Best Accessories for Your Garage/ Shed in the UK

By  Enda McLarnon

So what accessories should you have in your garage or shed? We could just as easily ask, how long is a piece of string? The answer of course will always depend on the kind of man who owns the garage or shed. It also depends on the size of the garage and what the interests of the owner actually are.

One thing we reckon is pretty certain though is that they will have some tools. These will probably have been gathered up over the years and they could be just about anything.

If the person is into woodworking, DIY or has a hobby of any kind, then there is no doubt that there will be a lot of tools in there that reflect all of those. The question is we think, what type of accessories should a man in the shed have as almost mandatory items?

We think the best accessories for sheds are locks, alarms, good lighting, heating and good storage such as hooks, shelves and cupboards.

Let's cover off the basics and then we can take it from there. The number one thing we think that is not only mandatory but a big necessity is a lock. Now let's face it there are hundreds of these available and we think it just depends on a number of things:

  • How many tools are in there?
  • What value are the tools that are in in there?
  • Does it hold gardening equipment? A set of golf clubs maybe?
  • Is there a lot of electrical equipment?
  • Do you have a lot of power tools?

Locks for a Garage or Shed

It is about value both in terms of worth, cost of replacement and sentimental value. Whatever the reason, a shed or garage needs to have a good locking system in place. That could range from a simple padlock to a full blown alarm system.

We know when we worked out of a garage we used to have a lot of woodworking gear in there and it was worth a lot of money. That made us go for a really secure system. It cost a lot back then and we don't have all that equipment now but the system is still in place and works great.

We all know that there are thieves out there and there is a lot of break ins in the UK. Garages and sheds that are not properly protected do make easy targets, so we would recommend a good lock up system.

Even a good padlock can deter burglars and keep your shed safe. Think also of windows and make sure that they are locked as well.

Garage Alarm Systems

Yale Shed and Garage Alarm, Free-Standing or Wall-Mounted Wireless Alarm, Easily Secure Outside Buildings and Caravans

As well as a lock, we would also recommend fitting some type of basic alarm system. These used to be priced at crazy money, but thankfully things have changed a lot.

You can now pick up a good basic system for well under £20. These are also easy to fit and most of them are wireless.

It does not take long to fit them and it will certainly give you a great deal of peace of mind. Anything that deters thieves from easy entry into a garage or shed will help keep your valuables more secure.

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As we mentioned above shed break ins are on the increase. Thieves are stealing power tools, children's bikes and also using the tools in your shed to break into the house.

There are plenty of choices on the market and all from very good brands.

Garage Lighting

Morris 36w LED Batten Lights 4ft, 120cm, 6000k Daylight, IP20 LED Fluorescent Strip Light Fitting for Ceiling of Home & Office, Workshop & Garage Lighting,

We now have the shed secured and we are inside. We can not stress enough the importance of really good lighting. We have been in any number of sheds and see a feeble bulb dangling from around the centre of the shed.

That is a poor choice for a whole lot of reasons.

Now we know some guys just use their shed as a dumping ground, but call it storage.

For serious shed users though, you are going to be in there for longer periods and most likely fiddling around on some project.

Use a good fluorescent light as the main light. These are simple to install and last for ages. When the time comes it will just need a new bulb, or maybe a small starter. There are also lots of LED options available like the popular one shown above.

Otherwise these lights are maintenance free, economical and throw out a good deal of light. If your shed is large, then you may need 2 or 3 of these, depending on the size.

If you have a workbench then it will need separate lighting and there are many options available for that.

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Garage Heating

Benross 42450 3000W Industrial Fan Heater/Adjustable Thermostatic Control/Cool Air Setting/Tilting Design/Portable With Carry Handle / IPX4 Waterproof

We have now secured and provided sources of lighting in your shed and now we need to think about heating the shed.

As we live in the UK from about May through until October we don't worry too much about heating our garages and sheds.

A good jumper, fleece etc will take care of any chills and we see no point in heating during those times. However over the late Autumn and certainly through the winter months (November-April) which is 6 months, you will need some type of heat.

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In our opinion you need two types of heating. The first is a low constant heat especially if you have good quality tools and equipment. The second is heating for when you are actually working in the shed. Any shed or garage will be cold in those months and the air is very moist.

That in turns causes dampness and it will cause mould as well. That is why you need some form of constant heat that is cheap to run. Under floor heating is best for that and it is not as expensive as you may think to get that done. I did my own and it works a treat.

For other heating when you are using it, there are a ton of options.

