Garden Maintenance

  1. Shed base options

    It is false economy to plonk a brand new shed directly on the soil. It is inevitable that the soil will move, causing the shed to tip, slope and slant. The door won't open or shut correctly and, if made of wood, water will ingress causing premature rotting. You need a shed base and it’s best to do it before your shed goes down.

    Bearers are the name of the game for many people. They are pressure treated, pieces of wood (or bearers!) that do sit directly on the soil. The shed is then placed onto the bearers and usually bolted down. That slight gap beneath the floor allows air circulation that in turn results in a long-lasting floor. The bearers support the shed.

    The same principle applies to putting a shed on a hard surface such as paving, stone or concrete. First of all, the hard surface has to be level, firm and if mortar has been used – absolutely set (or as many builders say, 'gone off') before any weight is put on top of it. It's that levelling that is vital. After all, it is the foundation of your shed.

    Shed base kits are available and are easy to use. Put simply, small posts are secured into the ground and a framework is built off them. As long as you use a spirit level, everything is soon perfect for your shed. Plastic matting or honeycomb, grid-like systems are also available. Shed bases, whatever they are made out of, need to achieve three things:

    1. The first is to make the ground level.
    2. The second is to support the weight of your shed.
    3. The third is to allow air circulation beneath the shed.

    Investment in a quality shed base is a good use of cash. After all, once installed you will never see the base again. It just quietly gets on with its job- and an essential one at that.

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  2. How to lay a shed floor

    One thing all gardens have in common is a shed. Sheds come in all different shapes and sizes and are standing in all different types of conditions. Some of us use our shed traditionally and store outside items such as tools, bikes and patio furniture. However, some people choose to use the shed a little differently, as a workshop, outside living space or just a general escape from the home.

    If you have a shed that isn’t really being used anymore, check out this fantastic guide that will spark ideas on how you can transform it.

    How to create and lay a shed floor

    Creating and laying a shed floor is very easy and will not break the bank as there are many budget methods you can go for.

    The first step as always is to measure the inside of your shed. This is going to require the shed being completely empty and you will need a measuring tape.

    Whilst you’re at it and have the shed clear, this is the time to fix anything broken and restore it back to working shape. Again here is a brilliant guide on how to fix a shed.

    The first and cheapest method when it comes to laying a floor would be to use carpet. Carpet is easy on the feet, will retain heat and can be sourced cheaply. Carpet can be fitted into any shed by cutting and laying down like ordinary carpet. If you are not bothered about the style you can find off-cuts pretty easily and work with what you have to make a floor.

    Creating your own timber floor is also not a hard task. If you have an older shed that is sat on a timber base then you can go ahead and remove the flooring and start fresh. You will need lengths of wood to fit width and length and create a shed base. Create a frame the same size as your shed and then add a middle strength piece both vertical and horizontal. This can be done with a simple screwdriver and long screws once the timber is measured out. Make sure it is properly measured so it fits snug. Then depending on your budget either use tongue and groove panelling and create a premium floor or purchase OSB sheeting which is less in price but also has reduced strength.

    Alternative options

    Another option if money is no issue is to purchase readymade flooring or frames. We have a range of sheds on the site that are delivered with a metal frame which allows you to add your very own flooring similar to the method above but removes all hassle of making your own.

    If your shed is beyond repair and creating your own flooring seems like too much then head over to our garden sheds range and order a new shed with flooring today.

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  3. How to safely add a plug to a shed

    For those who have opted to transform the old garden shed into a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of home life, electricity is a necessity. If you want to make the transformation, check out this fantastic guide which details how to fix a garden shed. Once the shed is back to top shape, follow either one of these guides to create a garden cocktail shed or a garden office

    Adding power to garden buildings

    Adding a plug socket is not something anyone can do. Unless you are a qualified Electrician do not even think about adding power yourself.

    Adding electricity now requires you to meet the conditions of the Part P Building regulations. Any form of secondary electricity unit other than your home will require you to apply and meet the regulations which maintain safe and sound environments to live/work in. Once you have been approved paying the fee of usually around £200 its time to find a trained electrician.

