Before you consider buying a shed
While we make getting a shed very easy here at Sheds Direct Ireland, it’s not as simple as ‘buy shed, open box, enjoy shed’, unfortunately. You need to do a little bit of work to get the most out of your shed. In today’s blog we’ll look at exactly what you need to know before you even start looking at shed specifications. This blog post will serve you well, whether you decide to go for one of our highly rated sheds, or another companies’ one. So let’s look at what you need to know, before you get to the bit where start arguing with your other half about the look of a shed.
Today we’ll look at:
- Environmental Concerns
- Your Base
- Where you’re buying from
The location is obviously the most important part of shed preparation. You need a suitable place to build a shed. You can’t build it on lop-sided pallets, or in drained ponds (these people clearly hadn’t got the memo). So, what makes a good location? Let’s find out.
First and foremost, we do not offer a service to come out and measure your garden. Some companies will offer this, but they are the companies that offer custom-build steel sheds. All our steel sheds are pre-built and delivered in flat-packed boxes, so we don’t need to offer this. Don’t confuse this with assembly – we can come and assemble it, sure, but we won’t be there before assembly for a site visit, etc.
Now, the size you have available in your garden, will dictate the size of the shed that’s available to you. That’s fairly simple. However, be sensible with the space available. Don’t plan to wedge sheds into tight areas, and it’s generally not advised to use all the space you have available for a shed. Why not? Well, for example, we don’t recommend that you build your shed up against a wall and we advise that you’d should leave at least a half-foot around each side of the shed. This ensures the shed will last as long as possible, it will reduce the chances of condensation forming and it will allow you access to each side of the outside of the shed. Lots of people overlook this, but we’d strongly recommend it.
So, if you have a garden that is 13ft x 10ft, we wouldn’t recommend plonking the 10ft x 12ft Colossus in there. Give your shed a bit of breathing room to ensure that it lasts as long as possible and that should anything need to be addressed on the back of your shed – you’re in a position to get in there.
Access to the location
Access to your back garden is obviously fairly important. A shed company can’t build a shed in your back garden, if they can’t get it there. Side-gate access is preferred, however, in most cases, we’ll be able to find a work-around, if you have restricted access. These work-arounds include:
Wooden Sheds: Wooden Sheds up to 8ft x 6ft can go through houses without issue. Anything above this will require a cut-down service. The cut-down service means that the team prepare the shed so that it arrives to your home in smaller segments. This doesn’t affect the quality, finish or look of the shed.
Steel Sheds: Sheds like our Classic Range, Steel Cottages, Premium Sheds etc., come flat-packed in boxes. These boxes can be brought through most houses without issue. If you have a particularly twisty-turny type house, the team may need to empty the boxes in your home and take the pieces through to the garden, however this would be exceptionally rare.
Heavy Duty Sheds: We cannot offer any work-around for heavy duty sheds. These sheds are part assembled at the time of production and as such, they can’t be made smaller. They can’t be ‘thrown over the wall’, for fairly obvious reasons. (Incidentally, people who can’t throw sheds over a wall love telling our delivery team to just throw the shed over the wall). Make sure you’ve access to your garden before you investigate heavy duty sheds.
Other than the physical location and access, there are other environmental concerns that you should consider before buying a shed. These include:
We’ve mentioned this elsewhere on the blog, but it’s worth mentioning again: While a shed can look quite idyllic under a tree, the constant bashing of the branches against the top of the shed can take it’s toll and can cause significant damage over time. Steel Sheds can have their galvanisation scratched off, leaving them prone to rust. Wooden Sheds can have their felt roofs worn down to the point that they begin to leak. So avoid placing your shed in a place where it can get damaged by tree brances.
Salt-Water will prematurely rust steel sheds, this should not come as a shock to anyone that lives near the sea. As such, if you are living life near the shore, we’d recommend that you focus on Wooden Sheds instead of steel ones. It’s worth noting that our rust perforation warranty is void for steel sheds at the coast – it would be the same for lots of other companies too, so that’s worth checking out.
