Finding the best small shed for your garden can be a daunting task due to the variety of products available on the market today. Within this post, I’d like to highlight the different types of small sheds and list some of their pros and cons. I’d also like to share my thoughts on some brands along with which I prefer and why.
As a local handyman and keen gardener, I’ve had the fortune of getting hands-on with a number of different products over the years. Customers often ask me to build their flat-pack sheds so I have a fair bit of experience building and repairing sheds. When I talk about repairing sheds, I’m mostly referring to the felt and roof replacements, but can also get involved with floor and wall panel replacements or repairs.
You can avoid rotten floors and lower wall panels by installing a proper base for your shed. I have a couple of guides perfect to help with this part of the build if you need any advice or support.
Table of Contents
- Different types of materials used in shed construction
- Who makes the best small garden sheds?
- The best small wooden sheds – UK
- The best small metal sheds – UK
- The Best Small Plastic Sheds – UK
- Which is the best small shed manufacture?
Different types of materials used in shed construction
Here’s a breakdown of the different types of shed materials, including wooden sheds, metal sheds, and composite or plastic sheds.
Wooden sheds are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their classic and natural appearance. They offer a warm and rustic charm to outdoor spaces. Some common types of wood used for sheds include cedar, pine, and redwood. Here are some key points about wooden sheds:
- Durability: High-quality wooden sheds, particularly those made from cedar or redwood, can be durable and resistant to decay and insect damage. Proper maintenance, such as regular sealing or staining, is essential to extend their lifespan.
- Customisation: Wooden sheds can be easily customised to suit individual preferences. They can be painted or stained in various colours and additional features like windows, shelves, and porches can be added.
- Insulation: Wood has natural insulating properties, which means wooden sheds can help regulate temperature and provide a comfortable environment for storage or other uses.
- Maintenance: Wooden sheds require regular maintenance, including sealing, staining, or painting, to protect them from moisture and the elements. They may also need periodic repairs to address any wood rot or damage.
You can even make your own wooden shed with a few skill and a bit of guidance. You can learn how to build a shed in one of my other articles.
Metal sheds offer a durable and low-maintenance storage solution. They are typically made from galvanized steel or aluminium. Here are some important characteristics of metal sheds:
- Strength and Security: Metal sheds provide excellent strength and security, making them resistant to pests, fire, and extreme weather conditions. They are difficult to break into, offering secure storage for valuable items.
- Low Maintenance: Metal sheds require minimal maintenance compared to wooden sheds. They do not need painting or sealing, and they are resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage.
- Assembly: Metal sheds often come in prefabricated kits, making assembly relatively straightforward. They are lightweight and can be easily moved or disassembled if needed.
- Heat Retention: Metal sheds can become hot in direct sunlight, so proper ventilation or insulation may be necessary to prevent overheating.
Composite or plastic sheds
Composite or plastic sheds are constructed from a combination of materials, including recycled plastic, wood fibres and resin. These sheds offer unique advantages. Here’s what you should know about them:
- Durability and Low Maintenance: Composite or plastic sheds are highly durable, resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage. They do not require painting or sealing and can be easily cleaned with water and mild detergent.
- Longevity: These sheds have a long lifespan, as they are not prone to warping, splitting, or rusting like wood or metal sheds.
- Design Variety: Composite or plastic sheds come in a range of designs, sizes, and colors, allowing homeowners to choose a style that suits their preferences.
- Environmental Benefits: Many composite sheds are made from recycled materials, making them an eco-friendly choice.
Remember to consider your specific needs, budget and aesthetic preferences when choosing the right shed material for your purposes. Check out my top recommendations for the best plastic sheds on the market here:
Who makes the best small garden sheds?
Along with my opinions and the round-up of reviews on common selling platforms like Amazon, Argos, Garden Buildings Direct, eBay and a couple of independent retailers I’ve collated some of the most highly rated small garden sheds on the market.
