If you are considering the possibility of buying a shipping container shed you are probably well aware of the trouble caused by traditional wooden sheds. They leak, get covered in mould and generally too small to fit everything you need, without tripping over tools each time you have to mow the lawn.

And every time you replace it you know that in just a few years you’ll be back in the same scenario.

Recently I had to make a decision about where to store my garden equipment after seeing a very sorry looking shed in the back garden. I could either patch it up and hope that it would stay standing for another year, or look for a replacement.

However, after a visit to my local garden centre I was left disillusioned.

6 major problems with a traditional garden shed

Thinking about a traditional shed there are definitely some drawbacks that make them less than ideal.

Warping – Wood gets warped when too much moisture gets into it – obviously a shed being out in the rain isn’t ideal! My current shed door no longer closes because damp has swollen the timber, distorting the frame. In other areas joints are no longer flush and let water in.

Rotting – Water makes mould and fungus grow faster which rots wood and weakens it as well as creating holes that mean it isn’t waterproof anymore.

Self Assembly – Sheds are flat packed and so you have to put it together yourself. Cue the inevitable headache from poor instructions and missing screws! This alone was enough to put me off buying a self-assembly shed.

Heavy on Maintenance – A shed left unchecked will deteriorate quickly so applying protective layers each year is a must but it takes time, effort, and expense. It’s a continuing commitment.

Unsecure – Even with good security a wooden shed is an easy target for thieves. Simply tugging on the door allows them access without too much trouble – it shouldn’t be that easy! According to the Office of National Statistics in the year to March 2014 there were 212,000 burglaries in sheds and outbuildings in England and Wales.

Expensive – Buying a traditional garden shed can be very costly and having enough space to store bicycles, a lawnmower and endless tools is challenging too – even if it’s a double.

It was at this point that I wondered if there could be a better alternative? – a container as a shed!

7 Reasons why a shipping container shed may be the ultimate solution

Secure – Watch a would be thief run in fear when they see a lock box equipped container. Only the most persistent of criminals would have half a chance of getting anywhere close to your precious gardening equipment!

Durable – Containers are made from heavy duty metal and are designed for a long life at sea with exposure to the elements. Taking pride of place in your garden will be a cinch in comparison, so you could expect decades of service from your container shed.

container shed


Watertight – Because containers are wind and water tight your electrical equipment, garden tools and garden furniture will be safer from the damage that water causes.

More Space – A 20ft container is almost twice the size of a double shed. This means that storing a ride-on lawnmower would be no problem, along with your garden furniture, and more!

Sustainability – Gardeners are often by default eco-conscious. This is seen from composting, to growing your own fruit and vegetables, so why shouldn’t the same apply to your shed? Buying a used container means that you are reusing something, which is better for the environment than using resources to make something new. Shed solar panel kits can also be used to achieve a zero carbon footprint and are inexpensive to buy.

Strong – You can lean heavy, hardwood furniture against the wall of a container and it won’t cause any damage. If any nearby trees or fences fall onto your container it will do a far better job at protecting your belongings than a traditional shed ever could.

Re-Sale Value – There’s a healthy market for used containers, if you decide to sell your container later on then all that steel is worth something!

10ft, 20ft and 40ft container sheds

There are a large number of used shipping containers that are available to purchase at a very reasonable price, with the most popular being 20ft, although 10ft and 40ft options are also available.

They’re made of steel and have double doors so you can get easy access. Some wooden garden sheds cost well in excess of the price that a container delivered to your home would, and offer much less exciting possibilities.

Thinking about the logistics and other finer details of installing a container shed

If you’re visualising your new container shed then you will need to think about placing it on concrete blocks at an incline, which will let the air flow better underneath and allow rainwater to drain away.

Other factors you should think about are whether there is access to your garden for it to be delivered. You may also want to check with your neighbours that they are happy for you to have a container shed if they live close by.

The final thing you should consider is whether you may need permissions from your council.

The container can be painted in your choice of colour or clad in wood, to make it more in keeping with your garden.

Many container shed owners put shelves in to make the most of the generous space that a 20ft container offers, this means that tools, gardening equipment or even items for a hobby can be securely kept in your garden.


We have seen that a traditional shed has a long list of drawbacks that in many ways make it a poor way of storing your beloved garden equipment.

A container shed will help keep thieves at bay, give you an easier life without worrying about treating it each summer, and keep the rain out.

In the long term the container shed could save you a lot of money compared to purchasing a number of wooden sheds over the years.

Once the container is delivered you can simply load your gardening gear inside and put your feet up while others battle for hours with a screwdriver and hammer to put their wooden sheds up.

It’s possible to also modify the container by adding extra doors, windows and anything else that you could want, the only limit is your imagination.