Head Judge: Andrew Wilcox
Channel 4’s Head Judge & Founder of Shed of the Year Andrew Wilcox has worked to help design an impartial judging system for WhatShed. The judging system uses many different parameters to help give a large degree of impartiality to the way we select products for each of the league tables we do. You can read more about the system here.
A small shed can still bring big benefits to your garden. We know there are many keen gardeners out there who need a space to keep their tools and equipment safe and secure from the elements and from the risk of theft, but who don’t want to give up too much of their precious lawn space in the process. For those people a small shed is a perfect solution, and of course that have the added advantage of typically being less expensive than their larger counterparts. The number of small sheds is booming, so if you’re having trouble finding the right one for you we can help with our WhatShed guide to the 20 best small sheds available to buy online in the UK today.
At WhatShed we’ve reviewed garden buildings in all shapes and sizes, and made of all kinds of materials, so we’ve used this experience and expertise to find the very best small shed that can be purchased online along with 19 other high quality sheds that stand out from their competitors. In compiling this league table we’ve looked at sheds from the 10 leading small shed retailers, who between them account for 95% of the market. This means that the small sheds on this list not only have something special to offer, they’re also easy to buy. more...
We considered many factors when deciding the final positions of our small sheds, and of course the asking price and value for money were a prime consideration. We also considered how attractive the sheds were, how strong and durable they were, and whether they came with any value adding features. We also had to define what exactly a ‘small shed’ is: this can differ to different people of course, but we’ve considered sheds that have a base area smaller than six foot by five foot.
This was a very competitive category, and we say well done to the Sutton pent roofed metal shed. It provides great value and real durability, which is why we rate it as the all round number one small shed that can be bought online in the UK today. Whether you’re thinking of buying a small metal shed, a large timber workshop, or anything in between, WhatShed will bring you the independent reviews that will help you reach the right conclusions and find your perfect purchase.
BillyOh Partner Eco Pent Roof Metal Shed
With such a variety of compact sheds to choose from, selecting the number one small shed that’s available to buy online in the UK today was never going to be easy but after much deliberation the honour goes to the six foot by four fot Sutton pent shed. Even though it’s constructed of tough galvanised steel, it doesn’t look off puttingly metallic thanks to a dark green colour scheme that we found pleasing on the eye. Unlike some other metal sheds it doesn’t have any contrasting colours for trim or the roof and that means it will blend in nicely with a green garden background.
The sliding double doors allow easy access to the interior, and the base area is 1.93 x 1.12m which means that even though this qualifies as a small shed you can still store a lot inside. This is, however, one of the shortest sheds we’ve reviewed with a peak height of 1.75m, but this means that it may be possible to hide the shed behind a fence or wall. This can boost the security of whatever is kept inside, as can the use of a window free design. What takes this small shed to the top of the list, however, is its excellent value for money for a strong shed that may even outlast its 15 year no perforation guarantee.
6' x 4' Forest Overlap Apex Wooden Shed Pressure Treated with Lean-To (1.82m x 1.32m)
When reviewing timber sheds, we always prefer to see ones that feature tongue and groove cladding rather than overlap cladding. It has to be said, though, that the importance of this is less important in a small shed, as the investment in the building is likely to be lower and having a more compact footprint they can be less affected by strong winds and heavy rain. That’s why this overlap clad shed can make it into the upper reaches of our top 20 list, especially as it also features the value adding lean to. This provides an extra space adjacent to the 6 x 4 shed itself which is projected by the overhanging apex roof, and this could be an ideal storage space for logs or for bags of soil or compost.
We found that the shed itself also has a lot to recommend it, despite the thinness of its 8mm thick walls. What we particularly appreciated is that all of the timbers have been subjected to an initial pressure treatment, which gives it long lasting protection from rot as well as a 15 year warranty period. This is not something we’d expect to see in a small shed at such an affordable price, but it’s a very welcome feature.
BillyOh Master Tongue and Groove Apex Shed
This 6 foot by 3 foot shed is the first from the BillyOh range to feature in our top 20. As we’ve become used to seeing when reviewing sheds by this manufacturer, no floor is included. Because this has such a compact footprint, however, a solid sheet floor costs only £22 whilst a strong tongue and groove floor can be added for just £31. This is another advantage of a small shed, and it’s the intrinsic value for money of this particular shed that helps it achieve such a lofty position.
The other thing that we really liked about this shed was the row of tiny windows that are situated at the top of a side panel and just underneath the apex roof. These aren’t designed to be looked out of, but they do allow a good supply of natural light to light up the interior. This means that whilst no other source of lighting is required during sunlight hours, there’s no way that passers by can see if anything valuable is stored inside which in turn makes it less likely to become the target of an intruder. This is a small shed worth considering for people who have security as their number one concern when buying a garden building.
