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15 December 2020

How to buy the best outdoor storage

If a shed isn’t for you, why not try another type of outdoor storage? From bike sheds to wheelie bin units, we run through the best alternative storage options
Storage box in a garden
Jade Harding

Investing in outdoor storage can increase your usable living space and help keep your garden tidy and your belongings safe.  

Sheds can be great but not everyone has the space for one, or enough things to fill it. That’s why dedicated storage for bikes, bins, smaller garden tools and toys might be a better option. 

Keep reading to find out about the various types of storage available, how much you should spend and our pick of the most popular units on the market. 

Alternatively, head over to our guide on how to buy the best shed

Types of outdoor storage

Available space and what you need to stow away will determine what type of storage you need. We run through the pros and cons for each type. 

Wheelie bin storage 

Perfect for keeping your green recycling bin out of sight, a wheelie bin store can be used to house just one bin, while others can be customised to store extra recycling and compost bins, too. Try to opt for one with a lift-up roof to make it easy to fill your bins. 

Pros

  • Completely hides bins
  • Masks the smell of the bins
  • Keeps animals away 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • You’ll probably have to assemble the units together yourself
  • It could make accessing your bin a little harder - make sure it has a lift-up roof panel

Bike storage 

From large, horizontal units to compact, vertical lockers, outdoor bike storage comes in all different shapes and sizes. If you’ve got minimal floor space, then a vertical option could be for you, while lower horizontal options can be placed under a window. 

Typically made with steel or wooden cladding, both can be customised to fit anything from one to five or more bikes, and some even have an option to add bin or log storage, too.  

Make sure you factor in space for accessories, such as helmets, and check that the storage will keep your bike safe from thieves and weather damage. 

Pros 

  • Keeps your bike safe from weather damage
  • Reduces the risk of theft
  • Leaves you with more usable space in your home  

Cons 

  • Depending on the design, it may be tricky to get the bikes in and out
  • Expensive
  • Will take up usable outdoor space 

Outdoor storage bins and boxes 

Plastic, wooden or metal storage chests can be a great compact alternative to a shed. They come in a variety of styles and can be used to store garden tools, toys and machinery. Try to pick one that can be securely locked and that has wheels or handles so it’s easier to move if necessary. 

Pros 

  • Lots of styles and sizes to choose from 
  • Can be secured with a lock 

Cons  

  • May require setting up
  • Not usually big enough for large items such as bikes 

Log stores

Log stores will keep your wood protected from the elements. The stores provide free-flowing air circulation to help prevent moisture building up, causing rot and mildew. Most stores will be built from wood but there will be a few metal options on the market, too. You can get a variety of sizes and some can be joined onto a shed or another type of storage unit. 

Pros 

  • Keeps your firewood and logs off the ground and organised
  • You don't need to use up shed or garage space
  • Fairly inexpensive
  • Come in a variety of sizes

Cons 

  • You might need to put it together yourself
  • Some large stores might need a solid foundation to sit on

If you’re looking for a recommended tradesperson you can trust, visit Which? Trusted Traders to find someone near you who has been through our rigorous background checks.

How much do I need to pay for outdoor storage?

Wheelie bin storage 

For a basic wooden unit for one or two bins you should expect to pay around £150. If you want something customised or with additional accessories, such as locks, you could pay up to £400. 

Bike storage 

You can pay anything between £200 and £1,000 for a high-quality storage unit for your bikes. Metal units tend to be the most expensive, as are the units that can hold numerous bikes.

Remember that not all units will come with the shelving or brackets you need, so additional accessories might cost more. 

Outdoor storage bins and boxes 

Costs will depend on the size and material of the box you need. Smaller plastic boxes can cost as little as £30, whereas larger metal or wooden units can cost a few hundred pounds. 

Log stores

Most wooden log stores will set you back around £120-£150. However, smaller units can go for as little as £80 and larger stores for as much as £250. 

Discover the best wood-burning stove brands - as rated by hundreds of stove owners.

Popular outdoor storage

We don't currently test outdoor storage, but Argos, Asgard, B&Q and Wickes are some of the most searched-for retailers for outdoor storage at the time of writing. Below is a selection of various types and styles from those retailers.

For more details on shopping online safely and arranging refunds for faulty equipment, see our online shopping advice.

Vertical bike locker

  • Price: £650
  • Available from: Asgard
  • Dimensions: 1.95 x 0.76 x 1 metres (HxWxD)

This steel unit is a great space-saving storage option that you can keep in your garden or inside a garage. It has an easy-access guide ramp and a wheel-retaining clamp so you simply have to open the door, lift and push the bike into the guide rail until it drops into place and is clamped. There's extra storage room for your helmet and bags and it's fitted with a three-point locking system. 

Shire Wooden Bin storage 

  • Price: £215
  • Available from: B&Q
  • Dimensions: 1.2 x 1.66 x 0.79 metres (HxWxD)

This stylish wooden wheelie bin storage unit has been dip-treated to stop it from rotting and to reduce maintenance. You can open it from the front to move the bins in and out or use the flip-up roof to drop in rubbish bags. Fixings are included but you'll need to assemble it yourself. 

Keter Store It Out storage shed

  • Price: £120
  • Available from: Argos
  • Dimensions: 1.25 x 1.45 x 0.82 metres (HxWxD)

This plastic storage box is weather resistant and can be opened from the top as well as the front. It also has a sloped entrance, making it easier to push in wheeled items such as lawn mowers. It has a basic lock and a piston-assisted lid to make opening easier. 

Forest log store

  • Price: £139.99
  • Available from: Screwfix
  • Dimensions: 1.28 x 1.82 x 0.88 metres (HxWxD)

This large log store has slated sides and raised floor to ensure maximum air flow to help dry-out logs. The store has a pent roof design, the wood has been pressure treated and you'll need to assemble it yourself. It also comes with a 15 year guarantee. 

Shire Overlap Timber Bike Store

  • Price: £178
  • Available from: Wickes 
  • Dimensions: 1.58 x 2.13 x 0.85 metres (HxWxD)

The Shire bike shed has double doors to make it easier to get your bike in and out. It's dip-treated to improve durability and should be big enough for at least two bikes. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a base or a lock so you'll have to supply and fit these yourself.

Garden tool reviews: see our independent reviews and buying advice for everything from lawn mowers to grass trimmers.


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