Wooden Bike Shed: The Traditional Storage Option
When we think of a bike shed, we usually think of a wooden bike shed. That’s because wood has traditionally been used to make all kinds of sheds for centuries!
And there’s loads of good reasons for that. It’s very strong, relatively cheap, highly customizable, weather resistant and it looks great.
So a wooden bike shed is a natural choice when we’re looking for a new outside storage space for our bicycles. However, it won’t be the best choice for everyone.
In this article, I’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of wooden bike sheds. And then I’ll recommend some of the best wooden bike sheds currently available.
Advantages of Wooden Bike Sheds
For most people, a wooden shed will be the most aesthetically pleasing option and may actually add to the attractiveness of the space where it sits!
Being made from wood means it's easy to customize the outside by painting (to compliment the rest of your garden or yard) or the inside by adding hooks and shelves, neither of which you can do with most plastic or metal bike sheds.
Because they're so easy to customize, we can also improve the standard security features of wooden sheds by protecting the hinges and adding better locks.
If you're looking for a very specific size, you're more likely to find it in a wooden shed, as they have the biggest variety of shapes and sizes.
A good quality wooden shed is very strong and robust. And it's not as susceptible to wind or sun damage in the same way as a plastic bike shed.
They're probably the most environmentally friendly of the three options too (read more about this here).
Plus if you've got the skills, the time and the tools, it's possible to make your own bike shed using plans and tutorial videos from the internet!
Disadvantages of Wooden Bike Sheds
Wooden sheds require maintenance. After some years you will need to re-treat or re-varnish the wood. And you may need to service the roof depending on how it's made.
Unlike the other options, wooden sheds are susceptible to insects, rodents and rot. All of these risks can mitigated by looking after the shed properly, but that's work you'll have to carry out!
Out of the box, wooden sheds are probably the least secure of all the sheds. Most of them are provided with virtually no security features. As I mention above though: it's easy to fix this!
But this means hinges and hasps can usually be unscrewed. And on cheap sheds, thin wooden panels can easily be pried off.
And it's worth noting that a neglected wooden shed that rots will be far less secure since it will be much easier for a thief to break in!
Wooden Bike Shed Buying Tips
Wooden sheds are generally made from either tongue and groove cladding or overlap cladding.
With overlap cladding, each plank of wood simply lies over the plank of wood below it. The wood used in overlap cladding tends to be thin and unfinished. Sheds made with overlap are cheaper.
But they're not very strong, not very weatherproof and the wood is likely to warp over time. To be honest, I would avoid sheds made with overlap cladding, as they don't tend to last long!
With tongue and groove cladding, each plank of wood locks into it's neighbour. This makes for a stronger shed with a neater appearance. They're more weatherproof and will last much longer.
But it's just as important to know the thickness of the planks too. Anything less than 12 mm won't provide enough strength and durability for a decent quality shed. The thicker the better!
Most wooden sheds come with floors. But not all of them, so make sure you check. And you will also need to prepare a base that lifts the shed off the ground if you want it to last.
What size do I need?
What size wooden shed you'll need will obviously depend on how many bikes you'll be storing in it and how much room they take up! And the best way to work that out is with a measuring tape.
However, its is possible to generalize and in fact I've written a full article on what size shed you'll need for a certain number of bikes!
For the full details of my workings you should read the whole article. But in summary for average sized adult bikes:
- 1 bike needs a 6' x 2' shed
- 2 bikes needs a 6' x 3' shed
- 3 bikes needs a 6' x 4' shed (or sometimes 6' x 3')
- 4 bikes needs a 6' x 5' shed (or sometimes 6' x 4')
- 5 bikes needs a 6' x 5' shed
It's worth stressing that you should be as generous as possible. If you cram your bikes into the smallest possible space, they'll be difficult to access and you'll get really stressed.
So I'd recommend that you go for the biggest shed that you can fit into the space that you have available.
The Best Wooden Bike Shed
Which is the best wooden bike shed for you will depend on how much money you can afford to spend. Prices vary massively. And there's a direct correlation between how much they cost and their build quality and security level.
I would strongly advise that you avoid the really cheap wooden bike sheds though. They'll use thin planks, badly finished overlap cladding, they'll be difficult to assemble, and they won't last long against the weather!
Spend a little bit more and get something that will last many years instead...
Best Wooden Bike Sheds: Mid-Range
I really like Power Sheds! They're well made, reasonably priced and come in a variety of styles and sizes. Plus the customer service is exceptional.
All Power sheds are covered in a shiplap tongue and groove cladding, that's made from 12 mm thick planks. That's thicker than most of the competition. And this makes them stronger, more weatherproof and therefore more durable.
The frames are thick and doubled up to again create a 44 x 56 mm structure with corner bracing for even more strength. And there are roof trusses to ensure that the roof won't sag.
The wood is pre-treated, so you don't have to worry about painting or preserving it again for another 12 months.