5' x 4' Yardmaster Pent Metal Shed 54PEZ (1.58m x 1.20m)
The metal sheds that we review are typically designed to be installed directly onto a level area of concrete or patio, and yet that can occasionally lead to problems with dusting, and items stored at ground level can potentially be affected by moisture and cold temperatures. That’s why we rate this small shed from Yardmaster so highly, as it comes with a floor support frame which means that a wooden floor can be installed upon it and yet it will still be elevated and therefore protected from ground moisture. The floor itself isn’t included but it would be inexpensive to add decking boards, for example, that match the 1.20 x 1.58m base area.
With a pent roof and zinc coloured galvanised steel cladding arranged in a corrugated styling, this is a very tough and durable small shed, although the 10 year warranty could be a little longer we feel. We were pleased to see as well that attention had been paid to detail by the manufacturer, with the screws supplied with the shed being made of rust resistant stainless steel. It could never be said that this is the most attractive shed, however, but for those looking for a practical, affordable, and compact storage solution this could be a great buy.
BillyOh Keeper Overlap Apex Shed
Whilst this is an overlap clad small shed, we still found it very pleasing to look at, as it has a rustic style that will forever be associated with garden sheds. This is confirmed by the felt clad apex roof with a decorative diamond shaped finial as well as by two fixed windows that take up one 0.92m deep side panel. The front, which measures 2.02m, is dominated by hinged double doors, and they open surprisingly wide for such a compact shed which makes it easy to take gardening tools and equipment of any size and shape in and out.
Whilst we found this pleasing on the eye it’s even more pleasing on the pocket, making it a good selection for people who want a well built timber storage space for a cost of less two hundred pounds; even with an optional floor added it can still come out for less than that price. What also impressed us for an overlap clad small shed is that it has a reinforced frame to give it extra strength. This isn’t something we would expect to see at this low price, and with a 10 year warranty as well, there’s lots of added value for the customer.
Lotus Metal Pent Shed in Heritage Green
The top half of our list of the 20 best small sheds available to buy online in the UK today is dominated by metal sheds, and this very well fabricated small shed from Lotus is a very good example why. What first impressed us was the attractiveness of its dark green cladding which contrasts with white double doors. Whilst this couldn’t be mistaken for a timber shed, we feel it looks strikingly modern and it could even become a garden feature in its own right.
What most impressed us about this particular small shed, however, was its price. This is the cheapest shed in our league table, and yet it also comes with the added value of a 10 year guarantee against perforations caused by rust. With the pitch of the pent roof and the hot dipped galvanised steel cladding both being very good at keeping rainwater away, we feel that it could actually last much longer than that 10 year period. Because of the compact base dimensions, in this case 1.40 x 0.82m, we can also imagine it being used as an extra storage space on a balcony or verandah, or even next to a mobile home or caravan where it’s non-flammable nature means that it will meet caravan park guidelines.
6' x 3' Palram Grey Skylight Plastic Shed (1.85m x 0.9m)
We’ve reviewed a number of garden buildings by Duramax, and we’re invariably impressed with their toughness and their build quality. It was good to see then that this small shed, the most compact in their range with a width of 1.73m and a depth of 0.97m, lives up to the manufacturer’s high quality reputation. It’s made of ivory coloured PVC and yet thanks to its overlap style design we feel it looks surprisingly attractive and it should fit in especially well with gardens that already have white PVC on show in the form of a conservatory or roofline.
Plastic is the most practical substrate of them all to make a small shed out of, because it’s immune to rot and rust, insect and rodent attack, and it’s also fire retardant. It’s also lightweight and therefore easy to put together during the installation process, but we were pleased to see that it still comes with a 15 year warranty, which shows just how tough it is and how much confidence the manufacturers have in it. Another feature we liked was the full width double doors, and it was good to see that they’re holed and ready for a padlock. Only a price point that’s higher than some of its competitors stops this being placed higher up our small shed league table.
6' x 4' Forest Tongue and Groove Pressure Treated Wooden Shed (1.87m x 1.31m)
Being one of the largest garden buildings to meet our definition of a small shed, this has a surprising amount of storage space inside it. This is particularly true if a stand alone shelving unit is added to make the most of the vertical space available created by the apex roof that rises to ridge height of 2.05m. The base width is 1.78m and the base depth is 1.14, and with one window that can be opened, and which can therefore be used for both lighting and ventilation purposes, this can even be a compact garden building that you can spend time relaxing inside.
