small-shed

5 Best Sheds for a Small Garden to Maximise Your Outdoor Space (2021 Review)

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In this guide we’ll take a look at the best small sheds for the UK market.
I’ve compared size, features, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

Everything I Recommend

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • 1800 L capacity
  • Wood-effect exterior
  • Weatherproof and fade resistant
  • Solid board floor and roof
  • Lockable single door
  • Dipped honey brown finish
  • Small shed with shelf
  • Made from treated fir wood
  • Solid panels all round
  • Ideal garden storage solution
  • Wood-effect exterior
  • Won't fade
  • Durable wood storage unit
  • Perfect for narrow spaces
  • Door with bolt for easy closing

More Detailed Small Garden Shed Reviews

Keter Manor Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed, 4 x 3 feet

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • 1800 L capacity
  • Wood-effect exterior
  • Weatherproof and fade resistant
OUR RATING
100
PRICE
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Keter Manor Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed, 4 x 3 feet Review

If you’ve got a small garden, but you still want some sheltered outside storage, this little Keter Manor Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed measures just 129 x 103 cm yet still has sufficient space inside to be practical.

It’s large enough to fit shelving units inside, which can help store items like tools, gardening equipment and other smaller items, or it can house bigger objects like bikes or lawn mowers.

Considering how narrow it is, it also has the potential to fit onto a small balcony if you have one, providing an extra area of waterproof storage space for flats and apartments.

Whilst it is made from plastic, the overall look isn’t excessively ‘plasticky’, and the coloured finish is contemporary, not tacky. It’s also very low maintenance, being water resistant and virtually fade-free. Unlike wooden sheds, it won’t need any treatment, only the odd rinse if you think it looks a bit grubby.

In terms of security, there is a hasp on the door which can be used with a padlock (no padlock comes included) and, aside from the ventilation holes, it’s a fully-sealed unit. The contents should therefore also be protected from moisture and damp.

This means that a floor comes included as well, although it may benefit from being reinforced. It’s slightly raised, and not made of the thickest plastic, so using some kind of extra support underneath will help make it stronger.

Overall, this is one of the best small sheds for narrower patios and tight areas; at 196 cm tall it has plenty of space inside, whilst still maintaining a small, compact footprint.

Pros

  • Can be assembled in 2 - 3 hours (made easier with a second pair of hands)
  • Well ventilated to protect your garden equipment or tools from moisture
  • Relatively lightweight at 29 kg so can be moved by 2 people into the right spot
  • Virtually no maintenance required - only the odd wipe clean when needed

Cons

  • It shouldn't be used to store very valuable items; the hinges for the padlock hasp are screwed on from the outside, so could be undone to access the shed
  • Some existing knowledge/experience with DIY will likely make the shed easier to put together
  • The floor may benefit from some kind of reinforcement - best built on concrete slabs or similar
  • Not all the screw holes are pre-drilled

Mini Wooden Store Small Outside Storage Unit

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Solid board floor and roof
  • Lockable single door
  • Dipped honey brown finish
OUR RATING
96
PRICE
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Mini Wooden Store Small Outside Storage Unit Review

For storing a mix of gardening equipment, including wellies, watering cans, trowels and seeds, this Mini Wooden Storage Unit has two well-sized shelves to make it easier to store a variety of differently-sized items.

Measuring 150 cm wide by 64 cm deep, it’s the narrowest unit featured on this page and therefore one of the best small sheds for placing into slim side alleys or slender gardens. It’s not big enough to fit a larger machine like a lawnmower, but, with a doorway of approximately 53 cm wide, should still be able to store all of the basic equipment required for tending an allotment or flowerbeds.

This wooden unit is made from 12 mm shiplap cladding, finished off with a honey-brown colouring. There’s a base included, but the instructions do recommend building a wooden platform of pressure-treated bearers first, which will require purchasing additional wood that’s not included with the shed.

In terms of assembly, it takes around three hours to get the unit together and is easier to do with the help of two people. The wood is already treated, but it should be treated again with a water repellent within three months of purchase. This is therefore just as easy to do during assembly than at any other time, but does make the initial setting-up a little longer than necessary.

As with the majority of small sheds featured in this list, this Mini Wooden Storage Unit has a metal hasp which can be locked with a padlock (not supplied); however, due to the quality of the metal, it’s best to avoid storing anything too valuable inside, just in case.

