-extension of your house, we’ve seen people use them to house a hot tub or even put bars in there!
How easy are sheds to erect, and what work needs to be done to the allotment or garden to prepare the ground?
Everything is about the preparation, particularly the base: having a level base is essential. From there, putting up a shed should be a relatively straightforward two-person job. All the sheds supplied from Cocklestorm have an instruction guide to help people get the job done, and all the fixtures/fittings are included.
Security can be a big issue for allotment shed owners. What tips would you give to help keep your gardening valuables safe?
Security should always be a consideration as sheds store such a variety of things nowadays. It’s worth investigating the options available to you. We’d definitely recommend a shed alarm, and using a heavy duty padlock or mortised lock. A shed built from sturdier timber is harder to simply break into. If you have to have windows, we’d also suggest making sure they’re strong and won’t allow access into the shed even if they’re broken.
How can someone customise their shed to make it more unique?
At Cocklestorm, we say ‘you design your shed and we’ll build it’. We’ve built triangular sheds before now! Coloured preservatives not only protect a shed but make it look good too. As long as the shed is protected properly there is no harm in growing something up the side of it or attaching a hanging basket for an additional splash of colour.
And finally, what do you like to do when escaping to your own garden shed?
I treat my shed as a bit of a ‘man cave’. It’s just a nice place to retreat to at the end of the day, to relax and get away from it all for a bit.
Take a look at Cocklestorm’s range of sheds at www.cocklestorm.com
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