And unlike the cheaper wooden sheds, all the roofs are fitted with a thick, high quality polyester backed felt that won't tear and should last for years.
They're available in loads of sizes, so you should be able to find one that fit's both the space you have available and the number of bikes you want to keep in it...
And the biggest 6' x 6' shed is deep enough to store your bikes straight on, as long as you twist the handlebars slightly...
Power sheds come with a tongue and groove floor on floor joists, but you'll need to prepare a flat, dry base for the shed to sit on.
However, if you don't already have a suitable (concrete or paved area), Power also make Base Kits that do the job for you!
The timber on all Power sheds is guaranteed for 10 years. And if properly cared for, the shed should last for over 25 years.
All their timber comes from slow grown, sustainable European sources. And while they don't yet have FSC certification, they are in the process of joining.
Their pre and post sale customer service is attentive and personal. You'll need to assemble the shed yourself, but everything you need is included and it shouldn't take more than 4 hours max for the biggest storage shed, much less for the smaller ones.
The only thing that can be improved with Power sheds is their security. And this is the same for all low and mid price wooden sheds.
So the hinges can simply be unscrewed from the outside and while the press lock may be better than a hasp, the door could still be prized open with a bit of effort and a crowbar.
But you won't find more secure wooden sheds at this price point elsewhere. They're all like this. Luckily there's a whole load of things you can do to make your wooden shed more secure.
So if you want a top quality wooden shed that will last for many years if properly cared for and you're prepared to put in a little effort to boost the security, then the Power sheds are a fantastic choice.
Best Wooden Bike Sheds: High-End
If you're after the Rolls Royce of wooden bike storage then check out The Bike Shed Company!
The sheds are available in two sizes and two styles. The smaller one will fit 3 bikes. While the bigger one will fit up to 5 bikes.
And while the Pedalbase style has just enough vertical space for the bikes, the Spokeshed is taller with a shelf above the bikes for your accessories.
The wood that they use is UK sourced Douglas Fir which is very strong and highly resistant to rot. The tongue and groove cladding is 20 mm thick. And the doors are 50 mm thick for extra security!
In fact they take security very seriously. The door are secured with enormous deadbolts from the inside, making it virtually impossible to pry them open.
All the hinges and fittings are fixed from the inside so they can't be unscrewed by a thief. And every shed comes with a ground anchor fastened to the floor inside and a shrouded shackle padlock to secure the outside.
These sheds are built like tanks and you can be sure that they will be very difficult to break into.
The lid is covered in a recycled (and recyclable) synthetic rubber which is highly resistant to UV, heat and weather and completely maintenance free (unlike felt). It's also supported by gas struts to make opening and closing the lid easy.
Delivery includes onsite installation by their expert workmen and any painting that you might require.
The sheds are guaranteed for 5 years. And they won't need any maintenance for the first 3-4 years (after which a lick of paint every 4 years is all that's required).
Absolutely everything's been thought of. And if you can think of something that hasn't, they also offer a bespoke service!
Now a shed like this is built to provide protection from the elements and the criminally minded for many years. And the price reflects this. They're not cheap. But if you want the best, you need to pay a little more!
Wooden Bike Sheds: The Competition
If you're not keen on my two top recommendations, you can compare a whole load of others in the table below.
The width, depth and height are in centimetres. The first number is the exterior measurement. And the second number (in brackets) is the internal measurement.
Installing a Wooden Bike Shed
Wooden sheds should be pretty easy together. The average bike shed shouldn't take more than an afternoon to build. However, it's worth stating that the better quality the shed, the easier it will be.
Thinner, cheaper sheds will be more difficult and frustrating to assemble.
But all wooden sheds need to be built on a stable, level base that keeps the building away from ground moisture. If the base isn't level, the shed will be difficult to put together and you'll end up with a wonky building.
Wonky wooden sheds are structurally unsound. You may struggle to open and close the door. Uneven pressure on the window frames may cause the panes to shatter. And the shed certainly won't last as long as one built on level ground.
It's also really important to keep a wooden shed away from moisture. If it's sat on wet ground for any length of time it will start to rot and will fall apart very quickly. A proper shed base will keep it away from moisture.
There are lot's of different types of shed base that are suitable for wooden sheds. In general, I recommend a wooden frame or a plastic shed base kit, but its worth investigating them all, as they may affect where you put the shed in your garden.
Wooden Bike Shed Summary
Wooden bike sheds have a lot going for them. They’re by far the most aesthetically pleasing of all the sheds, adding to the attractiveness of your outside space. They’re available in a vast array of sizes. They’re infinitely customizable.
And if you look after them, they’ll last for years and years.
But that’s the one catch with wooden bike sheds: you’ve got to put a bit of effort into them. Most wooden bike sheds will require some work to make them really secure. And in order to keep them weatherproof you’ll need to treat most of them every couple of years (at least).
However, if you’re prepared to put the work in, you’ll be rewarded with a strong, safe, weather resistant and attractive home for your bikes, that you'll not need to replace for a long, long time!
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