15th Jun 2023 -

A shed is more than just a storage space or a forgotten corner of your garden. It has the potential to become a vibrant oasis of creativity and personal expression. Customising your garden shed can turn it into a unique spot that reflects your personality, enhances your outdoor living experience, and adds a touch of charm to your home’s exterior. 

In this article, we will delve into the art of transforming a mundane garden shed into a retreat or functional workspace by exploring large and small garden shed ideas and highlighting the benefits that come with breathing new life into this often-overlooked space. 

How to customise your garden shed - 8 key factors

Before you begin the customisation process, there are several key factors to keep in mind. Remember to consult with professionals to gain some expert advice.

1. BudgetSet a realistic budget for your customisation project. Consider the costs of materials, labour, and any additional features or accessories you want to add.
2. Utility connectionsIf you require plumbing or electricity, plan your shed's customisation accordingly. Discuss with professionals to ensure proper installation and compliance with local building regulations.
3. AccessibilityMake sure you plan for ease of access to your shed. Ensure that doors are wide enough for larger items and consider adding ramps or steps if necessary.
4. SecurityEvaluate the security needs of your shed and incorporate appropriate features, such as security bars on windows, robust locks, or even an alarm system. Protecting valuable items in your shed should be a priority.
5. Storage requirementsAssess your storage needs and plan your shed's interior layout. Think about whether you need hooks, shelves, or cabinets to organise your items.
6. Durability and materialsChoose high-quality materials that are suitable for your local climate and provide durability. Common options include plastic, wood and metal. Evaluate the maintenance requirements and waterproof properties.
7. Ventilation and lightingVentilation and lighting are crucial for a functional shed. Consider adding skylights or windows to optimise natural light. Also, ensure proper airflow by adding fans or vents to prevent moisture build-up.
8. Aesthetics and designThink about the overall design and aesthetics of your garden shed. Consider elements such as doors, colour schemes and using garden shed paint.

Can you build an office in your garden?

A brown garden shed next to a stone wall with love hearts in the window and green plants by the shed door.

You can convert your shed into a cosy and productive garden shed office with a desk, shelves, comfortable seating, and good lighting. Be sure to add insulation and make sure your space has proper ventilation for year-round use. Here are some more garden shed storage ideas for a functional outdoor space.

1. Art and pottery studio

Create a bright and inspiring space for your artistic endeavours. You could install large shed windows for natural light, add some shelves or storage units to house art supplies, and set up easels and work tables.

2. Yoga or meditation retreat

You can design a tranquil space for relaxation and self-care. Kit out your shed with yoga mats, cushions, soothing garden shed décor, and speakers for calming music or guided meditations.

3. Mini garden library

Transform your shed into a private reading sanctuary. You can introduce bookshelves, add comfortable seating such as a cosy armchair or bean bag, and create a peaceful ambience with soft lighting and rugs.

4. Game and amusement room

Convert the shed into a recreational area for fun activities. Include a pool table, dartboard, card table, or other games you enjoy. For this, you should consider soundproofing the space and adding a mini-fridge for refreshments.

5. Music studio

Create a soundproof shed for playing or recording music. Whether your shed is wooden, plastic or metal, make sure to install acoustic panels and soundproofing foam. Set up recording equipment and musical instruments.

6. Guest accommodation

Depending on how big your shed is, you can turn it into a charming guest accommodation space. Introduce thermal insulation, add a pull-out sofa and provide enough storage. Do not forget to ensure proper heating and cooling.

7. Garden shed workshop

Convert the shed into a well-equipped workshop for DIY projects. You can have workbenches, storage for tools, pegboards for organising, and adequate lighting. Consider adding power outlets and ventilation.

8. Potting shed

Utilise the space for gardening storage and potting. Add some garden shed shelving, hooks for hanging tools, and a workbench for repotting plants. Ensure proper ventilation and optimise natural light for plant care.

9. Garden bar shed

Create a cosy retreat for entertaining friends. You can install a bar counter, shelves, a storage box for glassware and beverages, and comfortable seats. Also, you can decorate with tropical elements or other outdoor garden shed decorations. 

Do you need planning permission to customise your garden shed?

Planning permission to customise your garden shed varies depending on several factors, including the extent of the modifications and its location. In general, small modifications may not require planning permission, but it is always recommended to check before you start work. Below are a few points you need to consider.

Placement and sizeIf modifications involve increasing the size or altering its placement, you might need planning permission. For example, if you plan to enlarge the shed, exceed height restrictions, or move it closer to a boundary, permission may be required. Learn about placement or size limitations through the UK Government’s Planning Portal guidance.
Visual impactLocal councils may consider the visual impact of your modifications on the surrounding area. If the changes are deemed to be substantial or could negatively affect the exterior of your property or neighbouring properties, planning permission might be necessary.
Listed buildings and conservation areasIf your home is located within a conservation area or if it is a listed building, there may be restrictions on modifications made to garden sheds. In such cases, it is important to consult with the appropriate authorities to understand the requirements.
Permitted development rightsSome regulations allow certain types of development or modifications to be carried out without the need for planning permission. These are often referred to as permitted development rights. It is essential to learn these rules and ensure your proposed modifications fall within the permitted limits. Learn more about permitted development rights through the UK Government’s Planning Portal.

Remember that regulations can vary between areas, so it is important to consult your local council or a professional architect who can provide you with accurate advice based on your circumstances. Be sure to check the UK Government's Planning Portal for more information.

How much does it cost to customise your garden shed?

Garden shed door with a sign and two flower pots attached to the exterior shed wall.

The cost of customising a garden shed in the UK can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the shed, the materials used, the extent of customisation, and the region where you are located. Below are some estimates to consider, including any labour costs.

Customisation jobAverage cost (including labour)
Stain or paint£100 - £500
Garden shed windows£100 - £500
Garden shed doors£200 - £1,000
Insulation£500 - £2,000
Electrical wiring£500 - £2,500
Storage and shelving£100+
Flooring£2 - £10 per sq ft

Transform your garden shed with top-quality products

If you are feeling inspired to customise your garden shed into a comfortable outdoor living space - or a practical garden storage hub for your tool collection and other belongings - you will find everything you need at Building Materials Nationwide.

We supply high-quality garden storage solutions and sheds from the best industry manufacturers to bring your garden shed ideas to life. From garden sheds to playhouses, log cabins and garden storage boxes, we offer a variety of garden buildings and storage solutions at competitive trade prices and with fast UK delivery options. 

For customers in the construction and building industry, our trade accounts provide a personalised service to meet your needs. Your trade account manager helps you shop for all the tools and materials you require and organise deliveries for when and where you need them.

Credit accounts are also available, subject to a credit check. Give us a call to learn more or sign up on our website.