How to Choose the Right Wooden Garden Sheds

                                                                     wooden garden shed

Wooden garden sheds are well-loved for a variety of reasons. Despite the use of metal garden sheds in New Zealand increasing, wooden sheds still have a timeless, rustic appeal. Besides being more attractive in terms of appearance, timber garden sheds are also more versatile; plastic and metal garden sheds usually have pre-determined sizes, while wooden sheds can be constructed in any size. They also require less maintenance, are easier to shingle and paint, and are cheaper to build. Wooden garden sheds are also warmer and more durable - perfect for New Zealand’s weather.

However, due to the wide range of wooden sheds for sale and shed companies in New Zealand, one has to consider several factors in choosing the right wooden sheds. If you want a shed purely for storage that’s easy to set up, you may be more open to buying a lower-quality, yet cheaper shed. But if you want a garden shed as a summerhouse, you may want to invest in a more durable structure.


While wood is a preferable alternative to metal for garden sheds, natural wood can rot when exposed to water over a long period of time. However, different types of wood are affected differently to water. For example, some types of wood such as pine and cedar naturally have resin which make them less vulnerable to rot damage from water. There are two general types of wood important to consider when buying a timber garden shed in NZ: redwood and whitewood.

Redwood timber - usually a type of pine - is of better quality than whitewood, since the sap in its wood allows it some measure of waterproofing. Redwood timber has neater and tighter grain, is easier to use, and has a better aesthetic appeal. Compared to whitewood, though, it is more expensive, though worthy buying if you want a shed that will have better rot resistance in wet climates.

Whitewood, on the other hand, is a lighter type of wood usually made from trees like spruce, douglas fir, and hemlock. While it is considered of lower quality than redwood, in recent years the quality of whitewood used for construction has gotten higher, enough to match redwood.

One thing to avoid when browsing sheds for sale in NZ are wooden sheds made of chipboard, plywood, or oriental standard boards. These boards are some examples of fiberboard, which are engineered wood made by combining wood chips, wood shavings, and a synthetic binder. Fiberboard is extremely unsuitable for use in timber garden sheds, since these boards are very easily affected by moisture - water can easily seep into the wood fibers and break down the board.

Framework and Doors

A wooden shed’s framework is very important in determining the durability and craftsmanship of a garden shed. You can usually determine the quality of a garden shed by checking its framework.

First of all, check the wood used to make the framework. The size of the word - and the solidity of the framework - will depend on the size of the shed you’ll be buying. However, two-by-two inch wood is a good estimation for regular-sized sheds. For sheds like these, though, three by two inch wood is better - if the framework seems to thin or skimped on by the shed company, find a better quality shed.

Usually, butt joints are used to join the wood for the framework - using nails, or dowels. However, it’s better to purchase a shed that uses screws or glue for its framework. Screws have six times the holding power of nails, and glue is a neater, better option for joints. But if you are looking for a cheaper, faster, and DIY method, nails will work just fine.

For your shed doors, make sure they are ledged and braced, with the braces going downwards in the direction of the hinges. For the hinges themselves, make sure they are big as they can be for maximum strength. If you want our hinges to last long as possible, have them have a galvanized finished.


Cladding is not merely a cosmetic; for New Zealand garden sheds, the cladding is essential in protecting the shed from damage from the environment. There are three commonly-used types of cladding: overlap, tongue and groove, and shiplap.

Overlap cladding is one of the simplest and cheapest cladding types for the smaller-sized NZ wooden sheds. One of the traditional method of cladding, sheds with overlapping have horizontal panels that overlap each other. While wooden garden sheds with overlapping are solidly-built, overlap cladding is not that effective for water run-off compared to tongue and groove and shiplap cladding.

Tongue and groove cladding, on the other hand, is made of interlocking panels. This creates less gaps between the wood, providing better resistance to weather and water. Tongue and groove panels have a more complex design compared to overlap cladding, which unfortunately means it will be more expensive to have. However, the interlocking of the panels will prevent gaps in the wood forming when the wood expands during summer.

The third type of cladding, shiplap, is nearly identical to tongue and groove cladding. It’s only difference is that at the panel edges have a lip, which lets panels lock into each other better and better prevent water from getting through. Same as tongue and groove, the ability of shiplap cladding to slot together makes it very rot resistant, and allows it to expand in the summer without damage. It is also more expensive than overlap.

Whatever cladding type you see fit for your garden shed, see that it has a minimum thickness of 12mm. For extra protection and durability, choose a cladding that has 15mm, or even 18mm thickness. If the wood has been chemically or pressure treated to be resistant to rot and UV damage, better.

These are some of the factors you will need to consider when choosing a garden shed in NZ. Always keep in mind the purpose you have for buying your shed, including the size, materials, and built the shed will have to fit your needs.

Here at The Wooden Shed Company, we aim to provide affordable, yet long-lasting sheds for every kiwi’s backyard. We have a wide range of sheds for sale, including an option for a custom shed to suit your needs.

Get one step closer to owning a wooden shed and call us at 027 441 4010, or email us at To inquire or request a quote in person, our address is 875 German Road, Starvation Hill 7495, New Zealand.


You might also like: