Monthly Archives: February 2016

Compare Sheds: Wood vs. Metal vs. Plastic… Which is Best?

Confused?... Don't know what shed to buy, let us help you make the right decision!

Confused?… Don’t know what shed to buy, let us help you make the right decision!

Feeling overwhelmed with the huge choice of sheds you can buy? A1 Sheds will guide you through all of the potential pitfalls!

So, you need a new garden shed and you’ve come to A1 Sheds to see what’s available. Congratulations for making the right decision so far, but now you probably realise that there is much more choice than you expected!

Nowadays there are wooden sheds, metal sheds and plastic sheds, and to the untrained eye they all look pretty much the same, so which one should you go for? Each shed has it’s advantages, but we want you to get one that’s right for you… so here are a few of the basic pro’s and con’s for each type to help you narrow it down a bit. Hopefully this quick, no-nonsense guide will give you an idea where to start, but remember… you can call us free on 0800 195 6968 if you need more advice.


Wooden Sheds

TGB Bentley Apex sheds are very strong and longlasting

Wooden sheds are traditionally the most popular sheds in the UK. They come with two main roof shapes: The tall pointed Apex roof gives you more headroom and faster rain/snow clearance due to the steep angle, and the Pent roof which has a gently sloping roof which is best if you want to run rainwater away from a wall or building, or if you want to collect rainwater in a water butt.

Generally wooden sheds are easy to assemble, and they usually come with a floor. The best quality timber sheds are made from slow-growing Redwood Pine from Scandinavia, as this is stronger and has a tighter grain. Cheaper buildings are made from Whitewood Pine, which is fast-growing and won’t last as long. Whitewood sheds tend to dry out leaving the odd knot-hole, and each board will shrink or swell depending on the weather.

The way the timber is machined is important too: Smooth T&G (tongued and grooved) boards are best as each board interlocks with the next, and the more T&G panels (i.e. roof floor and walls) the better your shed will be. Cheap sheds can have rough overlap boards and/or OSB (chipboard) roofs and floors to keep the cost down, and they aren’t as strong. Tanalised (pressure-treated) sheds are a recent development in the shed market. They won’t rot, but will still require sealing/painting.

Regardless of what timber the building is made from, moisture will dictate the amount that wood expands and contracts, and twists and small splits (shakes) may appear. This is a completely natural occurrence which gives wood its unique character, and is not classed as an imperfection or flaw.

Pros

  • Strong & long lasting (especially T&G)
  • Large, factory made panels are easy to assemble
  • You can get almost any size, shape or door/window layout to suit your requirements
  • You can paint it any colour
  • They come with integral floors which are best for storage
  • Easy and cheap to repair if required

Cons

  • ​They require regular maintenance (painting or preservative)
  • Roofing felt can be damaged easily and will need to be replaced occasionally
  • Large panels can be awkward to get into some properties

We always recommend looking at the best T&G sheds within your budget… with some (such as TGB sheds) we offer free professional installation which will save you money if you can’t assemble yourself.


Metal Sheds

Globel Sheds are great value for moneyMetal sheds are hugely popular (especially overseas), and in recent years have become very popular here too. Most are fairly cheap, and are used for general garden storage. They come as a DIY kit with loose panels and frames packed into a big cardboard box. Assembly of these buildings is straightforward, but time-consuming.

Most metal buildings have no floors, so a solid, flat concrete or paving slab base is essential. Metal sheds are generally pre-painted, and are made from galvanised steel They are designed to be maintenance-free, although the basic ones aren’t as strong as most people expect. Generally metal sheds have a long manufacturers warranty, but beware, as this is normally limited to rust-perforation only. Specialist steel security buildings are much better, stronger, and longer lasting, and are great if you need to keep valuable items safe. They are easier to assemble, however they’re much more expensive than the standard models.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • ​Small panels for easy transportation to site
  • Maintenance-free
  • Rodent-proof
  • Fire Resistant
  • Conform to caravan and mobile home park requirements

Cons

  • Not as strong as timber sheds
  • Time consuming to assemble
  • No floor surface (usually)
  • Requires sealing on joints to stop water ingress
  • Concrete or paving slab base is essential
  • Condensation can be an issue
  • May rust in time (especially in coastal areas)
  • Noisy when raining

Generally, a metal garden shed is great if you have a tight budget with plenty time on your hands to build it. You need to have a solid base to fix it to, but once correctly assembled, they are long-lasting with low-maintenance.


Plastic Sheds

Suncast manufacture some great quality shedsPlastic sheds are the new kids on the block. They are all about low maintenance and easy assembly, and once installed, you can pretty much forget all about them. Most are manufactured in the USA, and can tolerate all weather conditions from frosts to heat waves, however some are better than others. 

The best ones have thick blow-moulded walls made from UV-stable plastic resins which clip together quickly, and integral floors, although the floor will need a solid base below. Cheap plastic sheds tend to have thin plastic panels fitted onto metal frames (a bit like the metal sheds above) and aren’t so easy to assemble.