If you live in a location that is frequented by cats, foxes or their smaller, furrier friends, we’d recommend that you plan ahead when considering your shed. Wooden sheds are raised up on 4″ blocks for example. This makes them ideal spots for nesting rodents during the colder months. You can plan ahead and incorporate chicken-wire and steel-wool into your base preparations to negate the chances of this happening. Remember to get some heavy-duty boxes for your shed if you plan to store pet-food or anything like that in your shed.
If you have children running about your garden, you may want to think about your shed choice too. A budget-lightweight steel shed may not be ideal if you’ve the next Lionel Messi / Gary Breen in training in the back garden; one whack of a ball and your new budget shed will have a lovely new dent. Similarly, if you’ve got curious toddlers helping you out in the garden, a wooden shed with rustic wood may leave them open to splinters, where a smoothed Deluxe wood, would not.
You need a solid, level base for a Steel Shed
On my headstone the words ‘Here lies Sean. He told people they needed a solid, level base. They did not listen’ will be written. I mean, c’mon, like. There’s a bit in the bible about building on a dodgy base and that book is like 2,000 years old. There’s no excuse for not knowing that you need a decent base to build anything on, let alone a shed. If you’re curious, you can see some frankly atrocious bases over on the bottom of this Guaranteed Irish blog. These are not solid, level bases and as such, they’re useless and our assembly team will not be able to work on them.
So get in concrete, paving slabs, tarmac or our Shed Bases for a steel shed.
Wooden Sheds go up on blocks
Wooden sheds on the other hand, are far easier to prepare for. They go up on 4″ blocks. Click here to see how many blocks you’ll need. This facilitates airflow under the shed, stops the shed getting wet from the base up and it prevents premature decay. As such, we don’t build our wooden sheds flush to the ground. We can, however, add skirting around the outside to make it look like there’s no gap between the ground and the bottom of the shed.
So, how long will you be waiting on your shed? From us:
Steel Sheds We do not custom build any steel sheds, and as such we have them in stock and ready to go. You can expect to receive your steel shed flat-packed in 2-5 working days. The time for assembly can vary depending on the time of the year. From September til March, you’ll be waiting about 2 weeks. April til August can vary wildly, but it can be anywhere from 4-8 weeks due to significantly higher demand. You can also collect our steel sheds, if you’re in a real hurry to get going.
Wooden Sheds Wooden Sheds are only available with assembly, we don’t offer them flat-packed, at the time of writing. The normal lead-time for off-season is 1-2 weeks. During the peak season this can jump to about 4 weeks, but keep an eye on our social media for timeframe updates, or just call us for the quickest answer. Also, it’s worth noting that the timeframes stated for wooden sheds are for sheds built to usual specifications. If you were looking to make drastic changes or go for a size that we don’t list in our brochure, you may be waiting a little longer.
Heavy Duty Sheds These sheds can be collected, provided you’ve something big and strong enough to take them. We can also offer an assembly service. As these sheds are only fitted by one team, the timeframe can vary wildly. Get in touch for an exact timeframe.
Other companies may have significantly different timeframes. Custom steel sheds, for example could take months, realistically. I would state (with a good bit of confidence) that we offer the fastest delivery on flat-packed steel sheds. We have them in stock in Dublin, so they’re not held up with imports like other companies. We can ship them out to most people within 2-3 days, but we say longer to allow for delays with couriers or weather, etc.
Steel Sheds Ireland is essentially a temperate rainforest. We get over 200 ‘wet days’ a year and we’ve high levels of moisture in our air. It should come as no surprise to anyone living here that condensation is a common issue across the land. Condensation in Steel Sheds is something that we’ve already looked at. In a nutshell:
- Steel sheds are liable to condensation
- Putting a damp-proof membrane under the base will prevent it in most cases. (i.e. not under the shed, under the base)
- If a shed has vents, make sure they’re not blocked up
- Air out your shed often if it does not have vents
- Don’t put anything that will generate heat in a steel shed (e.g. White Goods like washing machines, dryers etc)
- Insulate your shed
These are all tips for sheds that do not have an anti-con / non-drip roof. Sheds that have these, like our Heavy Duty Sheds are generally okay when it comes to condensation, though a regular airing-out will be helpful in the long term.