    When looking for an electrician, find one who is clearly trained and has the certificates to prove it. Bodge job electricians can cause disastrous problems and cause more money then what you wanted to pay. If any damage is caused to your home or neighbours, you are liable for the fees and not him. Online you will find dedicated websites and forums that will lead you to professionals who know exactly what they are doing and can add electricity to your shed with great ease.

    When it comes to having the cable fitted you have a few choices. Through the air, underground or overground. We recommend underground as this is the safest option for the cable. Although creating a hole is challenging if you have a larger garden, you do not have to worry about accidental damage to the wire which could cause fatal consequences. Overground is good for a quick fix however as mentioned, it only takes an accident to cause serious harm. Running the cable through the air removes the chance of damage from mowing for example but can still lead to accidents. All trained electricians will recommend underground cabling.

    Once the approval is given, it’s very simple for the electrician to add the plug socket. A skilled man will have the job done within the day. Once the wire is added to the shed and the plug socket is fitted, checks must be taken to ensure that the plug socket is safe and ready to use. The building manager will be sent out to check over the job and then either certify or decline your power addition.

    There is nothing like a heater in a shed during the winter, but remember, do not take the risk. Get someone who knows what they are doing to undertake the job and do not attempt it yourselves like online guides suggest. It’s simply not worth the risk.

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  4. How to treat your shed

    Spruce up your garden this Summer by giving your garden building a treatment it cannot refuse. When your finally happy with your garden, you have planted all the new plants, mowed the lawn and cleaned the decking. Your garden feature may be looking a little worse for wear due to the harsh Winters we are seeing more and more frequently. Your shed may have done well but your Summerhouse or Log cabin may have been hit hard. Either way, using a good preservative will replenish your shed and restore its defence against the outside conditions. 

    Firstly, some outdoor buildings do not require any treatment as the timber that has been used to manufacture the shed for example has been pressure treated. Pressure treatment is a process in which a preservative is forced deep within the timber and gives it a green tint. The preservative stops any damage from rot or pests which saves money in the long run. Check out our range of Pressure treated sheds we have on offer if you want to avoid treating your shed in the future. Most Log cabins and Summerhouses we have on sale are pressure treated for added value for money.

    Find out more about the treatment porcess in our video below:

    Treating your shed

    When it comes to treating, whether it is a pre-existing feature or a new addition, your garden building is an investment, one that provides security for storage or work/relaxation space all year round. Why spend all that money and then not treat your shed for it to then become susceptible to damage from the weather. Rot is a major issue when it comes to a Timber building and something that needs to be prevented at all costs.

    We sell a top quality timber preservative that will re-vitalise any old timber sheds as well as create a resistance for new sheds. Applying the preservative is as easy as painting a shed. You can use a paint sprayer for a fine appliance or use a good old paint brush for a longer treatment process. Either way, your shed will gain a tough resistance to the number one killer. Rot. 

    Our preservative can be found here and will provide up to 5 years resistance. The treatment is environmentally friendly, having no detrimental affect on your garden and the surrounding environment. A 5 litre tub will treat a standard 8x6 ft Shed easily, bare in mind if your shed is larger you will need to buy more so that you have an even spread. We advise that you treat your garden building as much as possible in respect, once every 2 years for example. Treating the timber will keep a strong core layer that fights off water damage and most of all dreaded rot.

    Once rot sets in, your building will need fixing and restoring and can be deadly, waking up to a caved in shed is not ideal. 

    Often when garden buildings are delivered they will come untreated, if that is the case we advise that you treat within six weeks so that your shed can build a defence layer. Treatment paints can be found at any DIY store and come in a range of colours to suit your preference. 

    For anyone who wants there shed, log cabin, summerhouse or other garden features to provide long lasting enjoyment, treatment is crucial. Without the preservative, the timber can decay easily. Invest in your Shed and it will last a very long time. 

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  5. How to fix a shed

    Some sheds have seen brighter days, damaged from harsh winters over the years. Unfortunately, accidents can happen and your shed becomes damaged, timber can break, flooring can rot through etc.Sometimes, it is much more cost effective to repair your wooden sheds rather than purchase a new one.