What we liked most about this particular small shed is that 12mm thick tongue and groove cladding has been used throughout, rather than taking the cheaper option of using a solid sheet material such as OSB for the roof or floor. Even more impressively, all of the timber has been given an initial pressure treatment which means that even without the need for annual retreatments by the customer it comes with a 15 year warranty period. It’s only the price that keeps this at the foot of our first ten small sheds which can be bought online in the UK, rather than having a position towards the summit.
Waltons Tongue And Groove Modular Pent Small Shed
Getting in and out of a shed is very important, even in a small shed such as this one. The easier that it is to gain access to the interior the easier it is to store and retrieve items, and to organise items that are already in there, the end result of which is that more items can be stored inside than you might initially have thought. That’s one reason that we rate this shed so highly, as despite having a base area of just 1.79 x 0.79m it has two sets of doors.
At the front are double hinged doors, whilst at the side is a singled hinged door, and we were pleased to see that all the doors are fully braced to give theme extra strength. This is the only small shed that we’ve reviewed which is completely dominated by its doors in this way and yet with tongue and groove cladding and a tough frame it still feels very stable and secure once it has been assembled. We can easily imagine this being used as an all weather store for a bicycle or two, and there would still be enough room for a good selection of garden tools as well. Of course, if items of value such as these are going to be stored inside than a padlock would have to be purchases separately as well.
Tiger Shiplap Windowless Pent Shed
Having a window free design can be a very effective first line of defence against opportune thieves, which is why this small shed from Empire is worth considering by people who are looking for a compact garden shed that, with the addition of a padlock, can be used for secure storage purposes. The pent roof design also helps with this, as the shed looks less obtrusive and may even be able to be positioned out of sight of people who would ordinarily be passing your property.
The single hinged door is positioned to the far right side of the front face which has a width of 1.52m and which rises to a height of 2.00m. This gives it a unique look all of its very own, and whilst it’s not unattractive it does look quite tough which in itself can act as another deterrent against thieves who typically like to find targets that display what’s kept inside whilst still looking easy to break into. What we liked most of all about this small shed is that the timber has all been pressure treated, even though it comes with a 10 year warranty against rot rather than the 15 year warranties that we often see on the pressure treated wooden sheds we review.
BillyOh Keeper Overlap Apex Shed
This particular BillyOh small shed has a charming rustic appearance that we know many people will find pleasing, thanks to the use of rough sawn waney edged overlap cladding. Whilst this means that the cladding is thinner than we would find on a tongue and groove shed it still carries out its task of carrying rainwater away, as does the felt covered apex roof above it. The shed also feels surprisingly stable once the installation is complete, and there’s even a 10 year guarantee against rot supplied with the cladding as long as the owner keeps up with the treatment schedule.
Unlike many of the small sheds we review at the budget end of the spectrum, this has double hinged doors rather than a single door, so even if you have a large lawn mower to bring in and out you shouldn’t have any problems. There are also two fixed windows on the side panel, so you’ll even be able to relax inside as you look out at your garden. It’s the great value for money, however, for such an attractive rustic styled small shed that earns it a place in our top 20 league table meaning that if you have a budget of around a hundred and fifty pounds you can still have a timber shed in your garden.
6' x 4' Windsor Suffolk Tongue and Groove Pent Wooden Shed (1.83m x 1.22m)
The smoothly curved roof gives this small shed an appearance that’s different to any other that we’ve reviewed, and it’s sure to becoming a talking point with your friends and neighbours for all the right reasons. If you have a modern home with lots of designer features then this compact shed will fit right in, and even though it is more expensive than most of the timber sheds of a similar size, which is the main reason that it’s positioned lower than it could otherwise be, it still provides reasonable value for money.
There’s one other design feature that caught our eye as well as the curved roof, and that’s the two wide windows at the front of the side panels. These not only allow lots of natural light in they also make the shed look even more stylish and elegant. The roof of course is functional as well as decorative, causing rainwater to slide harmlessly away, but do be aware that even though it has a ridge height of 2.16m the room inside can be a little more restricted because of the curve. If you’re looking for a small shed that is still big in the style stakes, however, this one is hard to beat, and it comes with the reassurance of a 10 year warranty too.
6' x 3' Forest Overlap Pent Pressure Treated Wooden Lean To Shed (1.81m x 1.07m)
For the ultimate space saving garden storage solution, and one that’s durable and weather resistant at the same time, a lean to shed is the answer. That’s why this high quality and highly affordable example of the genre makes it into our top 20 guide, although as we know that many people prefer a traditional small shed with four walls this too has been taken into account when deciding upon its overall position.