Wooden Sheds Wooden sheds are not as liable to condensation as steel sheds are. That’s because wood isn’t as great heat conductor. If you google ‘condensation in a wooden shed’, you’ll see that most of the results relate to droplets on the window, or droplets on the steel roof. Generally, these won’t cause any major issues with water dropping into your shed, though.
Where you’re buying from
While this is something you could apply to any purchase, I’ll give you some tips about buying online – and then about buying sheds online specifically. You may see some great deals on sheds online; Some may appear too good to be true – and in some cases, they are. Here are a few quick tips to help you identify if a website is to be trusted or not.
Scamadviser.com is a good place to start. It’s not a guaranteed solution, but it will give you a breakdown on if and why you should be weary about a website. For example, our website and most of our competitors based in Ireland, all score 95 and above. You can see what this rating means on their website, but obviously, the higher the number, the safer the website. However a popular site that pops up often for shed searches scores a 10, as it is ‘from a high-risk county’ as well as being identified as selling ‘popular products frequently sold by scammers’.
So, if you like the look of a shed, pop the website domain in scam adviser first to save yourself some grief.
Trustpilot is a pain in the arse for companies, however it’s more hassle than it’s worth to not have one.
Why do I say this, well, we had one unhappy customer who left three separate 1-star reviews for us on our Trustpilot site. Despite our best efforts to fix the issue, we got nowhere with them – or with Trustpilot. These reviews can’t be removed and as such, it looks like we’ve a few more unhappy customers than we actually have. So, we do say take Trustpilot reviews with a pinch of salt.
That said, in a broad sense, the reviews generally reflect the company’s overall standing – and if you read through them, you can spot the lunatics a mile off. All the major shed companies physically based in Ireland have a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ rating. Sure, we’re all great! But remember to take in the amount of reviews as well as the star-rating. For example, a company that has a 5-star rating based on only three reviews, may not be a 5-star company. Generally speaking, anything over 20-30 reviews will give you a more accurate representation.
Google Maps Review
We find Google Maps to have a more fair review system, so we focus our efforts there. As such, we’ve over 300+ reviews and a 4.5 star rating at the time of writing.
What’s really great about Google Maps is that you can see the physical location of a company in Ireland. This is where you’ll find out if a company is actually based in Ireland or if your shed is being dropshipped in from Germany, France or further afield, which can often be the case. On top of this, you can also check out the reviewer and see if they’ve a track record of leaving only bad reviews, or if they’re more level-headed. It’s a great way to find unbiased and fair reviews, in my opinion.
Okay, so having looked at a few quick ways to identify a reputable company, you may have found one that’s not based in Ireland. That may not be a problem, but remember that you can get stung with additional fees or issue. These include:
Import Duty & Tax
You will not pay any import duty or related taxes on a Sheds Direct Ireland shed. Similarly, any company that’s shipping it to you within Ireland, will be the same. Some companies, most notably based in mainland UK, can sting you with import duties and taxes. Remember to check where you’re buying from to make sure there are no surprise charges at the end.
Returning a shed to us, generally isn’t a problem. If you haven’t opened it, damaged it and it’s in a resaleable condition, we’ll take it back. You can simply bring it back to us, or arrange a courier to get it to us. Once we inspect it, we’ll issue a refund. Simple as. If you buy a shed from a company that’s based in the UK, or which doesn’t have a easy-to-access contact point, it can be significantly more difficult. This is very much one of those ‘it’s not a problem, until it is‘, scenarios.
If you’ve made it this far, fair play. That was a bit of a slog. If after all that you still have some questions, get in touch. We can update this post for future readers with your well thought our and dare I say, borderline-genius question.