These days, garden sheds are becoming more of a necessity, not a luxury. Homeowners across the UK are installing everything from simple sheds to meticulously designed and insulated mini-houses and garden rooms. Two of my latest design projects have included requirements for these outdoor buildings. Some of these structures were even featured in a previous blog post and it is clear the trend is continuing.
In fact, not only do garden sheds and garden rooms add a sizable amount of usable indoor space; they can even increase your property’s value if properly designed and incorporated into your outdoor space. Although there are no definite statistics on the added value from the structures alone, garden sheds and structures do contribute to well-maintained and attractive gardens. Collectively, property specialists have suggested that attractive garden structures within well designed gardens can add as much as 20 percent of the current property value, which could translate to £60,000, based on current average home prices. Unsurprisingly, The Telegraph reports that over 21 million British homes now come with their own garden buildings.
Whatever their role on property prices and potential as mini-houses (subject to proper planning permissions of course!), garden sheds have the invaluable function of being storage spaces. This is especially important since the UK and many other countries experience rainy and chilly conditions for most of the year, which can damage gardening tools, equipment and raising new plants and seedlings. And of course, garden sheds are all the more important come winter, when potentially snow and cold winds and driving rain significantly lessen gardening activities.
An integral garden area in the winter
All green thumbs know that preparing your garden for the winter entails a lot of things. This includes planting out spring and summertime blooming bulbs like hyacinth, daffodils, and garlic to harvest next year, digging in compost and mulching the flower beds, before moving on to less fun jobs like cleaning garden tools before they’re set aside for the season.
However, garden sheds and well designed garden buildings can also house everything from lawnmowers and rakes to pet toys and beds. The extra space can be very welcome and allow you to de-clutter your garage and/or other parts of the house. For more storage space, Ideal Home advises homeowners to get creative with DIY storage spaces by installing cubby shelves, bike racks, and hooks are all great ways to maximise the space within any shed.
One way to improve your shed’s functionality and versatility this coming winter is to install heating, making it a much more pleasant place to hang out and work in! Even well known home decoration publications like House Beautiful Magazine are recognising the importance of installing a heating system because insulation helps maintain garden tools and allows homeowners to use their garden sheds as extensions of their house when it’s freezing outside
You can go one design step further with those outdoor buildings that are already equipped with traditional heating systems and include radiator covers. This modification contributes three things: safety, functionality and aesthetics. Take for instance these radiator cabinets shown on Screwfix that come in various designs, from Victorian models to contemporary Kensington and Suffolk units. Apart from looking like additional décor, the grills or screen mesh prevent accidental burns, while the space on top can hold small items.
Keeping your building protected through winter
It is important to explore the different ways you can help your shed do its job of protecting its contents. Before the winter season begins, inspect for holes or crevices if the structure was built with reused material. Use caulk to fill them in to prevent pests, driving rain or snow from getting inside.
Also check the weather stripping. If it doesn’t have this modification yet, Cottage Life Magazine recommends placing rubber or plastic weather stripping to seal doors and windows from the outside cold. To keep the heat in, consider insulating the walls as well and rustproofing the roof.