For those unfamiliar with lean tos, it has three sides, one of which contains a single hinged door on this occasion, but no back. This means that it’s designed to be fixed into position against a larger wall, typically a house wall, and it’s this that gives it excellent protection against the weather. Any rain that does find its way to this small shed is carried away by the pent roof and overlap cladding, and this helps in the fight against wet rot. Further help in this area is given by the initial pressure treatment applied by the manufacturer, and this means that the wall shed comes with the reassurance of a 15 year guarantee, which is something we always welcome in wooden sheds of all sizes. With all these benefits, the low asking price represents excellent value for money.
Hartwood 5' x 3' Windowless Overlap Apex Shed
Waney edge cladding has an unmistakable look that many people love, particularly as it reminds them of the garden sheds that they used to see as a child. It means that the wood has been cut along the natural wave of its grain to create overlap cladding; it not only creates a pleasingly rustic appearance, it’s also effective at causing rain and snow to run away, and it’s a very cost-effective substrate as well. We were pleased to see that the cost saving has been passed on to the customer in this highly affordable small shed, although the fact that we’ve reviewed some even less expensive examples means that it takes a place within the final quarter of our guide to the 20 best small sheds that can be bought online today.
The overlap cladding used here is noticeably thinner than the shiplap cladding that we see. The same can be said of the solid sheet flooring, although it won’t need strengthening unless heavy machinery is going to be placed upon it which ius unlikely with a small shed such as this that has a base area of 1.30 x 1.52m. There are no windows, which is welcome from a security point of view, and we were pleased to see that a 10 year warranty is provided as standard.
6' x 4' Forest Overlap Reverse Apex Dip Treated Wooden Shed (1.82m x 1.32m)
A small shed can be a wise choice in a compact garden that doesn’t have much lawn space to spare, but there’s an even better solution for a small garden that is unusually shallow and that’s a compact reverse apex shed such as this well constructed model available from Wickes. The felt covered apex roof still does its usual job of sweeping rainwater away, and yet it has a different orientation which makes the front of the shed substantially larger than the sides. This is shown by the base width of 1.84m and a base depth of 1.33. At the front of the building is single door, and alongside it a square window which we were glad to find is large enough to provide a more than adequate source of light.
The roof isn’t the only part of the shed that effectively stops water getting inside, as this important function is also carried out by the overlap cladding. The cladding has a golden colour which is given by the dip cladding used by the manufacturer, and whilst we always prefer to see pressure treatment used we accept that dip treatment is much more common in a shed at this price. It means that a 10 year warranty is provided against rot, even though the customer will have to add annual wood preserver treatments to protect the timber and keep the warranty valid.
Tiger Shiplap Apex Shed
Strongman are renowned for their large sheds that feature very thick cladding and framing, and we’ve reviewed them in many sizes and styles and often been impressed by what they have to offer. That’s why we were pleased to find that high quality components were also used in this small shed made by them. 12mm tongue and groove shiplap cladding has been used throughout, and the frame is significantly thicker than most that we see on compact wooden sheds, with dimensions of 44 x 27mm. This makes this shed a sensible choice for gardens that are in exposed areas, and which are therefore often subject to strong winds.
Integrated floor joists raise the tongue and groove floor above the surface, and by doing so they protect it from the ever present threat of ground moisture. A threat of a different kind is included by the inclusion of a secure key operated locking system on the single hinged door, which isn’t something that’s often included on a small shed such as this. Another positive is provided in the shape of four tough windows and a taller than average eaves height, but on the downside this shed is supplied untreated and therefore doesn’t come with an extended warranty as would’ve liked to have seen.
6' x 3' Trimetals Premium Titan 630 Metal Shed (1.76m x 1.01m)
We finish our WhatShed guide to the 20 best small sheds with the strongest of them all, and the highest quality small shed that we’ve seen. The only reason then that this occupies the bottom position, rather than the top where it would otherwise deserve to be, is the price tag which is substantially more than any other garden building on this list. If money is not an important factor to you when considering a shed, however, then this deserves to be given serious consideration.
From first sight we knew that we were looking at a high quality shed, as despite being made of olive green coloured galvanised steel cladding it’s very attractive. In fact the thickness of paint on this model is twice as thick as that found on any other small shed that we’ve seen, and the cladding is 50% thicker than that on even heavy duty metal sheds we’ve reviewed. The result is that whilst it has a 15 year cladding guarantee, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it lasting much longer without any perforations appearing. The integrated acrylic window is also tough and shatter resistant and a key operated lock is supplied as standard. If you want a small shed that’s very tough and reliable, this could be for you even though it comes at a price.