Buying Garden Storage Guide
Every outdoor area needs garden storage. From mowers and tools to garden furniture and logs, there is a huge range of outdoor paraphernalia which needs proper storage and protection.
Garden stores and boxes might be used to supplement shed storage, as alternatives to a garden shed, or for more specialist storage like a bike shed or wheelie bin storage.
Because of its huge scope and popularity, there is a wide range of outdoor storage available. Our guide is designed to help you identify the best possible products to meet your garden storage requirements.
This guide will cover the topics below. Click a topic to go straight to the information you need.
- Understanding Treatment - only applicable for wooden garden storage
- Choosing the Cladding - only applicable for wooden garden storage
- Wheelie Bin Storage
- Log Stores
- Gas Bottle Storage
- Bike Sheds
- Motorbike Sheds/Garages
- Prefab Garages
- Garden Storage Boxes (Including Cushion Storage)
- Garden Storage Benches and Seats
- Tool Storage, Mower Stores and Small Sheds
Garden storage is made from one of three materials: wood, metal and plastic.
Wooden Garden Storage
The traditional appearance of wooden outdoor storage complements the natural environment of a garden. Timber can also be painted to suit changing tastes and trends.
With proper maintenance, wooden storage will last decades. Dip-treated wood requires treating with wood preservative annually. Many pressure-treated models, however, can be left untreated for up to 15 years without any danger of rotting.
Metal Garden Storage
Metal outside storage is known for its strength and durability. As such, it usually comes with a lengthy guarantee. Metal storage is also renowned for its excellent security so is a great choice for storing valuable bikes, tools and equipment. It also impenetrable by pests.
Available in a range of colours and designs, there’s a metal storage unit to suit most types of garden. Be aware that metal garden storage can be slightly more difficult to assemble than wooden or plastic alternatives.
Plastic Garden Storage
Nowadays, there is some incredibly high-quality plastic garden storage on the market. It is strong, long-lasting and very low maintenance. It only requires a quick wipe or hose down.
Available in a range of colours and styles, some plastic storage is even designed to resemble other materials, such as wicker; some is supported by robust metal frames; and most are UV-protected to maintain their attractive appearance.
Dip-Treated Wooden Garden Storage
Dip-treatment is where the manufacturer applies a coat of preservative to the wood’s surface to protect it against rot and fungal decay. Although this ensures a decent level of protection, the storage unit will require retreating annually, and sometimes upon assembly too. Dip-treated wooden storage can usually be recognised by its orangey hue. It tends to be cheaper than pressure-treated alternatives but is still sometimes supplied with excellent guarantees of up to 10 years, when supported by annual retreatment.Shop dip treated garden storage
Pressure-Treated Wooden Garden Storage
Pressure treatment involves the preservative being forced deep into the wood, ensuring an unbeatable level of protection against rot and fungal decay. In most cases, this means that the storage unit will not require retreating for up to 15 years, saving time and money. Pressure-treated wooden garden storage is paler in colour than dip-treated storage. It tends to be a little more expensive but the 15-year guarantee and lower maintenance requirements are worth the small extra cost.Shop pressure treated garden storage
Overlap cladding is the simplest way to construct wooden storage units, so is also the cheapest. The boards are nailed to the store’s frame in an overlapping fashion, allowing the timber to naturally contract and expand over the course of the year. Overlap wood storage is usually built from thinner boards, so more prone to draughts.
Shiplap Tongue and Groove Cladding
Shiplap tongue and groove cladding has a tight interlocking construction for significantly improved weather resistance compared to overlap cladding. The result is fewer draughts. The boards interlock via a tongue and a groove for a stronger construction. Shiplap refers to the scallop in the face of the board.
Tongue and Groove Cladding
Regular tongue and groove shares the same tight interlocking construction as shiplap. In this case, the face of the board is flat for a sleeker, more modern finish.
Cladding thickness is measured in millimetres. Most large wooden garden storage is 7-12mm thick.
Wheelie Bin Storage
Due to the unsightly appearance of wheelie bins and their popularity with garden pests, bin sheds are one of the most purchased types of purpose-built outside storage. There are wood, metal and plastic varieties.
Double and triple bin stores are both available to cater for an individual household’s requirements. Slatted and open-backed models make a good choice, as they prevent the build-up of unpleasant smells.
Please note that because not all wheelie bins are a standard size, always be sure to check your bins’ measurements against the bin store’s detailed specification before making your purchase.
Logs need to be kept dry and aerated to burn properly so proper log storage is essential for anyone who owns an open fire or wood burner.
Dedicated log sheds come in various styles and are usually made of wood, although cheaper models made of metal and canvas do a good job too.
Some garden sheds feature integral log stores - worth noting for anyone in the market for both types of storage.
Gas Bottle Storage
Because gas storage units need to be inflammable, they are invariably made of metal.
