Why you shouldn’t build a shed against a wall

A brick wall with pink and purple lights illuminating it. On the wall it is written 'why you shouldn't build your shed against a wall'

Why you shouldn’t build a shed against a wall

In most people’s minds, it makes sense to put the shed up against a wall. It’s out of the way, you’re maximising your space and sticking it in the middle of the garden would just look weird. However, it’s generally not advised to put your shed up against a side wall, because of the inevitable gap that it creates. No shed sits flush to a wall – the vast majority of sheds have gutters or small overhangs on the roof, which cause a gap of some description. This small gap opens you up to a whole load of problems. We’ll look at what this means for you and your shed in today’s post.

Premium Shed 8ft wide x 6ft deep Premium Steel Shed

Moisture Formation

Moisture is like the Dracula of the shed world. It’s always lurking around, waiting to make its move. Once you don’t invite it into your life, however, you should be fine. Placing your shed up against a wall, however, is like throwing out all the garlic in your house and leaving your neck unattended at an open window on a moonlit night. Not great.

When it rains, the rainwater will run down off your shed and falls into the aforementioned small gap. There it’ll settle. These small gaps are often not exposed to direct sunlight and as such they don’t heat up enough to dry the water. The area will get damp and as we all know, damp rises. This can cause issue particularly for untreated Wooden Sheds, Rustic Wooden sheds and even steel sheds if it’s particularly bad. It can cause mould or foliage growth and it can also affect the integrity of the wall that it’s build up beside; although this would be an issue that would take some time to become problematic in most cases.

 

Do the Air Vents help?

The built-in metal air vents on the 8ft x 6ft Steel Garden Shed

Almost all our Steel Sheds come equipped with air vents to reduce condensation in the shed. However, if these vents are in a position where they can’t function (i.e. you’ve put the shed against a wall), you can be inadvertently inviting moisture into your shed. If the air vents can’t allow the air to flow, you’re basically just trapping in moisture heavy air in your shed; it won’t be long before your roof will begin to drip with moisture.

If the air vents are not facing the wall, you shouldn’t get internal moisture in most cases, but they won’t have any positive effect on the side walls being subject to external moisture either.

 

Build a shed up against a wall and your Neighbours might not be happy

There’s at least one reported case of a house wall being badly affected by damp because of a neighbours shed positioning. It’s a weird one and it takes a few turns, but in a nutshell it’s a major headache for all involved. So, if you are insisting that you’re building the shed against a wall, be smart in choosing your wall at least.

And if you’re reading this and thinking, ‘hey, the eves of my shed land above the wall. You can’t get me, baby!’, it might be worth considering that if it is a boundary wall, your shed could be pouring rainwater into their garden too.

Remember, none of the above advice constitutes legal advice and should you wish to read the Planning and Development Regulations of 2001, you can find them here.

 

Rats, Spiders and other Creatures

A ginger and white rat sitting on the right hand side of the frame looking towards the left.
Sure he’s cute, but he doesn’t pay rent and his bathroom manners are simply deplorable.

Even if it’s not raining all the time, the small gap is an ideal spot for critters of all sorts. It’s protected on two (sometimes three) sides, it offers shelter from the wind and it’s small enough to keep larger predators out. If I was a Rodent Real Estate Agent, I’d be delighted if a small gap between a shed and a wall came up.

As a general rule, we advised that you should have enough room between your shed and the wall for you to be able to get a sweeping brush through. Nobody wants to go looking for a lost football only to barge in on the Rat family enjoying their dinner. We would especially recommend that you leave some space if you’re getting an untreated or rustic wooden shed. Mice and rats have been known to gnaw into sheds from the gap in instances like this. This shouldn’t be an issue with steel sheds, however.

 

Wait, what about the Corner Shed?

The Corner Shed is specially built to account for the issues above. That’s why it’s more pricey than a Standard Wooden Shed of the same size. The Corner shed is a great option if you want to get your shed right into a right angle, however, the Corner Shed is only available in Wood and no steel option currently exists.

a corner shed, against two walls in an Irish back garden. There are flowers in the foreground and a chair to the side of the shed. The shed is unusual in shape, as one corner appears to have been cut off. The door is on this truncated corner, with 2 windows, one on either side of the door.

REALLY want to put my shed up against the wall, though.

We’re not saying it can’t be done. We’re not even saying that you shouldn’t do it, but if you are insistent that that’s where your shed is going, at least make sure you’re prepared for it. We’ve shown why you shouldn’t do it, but if you can tackle these issues, it can be a viable option. It’ll just require more planning and thought than would be required normally. Over on the Garage Journal Forum, a poster ran into a similar problem with wanting to put their shed against a wall. You can read the advice they received over there.

Prepare for possible rodents getting in by considering blocking up the sidewall with thick chicken wire. Make sure you have the tools and space to de-foliage the area during the winter months. Regularly check the shed for moisture internally and mould or moss growth externally. If these are things that don’t sound like an issue, placing a shed up against a wall may not be an issue.

 

The Final Word

As the user named Trailingspouse noted, “you either need no gap at all or one that’s big enough to access for maintenance”. Frankly, we could’ve just posted that at the start and avoided all this, but sure lookit. We’re here now. For more amazingly insightful tips about sheds and more, keep an eye on our blog.

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