I’ve reviewed some of the most well known brands on the market including BillyOh, Rowlinson, Yardmaster, Lifetime, Keter, Mercia and Empire Sheds. Each have their own unique styles and manufacturing processes but I would consider these companies at the top of their game and leaders in small shed market.
The following reviews should hopefully provide you with a quick, easy overview of each product to make the buying process a little easier.
By now, hopefully, you have a good understanding of your budget and what type of shed you are looking for so you can quickly skip to the section of this article that suits you. I’ve broken down a list of the best sheds into three categories, wood, metal and plastic.
The best small wooden sheds – UK
Here’s a list of some of the most highly regarded small garden sheds on the market in the UK today.
BillyOh Keeper Overlap Apex Shed
Available in a number of different sizes this basic shed ticks all the boxes in terms of quality and simplicity. The windowless design and double front opening doors create enough space for all the essentials.
Available sizes: 4×6, 4×8, 8×6, 8×8, 10×6, 10×8, 12×6, 12×8, 16×6,16×8
What are customers saying about the BillyOh Keeper Overlap Shed?
It has a 3.6-star rating on the BillyOh website and a 4.5-star rating on sheds.co.uk. The main feedback on the product seemed to be based on the lack of instructions and poor-fitting components. The majority however thought this was a good quality product.
The simplistic design of this shed makes for a straightforward construction. In my experience, poorly fitting components more often than not point towards an uneven base. Also, BillyOh tend to send their instructions via email and you can find them on their website if you don’t have them. I’ve put up a couple of these sheds and for the price, I think it’s certainly worth considering.
Also find this product here:
Empire 4000 Pent Shed
Your typical pent shed with shiplap tongue and groove cladding and double front opening doors. Sold and shipped by Empire Sheds who are known for some of the highest-quality sheds in the UK
Available sizes: A huge range of sizes from 6×3 ft to 14×8 ft
What are owners saying about the Empire 4000?
With a 5-star rating on B&Q and 4.3-star rating on eBay, this is one of the highest-rated sheds on the market. People like that the felt came pre-cut but one customer struggled with the door width not being quite wide enough.
I have one of these myself, the 10×4 ft version and I love it. It was easy to construct and provides plenty of room for 5 bikes, two scooters and a handful of gardening tools which I mounted to the walls. Two additional shelves provide more space for paint and car-related equipment.
Also find this product here:
Mercia Overlap Apex Value Shed
With a few custom options, this shed is the ideal little addition to any garden. Left or right door, window or windowless and additional shelving are all available and the price point is great.
Available sizes: 6×4, 8×6 or pent style also available
What are owners saying about this apex shed?
The majority of customers are rating this very highly on the Robert Dyas website. Overall they have given it a 4.2-star rating with zero 1-star ratings. The main concerns raised were some splitting and cracks in the wood where they had been nailed. Other than that it’s a thumbs up from the customer.
I love the custom options available on this little shed but am not so keen on the lack of their own support or site. Luckily, very few people have had any issues with these sheds but I like to know if there will be someone available over the phone if there are any issues, not just phoning the retailer for a returns process.
Also find this product here:
The best small metal sheds – UK
Metal sheds serve their purpose in terms of strength and durability. Here are some of the best on the market today. It’s worth noting that most metal sheds do not come supplied with a base so this can be an extra cost to think about.
BillyOh Metal Anthracite Grey Shed
Simple double sliding door access with a pent-style roof makes this a straightforward design in a colour that’s modern and contemporary.
Available in sizes: 5×3, 6×3, 6×4, 8×4 ft
What are customers saying about this shed?
With a 4.6-star rating on Amazon and some great feedback this metal shed is worth a look. In general people don’t have many issues with it other than it can be a little cumbersome to erect.
I’ve recently owned one of these sheds and I would highly recommend it. It was a little tricky to construct on my own and took the best part of a whole day to complete. It is made from hot-dipped galvanised steel which offers great protection from rust, as was evident in ours which was still standing when we sold our house. (Over 6 years) With this being metal I did need to get a little creative with shelving and installing hooks but it remained watertight and solid throughout our ownership.