Gas stores come in different sizes, allowing storage of anything up to 4 gas bottles. For safety purposes, they should be both vented and lockable.
A lift-up lid is a useful feature, allowing valve levels to be checked without having to remove the gas bottles from the storage unit.
Due to the high cost of many bicycles, bike storage is a sound investment. Bike stores are usually made from wood or metal, and should always be lockable. Sizes vary according to the number of bikes that can be stored.
Wooden bike sheds can be dip treated or pressure treated and offer a choice of cladding. A wooden bike shed’s versatile design makes it suitable for other types of garden storage too.
Metal bicycle storage is the most secure of all. Some metal bike stores are so well designed that they even boast Police approval. Metal bike stores tend to have a wider range of designs than wooden versions; there are even vertical metal bike stores and specialist electric bike sheds available too.
A carport makes a fantastic alternative to a garage. Stylish and convenient, they are also far cheaper and easier to build than a regular garage.
Carports come in a range of sizes, suitable for single cars, multiple cars or other types of vehicle. They are usually made from either wood or a combination of aluminium and polycarbonate.
Bear in mind that wooden car shelters will probably require annual treatment. Aluminium carports are available in various styles and are particularly suited to modern gardens. They are maintenance free and UV protected too, so will maintain their attractive appearance.
A garage provides strong, reliable storage for vehicles and can be used for general storage too. They can come with up-and-over doors or hinged double doors. Models with an additional personal access door are ideal if part of the garage is being used for garden storage.
Wooden garages complement most gardens, are simple to assemble and can easily be customised with shelving. Also, wooden garages sometimes include windows. They do require annual treatment.
Metal garages are maintenance free and usually include long guarantees. Be aware that this usually don’t feature windows so lighting will need to be an extra consideration.
Motorbike Sheds/ Garages
Motorbike garages tend to be made from metal as even greater security is required. They should include side venting to allow exhaust fumes to fully disperse.
Useful features to look out for include a ramped entrance, accessories storage points and a wooden floor to protect the bike’s tyres. You may want to consider our prefab garages if you have multiple bikes or vehicles.
Garden Storage Boxes (Including Cushion Storage)
Outdoor storage chests and boxes are designed for frequently-used hand tools and general knick-knacks. Their compact dimensions make them ideal for patio areas, so they are sometimes referred to as patio storage boxes.
Storage boxes can be made from wood, metal or plastic. As previously explained, each material has its own particular pros and cons. Many plastic storage boxes are designed to resemble other materials, such as rattan weave, giving them a more attractive appearance.
Some small garden storage boxes are fashioned as cushion storage but there is nothing to stop them being used to house other items too.
Garden Storage Benches and Seats
As the name suggests, these products consist of a garden bench or seat with an integral storage facility underneath the seat. They tend to be made from UV-protected durable plastics, so are easy to assemble, maintenance free and will maintain their attractive colouring for years to come.
However, they are rarely lockable so should not be used for valuable tools and equipment.
Garden storage seats usually hold less than benches. For their exact storage capacity, see the relevant product page.
Tool Storage, Mower Stores and Small Sheds
This type of outside storage can be made from wood, metal or plastic.
Tool stores come in various shapes and sizes, although many are characterised by their tall but slim dimensions. This means they can hold long-handled tools but have a small footprint, making them the ideal alternative to sheds in smaller gardens.
Specialist mower stores are wider and deeper than this type of tool store, but smaller in height. They are suitable for storing BBQs too.
So, when does a tool or mower store become a small shed? There’s no hard and fast rule but, generally speaking, if it’s between 5x3 and 6x4 in size, it could be classified as any one of the three.
All garden storage should be situated on a hard-standing surface to prolong its lifespan.
This is particularly important for large garden storage units, which must be built on a level, strong surface. An inferior base will result in the structure shifting, causing issues with doors and cracks.
If using an existing base, such as concrete or slabs, ensure it is level and reliable before the garden storage facility is installed.
If installing a new base onto grass, the ground must be suitably prepared to make sure it is level. All rocks, tree roots and other obstructions must be removed. A damp-proof membrane should be used. A poured concrete base, concrete slab base or plastic base can then be built.
Shedstore sell plastic shed bases as an easy to assemble kit. 100% recycled, these eco-friendly bases come with a membrane and, though light, are extremely strong and durable. They should be filled with pea gravel before use.
The lead time listed on the product page indicates when a garden storage unit will be available for dispatch. During that time period, the manufacturer will be in touch to arrange the delivery date.
Any changes made to an order can cause the delivery date to change, so check everything is correct before ordering.
Delivery is free with the vast majority of Shedstore’s outdoor storage. However, some remote postcodes incur surcharges. Use the postcode checker on the product page to check if surcharges will apply to your delivery.
Our friendly, UK-based customer service team are available to help answer any questions. Call them on 0333 003 0518 or use the Live Chat option onsite.
Take a look at our bestselling garden storage below or view all our outside storage here.