Setting up a workshop shed

Over the last couple of years, I’ve written a few articles on how to setup your garden shed as a workshop. Here’s a summary of all the topics you might need to think about when designing your workshop.

Storage and furniture

Storage is one of the key requirements for a workshop, you need to ensure that all your tools and materials are easily accessed. Shelves and peg boards are good for storing items that regularly used, drawers take more effort to create but allow better organisation, cupboards are good for the bigger items. You’ll also need to think about a bench to work on and specialist areas such as a hearth if you wish to participate in welding, brazing or heat treatments. A foldable workmate like bench can add flexibility to your arrangements if you use your workshop for different activities.

Small Drill Drawer
Large Storage Drawer
Slimline vs full depth drawers
Workshop Workbench
Building a hearth

Electricity supply

Unless you’ve managed to get your workshop powered by a treadle or belts you are going to need an electricity supply. Here’s some links to show how to do this safely.

Laying a cable down the garden
Simple Electrics
Details of Workshop Electrics


If you can’t work safely then you aren’t going to be using your workshop for very long. Here’s some thoughts on some of the different safety issues to consider.

Chemical Safety
Electrical Safety
More Electrical Safety
Fire Safety

Repairs and British Weather

One key issue with the UK is the weather, you can guarantee rain and damp in your shed. Ventilation helps with damp, heating can help but gas or paraffin heaters give out water which can make the damp issue worse. Maintenance of your shed to keep it water proof should not be put off and periodic repainting is a good idea. Remember that plastics can deteriorate in the sun so those on the sunny side may need replacing more often.

Recladding the shed
Problems with damp?
Rust and Antirust paper


I’ve not got any specific articles on this but things to consider are: can people see all your expensive tools through the windows, can the windows be easily broken or removed? How big a lock? Too big might encourage thieves, a motion detector attached to a light might discourage casual thieves, are your hinges secure or can the pins be removed easily, do you want to alarm the shed or will it just go off every time the neighbours cat lands on the roof? Do you want to have additional security in the shed such as locking up your ladder? Are there tools in the shed that could help a burglar enter your house?

Does you household and building insurance cover your shed contents or do you need specialist insurance?

5 thoughts on “Setting up a workshop shed

  1. John says:

    Thanks Mr. Andy, I’m refurbishing an old carpentry shed I inherited from from my houses’ previous owner; it’s been left to wreck and ruin for quite some time, so your numerous articles (especially the workbench one) are of great help to me!

  2. Glad the articles are useful, good luck with your shed refurbishment.

  3. Gina says:

    Hey Andy, I’m loving this latest post. Although I’ve been working in industrial lofts for years, a shed in the country is dream!

  4. Excellent article Andy.


  5. Robert says:

    You also need a toilet. I’ve found putting one in the corner of the shed is good. Cut a hole in the wall and point the discharge pipe out of the wall- it doesn’t need to go anywhere other than out the side of the shed by a foot. Let people know not to stand near the discharge pipe and you’re good to go. Alternatively, you can just cut a hole in the side of the shed with a flap, and just use the hole when you need to do a number 1 or 2. I’ve done that as well.

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