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How To Pick The Right Shed For Your Allotment

Wooden Shed

Wooden Shed – Photo Courtesy WhatShed

So, you have just gotten your allotment, or maybe you’ve even had one a while but want to kick things up a notch: no matter what, one of the most wanted things for any allotment is a shed. But buying the right shed for your allotment can be quite tricky. It is one thing to buy a shed for the back garden, but when buying one for your allotment, there are a whole host of other things you have to think about. Well, do not worry, as today we have teamed up with the shed review site WhatShed.co.uk and are taking a look at what things you need to consider before you buy a shed for your allotment. Also, we will have a little discussion about how you can get the best deal possible!

The Questions To Ask

Here we are looking at the questions you need to ask before you buy a shed for your allotment.

Should I Get A Wooden, Metal Or Plastic Shed?

What? There are more than just wooden sheds???? is what some of you may be thinking, but the fact of the matter is the choice of sheds out there is just crazy. The majority of allotments out there have wooden sheds as they have that classic look and most of the time do tend to be a little cheaper. Here we have a list of what are regarded as the best wooden sheds and there are some great wooden sheds included. The thing is, while a wooden shed may seem the most obvious answer, you have to remember that a wooden shed is going to require much more upkeep than a metal or plastic shed. You can get pressure treated wooden sheds, but these tend to cost sometimes as much as a couple hundred pounds more. So, while in the short term a wooden shed may seem cheaper and have that classic allotment look, it may not last as long as you would like. A wooden shed also needs annual TLC from you to stay in good condition.

Metal Sheds

Metal Shed

Metal Shed Photo courtesy of WhatShed

Metal sheds are becoming more popular as not only can they can offer just as much space as a wooden shed, but they also do not require any maintenance. People are sometimes put off metal sheds as some of them can look like metal boxes, but for those of you who do want something that is low maintenance, then a metal shed would be the better option. There are some fantastic metal sheds available and as you can see from this list, they are not as expensive as you would think. One thing to watch, though, is the flooring as some of these metal sheds do not include a floor as standard.

Plastic Sheds

Plastic Shed

Plastic Shed Photo courtesy WhatShed

Then we have the less obvious option and that is plastic sheds. We have a list here of the best plastic sheds.  Now, you are probably amazed at how great some of these look and we would agree and say that plastic sheds have the most modern look to them out of the three different types of shed. Plastic sheds are just as low maintenance as a metal shed and like metal sheds some do not come with a floor, so watch out for that. In all honesty, we do not think there is a lot in it between plastic and metal sheds and for most people it will come down to the looks and the space offered by the shed.

Final Thoughts On Shed Type: Now it may sound like we are sitting on the fence here, but the truth is, from a design point of view only you know what you really like. But if pressed, we would have to say that in all honesty a metal or plastic shed is going to give you more years of use on your allotment than a wooden one will. Now if you are willing to roll the sleeves up and take care of a wooden shed, then it would be fine, but an allotment is a place to relax and the last thing you want to be doing is spending time painting the shed with wood treatment every year.

What Type Of Shed Offers The Best Security?

Unless you are in trouble with the other half and need a place to sleep, chances are your shed is going to be left fending for itself most nights and during the day as well, so you want to make sure that the shed you buy is as secure as possible. Here are some thoughts on what each kind of shed brings to the table when it comes to security.

Wooden Sheds: Look, a wooden shed is no match for a damn good crowbar, so in general we would have to say that structurally a wooden shed will be easiest for some crook to break into. However, there are some specially designed wooden sheds (like this security shed, for example) that are made to be extra secure. You get sheds with hidden hinges, a padlock guard and windows that are fixed so they cannot be opened.  One thing we will say to look out for is the doors. If you want a secure wooden shed, then make sure it has double z braced doors as weak and flimsy doors are very easy to open even if they are locked!

