No garden is truly complete until you've bought and assembled a classic wooden shed to lock all your work tools and heavy machinery away from the kids. These days though a shed is much more than a convenient storage facility; depending on the scale of your hobbies it can also double up as a handy on-site studio, where you can escape the house for a few hours and get some of that important work done.
Why do I need a workshop shed?
Replete with versatile storage space, big double doors and collapsable windows, workshop sheds have a number of different uses - whether you're entertaining guests or just looking for somewhere clean and dry to store the garden funiture.
Sheds are ideal for storing equipment that is either too dangerous, large or unsanitary to keep in your main living space. That includes things like tools, machinery, exercise equipment or, indeed, a set of table and chairs that you use for outdoor barbecues.
Most of us aren't fortunate enough to have an art studio inside our home - so a cosy wooden shed is the next best thing. Whether you're looking to take up painting again or start a homemade furniture business, an outdoor workshop is the perfect place to get your creative juices flowing.
Providing they're clean and free of any contaminants, workshop sheds can also be put to use as a handy mobile kitchen from where you can serve and entertain family and friends during the summer.
Like any home extension, workshop sheds - as long as they're relatively new and not bearing any obvious wear and tear - can even add a few quid onto your property value.
What sizes do workshop sheds come in?
A modest timber shed will usually measure in at around six by six feet - which gives you just enough room to to store some smaller equipment and perhaps leave a slither of space through the middle for navigation. In general though this wouldn't be sufficient to install a carpentry bench.
For something resembling a workshop space, you'll probably want something in the ballpark of eight by eight or 10 feet. This gives you enough room to erect a bench and give you somewhere to sit. If you're entertaining guests, meanwhile (and want some room at the back to tuck some things away at night), perhaps consider a 12 by 10 foot base.
How much do workshop sheds cost?
A simple rule of thumb is that the more elaborate the design of your shed is the more expensive it will be - both in terms of your initial costs and any maintenance that's needed further down the line.
If you're content with a windowless square design with a roof just tilted enough that it doesn't collect too much rain you can easily find a sturdy shed for around £600 to £700 (not including any add-on appurtenances like locks or alarms).
Something more spacious with windows and a double door is going to cost you upwards of £1500 - although these larger designs, by necessity, are often made of stronger material and should, at least in theory, give you more bang for your buck.
Which retailers sell workshop sheds?
It's best to stick to trusted retailers when it comes to major purchases like a garden shed - partly because the quality tends to be higher but also because you can get a warranty to protect yourself from any unforeseen weather damage.
In the UK, the biggest shed retailers are the likes of B&Q, Homebase, Robert Dyas and Wickes, although there a number of more bespoke, local options out there too if you're prepared to spend a little extra.
You can find more basic options on Amazon and Argos if you're on a tight budget, but you should generally only explore this route once you've exhausted other options.