Find them here:
Rowlinson Trentvale Metal Apex Shed
In a similar to the BillyOh this metal shed offers double doors and ventilation. the Apex style roof may appeal to some with low sides being a requirement for the placement of this shed.
Available sizes: 6×4, 8×6 and 10×8
What do customers think of this shed?
Amazon customers gave this an overall rating of 3.6 stars and Robert Dyas customers gave it a 5-star rating. The main complaints about this shed come from the difficulty to construct it. It can be fiddly and some sections require two people to build.
What do I think of the Rowlinson Metal Apex Shed?
I’ve built a very similar shed to this for a customer and have to agree with the Amazon reviews. it can be very tricky to build as the instructions aren’t very clear in places. During construction, at first, it does seem quite flimsy but once everything has been put together the shape enforces the rigidity of the whole structure.
Also find this product here:
Yardmaster Woodview Shiplap Metal Shed
A metal construction with a wooden effect shiplap style this shed offers a traditional style using the durable galvanised metal for a maintenance-free life. Equipped again with double sliding doors this is a superb shed.
Sizes available: 8×6, 10×6, 10×8 and 12×10
What do CUSTOMERS think of this shed?
With an overall rating of only 3.1 on Amazon this could easily put someone off buying this shed. But when you dive into the reviews you see the same old story. “It was difficult to construct”. Avoid building this in the wind and get a mate to help and you shouldn’t have any issues.
I’ve not yet had the pleasure of constructing this specific model but I love the design, colours and additional raised flooring support frame that comes as standard. you’ll need to supply the wood but the structure includes galvanised steel support beams to support the wooden floorboards. This is a great feature that will help you keep the floor raised off the floor and away from water.
Also find this shed here:
The Best Small Plastic Sheds – UK
If you don’t like the sound of a metal shed but want something easy to maintain then a plastic shed could be the one for you. Let’s take a look at some of the best plastic sheds on the market today.
Lifetime 60005 Shed
On the expensive side of this round-up is this Lifetime storage shed. With a name like lifetime you’d expect nothing less. And for that price you would too, right?
Available sizes: 10×8, 12×8 15×8 and 20×8 ft
What are customers saying about this plastic shed?
With a 4.2-star rating on Amazon from over 600 customers this is a well-reviewed product. And the ratings are good. Very few people had anything negative to say about this shed. They love the quality and materials used. The main issues faced again are the difficulty in construction. Expect to spend about 12-20 hours putting this bad boy up.
I’ve only seen (and explored) one of these sheds on display, not constructed one but I can imagine the reviews are true. It’s a well-designed bit of kit with some great features and very good quality materials. The frame is constructed from steel and the walls are from a high-density Polyethene which is very durable. It comes with a non-slip floor/base, shelving and a rack to hang garden tools. I’m not sure about the styling but I do think this is going to be at the top of many who can afford it’s list to buy.
Also buy from:
Keter Manor Apex Grey Plastic Shed
Another great plastic shed that includes a base, double doors, ventilation and a small window it provides great access and enough space for your basic gardening equipment.
Available sizes: 6×5 or 6×8 ft
What do customers who bought this think?
The consensus on this shed and a very positive 4.3-star rating on Amazon points towards another outstanding product and one of the most popular sheds produced by Keter. Everyone is very complimentary of this shed with the only negative comments surrounding the difficulty of construction. Many stress the importance of a level base to build on.
I had the pleasure of erecting one of these small sheds for a customer on their existing decking. It took me about 4 hours on my own and the process was simple enough. The components fit together very well and with some minor adjustments, the doors and locking mechanism worked very well. The double lined walls provide good strength and made the build process very simple. my only recommendation would be to pre-drill the holes in the metal frame to make things a bit easier.
