Top tips for setting up a garden workshop

If you enjoy DIY or have a hobby that involves making things, then you’ve probably discovered that making a mess inside the house doesn’t go down well with the rest of your family. A garden workshop is the ideal solution – a dedicated space for you to tinker and fix things in peace.

But setting up a garden workshop is a job in its own right, and with every home project, it pays to plan ahead. We’ve assembled some tips of our own for getting the most out of your garden workshop.

What every garden workshop needs


Unless you’re a period artisan who only uses hand-held, unpowered tools during daylight hours, you’ll need an electricity supply for lighting and your electric drill. Consider how you’ll get power to your garden shed – you could lay a cable under the lawn. Get a qualified electrician to do the tricky stuff, but you can save some money by doing the digging yourself. And once you’ve got power, you can put the kettle on.


If you’re doing work, you need space to do it in. So plan the worktop first – it needs to have enough space for you to work without becoming cluttered with tools. But you’ll also need storage space so don’t go overboard. Get a wooden surface that you can stain – don’t be tempted to paint it as you’ll get flakes of paint everywhere.


There are tons of tricks you can pull to create storage space in a garden workshop. Tools and materials should be close at hand. Drawers are handy, especially if you can pull out the unit and move it around. The walls are where you’ll save most space – a peg board is perfect for hanging tools and shelves are easily accessible. Consider a rolling work shelf if you think you’ll need extra space for larger projects.


If you’re storing chemicals like solvents and oils, then you need to make sure they are safely stored and unlikely to cause or fuel a fire, or spill. It’s especially important to consider the likely changes in temperature in summer and winter, and whether or not you’re storing items in direct sunlight for part of the day.

Maintenance and Security

Place your workshop somewhere that will be easy to repair – access to all sides is important. Check it periodically to make sure everything is safe and sound. Sheds can be a magnet for thieves so consider how you’ll lock it up and whether the structure is sturdy.

Getting the best use from your garden workshop

Once you’ve got your garden workshop set up, there are so many things you can do.

Woodworkers will be able to set up projects that take longer than an afternoon – setting up a piece of wood that needs to be treated over time, or gradually bent into shape, is entirely possible when you have a dedicated space to do it.

Model makers thrive in garden workshops. A complicated model that takes weeks to complete can be left while you get on with daily life, without any concern that someone will come along and accidentally disturb your work at a crucial stage.

Car and bicycle repairs start in the workshop and you can even use a garden workshop to catch up on your admin. If there’s space for a home office in your workshop you can escape to concentrate on some of those chores that need your full and undivided attention – assuming you don’t get distracted by something you’ve always meant to get around to fixing but never had the time.

Think about where you’ll put your garden workshop – and then imagine what you can do with it. You won’t regret it.

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