Metal Sheds: A metal shed just has a much more imposing look to it and if a thief was wandering around an allotment we are sure that they would move past the metal shed and head straight for the wooden one. Metal sheds most of the time will have their own lock and key, but in our experience even ones that do not tend to have a space for a padlock. To be honest with you, we really do not have any concerns over the security a metal shed offers.

Plastic Sheds: Look, here is the thing about plastic sheds: they still have this stigma that they are made with cheap and nasty plastic like your kids toys are. Well, the fact is, modern plastic sheds are very well made and snap together in such a tight way that they do offer a lot of security. Also, you do get plastic sheds that are reinforced with steel which makes them even more secure. We have seen plastic sheds that do come with a lock and key, but some do offer you just a space for a padlock.

Final Thoughts On What Shed Offers The Most Security: This is a tough one as the easy answer is metal, but plastic is right behind it and does offer far more security than most people think. We love a good wooden shed and while some are designed to offer extra security, the fact is a metal shed just offers that extra bit of security and it also serves as more of a thief deterrent with the way it looks as well.

What Type Of Shed Is Going To Give Me The Most Years Of Use?

We all want as much as possible for as little as possible and in an ideal world the first shed you buy for your allotment will be the only shed you need to buy for your allotment. We may have touched on this a little before, but here we are really looking at what shed is going to last the longest.

Wooden Sheds: Wooden sheds come in all kinds of sizes and the amount of years you are getting out of one is going to depend basically on how much you spend on it. Yes, you can get a simple 8 x 8 overlap cladded shed for a couple of hundred pounds, but a shed like this with thinner cladding and a thinner frame is not made to last years and be left untreated as it sits on your allotment. You can get a lifetime of use out of a wooden shed, but you are going to have to work for it. Annual treatment and making sure that rot is not appearing is going to be something you have to do. When it comes to wooden sheds and their lifespan, you really do have to research each shed you look at. Find out exactly what kind of wood it is made from, how thick the cladding and frame are and even take time to find out more about the floor and roof.

Metal Sheds: Some of you may be worried about rust, but many metal sheds these days come with an anti rust guarantee and the powder coated sheds are designed so that rust is never going to be an issue. As long as you have a good floor, a metal shed should give you a lifetime of use. The only reason we think you would ever want a new shed is not because of it starting to decay, but because you have so much stuff that you need an upgrade!

Plastic Sheds: Plastic sheds are kind of in the middle. They are designed to give you many years of use and not require any maintenance like a wooden shed. Some are made with pretty bright colours like creams, light browns and so on. These types of sheds look fantastic and most of them claim that they are protected from UV light, so in theory the colours should not fade, but we have to be honest and say that we do worry that 10, 15 or even 20 years down the line, the colours may fade and make the shed look less than appealing. To be fair, this is a bit of a minor concern in the grand scheme of things.

What Shed Will Give You The Most Years Of Service? This is quite an easy one and the answer is metal. Look, we love wooden sheds and in a garden they are ideal, but for something that is going to be left alone on your allotment, maybe sometimes for weeks at a time, you want a structure that is going to last and last without you having to look after it. We also feel a metal shed is most likely going to keep its good looks and not look as haggard as the years go by. Just think about any allotments you have seen and we are positive that you will have noticed a whole load of rotting and ugly looking wooden sheds.

So What Kind Of Shed Is Best For An Allotment?

All three styles of sheds have their advantages and disadvantages, but for us, metal is the way to go. We admit they may not have the classic look of a wooden shed or even the modern appeal of a plastic shed, but they are strong, last many years, require no maintenance and they will ensure thieves just keep on walking by. So while your first instinct may be to just get a wooden shed like everyone else, our recommendation is that you go for a metal shed instead.

Is There Anything Else I Need To Know?

Most of the time when you buy a shed, be it metal, plastic or wood, there is some kind of extra that you will have to buy before it is ready to go. Here we are looking at a few of the things that you need to think about either buying somewhere else or making sure the place you are buying your shed from offers them as an extra. We will also look at some other need to know information to make sure you are as informed as possible before you hit the buy it now button.