    In most case scenarios, the first part of a shed to break is the floor. This is because over time the shed floor rots and with heavy storage pressures and sometimes the floor buckles. The first thing to do is to empty out your stored items to gain an insight into the floor, check for broken boards and rotten planks. If any planks need replacing, find yourself a claw hammer and lift up the nails to remove the boards. What is great about removing the plank is that you can measure the plank exactly to find out what size board you need to replace the rotten one. Find yourself a pressure treated plank as a replacement as they will last much longer and can withstand much heavier pressures.

    More traditional build sheds that are built using timber planks will often rot over the years, however, these are extremely easy to replace much like the floor. All that is needed is a claw hammer to remove the nails and then to purchase the same size planks to then nail back on. Simple.

    Take a look at our video below to see how to build a shed from scratch:

    Fixing your shed

    Other issues sheds can face over the years is the roof rotting and causing water damage when it rains. This needs to be fixed ASAP the longer rain can flow in, the more damage it will cause. Firstly, most shed roofs are incapable of being stood on unless there is a tough frame. Remember, never step onto the roof of a decaying shed as you could seriously injure yourself. Start by stripping away the roofing felt to work out if panels need to be replaced. Some panels will be extremely easy to work out if they need replacing. Again, much like the flooring, most roofs are made from panels and they can be measured for easy replacement. After your roof is stable again, you can then re-felt the roof which means rain can run off the surface once again.

    Another problem some sheds can face is framing for windows and doors becoming rotten. In most cases you are able to fix the framing using a filler and not have to remove the entire framing. You can purchase many timber fillers from all known DIY stores and following instructions on the tin, you can fill up parts of split timber easily. If the frame needs replacing, for example for a window, you will have to break out the existing frame carefully so that you can take measurements and also reuse the glass/styrene that acts as the window. Once you have removed the frame using a claw hammer, you can purchase needed timber and then nail the frame in once more. This will stop heat escaping in the winter.

    Many other things can happen to your shed over the years, there are guides on the internet for almost anything these days. If you think your shed can be repaired then cost wise, it is much more effective to rebuild your wooden sheds rather than purchase another shed. However, as we all know, sometimes enough is enough and purchasing a new shed is required.

    Once the shed is restored, it is a great idea to paint the shed with a preservative which will ensure a much tougher resistance to damage from weather.

    Take a look at our metal sheds that we have on offer which are rot proof, meaning you never have to worry about rot again.

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  6. How to felt a shed roof

    A shed for your gardening supplies and various tools is great. The items are easy to find and out of the way. However, opening the shed and finding that all of the items are wet is not only irritating, it can prove costly as water can damage or ruin many items very quickly.

    For a video guide on how to felt a shed roof then please click on the YouTube player below. 

    Fortunately protecting the items in you shed is easy. You don’t need any specialised tools or a lot of time. The entire project can be completed quickly; a small shed can most likely be completed in about an hour. 

    The project can be easily done by yourself, but obviously will be easier and faster if you have a helper.

    Felting your shed roof

    Tools and materials

    • A hammer
    • Step ladder
    • A level, which can double as a straight edge
    • Craft knife
    • A tape measure
    • Roofing tacks (Don’t use other types of nails or tacks as they will often allow water to seep through.)
    • Barge boards (Be sure that they are at least the same width as the shed’s eaves, a few cm wider is ok as well.)
    • Roofing felt

    To find out the amount of roofing felt you need, measure the roof to determine the square meters and add about 25%.

    Installing your roof felt

    Once you have your tools and materials ready, the rest is simple.

