Your Guide to Building a Shed in East London

If you’ve found yourself with more time on your hands lately, now can be a good time to take on a DIY project. Building a shed is a project that can be enjoyable and rewarding. However, it’s not one that you want to take on lightly. You’ll need to plan and prepare to make sure the project is a success. In our guide on how to build a shed, we run through everything you need to know.
small brown wooden shed

Benefits Of Having A Shed

A garden shed is something that many of us take for granted. They’re often the forgotten structure at the bottom of the garden, unloved and neglected. However, there are so many benefits that a shed can bring. Whether you’re giving your existing on some TLC or building a new one from scratch, it can transform your garden. Here’s why:
  • Organisation. Your shed can be a hub from which you do all of your gardening. With storage shelves and space for tools and materials, it can help you get organised. You could even make it into your own little workshop.  
  • Relaxation. Your shed doesn’t have to be somewhere just for storage. Having some space outside to get away from the hustle and bustle of life can be a luxury. Whether you add some chairs to sit and relax in, or some soundproof walls so you can blast your music, a shed can be a great escape. 
  • Aesthetics. Sheds don’t have to be dilapidated and run down. In fact, they can bring some elegant charm to your garden. As well as looking great, they can add value to your property.
White and red shed on water

Deciding On The Type Of Shed

So, you’ve decided you want to build a shed. But what type should you choose? Shed design is generally quite varied, so you’ll be able to choose how ornate or practical your new one will be. 

There are also three main materials that are used in shed construction. Wooden sheds are ‘traditional’ designs. Wood is pretty versatile, so it can fit in with any garden. You can stain it or treat it to match your preferred style. However, they take a lot of upkeep and can be hard to assemble. 

Plastic sheds are pretty robust. You don’t have to treat them and they require little in the way of upkeep. They’re also lightweight and fairly easy to assemble. Unfortunately, they’re not the most attractive, and the less expensive ones can fade in the sun. 

Small woodshed design

Metal sheds are more the most heavy-duty and can withstand just about anything. However, as they’re so light, you’ll need to make sure your shed foundation is robust enough to keep it anchored. You also need to watch out for eventual rust. 

Whichever material you choose, you’ll also have to think about design. Will you build a large shed? Or do you only have space for a small shed? For those with difficult angles to work with, an L-shaped shed can be a good choice.

Shed Designs

If you’re struggling for some inspiration for your shed design, we’ve included some ideas to get your creativity flowing. Think about how each type/style would look outside your home: 

This cute wooden shed is reminiscent of a beachside getaway. The vivid blue really makes it stand out, bringing character to your garden. 

Small shed painted blue
With this green shed, you get vibes of the American west. Its barn-style design is spacious and looks fantastic.
Green wooden shed design
This compact and frankly adorable shed is the ideal tool storage solution. It’s discreet enough to fit just about anywhere, yet still practical and eye-catching.
Green wooden shed design
This cosy shed uses both wood and metal to create a rustic-looking structure. It’s a versatile design that could be used for storage or as a hideaway spot.
Small blue shed with curved roof
If you’re looking for a spacious and open design, this wooden shed is just the thing. It gives you easy access and looks simply fantastic.
Wooden shed open concept

Permissions and Regulations

We often hear the question, ‘how big can I build a shed without planning permission?’ Thankfully, a 2008 law clears things up nicely. Essentially, outbuildings are automatically given planning permission provided they follow some rules. 

The main requirement is that the structure is for ‘purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house’. This means that it can’t be for residential purposes. The other rules state: 

  • It can’t take up more than 50% of your garden. 
  • It can’t be in front of your house. 
  • It’s a single storey structure with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and a maximum overall height of 4 metres if it has a dual-pitched roof. In any other case, it’s 3 metres.
  • However, if it’s within 2 meters of the property boundary, it cannot be more than 2.5 meters high. 

In most other cases, you’ll need to apply for planning permission for your structure, the same as with an extension

Shed building regulations

Essential Shed Building Supplies and Tools

So if you’re looking for a project to spruce up your home, building a shed can be a great place to start. But what tools and materials should you use? We’ve outlined some of the essentials: 

  • Carpentry hand and power tools. You’ll need all of the essentials here, including a hammer, tape measure, handsaw, framing square, level, and flat pry bar. In addition, a cordless drill and impact driver are necessary. 
  • Extra tools. To make things easier, you may also want to consider a job site table saw or portable circular saw. Alternatively, a compound miter saw comes in handy. 
Array of tools for building a shed
  • Protective gear. As well as a tool belt, make sure you have eye goggles, a dust mask, hard hat, and work gloves. Ear protection can also be helpful. 
  • Foundation materials. If you buy a prefabricated shed, you’ll need to know how to build a shed base. This means you’ll need concrete and pressure-treated wood posts.

Dos And Don’ts

So, once you’ve chosen your design, figured out whether you need planning permission, and have all of your materials. It’s time to start assembling your shed. Here are some tips and tricks for the process: 

  • Don’t build at the bottom of a hill. You don’t want water collecting around your shed. It can cause rot, damage wood, and cause rust, mould and mildew. It’ll also be a nightmare to get in and out of if the ground is flooded. 
  • Do avoid wooded areas. Although you may want to tuck your shed away undercover, you should avoid doing so. Your shed needs airflow and sunshine. Additionally, you want to avoid damage from the trees. 
mistakes to avoid when building a shed
  • Don’t forget the details. Even if your shed is for purely practical purposes, don’t leave out the details. Little touches can make it look nice and make things more convenient. 
  • Do prepare your site. Do your research on things like how to build a shed on uneven ground. Make sure to then prepare your site for the construction, clearing it of any potential hazards and getting your materials close to hand. 

How to Build a Shed – Final Thoughts 

So, we’ve covered all of the essentials you need to know about building a shed. Perhaps the most essential thing is that you do your research and planning before you get started. Know what it is you want from your shed, and how you need to go about erecting yours.

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