Pros

  • Maintenance free
  • Lightweight panels
  • Simple assembly
  • Weatherproof
  • Often supplied with shelves and tool hangers

Cons

  • Not as strong as a good timber shed
  • Can’t paint or change colour
  • Condensation can be an issue
  • Can be quite expensive
  • Limited range of sizes and styles

The new breed of plastic sheds are very good, and you should consider them if you need something which is maintenance free and easy to assemble, but you should remember that they are difficult (if not impossible) to repair if they get damaged.


Summary

There is no such thing as the wrong shed… each style has it’s merits, however the right shed for you will depend upon where you are positioning it, what you are using it for, and how much you want to pay. Use the information above to help you narrow down your options, but remember… we’re only a phone call away if you need some friendly, impartial advice.


Visit a1sheds.com for more detailed information on our full range of garden buildings including wooden sheds, metal sheds, plastic sheds, summerhouses, playhouses, greenhouses and shed bases.

Gertrude, Henry, Imogen… Storm Damage and Shed Insurance Claims

The UK’s 2015-2016 winter storms have been some of the worst in generations

Do the names Eva, Frank, Gertrude and Imogen fill you with dread? 

If so, you’ve probably been affected by one of the worst winter storms for generations, and it’s no laughing matter! According to statistics collected by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), more than 3,000 families are now in alternative accommodation while repairs are made to their flood homes this winter, and floods have caused a significant amount of damage to low-lying areas, and homes located within river flood plains, however the extreme wind has affected many thousands of people.

Individually, the wind isn’t generally as devastating as flooding, however it is likely to be more widespread, potentially affecting anybody, anywhere! Garden fences, greenhouses, garden sheds, summerhouses, gazebos and conservatories are all at the mercy of the storm-force winds.

Luckily, most storm damage is covered under your standard home insurance policy, but it’s best to check just in case. A1 Sheds freephone telephone number (0800 195 6968) has been inundated with calls from people asking about replacement garden buildings, and most aren’t sure what to do. Here are a few tips:

  • Firstly, stay safe… don’t try to stop the wind damaging your shed or greenhouse, as you won’t be able to help, and you may be hurt in the process.
  • Take photos… as many as you can, as they will be invaluable at a later date, especially if you are asked for evidence by your insurance company. Some people even video the damage as it unfolds… this can be traumatic, but you may end up with a great YouTube Video!
  • Tell your insurance company what has happened as soon as possible. Most have a 24-hour helpline, and they’ll be able to give you advice straight away. They’ll probably help you to arrange some emergency repairs to stop things getting any worse, and they may ask for receipts or valuations. We’ll be able to provide historical receipts if you purchased your garden items from us, or we’ll be able to give you valuations if you didn’t. We can also provide quotations if your insurance company asks.

Call A1 Sheds FREE on 0800 195 6968 for advice with an existing shed claim, or if you need help to choose a new shed or garden building.


Visit a1sheds.com for more detailed information on our full range of garden buildings including wooden sheds, metal sheds, plastic sheds, summerhouses, playhouses, greenhouses and shed bases.

Winter Storms – How to reduce the chances of a garden shed disaster!

Shed ripped to pieces during winter storms in Wales

This winter has seen some of the wildest and most prolonged storms for generations.

As a result, greenhouses, garden sheds and summerhouses are being tested to their limits. To help limit any potential damage, you should follow some basic precautions:

  • Make sure that the windows and doors are closed and locked, as most wind damage occurs once it gets into the building.
  • Use your shed! It might sound obvious, but an empty shed is like an empty cardboard box… it can be blown around by the wind much easier than than one which is full. If you hardly have anything stored in your shed, consider adding ballast to help weigh it down… a few paving slabs, or even some bags of sand or compost would be fine!
  • Check your roofing felt regularly for small tears or leaks, and repair immediately using a bitumen-based roofing adhesive. black mould or damp patches inside your shed can be an indicator that your roofing felt needs attention.
  • Check your windows for cracks… perspex windows are very flexible, and therefore need silicone sealant to stop them blowing in during storms. They can also go brittle as the temperature drops. Standard (horti) glass windows are unlikely to blow in, but can be broken with flying debris. Consider replacing perspex or horti glass with toughened glass which is much stronger and more secure.
  • Buy the best shed you can afford. If you haven’t purchased your shed yet, try to go for one with internal storm-bracings such as the TGB Bentley Supreme Apex, TGB Security Apex or the TGB Heavy Duty Apex, as they will last much, much longer than standard sheds. Apex roofs generally are stronger than Pent sheds, as they usually have less area on each panel for the wind to grab.
  • Consider using ground anchors to secure your building. They can be fitted to existing sheds, as well as brand new models. They are easy to fit and are suitable for use on hard or soft ground.  We are currently sourcing some high performance ground anchors, and they’ll be available to purchase shortly at very reasonable prices.

If everything goes wrong, and your building is damaged, don’t try and rescue it during the storm as you will come off worst… instead, stay safe, and wait until the wind eases before trying to make repairs.

Most home insurance companies will cover sheds, garages, greenhouses and outbuildings under their standard buildings policy. A1 Sheds can help with all aspects of replacing your storm-damaged shed, and can provide insurance quotes if required, however please check with your provider to make sure you are covered… BEFORE THE WORST HAPPENS.


Visit a1sheds.com for more detailed information on our full range of garden buildings including wooden sheds, metal sheds, plastic sheds, summerhouses, playhouses, greenhouses and shed bases.