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What materials do you need to build sheds, pergolas and fences?

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What materials do you need to build sheds, pergolas and fences?

If you’re DIY-savvy, you’ll know that you can’t launch straight into a project without the necessary materials or tools. Whether you’re planning to build a shed from scratch, or are ready to construct your dream pergola, in this article we take you through everything you need – so you can get started on day one.


What do I need to build a shed?


English garden with turf and outbuildings


Before you begin, it’s wise to check if you are allowed to build your intended shed. Simply get in touch with your local planning department to see if you would need to apply for permission or if you can go ahead without.

However you choose to approach the actual building, here are the tools and materials you need to build a shed:

  1. A detailed plan, either drawn up by you, a professional or obtained online
  2. Pegs and string to mark out the shed base
  3. Concrete and building sand for the base
  4. Bucket for mixing cement, with an implement for stirring and a trowel for smoothing over
  5. Pencil
  6. Tape measure
  7. High-quality wood or timber for the base and entire construction
  8. Waterproof roofing, whether this is felt or another material
  9. Nails, hammer, screwdriver and other toolbox essentials
  10. Spirit level
  11. Step ladder
  12. Builders square
  13. Hand saw and/or motorised saw
  14. Gloves and goggles for personal protection


What do I need to build a pergola?

Wooden pergola Naybur Bros


Pergolas are less complex structures than garden sheds, and generally require fewer materials. It’s also worth checking if you’re one of the rare cases who will require planning permission for building a pergola.

Tools and materials you may need for a pergola:

  1. A pergola plan, either drawn up by yourself or by a third party
  2. Timber posts for the pergola structure
  3. Hand saw and/or motorised saw
  4. Gloves and goggles for safety
  5. Spirit level
  6. Tape measure
  7. Nails, hammer and other toolbox essentials
  8. Small pegs, canes and string for marking out
  9. Pencil
  10. If doing your own joinery, you will need a mallet and chisel
  11. A metal base for the bottom of the posts, which will then be drilled into the surface you are erecting the structure on. These might be available from DIY stores.
  12. If you don’t opt for a metal base, you can construct a concrete base. In this case you will require premixed concrete, trowel, bucket and a stirrer
  13. Step ladder
  14. Builders square


What do I need to build a fence?

Omega lattice top fencing


A fence is a relatively straightforward construction which anyone with a bit of DIY know-how can successfully pull off. Ensure your fence height does not exceed 2m, though, otherwise it may require planning permission.

Also make sure your neighbours are aware of your upcoming fence build, as you may need to step onto their property at various points during the construction.

Finally, be aware of what may be running underneath your garden, be it pipes or cables, to make sure you don’t dig up something you shouldn’t.

  1. Fence panels and extra timber
  2. Canes, pegs or stakes and string for marking out where the fence will run
  3. Tape measure
  4. Drills and screws
  5. Pencil
  6. Hand saw/electric saw
  7. Pre-mixed concrete, if using for base, along with bucket, trowel and stirring stick
  8. Fence post supports if not opting for concrete
  9. Nails or fence clips to attach fence boards to support posts
  10. Spirit level
  11. Hammer and other toolbox essentials
  12. Protective gear, such as gloves and mask
  13. Paint and protective treatment for the fence panels, as these additions can make the materials last for longer and protect it from rot
  14. You may want to put post caps on the top of the wooden posts to limit rotting or warping at the top of the posts. In this case, you may opt to use a sealant


Please note

Obviously, these materials lists will depend entirely on the methods you choose to use and how complex the plans are. If in doubt, follow the guidelines of any plans you’re working to.

Searching for landscaping and building equipment for your home project? Here at Naybur Bros, we’re experts in the supply and delivery of high-quality landscaping materials, including concrete, fencing, aggregates, sand, sealants and other equipment. So if you’re in the Potters Bar, Enfield or Barnet areas, get in touch and we’ll be happy to advise.

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