Garden shed design ideas, inspiration & pictures

A garden shed (also called a ‘Wendy House’, ‘storage shed’ or ‘tool shed’ in South Africa) is typically a ground-floor, non permanent storage structure, usually located in the back yard/garden, complete with a roof. This is a great solution for keeping a yard and garden neat, especially when it comes the minimalist style of zen gardens, as it helps out with storage (including everything from garden tools and plant fertilisers to herbs and patio furniture).

Garden sheds are available in many different designs and colours, and although they are usually constructed and painted to fit in with a garden and house’s look, the majority are simply used for storage and “hidden away” behind a bush or tree or in a corner somewhere, not really adding to the aesthetic value of an exterior space.

Numerous people (in South Africa and abroad) use garden sheds as potting sheds to keep potted plants and –flowers alive in harsh weather conditions, especially winter.

What should your shed be made of?

The first question you need to ask yourself is: What functions do I want my shed to perform? Will it be used for storing garden implements? Power tools or hobby equipment? How about using it as a play area for the kids, an art studio for yourself, or a home for your pets?

What you need your shed for will impact how big the shed needs to be, what material it’s made of, and other factors such as whether or not windows are needed. The most popular material for a garden shed is wood, plastic and metal, and each has its pros and cons:  

·         Metal sheds are easy to assemble and low maintenance, but can get cold during the winter and boiling hot in the South African summer.

·         Wood looks natural and quaint, but is prone to warping and rotting.

·         Plastic sheds are relatively maintenance-free and very easy to take apart and re-assemble. The resin-based plastic is also UV treated, highly durable, and resistant to weather and water.

What type of roof is best for a garden shed?

Just like a regular house, a garden shed’s roof is vital, seeing as it takes the biggest brunt of the elements. The preferred material for a shed or Wendy house is corrugated galvanized steel.

Although zinc is a weak metal and quite unsuitable to use as a main building material, it makes for an excellent choice when used as a protective coating on steel.

Should you wish to make your garden shed’s roof even more durable or wish to change the aesthetics, galvanized roofing sheets can be painted with any kind of roofing paint.

Can a prefabricated shed work in South Africa?

Numerous companies specialising in prefab buildings in South Africa mention ‘garden/tool shed’ as one of the most popular uses for their products. The thing to know is that a prefab shed (like a house or garage) can be a fantastic option (and can even save you some money, especially when it comes to painting the structure) if you don’t want to customise it afterwards, seeing as it arrives at your site fully built.

How vital are doors and windows?

A door for your shed is, obviously, crucial, but the design of it and whether you choose to include windows or not is up to you. Should you wish to use your garden shed for something other than storage (like doing yoga or painting), then a few windows would be advisable. But if you only want to use your shed for storing some implements and tools, you really don’t need to incur the extra costs of adding in a few windows.

How secure must my shed be?

Even though your tool shed might have a door (and even a lock), it’s recommended not to keep anything valuable in there. An alarm system and some curtains/blinds (if you’ve added windows) might be a good idea.

What are the prices of garden sheds in South Africa?

This obviously depends on the type and size of shed you opt for. Various companies and hardware stores across South Africa, especially those focusing on garden equipment, sell already-built sheds that can simply be transported and placed where desired.

One company’s prices for a plastic model with sizes of 192cm (l) x 130cm (w) x 198cm (h) come in at R7,000; another one sells their wooden/plastic designs, with dimensions of 192cm (L) x 121cm (W) x 181cm (H), for R4,500.

It’s safe to say that any shed, regardless of material or size, is going to cost you upwards of a few thousand rands.

How homify can help

Whether you require a top-notch gardener, a landscape architect, a floorer or another expert altogether, homify’s collection of professionals is sure to point you in the right direction, no matter if it’s for an indoor room or an outdoor space.