Pros

  • Measures just 64 cm deep making it a good option for narrow gardens and passages
  • Shelf can be installed at any height to accommodate different size items
  • Assembly takes under 3 hours and is relatively simple
  • Weighs 30 kg so is relatively easy to move around when empty

Cons

  • Should be treated with water repellent treatment within 3 months of purchase
  • Nails are provided for assembly which may not be as secure as screws
  • The roof felt is thin and may tear easily so care should be taken when attaching it

Wooden Garden Shed for Tool Storage

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Small shed with shelf
  • Made from treated fir wood
  • Solid panels all round
OUR RATING
93
PRICE
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Wooden Garden Shed for Tool Storage Review

The Easipet Wooden Garden Shed is watertight, roomy and offers good value for money. Even if you already have a shed, it can still be useful to have a bit of extra storage space closer to the house. And, if you don’t, this unit provides a useful area to keep the majority of small/medium tools.

It measures 87 x 57 x 95 cm, with wide doors that open fully to allow complete access to the shelves. There’s enough space for storing upright wellies, tins of paint, and even small electric tools, yet the overall footprint is relatively compact.

The felt roof, slanted wood panels, and raised base keep moisture away from the contents whilst allowing for good ventilation. It’s also one of the best small sheds for people who aren’t very fond of DIY, taking just 30 minutes to put together, with simple instructions that don’t throw out any curveballs.

Considering its size, price, and the fact that it keeps the contents dry, it’s a good value unit for any size garden. There’s no padlock hasp, although you could add your own, but it’s probably best to stick to keeping inexpensive items in this shed as the wood isn’t particularly thick. Magnets keep the doors closed, so they won’t open of their own accord.

Pros

  • Simple to assemble in less than one hour even for those with limited DIY skills
  • The raised floor prevents rot and protects the contents from moisture on the ground
  • Very lightweight at under 20 kg so it's easy to move to the right location
  • Magnetised clasps keep the doors closed even during bad weather

Cons

  • Wood is thinner than other timber sheds so may not be as secure
  • Interior shelf isn’t adjustable so you will be limited on the height of items you can store
  • May need to be secured to the wall as it's lightweight and may become unstable depending on how it is filled
  • Shelf has a low weight capacity so best used for storing lighter weight items

Keter Factor Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed, 4 x 6 feet

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Ideal garden storage solution
  • Wood-effect exterior
  • Won't fade
OUR RATING
90
PRICE
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Keter Factor Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed, 4 x 6 feet Review

Small sheds can still store both bikes and ladders if you need them to, as demonstrated by this Keter Factor Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed.

Of course, considering this potential capacity, it’s not the smallest shed featured here, but given its relatively slim 129.5 cm width, it’s still a good choice for narrow gardens. Measuring 188.5 cm long and 216.5 cm tall, there’s a lot of space inside as well as plenty of vertical room for storing taller items and tools.

This option is probably the best ‘compromise’ featured on this page. It’s still smaller than a standard shed, but big enough to fit larger items that may not fit into other units.

The standard doorway can be extended to make it easier to fit bigger items into – most of the time it can be used as a normal door, but when a little more wiggle room is needed the extra panel can be opened to give approximately 15 cm more space. It’s therefore clearly intended for storing larger items which is reassuring.

Made from wood-effect, fade-resistant plastic, the finish is a subtle, neutral colour and the unit will keep the contents dry without requiring any annual treatments like wood. It can be constructed in around four hours, but some extra time may be required to create some solid ‘foundations’ for it beforehand.

Whilst this isn’t strictly necessary, as this Keter shed does come with a relatively sturdy floor, reinforcing it might be useful if you want to store heavier items or large shelving units.

Ventilation grills allow air in to protect the contents from moisture and damp, but otherwise it is weathertight and withstands a lot of what the UK weather may throw at it. When in gets hot, in the summer, the plastic may bulge until it cools down again.

In terms of security, whilst some sides of the shed are reinforced with steel, the plastic of the door is not. Therefore, some customers have previously reported that it can have a bit of flex to it.

Still, overall, this is still a good option for keeping a lot of items protected from the elements, and is especially useful for storing larger items when you’re quite short on space in the garden.

