- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 26 Jun 2019
A shed (also referred to as a ‘garden shed’) is typically a small, free-standing structure that is found in many suburban UK gardens. It is used for storing tools, lawn mowers and other garden-associated equipment. However, as a space away from the main house, it is frequently put to other uses such as a place for contemplation, for carrying out hobbies and for testing personal inventions.
Usually a wooden structure that is available from most DIY super stores and garden centres, a garden shed can be erected as a DIY project without normally requiring planning permission. Dimensions are typically in the region of around 2m high (to the ridge), 1.8m wide and 2m deep. There is usually enough internal headroom for most adults to stand upright without touching the underside of the roof.
Sheds usually have no internal supporting structure – being made up of four, lightweight, pressure-treated shiplap wall panels that are fixed together to form the sides and which support the roof. A hinged door of simple barn-style construction allows entry and exit.
The roof can be made of timber purlins supporting chipboard, marine ply or multi-functional plate (MFP) boards – the latter made from wood residues (from wood processing) that are compressed with moisture-resistant melamine. Waterproofing is usually imparted by single-ply felt tacked around the roof edges or shingles.
The entire structure normally sits on an unreinforced concrete base of thickness around 100-150mm. It may be possible to create a simple base by laying down concrete paving slabs although these may in time suffer from differential settlement.
 Other meanings
The word ‘shed’ is also used to describe large warehouse-type structures used for numerous applications such as manufacturing, storage, wholesale/retail centres and health clubs. Construction typically comprises a steel portal frame clad with various cladding options, including insulated composite panels, crinkly tin or masonry.
|The American architect Robert Venturi used the term ‘decorated shed’ to describe a contemporary building of purely utilitarian design but fronted with decoration or signs to give it more grandeur and to express its functions. Randy’s Donuts shop (pictured) in the US is a typical example.|
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
The Ocean Cleanup project
The various types of bond and when they are used.
It's vital the industry responds to proposals for reform of the safety regulatory system.
RSHP's Merano wins RIBA accolade.
How to differentiate between partial possession and early use.
Ofwat proposes £12 billion additional investment and £50 bill reductions.
Avoiding 'winner's curse' and other useful info.
Developing test methods for video flame/smoke detectors
Waiting for a new deal ...but will funding materialise?
Our servers have reached another milestone. Why not write an article and be seen by our 6.5 million users.
RSHP celebrates competition win in Paris.
All about approved inspectors.