I’ve purchased two garden buildings from gardenbuildingsdirect.com over the lest few years and would like to share my experiences with you in this unbiased review. If you’re looking for a new garden building then hopefully this article will give you an idea of what to expect from this company. The range of buildings sold by Garden Buildings Direct are known as BillyOh, which has a sister site selling the same products. BillyOh are well known for providing a vast range of wooden garden buildings including garden sheds, workshops, log cabin summer house, garden offices, log cabins and more. In fact, they sell pretty much anything you can think of outdoor living & garden related.
I purchased a 12x10ft workshop / garden shed back in 2018 and a Kent garden office in 2021. I’ll talk a little about these in more detail below but for now let’s take a look the the company behind BillyOh and Garden Buildings Direct.
Having also built a number of my own garden buildings and making close comparisons between them I’ve become some what of a BillyOh expert over the years. You can visit my other builds here:
- How to build a shed from scratch on a budget
- How to build a garden office from scratch – on a budget
The company behind the BillyOh range of garden buildings
Kybotech Ltd. based in Worksop in the UK have been operating since 2000 producing outdoor builds and leisure products. All of their wooden products are manufactured in their UK workshop to provide unique designs delivered quickly to your door. They provide a wide range of garden buildings and other outdoor leisure products that will provide both functional and aesthetically appealing additions to any garden.
They currently employ about 220 staff at their 20 acre site in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. With a turnover of about £23m they supply the UK with about 1 in every 8 sheds sold in the UK. Thats about 165,000 sheds or garden buildings. Founder Charles Walton had a vision for a predominantly online garden builds company which has been achieved in buckets and spades.
Garden Buildings Direct delivery process
To keep costs down, Kybotech operate a one man delivery team for the majority of their products. Whilst this does make delivery a little painful, savings are passed on to the you, the customer. So see this as a benefit. Delivery is specified as curb-side only but on both experiences the delivery driver was happy to help carry items to my garden.
Free delivery to most of the UK
Garden Buildings Direct and BillOh both offer free delivery to the majority of the UK, however, if like me you live in a more remote location you can expect to pay for delivery. If you’re all the way up in the north of Scotland you could be paying between £130 and an eye watering £440 depending on the size of the building. It’s important to take a look at their delivery page prior to purchase so there aren’t any surprises at checkout.
Will I require planning permission for my building?
In most cases planning applications will not be required but it’s important to check the planning portal as a first port of call. The interactive planning map will help you identify exactly what will be required on your garden building. Here is a list taken from the planning portal:
No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.
No verandas, balconies or raised platforms (a platform must not exceed 0.3 metres in height)
No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
On designated land* buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.https://www.planningportal.co.uk/permission/common-projects/outbuildings/planning-permission
How easy is a BillyOh building to build?
You won’t need to be a DIY expert to build one of these garden buildings but it does help to have some previous experience and small selection of tools. It is recommended that two people construct these buildings but I managed to build both on my own with the help of some clamps as an extra pair of hands.
All of their buildings will require a suitable base built prior to construction. It’s important to factor in this cost for your budget. There are normally three main options for this:
- A solid concrete base
- A patio style base
- Wooden frame base
My two builds incorporated a patio and wooden frame base.
There are more resources and guides available on the GBD website here. Building a shed base doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive but it’s up to you which one you decide to go for. Factors that might effect your decision might be you skill level and also your budget.
The workshop/shed comes delivered with pre build panels which simply screw together. Construction will take roughly one full day.
The instruction manuals are relatively easy to follow, especially on the smaller sheds or workshops. When building the log cabin you will need to refer to both the manual and the specification sheets on a regular basis to ensure the correct pieces and gaps are used. This can be a little time consuming and I can’t help feeling this could have been designed a little better.
construction of the log cabin garden office is a little more time consuming. Excluding the base this took me about 4 days. I put this down to the sheer number of pieces that come with the kit. It takes a reasonable amount of time just to organise all the pieces before construction.
Which garden building is right for me?
This will depend largely on the purpose and your budget. Luckily, BillyOh have a huge range of garden buildings, so finding the right one shouldn’t be difficult. Most of their wooden units will be offered with or without pressure treated wood. The pressure treated process soaks a preservative deep into the wood grain which protects it from rot and other weathering elements. So if possible, alway select a pressure treated wood with your building. Yes it does cost more but will ensure your building lasts for many, many years.
The Garden Buildings Direct website
The Garden Buildings Direct and BillyOh website are very similar in design and sell mostly identical products. When searching for garden buildings on the internet I found that these website tend to stand out from the rest. With easy navigation and simple customisation options it makes for an easy online shopping experience.
I also like their imagery which makes browsing products easy. The galleries for each product include more detailed dimensions, layouts, plans and interior design examples.
You’ll find their customer service number on their website along with the documentation provided. If you are unsure about any of the build then you can simply contact them for help. If you believe there are missing pieces they will be able to help you identify this and put it right quickly. I did not have any missing pieces on either of my purchases.
What other products do GBD offer?
Pretty much anything you can think of garden related, GBD sell on their website. Grow houses, green houses, summer houses, garden furniture, play houses, garden storage units, gates, BBQs and more. Here is a look at the ‘more’ section of their website:
If you are wondering whether to buy from either of these websites then I hope this review has given you some good ideas of what to expect. I have been happy with both the products purchased and would happily buy again. You can save yourself some money by waiting for one of their special deals which they release a few times a year. This generally tends to provide you with a 10% discount. Unfortunately the release of these sales is never advertised so you will have to check back regularly to see, or sign up for their newsletter. You can do that at the bottom of this page.
I also love how customisable their products are. Not only can you customise directly on their website but if you know what you are doing you can further customise their products at home. Add a side storage unit, extend their sheds or add insulation to the garden office. The possibilities are endless.
Another good thing about their buildings is the price. They are very competitively priced in the market. They are able to keep their prices low due to a simplified delivery service, provide self build products only and sell in high volumes across the UK. All in all you are getting a good quality product for a great price. I’ve built many garden sheds for customers in the past and many have been of poor quality, thankfully this is not the case with BillyOh.
Thanks for reading.