    1. Cut the roofing felt into the lengths you need to cover the roof from front to back. Cut the felt about 10cm longer than the length of the shed. 
    2. Place the first piece at one edge and tack the front and back. You want about a 40mm overlap at the eaves.
    3. Work your way up the panel to the apex of your shed’s roof. Be sure that adjacent pieces overlap by about 20cm. This prevents water from seeping between the two pieces of felt. If you can cover each panel with a single piece of felt, you still want to have a piece that goes across the apex and overlaps each side. 
    4. Once you have all of the pieces in place, it is time to tack them down. Space the tacks about 150mm apart along the edges and across any areas where the felt overlaps. 
    5. Fold the felt along the edges of the shed and tack them in place. You want to eliminate any areas where water can seep in. 
    6. For the apex piece, you will want to cut a slit and fold the piece under and secure with tacks. 
    7. Take the barge boards and cover the edges on all sides. You should use standard nails for this part of the project. If you barge boards are slightly wider than the eaves, make sure they are flush along the upper edge. 
    8. Now take your craft knife and carefully cut away any excess felt. You want your felt to be nice and tight. Excess felt not only spoils the look of the shed but can eventually cause damage to the felt’s integrity.

    That’s it. All that is left is to put away your tools, secure in the knowledge that the items in your shed are protected from all of the elements.

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  7. What is pressure treatment?

    Vacuum pressure impregnation, often simply referred to as pressure treatment, should be considered as the preferred factory treatment process for the long-term protection of softwood-based garden products; such as garden buildings, fencing, arbours and furniture.

    Once in use, the impregnated preservative will enable the timber to resist rot and insect attack, ensuring the product purchased will last longer and so enhance your enjoyment of it.

    Commonly having a green-tinge finish when new, pressure treated products are aesthetically pleasing and blend easily into a typical garden environment. The surface ageing process sees the finish pass from green to a honey-brown appearance, culminating with a silvery grey finish; all without loss of protection.

    Find out more about the different treatments for sheds by watching our video below:

    Why pressure treat timbers?

    Untreated timber will rapidly degrade, whether it’s set into the ground or above exposed to the weather. Through the seasonal moisture stresses caused by Spring and Summer shrinkage, then Autumn and Winter expansion, exposed untreated timbers face a losing battle to resist decay.

    Short-term treatment processes like immersion (dipped) or brush application (staining) of preservative will always offer only minimal surface protection, which can quickly thin and fade. These low-cost treatments are a false economy as they require annual replenishment, leaving you to spend further resources on both time and preservative.

    Pressure treatment is the answer. Preservative is forced deep into the grain and pores of the timber, so that its anti-rot benefits are not lost through the effect of surface weathering. You get to simply enjoy the product year-after-year, no further treatment required.

    How is my shed pressure treated?

    Machined timber is allowed to dry naturally by air flow or with the assistance of a kiln, to reduce its moisture content to a level ready to draw in the preservative. It is then tightly bundled and placed upon a trolley system and fed into the pressure treatment tank. Sawmills commonly operate these tanks as they require skilled handling.

    Once closed, air is removed from the tank by vacuum. The tank is then flooded with the preservative liquid, which with the help of hydraulic pressure is forced deep into the timber. After the allotted cycle the excess fluid is extracted under pressure and stored for re-use.

    Once completely vented, the tank is opened and the timber is removed.

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  8. How to insulate your shed

    When it comes to shed insulation it is important to understand that not all sheds are ideally suited for insulation. Metal sheds and small plastic sheds tend to not have a construction that lends well to shed insulation; at least not the process that will be discussed below. It may be advisable to change the shed to a more robust type that can accept shed insulation. Generally, any type of standard timber shed can accept shed insulation to help it retain heat better in the months of colder weather. Many people in the UK spend a lot of time in their garden and using their sheds so considering the addition of some insulation to a wooden garden shed will help keep the warmth in and extend the time the shed can be utilised. The shed insulation can help reduce damage to the stored equipment, tools, and boxes as well as allow for plant storage and even use of the shed as a workshop or other type of recreational room. The proper insulation of a shed requires the sealing of gaps, installation of sheets of insulation, and even the possibility of drywall installation. Before deciding the type of shed insulation to utilise, consideration should be given to the different areas of the shed that will need insulating; they are the walls, the floor, and doors or windows. Each of these components requires specific demands. The following information will help sort out these requirements:

    Sealing the Structure

    Shed insulation on the walls will do little good if there are breaks or gaps in the windows. The first step is to replace broken windows. When thinking about the windows it may be better to install double glazed windows if the garden shed will be utilised as additional living space. Single glazed windows allow a lot more heat loss than double glazed windows do

    The siding and roof will need patching of any gaps, as will any gaps around the foundation. Sealant can be used to patch thin gaps, while larger holes can be sealed with expandable spray foam

    Check to see if there are any leaks in the shed by examining it during rainfall. The roof should have a good drainage system installed, using metal roofing, shingles, or fibreglass. In lieu of rain, use a garden hose and spray it over the shed roof and then examine for signs of leakage. Look for dark stains to identify potential water leaks

    If there are a large number of gaps, consider adding siding to the shed. When a barrier is established between the outside and holes are filled, the temperature inside the shed will remain more constant

    Most shed kits do not come with a weatherproof door. Purchase and install a weatherproof door.

    If a heating system and/or lights will be installed, get the shed fitted with electrical wiring by hiring a licensed electrician

    Choosing the type of insulation that will work best

    The first step is to measure the space between the studs to determine the width of batting or sheets that will be needed for the shed insulation

    If the studs are 45.7 to 61.0 cm (18 to 24 inches) apart blanket or batting insulation will work well. Since these are standard wall sizes the shed insulation can simply be rolled out and secured between the studs, beams, and joists

    If the distance between the studs is not a standard wall width, but the width does occur at regular intervals, then choose foam board or polystyrene sheets. This type of shed insulation works well despite it being fairly thin. However, if the shed has a large number of electrical outlets, this type of shed insulation is not recommended

    If the insulation needs to withstand high temperatures, choose wool shed insulation. A similar option to this is fibreglass insulation, but it must be covered because it is harmful to humans

    The previous options for walls that may be unfinished. For walls that are already finished choose foam, loose fill or spray insulation. Holes can be cut into the walls for the shed insulation to be blown into the frame

    A DIY option is reflective foil-faced insulation, which is flexible and can be bent around obstructions or corners.

    Using bubble wrap

    The simplest and easiest way of adding shed insulation is Bubble Wrap. Bubble Wrap can be found in large quantities at any DIY/Hardware Store and isn't expensive at all. You can even purchase foil backed Bubble Wrap which adds even more insulation. It works by trapping heat due to the air bubbles. You can attach Bubble Wrap to Wall Panels and Roofing using a Staple Gun or hammer and nails. 

    Using wall insulation

    This method is more costly but will provide much more insulation than Bubble Wrap. You will need rolls of glass fibre wool which again can be purchased at DIY/Hardware stores. Remember, however, Fibre Wool is full of tiny glass particles which can seriously irritate the skin so use a face mask, gloves and protective clothing. The easiest way of tacking the Fibre wool to the wall is to buy sheets of plywood or MDF and use it as a secondary wall, with the fibre wool in between retaining heat. We massively advise before tacking the wool to the wall, adding a breathable membrane to prevent the wool from going damp. This stops frequent changes of the fibre wool in the future.

    Installing the shed insulation

    The foam or blown-in shed insulation is chosen it is best to hire a professional contractor because some of these installation methods require special equipment

    Shed measurements can be taken into the local home improvement store for advice from the professionals; they will be able to give advice on the amount of shed insulation to purchase to cover the shed. The stud spacing measurements should be a part of the overall measurements needed

    Foil or batting sheets should be rolled out horizontally and the polystyrene should be set against the frame

    Use a staple gun to attach the batting or foil sheets. They should be stapled to the studs. Polystyrene sheets should be glued onto the studs and walls with a special adhesive

    Where the sheets of shed insulation meet they should overlap, continually moving up the wall in horizontal sheets. Cut small sections of insulation sheets with scissors

    Both the walls and the ceiling should be insulated, but the insulation on the ceiling should have a two-inch gap between it and the top of the ceiling to let moisture escape

    Finally, the sheets of shed insulation can be covered with drywall to give the interior of the shed an attractive and finished appearance. Drywall should be hung on the ceiling first and then followed by the walls.

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