Pros

  • Low maintenance, only requiring an occasional hose down to clean
  • Can be assembled in around four hours
  • Stands up well to UK weather
  • Comes with mounting points for shelves if needed

Cons

  • Although doors can be locked, the door may have a bit of flex so may not be appropriate for storing very valuable items
  • The floor may need to be reinforced in order to support heavier items like shelving units without damaging the plastic floor
  • The shed may bulge in hot weather as the plastic heats up (but it returns to normal when it cools down)

Outsunny Vertical Utility 3 Shelves Shed

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Durable wood storage unit
  • Perfect for narrow spaces
  • Door with bolt for easy closing
OUR RATING
88
PRICE
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Outsunny Vertical Utility 3 Shelves Shed Review

If you’re after a really compact storage unit that will allow you to utilise the space of a small corner or cubby hole, this Outsunny Vertical Utility Shed has a footprint of just 65 x 67.5 cm.

Whilst not capable of housing larger items like lawnmowers, it still has a combination of three small shelves plus ‘standing’ room, measuring 214 cm tall. It can therefore fit in some longer items like brooms, spades and garden forks, offering a good solution for keeping everything on hand that might be required for day-to-day gardening.

It’s been treated with waterproof paint, and has an apex roof with a felt covering to encourage rain to drain off; as a result, it’s relatively protected from the elements but does need to be positioned on level ground in order for the door to close properly.

Assembly doesn’t take long, at around two hours, and is relatively straight forward as long as the instructions are followed closely. It’s also possible to store recycling boxes inside, creating a dry storage space for them outside of the house, making it one of the best small sheds for storing a variety of items in a really compact area.

There’s no possibility to lock it, but it has a simple latch which makes sure the door doesn’t swing open unannounced.

Pros

  • Footprint of just 65 x 67.5cm - perfect for small outdoor spaces
  • At 214 cm tall, it’s suitable for storing brooms, forks, and taller items
  • Although instructions could be clearer, it can still be assembled in around 2 hours
  • Raised off the ground to protect the base and the contents from damp
  • Three shelves allow you to keep smaller tools organised

Cons

  • Included instructions could be more informative but can be worked through
  • Unless the shed is completely level, the door may not shut properly
  • Requires more maintenance than plastic sheds, and will need to be treated annually with a waterproof sealant

Things to Know Before Buying a Small Shed

Small sheds are immensely helpful when it comes to getting a bit more space for storage.

Whether you don’t have enough room in your garden for a full-size shed, or are looking for a smaller extra storage unit, they’re a great way to go.

There are a lot of different designs on the market, so finding the ‘best small shed’ for you might depend on what you’re hoping to keep in there; do you want to store the BBQ inside? A ladder? Some bikes? Just a few tools?

I’ve put together the following advice to help you make an informed decision based on the space you have available and your intention for the shed:

Seeing as we’re specifically talking about small sheds, looking at size seems a logical place it start.

Of course, there’s likely going to need to be a compromise here, especially if you don’t have a lot of room in your garden. But, regardless, the best place to start is by asking yourself – why do you want this shed? Are you planning to use it as the primary source of storage in your garden? Or are you just looking for a more practical space to store smaller gardening tools?

If you’re looking for a small shed to use as the main storage space, try to go as big as you can within the space available to you. If you buy too small a shed, for fear of using up too much room, you may ultimately waste more space.  Naturally, if your shed is too small, it’s still going to take up space but you’ll also have to find somewhere else to keep the items that won’t fit.

Measure any items that you need to go into the shed – this will give you an idea of what size to look for. There’s nothing worse than buying something and only realising that it’s a couple of centimetres too small after assembling it, so putting in the admin beforehand is worth it.

If you’re looking for a place to simply store gardening or DIY tools, you can get a much smaller unit (more like a cupboard with shelves) because you won’t need large ground area for bigger tools. In these instances, taller units with many shelves can be useful. Or, alternatively, shorter, wider units depending on the space.

Of course, ultimately, you can’t buy a shed which simply won’t fit in your garden so you need to measure the available space carefully. Try and get tall units where possible, but remember that if they are over 2.5 m they may not be able to be positioned close to the boundary line of your garden (check with your local council to find out the rules in your area).

An extra tip to bear in mind: If you do have a small garden, everything you buy should be geared towards storage. This way you can really optimise the space you have. Go for tables with built-in storage units, storage benches, and tall storage units – you’ll be surprised how tidily you can squirrel everything away using multiple multi-functional units.

Like most things when it comes to looks, finding a small shed that you like the look of is going to be totally subjective. However, there are a few things that come into play which may sway you one way or the other.

Sheds are primarily made from either wood, plastic or metal.

