A shed can add instant impact to your garden, creating more liveable space outside, somewhere to store your gardening tools, or somewhere to shelter when the rain st...

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A shed can add instant impact to your garden, creating more liveable space outside, somewhere to store your gardening tools, or somewhere to shelter when the rain starts.

GBC Garden Buildings Centre at Bents has a superb selection of more than 60 different sheds, summer houses, greenhouses and garden offices, so whatever you want to achieve, there's a GBC building to suit you.

And if you need inspiration about how to make your shed work for you, here's our top five ways to transform your garden with a shed.

1. Why choose wood?

Wood is the obvious choice for a garden shed, and there are good reasons why. It's easy to maintain and repair over the years, and it's a natural material that makes sense in an outdoor space.

However, there are alternatives that can make a striking statement in any garden. Concrete creates a sturdy shed that should need even less maintenance over the long term.

Alternatively, consider metal sheds for a completely different aesthetic. Steel-framed sheds with PVC cladding are one option at GBC Garden Buildings Centre and combine a classic panelled appearance with the performance of modern materials.

2. Pick your paint

A wooden shed is easy to repaint when you want to change the look of your garden, and you can choose between traditional wood stains and brightly coloured timber paints.

It's sensible to paint a new shed as an extra layer of protection, but many GBC buildings are built with pressure-treated wood and pre-treated with preservatives to withstand the elements.

That frees you up to choose whatever colour you want, safe in the knowledge that it's going on timber that has already been protected against the weather.

3. Build a base

A firm foundation is always a good starting point for garden buildings like sheds and greenhouses, so make sure you build a base using slabs, decking or poured concrete.

You could extend this beyond the shed itself, to create a platform in front of it. Lay a patio or deck and you've got somewhere to sit out on warm evenings and sunny afternoons.

4. Choose glass

We often think of sheds as windowless storage rooms, but adding some glass can let in natural light if you want to use the interior as an office or hobby room.

Glass summer houses and greenhouses are even better for growing plants, while sheds with large front doors can be opened up to use as a garden office.

Think about what you want from your shed - and from your garden as a whole - and make sure you choose a garden building that lets in the right amount of sunlight.

5. Hide it away

If you don't want your shed to stand out, you can hide it away using lots of different methods.

First of all, situate your shed in a quiet corner where it stands the best chance of going unnoticed.

Next, consider painting it in a colour that will blend in with its background, such as brown or green if it's surrounded by trees and bushes.

Plant tall flowers and shrubs to create a screen to further disguise your shed, and you should soon have a hidey-hole that doesn't have a huge impact on how your garden looks, but adds a real extra dimension to how you use your outdoor space.

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