You Might Need To Buy A Lock: In an ideal world we could all afford to hire an armed guard to sit and watch our allotments when we are not there, but until then we will have to make sure our stuff is locked as securely as possible. We would say that most sheds these days do not come with an actual lock and key. Some do, but for the most part no matter what kind of shed you buy, you will most likely have to buy some kind of padlock. Handily, many sheds do have a space for a padlock to be installed. If not, you will have to buy a hasp and staple set which most of the time comes with a padlock anyway. In our experience, most retailers do offer some kind of security kit with a shed.

Make Sure You Know What Floor You Are Getting: We have mentioned this a couple of times now and no doubt some of you are still thinking that there is no way someone is going to sell a shed without a floor. We have yet to see a wooden shed that does not come with a floor, but some wooden sheds do offer upgrades. For example, the bog standard floor these days is 8 – 10 mm thick solid sheet boarding. This is good enough for most people, but for an allotment you might want something a little stronger, so see if upgrades to tongue and groove flooring are offered.

When it comes to plastic and metal sheds, sometimes the lack of the floor can be a real sting in the tail as not everyone realises there is no floor until the shed arrives! A lack of a floor is more of a thing with metal sheds, but some plastic sheds still do this. The reason for this is that a metal shed is made to go on a concrete base, so a floor is not needed. Now most allotments do not have a large concrete area, so you will have to add a floor as an extra which can sometimes be a little pricy. Alternatively, have a think about making your own, which can be done if you are handy with DIY.

Is The Shed In The Picture The One I Am Getting? If you are a bit trigger happy with the buy it now button and do so before reading the whole description of a shed, you may find out that the shed with double doors and four windows you think you are getting turns out to be a fully boarded, single door shed. No, this is not some kind of scam! Some retailers will have the first picture of a shed be one that has all the bells and whistles. It is not until you read more that you realise things like windows, guttering, double doors and so on are actually upgrades or optional extras. We do not actually see anything wrong with retailers doing this, we just wanted to make sure you know to fully read the description of the shed first or take a look at one of the many reviews on WhatShed.

Tips For Saving Money On Sheds

Picking a shed is just the first step to making your allotment an even better little slice of heaven for you. We are not just trying to help you find the perfect shed, we also want to give you a little helping hand in getting the best deal possible. Not just that, but also make sure that you do not get messed around.

Look For Real Voucher Codes: The amount of sites offering voucher codes is just phenomenal. While some can save you a little bit of money, the sad fact is most of the sites who offer these voucher codes do not actually offer you any real savings. However, if you do want to know where you can get some real savings, then look here where you can see who offers real Waltons Voucher Codes and deals and who does not. It is not just Waltons – you can also see who offers real Garden Buildings Direct Voucher Codes here at WhatShed as well. By knowing where to look, you can save a few pounds here and there or even know exactly where to look to find sheds on sale, clearances or just special offers.

Shop Around: This one we cannot stress enough. While some sheds may be exclusive to a certain online retailer, for the most part if you really shop around (we are talking rolling your sleeves up and doing some serious searching), you will find the shed you like on many different sites. Sometimes the price difference can be quite staggering, so be sure to have a good look around so you are getting your shed for the cheapest price possible.

Buy What You Need: I was going to get a 8 x 6 shed, but the 10 x 8 was only £100 more. This kind of thing is something that we have heard many times before. The question is, though, if the 8 x 6 was what you were looking for, why pay more for something that you really do not need? Do not fall for paying extra money for more space, stronger flooring, nicer roofing felt or anything else that you really do not need.

Think Carefully Before Buying A Cheap Shed: This is a list of what is regarded as the best Cheap Storage Sheds. Now it may be tempting to just buy the cheapest shed you can get for your allotment, but is a £250 shed actually cheap if you are only getting a few years out of it? Look, if you are on a tight budget then you can get a pretty good shed, but just make sure that you really research the shed, read reviews and find out just what you need to do to make sure the shed lasts a long time.

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