I’m sure that you would be compelled by the number of inventions, the volume of poetry and literary masterpieces, that might not have existed were it not for the humble shed. George Bernard Shaw may never have penned Pygmalion, Harley Davidsons would be absent from our roads, and (perhaps most vitally of all) there’s a chance that the world’s first bowl of super noodles would never have been cooked up (yes, they were invented in a shed).
Now, we’re interested in mini sheds and storage sheds – so it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to fit into them, let alone use our panel-bounded space to foster ingenious new ideas. Nonetheless, the reason I make the point is a simple one. By including a shed in your garden, no matter how small or high up (if you’re on a balcony) it is, you’re partaking in a great (dare I say originally British) gardener’s tradition. Even if it is just a glorified box to store your trowels and fertilizer.
Anyhow, moving on from my slightly dramatic introduction, it is true that storage sheds have a lot to recommend them. Especially for small-scale and container gardeners, where feeds, fertilizers and potting mixes need a dry place to live. And whatever your price range, you’ll easily find a well-made option – whether it’s a rustic wooden look you’re after or a purely functional plastic one.
All images link to the product’s website, so just click through if you see one that you like.
What to Look for in an Outdoor Storage Shed
The first consideration is material, of which there are three main types: wood, plastic and metal. Wood sheds are invariably the better looking option, but they’re also more expensive. Whilst most will be made from treated softwood such as pine, you can get sheds made from hardwood, which are more impervious to rot, though they can be quite expensive. Metal is obviously the most durable material (though perhaps also the ugliest). Plastic probably represents the best balance of cost and durability…though they can be prone to cracking after long use and the plastic can warp in extreme temperature/lots of sunlight, which is much less of a problem with wood.
Small Garden Storage Tends to be More Problem Free…
There tends to be fewer problems with smaller sheds, and they’re also easier to maintain if an issue does arise. You want to look for a good overhang on the roof, tight-fitting joints (there’s nothing worse than a loose-fitting plastic shed) and a secure fit where the doors meet. Make sure that the shelving is appropriate for your needs too.
Our Top 5 Best Outdoor Storage Sheds and Storage Boxes
It’s not comprehensive but it should help put you on the right path! Enjoy our selection of the best storage sheds for small-scale and urban gardening…
Keter Woodland Storage Shed
Height: 125cm; Width: 146cm; Depth: 82cm.
Keter are a fairly big name in the world of sheds and make a range of plastic models. This “Woodland” unit is well-priced and perfectly suited for those who need some decent storage space but are limited as to the size of the shed they can buy. It’s fully waterproof, easy to assemble (the manual is very good) and has a stable front lock.
On the downside, there have been complaints about the lid warping when temperatures fluctuate, alongside reported issues with the base buckling under heavy loads. Some have suggested adding a layer of plywood to the base to bolster its weight-bearing capacity.
Bosmere Wooden Shed
Height: 150cm; Width: 93.5cm; Depth: 64cm.
This is one of my favourites! It might just be the perfect shed for small-space gardeners. There’s just something about the sturdiness of wood that you can’t get with plastic. The panelling is treated with a dark varnish that lends it a pleasing appearance and the interior shelf is removable, so it’s somewhat versatile in that regard (though I would have preferred more shelving options). Roof is typical felt. If you’re so inclined you could probably cultivate a little moss on top.
The one downside is that, though full instructions are included, it is a little time consuming to build. That said, you won’t be able to escape a longer building time with a wooden model.
Suncast Wicker Storage Seat
Height: 57cm; Width: 57cm; Depth: 57cm.
An even smaller storage box than the first one – well, technically it’s a seat but it looks more like a modified box to me. Despite the fact that it’s advertised as a “wicker” storage unit, it’s still very much waterproof. The reason for this is that it’s not actually made from stalks or branches – it’s plastic with a “wicker finish.” Still very attractive though.
The base is also very robust so it will take some weight. Very easy to assemble.
Height: 163cm; Width: 68cm; Depth: 38cm.
We’ve got one of these simple plastic sheds round the side. For the price it’s a pretty good unit. It’s easy to assemble, relatively sturdy, and quite versatile in terms of how the storage space is organized inside. I’ve had no problems with waterproofing and, since the base isn’t raised, it can take any degree of weight. The fact that the shelves all fall on one side means that larger tools like spades and forks can also be kept in it if needed.
If you’re in the US and want a similar looking option, then consider the Rubbermaid.
Arrow Steel Storage Shed (US Only)
(For those in the UK, consider the Yardmaster International.)
Height: 70 inches; Width: 54 inches; Depth: 43 inches.
I mentioned steel storage options in the section offering advice about what to look for, so I thought it only fair to include one here. There’s not a great deal to say about it apart from the fact it’s made from steel, easy enough to assemble and comes with a twelve year warranty (they’re obviously pretty sure of themselves).
Which Are Your Favourites?
So there you have it! Our selection of the best small storage sheds and boxes. Drop me an email if you want to add your own review!