Some people love the look of the plastic sheds; they’re often modern, yet finished with a traditional wood-like appearance. However, others prefer traditional, natural finishes and insist that only wood will do.

When it comes to the appearance of your small shed, there’s one main thing to bear in mind: a wood shed can be painted, whereas a plastic or metal shed can’t.

Therefore, with plastic and metal sheds, the colour you buy is the colour you get. The good news is that they’re often understated, inoffensive colours; however, the colour can’t be changed if you don’t like it.

You can let your personality shine through a bit more with a wooden unit, depending on how you choose to paint it.

If you think that looks aren’t important, remember that you’re (most likely) looking into small sheds because you have a small garden. Wherever you put your shed, the likelihood is that you are always going to see it.

If you buy an ugly shed it could change the whole appearance of your garden. So just make sure you don’t buy something that you don’t really like, just because it’s cheap.

Ultimately, you’ll be choosing the construction material of your shed depending on how it suits your personal needs. Wood, plastic and metal each have different qualities that make them more appropriate for some situations than others.

Here you will find the pros and cons of each material so that you can sum up which would ultimately make the best small shed for you:

Wooden Sheds

Pros:

  • They are more traditional and blend in well with the garden.
  • It’s easy to add additional features such as shelves and hooks.
  • They can be painted to suit the colour of your garden. You can even change the colour of your shed if you’re looking to liven up your garden a little in the future (it’s an easy way to do something a bit different).

Cons:

  • They require maintenance in the form of regular wood treatments to avoid rot and insect infestations.
  • If the wood warps due to the weather, the shed may not be as weatherproof.
  • More difficult to assemble than plastic sheds.

Plastic Sheds

Pros:

  • Extremely low maintenance. The most you’ll have to do is rinse the shed with water if you feel like it.
  • If UV treated, the plastic will not fade or become brittle from sun exposure.
  • Generally pretty easy to assemble.

Cons:

  • Lacks the traditional charm of a wooden shed.
  • Not customisable – can’t be painted or altered.
  • May need to be secured depending on construction – plastic sheds are generally lighter than wooden ones and they might blow over in high winds if the conditions are right.

Metal Sheds

(It’s worth bearing in mind that cheap metal sheds can be very poor quality and use thin metal that is prone to corrosion. The following pros and cons are based on standard-/high-quality metal sheds.)

Pros:

  • Long lasting – usually comfortably lasting at least 20 years with no maintenance.
  • Can be much harder to break into, and therefore more secure, than plastic and wooden sheds.
  • Harder for rodents to gnaw through than plastic and wooden structures

Cons:

  • The assembly can take longer than assembling a wooden shed, and the individual panels are heavier.
  • They’re not very attractive, although it’s now possible to get green metal sheds that blend in better with the garden.
  • It can be quite expensive to purchase a high-quality metal shed.

 

Small Garden Shed FAQs

There are a few rules than come into play when talking about shed placement. Firstly, if your shed is over 2.5 m tall it can’t be positioned less than 2 m from your property boundary. Additionally, sheds, extensions, outbuildings etc. can’t take up more than 50% of the land that was originally surrounding your house.

You should also leave 1 m of space around the shed on all sides, so that you can walk around it and do maintenance if necessary. This is especially relevant if it’s a wooden shed.

If your shed is less than 2.5 m tall then you can put it as close to the fence as you like. If it’s over 2.5 m then it must be at least 2 m away from the fence.

Of course, it might be worth having a discussion with your neighbour, if you want to remain on good terms. Whilst you’re allowed to put a structure of <2.5 m up against the fence, it may not thrill everyone so it could be good to ask.

Generally, using some sort of foundation for a shed is recommended. This helps with ventilation and damp. It’s also a good way to ensure that the ground is level.

With a small shed, you can use a bed of gravel as the foundation (bordered with pressure-treated wood). Timber decking, or a timber frame, are other options.

Concrete can also be used as a foundation, particularly for sheds that don’t come with floors. If your shed does come with a floor, you will likely want to raise it off the concrete base using bearers so that there is ventilation.

Ventilation is important for sheds in both summer and winter. It’s advisable to make sure that your shed has some form of ventilation, be that ventilation holes in the walls, or ventilation from the base.

Without ventilation, it can get stifling hot in a shed in summer, which can damage tools, electronics, and anything else that might be stored in there.

In cooler months, ventilation will stop damp air from lingering and getting stale, allowing it to circulate and stop moisture from stagnating.

Sources
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