Ten Top Tips for Improving Your Shed
It's a sad but true fact that your Garden Shed is very often the most neglected part of your property. Often a case of "Out of Sight, Out of Mind", we leave our sheds to the mercy of the elements for years on end when in actual fact a well-maintained shed can add interest and value to your house, as well as being an integral storage solution. The fanciful image of a pipe-smoking, beer-swilling gentleman taking refuge from his nagging wife in a warm and cosy outbuilding on cold winter nights is both outdated and far-removed from reality - sheds are more often than not musty, damp and spider-infested places. Fortunately you can restore most sheds to their former glory with just a few days work, and once refurbished, they are easy to maintain. Here are our ten top tips for making your shed a more welcoming place.
1. Check for Roof Leaks
The easiest way to spot roof leaks is by looking inside the shed. Damp spots on the floor, or a build up of mould on the floor or the inside of the roof timbers is usually a giveaway. Leaks are usually caused by cracks or tears in the felt caused by old age, extremes of temperature or impact damage and rubbing from tree branches. Strip off the old felt and providing the roof timbers themselves are not rotten, replace with new.
2. Fit Mini Gutters to the Shed Roof
All roofs are designed to allow rainwater to run off, even on a shed; if this water continually lands in the same place it will undermine the structure. On sheds this usually leads to rotting timbers near to ground level. By fitting mini gutter and downpipes you can safely channel the water out of harms way. At Gutter Supplies we supply the gutters and components individually or in handy shed packs to suit most popular sizes and styles of shed. A choice of three colours of guttering si available. For further information why not take a quick look at our short video on the subject.
3. Connect a Water Butt to your Shed
Now that you have a weatherproof roof with new gutters, it makes sense to collect the water where you need it most. Fitting a water butt to your downpipe is not just environmentally friendly - it will immediately give you a ready, free source of water that you can use to water your plants and lawn, or wash down your garden tools and even your wellies with!.
4. Replace any Rotten Timbers
Timber sheds that haven't been regularly stained and are exposed to extremes of weather will often display signs of rot, often at the base and at the eaves. Most sheds are made from shiplap style timber cladding which can be fairly easily replaced by those with only moderate DIY skills. The timber profiles themselves can generally be obtained in manageable lengths from DIY stores or your local timber or builders merchant.
5. Clean or Repair the Windows
Replace any broken windows with clear acrylic sheet. It's a low cost alternative to glass that is more user friendly, harder to break and easy to keep clean. If the windows aren't broken, give them a good clean - you will be amazed at how much more light a clean window lets in.
6. Get out the Woodstain
This is probably the most important job, and certainly the one which delivers the most obvious visual improvement. Give the timbers a quick wash and rub down, then apply two coats of good quality stain. You will be amazed at the difference. This not only enhances the appearance, it will protect the structure of the shed from whatever the weather throws at it. Staining the shed will probably take a full day and ideally it should be an annual job. If you want to give your shed a totally new appearance, why not paint it. Fresh, bright colours can turn an old outbuilding into an eye-catching feature. We'd recommend browsing online first to give yourself some design ideas.
7. Clear Out the Rubbish
Tins of woodstain that have gone rock-solid, old fishing nets that you had when the kids were small, projects that you started and never finished and broken tools that you have been meaning to mend one day - throw them all out and free up some space for the things that you use now. Why did you keep your broken down old mower when you bought a new one? Bite the bullet and take it to the tip - you will be surprised at how much usable space you can create by having a good, disciplined de-clutter.
8. Store Things Efficiently
Plastic storage boxes are the best bet. They are not affected by damp and they maintain their shape regardless of what goes into them. The clear ones are ideal as you can see what's inside at a glance. If you can't get clear ones, label the boxes up so that you avoid the need to pull each box out every time you are looking for something. A tool rack, or a row of hooks on the wall is ideal for storing most large garden tools. Make sure you use the full height too - if there is a tool that you don't use often which takes up space, put some hooks up near the ceiling and store it up there out of the way.
9. Fit a Good Lock
You can pick up a decent quality hasp and staple and a robust padlock for about £20 at a DIY store or builders merchant. It's a quick and simple job to install and well worth the investment.
10. Protect the Ground Outside the Shed Door
If you keep your mower or wheelbarrow inside your shed, the area just outside the entrance will soon get worn and flattened. But even if you only keep light stuff inside you will be amazed at how quickly the earth outside the door gets compacted by your feet, and in no time at all the grass there will not be able to penetrate the hard packed ground. Much better to lay a couple of paving slabs outside the door, creating a natural threshold and a safe area that you can place things on when taking things in and out.