Also find these, sheds sold here:
Canopia by Palram SkyLight Pent Shed
This neat little pent shed offers a full-width door on the shorter pent end of the shed. It’s nice and compact but offers easy access for larger items such as bikes or lawnmowers.
Sizes available: only one size is available for the pent (6×4) but more options on the apex
What do customers think of the Canopia?
Unfortunately, this shed doesn’t have many reviews online just yet and the general consensus isn’t great, but again, it seems to be down to the difficulty of construction. If you’re not experienced in shed construction it might be worth asking for help from someone who is.
This is the cheaper of the models I have reviewed here and it is evident in the quality of the materials why. I’ve had a good look around a display model and you can see a clear difference in the quality. That’s not to say this is a bad shed as it has made my top three. It’s just a cheaper alternative and a great all-round small shed. If you want something easy to maintain but you’re on a budget then this is the shed for you. Just consider asking for help erecting it if you aren’t familiar with plastic shed construction.
Find this shed for sale here:
In this post, I have compiled a list of some of the best small sheds available in the market today, categorized into three different types. These reviews are based on a combination of customer feedback and my personal experiences, as I have had the opportunity to explore and construct many of these sheds myself. These insights address the common pain points that customers often encounter.
Now, let’s delve into a quick summary of the pros and cons of each shed material option to provide you with a better understanding:
If customization and minimal maintenance are your priorities, metal or plastic sheds are excellent choices. These options eliminate the need for annual painting or staining, saving you time and effort. It’s worth noting that metal sheds are generally more expensive than wooden sheds, while plastic sheds tend to be pricier than metal sheds. Additionally, both metal and plastic sheds come in predetermined colours that cannot be easily changed.
It’s important to construct all types of sheds on a level and even base, with metal and plastic sheds requiring particular attention to ensure a smooth assembly process. Wooden sheds should be treated annually to maintain their strength and waterproof qualities.
During construction, metal sheds may initially appear flimsy, but once properly assembled, they offer a strong and watertight structure. It’s advisable to avoid constructing metal sheds during mid to strong winds. Keep in mind that most metal sheds do not come with a base or floor, so you will need to create a raised platform using materials such as concrete or wood. Installing an inner floor is also recommended to protect the items inside from water damage.
When it comes to security and resilience against extreme weather conditions and fire, metal sheds are the most secure option. On the other hand, plastic or composite sheds are resistant to rot, rust, and decay.
If you anticipate the need for roof upgrades or the installation of additional shelving and storage options, wooden sheds offer greater flexibility and ease.
By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision based on your specific requirements and preferences. Whether you prioritise customisation, maintenance, durability, or additional features, there is a small shed available to suit your needs.
For further guidance on protecting your wooden shed, check out this post:
Which is the best small shed manufacture?
This is no easy question as each have their own qualities in terms of materials quality and ease of construction. Yes you can read the thousands of reviews online but there is no comparison to an actual hands on review. Here are my recommendations for the best manufactures on the market today.
If you want a shed that is of the highest quality and easy to maintain then I’d recommend one of the Lifetime plastic sheds. The Lifetime 7ft X 4.5ft Heavy Duty Plastic Shed is a great option and one of the smallest sheds they manufacture. Lifetime is an American based company who are dedicated to producing the highest quality products. Go and see one at a local garden center to see what I mean.
If you want a traditional style shed that can be customised, painted and adapted to fit your specific design styling then I would turn to Empire sheds or a close runner up of BillyOh. Empire have dedicated their products to quality and as sheds are the primary focus of their business they have mastered them.
BillyOh is a close runner up in the wooden shed market. They have a seriously great catalogue of garden sheds and buildings and their focus on product design is brilliant. I’ve owned three of their sheds over the years and have been very happy with each one. Their delivery was on time, the drivers were helpful and all the pieces arrived safely. Instructions were clear and easy to follow and the overall build process simple. I’d buy again happily. I’ve even purchased a garden office from them. Read my BillyOh Kent Garden Office Review here.