How to turn your shed into a garden hideaway

Tips & guides

30 April 2018

The humble garden shed is making a huge comeback, and not just as a place to stash gardening tools.

These days people are transforming their huts into all kinds of spaces – from cosy offices and man-caves to high-tech workshops and even pubs.

Whatever you're planning to do with yours, here's how to start converting it into the multipurpose extra room you've always wanted.

Seal up the cracks

Sheds aren't often built for sturdiness. There are often little gaps in the wood where rain, wind and bugs can get in. Get out your caulk gun and go round the shed, filling in any gaps in the roof and walls. Go over the wood with a timber treatment to add an extra waterproof layer.

Give it a lick of paint

Painting your old shed will instantly give it a new lease of life. You can keep to a neutral colour palette, so your shed looks like any other, or go for a brightly coloured design to really liven up your garden. Choose waterproof paint for another bit of protection against the elements.

Call the electrician

If your shed isn't already hard-wired, you'll want to call an electrician out to run some wiring to it. This will save you running extension cables from the house. Think about how many plug sockets you'll need – if you're turning it into a home office, you'll need at least two. If want to transform it into an outdoor kitchen you might need one or two more. Tip: go for USB plugs so you can easily charge your devices.

Brighten it up

Most sheds only have one small window – or none at all. Installing a sunlight and some windows will make the most of your garden's natural light. This is essential if you're transforming your shed into a sunroom, yoga studio or office but might not be necessary for darker environments like workshops, games rooms and man-caves.

Insulate and add walls

Sheds are draughty places – even with the cracks sealed. Put up some insulation and chipboard walls. It'll feel even more like a real room, and will even be cosy in winter. There might be a few extra considerations to think of – for example if you're going to use it to practise the drums, some thicker noise-cancelling insulation will keep you in the neighbours' good books.

Secure it

If you're planning on keeping expensive equipment inside, like a TV or your work computer, it's important to have a good and sturdy lock on the door. Install some shutters for your windows, too, so that prowlers can't peek in the windows.

Decorate

Once you've got the bare bones of your new room in place, you can turn it into whatever you want – the sky is the limit. Before rushing out to buy furniture it's a good idea to sit down with a piece of graph paper and plan your room properly.