Garage Floor Paint

Polar Heavy Duty Interior Light Grey Floor & Garage Paint 5 Litre - Ideal for Garages

Most garage floors are made of concrete or stone. They are not that pretty to look at, and they will create a lot of dust. Garage floors are usually not sealed either and that allows in dampness and moisture.

You can of course floor a garage, but depending on what you use, that can get very expensive. A simpler solution is to pain the garage floor.

For that paint to be effective it needs to be some form of hard wearing solvent based Polyurethane coating. This also gives a mid-sheen finish and is slip resistant.

This will give you a cleaner and a dust free environment to work in.

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We have always found that you will need to do a couple of coats for this to be effective. Leave 24 hours before applying a second coat. A 5 litre tin covers about 60 square metres.

A small British single garage is 9 by 18 feet (2.7 x 5.5 metres) so around 15 square metres. A tin like the one shown above will easily give you a couple of coats.

Also don't paint in cold periods as it will just take too long to dry. Spring time is a good choice for getting this type of job done.

Garage Consumer Units

Garage Consumer Unit with 63a/30mA RCD & 1x16amp & 6amp MCB's IP55

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Having a safe electrical setup in your garage is we believe an essential option. Ideally you can achieve that by fitting a separate consumer unit. This unit does need to be damp proof and fitted with a trip switch and miniature circuit breakers.

In most cases you will simply need a lighting breaker (6 Amp) and a socket breaker. (16 Amp)

We would highly recommend getting an electrician to fit these just to be on the safe side. 

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Garage Draft Excluder

Universal Garage Door Seal Strip with Strong Adhesive - DIY Rubber Garage Door Weather Seal Excluder

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We know that when garage doors are fitted, they are seldom given a good seal. As such the wind can easily blow through them and leave your garage cold.

One way to help cut down on winds and draughts is to fit a draught excluder. This also helps reduce the rain pushing in, and also helps keep out any rubbish that may be blowing around the yard or driveway.

Most of these use a heavy duty rubber sealant and you then fit these using a building sealant.

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Garage Storage Solutions

There are quite a few different solutions for garage and shed storage, and we have shown those options just below.

Garage Shelving

G-Rack Garage Shelving Unit

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We all store various items in our garage. Having a good set of shelves can just make items a great deal easier to find.

We like the shelves to the left as they are very good quality, very easy to assemble and are built to last. These are the best selling garage shelves online and they are solid and very well made.

The only thing we didn't like about these is that the shelves are made of MDF and prone to damp. If you have good ventilation and some type of heating, then mould won't be a problem.

We replaced the MDF with plywood just because we don't like MDF.

There are plenty of shelving options. The one we have shown above is a 2 shelf unit, but you can also buy those in  4 bay or 6 bay. They really are very good value for money, and they can hold a lot of items and plenty of weight.

Garage Hooks

There are lots of choices for garage or shed hooks. These range in type from simple basic hooks and all the way through to ladder and heavy duty hooks.

With these you can attach them to the wall, and it allows you to hang up ladders, mowers, bikes and a whole range of outdoor items.

Hooks are all about freeing up space in your garage. Most of them will be made from powder coated steel that doesn't rust. They are also strong so won't bend. The best value is to buy them in packs.

We use the ones shown for hanging up gardening tools.

Garage Bike Racks

Peruzzo 2/3 Bike Folding Wall Mounted Storage Rack

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If you have kids you will have bikes. If you also happen to own one yourself, then rather than have them abandoned around the garden or yard, a garage bike rack is going to be a very good option.

Once again there are plenty of options available for those. We like the one shown to the left as it folds away when not in use. It can hold up to 3 bikes so a good choice for many families.

It can also be wall mounted if you want to make the most of your floor space.

Garage Cupboards

Kis Stilo - Cabinet High - Grey/Black/Red

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Some garage owners like the idea of a metal cupboard where they can store tools etc. These can also be locked. The benefits of these is that they look well and keep everything out of sight and are safe and secure.

It is quite hard to find a heavy duty one though, and when you do, they are very expensive.

Typically these will have 3 or 4 shelves and you will be able to adjust the height of these.

Garage/Shed Accessories Summary

A shed or garage can be used for just about anything you want it to be. In our opinion most of all it has to reflect the person who owns it and likes to be in there.

For example many of our writers here could not imagine our garages and sheds without a coffee machine, radio and a dust extraction system. If you cut a lot of wood, then without a dust extractor we would be in trouble.

We also need a great workbench and we do drink a lot of coffee. Now to do all that and to do it safely we buried a cable underground for my electric, and then fitted a separate fuse box.

That made sure my garage was safe. The one thing we didn't do, but will some day is to kit it out with a sink and water. That is on our "to do list" and may form a summer project for some of us this year.

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