8 Point Garden Shed Buying Checklist

Before you buy and start to build a garden shed take some time to review this checklist as it will save you time and money and make buying and building a garden shed cheaper and easier.

  • Size - think about what you want to store in your shed and where in your yard you want to position your shed. If you keep your shed to under 10 square metres you are not likely to be required to obtain a permit or approval in most state of Australia. This is why the most popular size shed is 3 mt x 3 mt. This gives you maximum storage but being only 9 square metres is under the permit threshold. There are exceptions though, check our permits and approvals page for more details.


  • Clearances - Most state and council building regulations call for a minimum 900mm set back from any boundary, but you will also need to consider clearances for opening doors and also make sure that your new shed does not impede access to buildings on your site. With the advent of larger house sizes in Australia narrow sheds have been designed with doors in the short side to take advantage available space. Check out our video on setbacks for more information.


  • Roof Type - Skillion (sloping) or flat roofs are designed for sheds that butt up against other buildings while gable roofs are better for freestanding sheds and give you more head room.

  • Doors - If you want to use your garden shed to store large items like lawnmowers or bicycles you should consider double doors. Double doors will cost a little more but in the long run will be more convenient and lead to less damage caused by reduced clearance. When comparing your shed prices online make sure you are comparing like for like, it is often easy to make the mistake of comparing a double door shed to a single door shed. For a more comprehensive list of things to consider when comparing sheds check out our garden shed comparison guide.

  • Delivery - A lot of shed companies in Australia quote free delivery. It is not until you read the fine print that you realize that the "free delivery" is to a depot only and not to your home. Often these depots are not located in convenient locations and you will still have to arrange the time and equipment to get the shed to your site.

  • Floors - A garden shed can be put onto paving, concrete slabs, wooden flooring or directly onto the ground. By far the most popular choice in Australia is to put a shed on an already paved area and secure with masonry bolts or lay a small concrete slab. More details on laying small concrete slabs can be found on our Concrete Slabs for Sheds page.

  • Color - Many people ask if there is a performance difference between galvanized garden sheds and colored garden sheds. The simple answer to this is no. It is really an aesthetic choice or one imposed because of heritage provisions that may apply to your site.

  • Rust - Advances in modern day coatings and galvanizing processes make rust a much smaller issue than it was 10 years ago. However storing certain chemicals, particularly pool chemicals, in any garden shed will make it more susceptible to rust. As will positioning your shed within splashing distance of the pool or in a coastal area. Ensuring that metal items like nails, screws or washers don't fall into the bottom channels or get thrown onto the roof of your shed by the kids will help. Metal to metal contact like this in certain climates promotes a process called electrolysis which will erode any metal. Also washing your shed down with a mild detergent and a soft broom once every six months will reduce salt build up from the atmosphere.


This checklist covers the most asked questions we get on the Sheds4Less website.

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