Top picks of the season
Sheds & outdoor storage
Minimizing clutter helps to make your outdoor space a pleasant venue for relaxing, receiving guests, and alfresco dining. Whether you need somewhere to store your gardening tools, storage space to protect outdoor furniture, or just a way to keep the kids' playthings organized, you're sure to find something suitable in our selection of sheds and outdoor storage solutions.
Sheds and accessories
Sheds range from compact deck boxes, suitable for housing a lawn mower and a few tools, to large structures for storing tools, bicycles, the grill, and whatever else you need to keep out of the rain. The largest sheds may even be suitable for converting into a workshop.
One of the most important considerations when buying a shed is choosing the right material. Wood sheds are appealing for their natural aesthetic beauty and the way they blend in with surrounding trees and plants, but they also require a lot of maintenance. If you don't regularly paint it, replace rotting components, and tighten up the door hinges, your shed may quickly deteriorate. Metal is a more convenient alternative, capable of withstanding the effects of the weather. But there's still a chance of the metal corroding, especially around moving parts such as doors and windows. Plastic sheds require the least maintenance, but are generally less sturdy.
You should also consider where you're going to place your shed and exactly how you intend to use it, as this helps to determine the correct size. You want to avoid buying the biggest shed that fits in your yard only to find there isn't room for the doors to open. Measure the space carefully. You also need to allow space for getting large items in and out of the open doors, such as your lawn mower, tractor, or leaf blower. If you have lots of smaller items, you may need to invest in some shelves and other storage solutions to keep it all organized and within reach. Plastic buckets, trays, and tackle boxes are particularly useful for arranging bolts and small fastenings.
Deck boxes are compact storage solutions available in a range of styles. They're suitable for small yards and driveways where there isn't room for a larger storage structure. When making a purchase, consider these factors:
- Material: Most deck boxes have a plastic construction, making them durable and weather-resistant. Opting for a wooden alternative means you may have to do regular maintenance, such as painting or varnishing the wood to preserve it.
- Opening: Many deck boxes open on the top, making it necessary to lift items in and out. If you want to store heavy items, look for one with front-opening doors instead.
- Size: The smallest boxes are suitable for storing just a few cushions or garden hand tools, while the largest models are big enough to house a wide variety of items.
- Versatility: Some deck boxes double as seats, giving you more options for how you use your available space.
A carport is an excellent, cost-effective way to protect your car's paintwork from fading in the sun and metalwork from corroding in the rain and snow. Carports are quick to install, don't require special flooring, and are easy to customize to fit in with the surroundings. Carports may help to deter criminals from damaging or stealing your vehicle, and the structure also doubles as a fun venue when you're having the neighbors round for a cookout.
Patio furniture covers
Protecting patio furniture from the elements is often problematic, especially if you don't have room for a shed or another suitable storage solution. Even short periods of rain or snow cause wood to split, metal to rust, and fabrics to rot; while too much exposure to the blistering sun causes materials to shrink, crack, and fade. It isn't long before your wonderful outdoor seating area is in need of some TLC.
Storing your furniture every evening is time-consuming, and paying for storage through the winter months can be expensive. A simpler alternative is to invest in some patio furniture covers. These durable, weather-resistant covers pull over the top of the furniture to keep them sheltered and dry. Some covers are for specific brands of furniture, with tailored dimensions for a good fit. Others are generic covers suitable for any brand of furniture. Look for covers with adjustable straps, sized to fit snug, as this prevents the covers from flapping and potentially ripping in high winds.