What to look for when buying a Steel Garden Shed
Buying a steel shed should be easy. However with so many companies now vying for your business, fancy marketing techniques and eye-grabbing prices are making it more difficult to get the information that you need before you part with your money. So today, we’ll look at the most important things to look out for when you’re in the process of buying a shed.
Sheet thickness is probably the most important thing that you’re going to need to know when buying a new steel garden shed. Most people assume they need the thickest, so they jump to the heavy duty range and then get upset by the equally heavy price-tag. So before you do that, it’s worth knowing what you’re going to be storing and how thick you need it to be.
Basic, budget sheds will start at 0.2mm and these are particularly thin. Our budget range is 0.25mm and while this is a drastic improvement (I know it doesn’t look like it on paper), but it’s still very light and could be easily dented by heavy handed use. These are fine for storing coal and turfs, well-packed Christmas decorations etc. You wouldn’t want to be putting anything significant like important documents or electronics into a shed like this.
General garden shed, like our Classic Range come in at 0.3mm thick. This doesn’t sound like a major jump up from the basic ones, but it is. These are the perfect general garden storage shed and for general, day-to-day storage they’re more than suitable. They don’t cost a fortune, but they’re nice and thick and are more suited for storing bikes, garden tools etc. Once you go beyond this, the price increases significantly and the shed becomes much heavier. Our Premium Range of sheds are pricier than the Classic ones, but they’ve a sheet thickness between 0.4 – 0.45mm which again, is a pretty significant step up. The Premium Range will stand up to more abuse than the Classic Range and they’re easy on the eye, but less easy on the wallet.
That said, if you wanted to go all out, our Heavy Duty, PVC Coated sheds and garages come in at 1.5mm and they’re tougher than an ugly kid playing Rugby. They are as thick as we make them and at the time of writing, they’re over three times more expensive than a comparable size in the Classic Range. If you’re storing motorbikes or other large, rugged equipment and need something with an anti-con roof, Heavy Duty is for you.
Braced walls are a necessity for most sheds. These metal bars run (generally) horizontally along the inside of a shed wall at the mid-point to add some strength and structure to the shed. Most, if not all good sheds will have bracing on the walls and doors. Some, like our smaller Premium Panoramic can get away without them as they have thick, tubular frames and shorter panels, but generally a shed without a brace is a risky choice.
You’d struggle to find a reputable, Irish shed company that sells sheds without bracing. In general, it’s the cheap, web-only sellers that stock these. They’re usually 0.2mm thick, with even thinner doors, plastic vents and no gutters. They’re already on their last legs to begin with and it wouldn’t take the Big Bad Wolf to blow these down – in fact a bang of a cheap football could severely dent one of these sheds.
While you can debate your need for thicker steel, you shouldn’t consider a shed without braced walls or doors unless it has a considerably thick frame.
Steel Sheds will sweat. When the Summer Sun dips away making way for a cloudless night, your shed will most likely experience some form of condensation. Vents in your shed will greatly reduce how much it experiences. Steel Sheds that have built-in vents will allow airflow through the shed, while keeping rainwater out. This airflow maintains a relatively consistent temperature, reducing condensation formation.
Indeed, steel sheds without vents can look like they’ve sprung a leak overnight. Water dripping in thick droplets from the roof of your shed is not ideal. If you’re looking to keep your goods dry, you should make sure that you have a shed with adequate ventilation. Again, there isn’t any Shed companies in Ireland that I’m aware of that sell sheds without vents, but you could get stung online with one.
It’s worth pointing out that even with proper vents, a shed can become heavy with condensation if you don’t position it correctly. If the vents of your shed are close to a wall, there may not be sufficient air-flow. Similarly, if you block them up with boxes etc., you’re preventing them from doing their job correctly. So remember to position your shed in a place where the air can get through. Oh – and to double down on keeping the condensation down, remember to incorporate a damp-proof membrane into your base.
Insulation is another great way to keep condensation down in your shed. We don’t offer it on our sheds (the vents and damp-proof membrane are generally enough), but if you’re considering using your shed to store something that’ll generate heat (Washing Machine, Dryer etc.), you should consider insulation. Here’s our guide on how to insulate a steel shed, but we don’t offer this as a service ourselves.
Adding insulation to the sheets of a shed drastically increases the price and in an attempt to keep our prices as keen as possible, we don’t offer it. The cheapest, quickest way to insulate our sheds is with Polynor Spray or similar.
Speaking of your base, all steel sheds should have a floor frame. First and foremost, these frames add structure to the shed, by connecting it up as a complete unit. Sheds without floor frames become weak where the side-wall panels meet the roof. Over time, the sidewalls may move slightly and if they do, they can warp or crack.
Most companies include Floor Frames in the cost of the shed, but if they’re offered separately as an add-on, we’d strongly recommend including them at the time of purchase.
This is a fairly obvious one. Companies are great at telling you how fantastic they are, but the proof is in the pudding, or rather, the reviews. Check our Google Maps or Trustpilot to find what other people are saying about a business – good and bad. We’re obviously delighted that we have the most reviews and are the highest rated shed company on Google Maps and at the time of writing, we’re ranked ‘Great!’ on Trustpilot.
With our own trumpet thoroughly blown, it’s also worth remembering that not all reviews are correct. Famously, the Great Wall of China has lots of 1 star reviews from people confusing it with their local Chinese Take-Away:
Looks like Barbara’s chicken is not the only thing that should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Need to know more?
Our Sales Team are happy to help with any shed-related questions you might have before you make a purchase. We’re up front about our sheds – we know when they’re suitable and when they’re not. So don’t be afraid to call us at 01 864 4247 and dicuss your needs. If you’d rather contact us digitally, you can get in touch here.