Prep Guide



Before investing in your Gillies and Mackay shed, there are five essential areas to consider to ensure you're fully prepared and confident in your purchase.

Our Shed Prep Guide provides detailed insights into Planning Permission, Basework, Site Access, Aftercare and Next Steps to take to prep you for your shed life!

With 35 years of experience in timber garden buildings - we know exactly how to set you up for success and a lifetime of shed joy!

By spending 10-15 minutes reading this guide, you’ll know exactly what to expect and determine your readiness for a new shed. If you foresee any challenges specific to your circumstances, our team is here to help you through a consultation.

Watch the video:
1. Planning Permission

Planning permission is asking if you can do certain building work around your house. It's not often you need planning permission for a building in your garden, but it is required in particular circumstances.

Do I need Planning Permission?

More often than not, this is one of the first questions a customer will ask us. And the answer is always… it depends.

There are nine questions that will help you determine if your G&M will need planning permission and what you need to consider when choosing the position of your building in your garden.

In accordance to planning law a permitted development (meaning you don’t need permission) is one that answers NO to all of the following questions...

  1. Is your shed for business use?

If you’re running a multi-million pound empire from your garden shed, the council will want to know about it. They love a bit of business rate action on that kind of thing.

If it’s not for business, you don’t need permission.

  1. Is your shed going to be outwith your garden?

It’s a serious question… You can’t just put a Shed up in a public park where you like to sit sometimes. Although we think this really applies to communal grounds, where you may have a plot for a Garage but the access is shared and there is maybe a certain size or style you need to adhere to.

If it’s in YOUR garden,
you don’t need permission.

  1. Do you live in a tenement block?

This one’s for the neighbour who thinks it’s appropriate to erect a 9ft tall Pigeon Loft 3 inches away from your kitchen window #DBAD The council like to have a say on where you want to put the building in tenement or shared garden situations.

If you’re not in a tenement block or you don’t share your garden, you don’t need permission.

  1. Is your shed going to be within 1 metre of a boundary?

This is my favourite! When we ask our customers this question they always look at us as if we're about to burst into a clever 5 line limerick… we're not, it’s a genuine question.

“For if the 1mtr boundary is crossed

You must keep your Shed Bossed

Below 2.5mtrs in height

Will save you from your plight

Remember this to keep you right”

This is achievable for smaller buildings but becomes an issue for Garages and Cabins. Oh and a boundary is whatever separates your garden from the rest of the WORLD!

If your shed is not going to be
within 1 metre of a boundary
and is under 2.5 metres in height
- you don’t need permission.

NOTE: We will ask for your shed to have a minimum of 500mm gap from a boundary to allow for your shed to be completed and allow enough space for you to maintain your shed. Please consider this when thinking about sizes and placement.

  1. Do you live in a conservation area?

Conservation; to conserve the historical environment against unsavoury changes. I think 'unsavoury' is the right word but you could say – to stop you from putting up an ugly shed. Conservation Areas only like really, ridiculously good looking Sheds. The same rule applies if your house is a Listed Building.

If you’re not in a conservation area and you are not in a listed building, you don’t need permission.

  1. Is your shed wall height more than 3 metres?

Seriously doubt it. Unless your housing the BFG, a 3mtr wall height is ridiculous. The standard wall height on a Gillies and Mackay Shed is roughly 1.980m.

If your shed wall height is under 3 metres, you don’t need permission.

7. Is your shed roof (overall) height more than 4 metres?

Again, this is just CRAZY! I can get a two storey building under 4mtrs but it’s really hard to do that – chances are if you’re going two storey then you’re already doing Building Control so will need Planning regardless.

If your overall shed height will be under 4 metres then you don’t need permission.

  1. Is your shed being used to create a boundary?

So let us say if you’re thinking of putting your building inline with the front elevation of your house to create a boundary between you and the rest of the WORLD then… The council will want to tell you what colour to paint it and maybe say you can’t put it there at all because you have too many freckles (no-one understands their logic, no-one).

If your shed won’t be used to create a boundary then you don’t need permission.

  1. Is your shed going to take up more than 50% of your garden area?

For example; you’re trying to erect a 3 bedroom detached house and class it as a shed in your back garden. Good luck. The council hates that.

Keep it in proportion to the rest of the garden and don’t go mental big. In fact, you can’t make it bigger than 30m2 anyway as that requires Building Control.

If your shed won’t take up more than 50% of your garden and is under 30m2

A Gillies & Mackay apex shed on a slabbed base in a grassy garden. The shed is stained a golden brown colour.
There you have it, Sheddies!
Answer NO to all of these and you can Shed away to your heart's content under the comforting blanket of permitted development.
If you answered yes to any questions, and you do need planning permission...

We offer a planning application service which includes full Auto CAD drawings, planning fee and our team representing you and dealing with the council. The cost of this service is £650.

Our current planning success rate is 98.9%

Planning Application times vary with the councils - expect an average of 6 weeks as a guideline.

What in the shed is Building Control!?

Seen this mentioned on this page and you want to know more about what it is? Read our blog: Does a Shed Need a Building Warrant?

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2. Base Work

Basework is NOT included in the building costs and is another part of your project you must consider.

We highly advise you to obtain landscaper quotes for base work before ordering your Gillies & Mackay building to get a full and clear picture of project costs.

If you want your building to be sturdy and last – having the right base is our no.1 rule. If the deliverers turn up on delivery day and your base is not right, they will not be able to assemble your building, the panels will be left with you and there will be a re-delivery charge.

Base Required for a Shed:
Level Slabbed Base
A level slabbed base is required to keep your shed in square over it's lifetime to minimise timber movement and water ingress. Groundscrews can be used as an alternative for extremely unlevel areas.
Why do I need this?

It is so important that you follow our specification of; digging down to firm ground, compacting type 1 hardcore, laying and then levelling slabs on top.

Base plans are available from us for all individual sizes and designs. If you have any concerns with regards to your shed
base, please get in touch so we can arrange a site visit.

Do not lay slabs on top of grass or the existing ground. There are reputable landscapers, base layers and handymen who can do this work for you.
Recommendations for Shed Bases:
01738 860844
Areas Covered:
Perth and surrounding, Carse of Gowrie, Invergowrie
Gardens Galore
(Only available for larger landscaping projects)
01738 553014
Areas Covered:
Perthshire, Dundee
Down to Earth Landscaping
Facebook Page
07919 487742
Areas Covered:
Landscape Brothers
(Only available for larger landscaping projects)
01592 655567
Email via website
Areas Covered:
Fife, Dunfermline, Edinburgh
Green Palm Dundee Landscaping
Visit Website
Send email
Areas Covered:
Dundee and surrounding areas
Tayside Fencing and Landscaping
Facebook Page
Areas Covered:
Fife, Dundee and Perth
Groundscrews: Ground Screws Scotland
Visit Website
Send email
Areas Covered:
Grieves Green Landscapers
Facebook Page
Areas Covered:
Precision Landscaping
Areas Covered:
Edinburgh and Lothians
Got Questions about Base Prep?
If you're looking for base plans, or if you have any concerns, please contact us.
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3. Site Access

Okay, if there's one thing you need to be absolutely sure of it is:

How on earth do we get to your site!?

We build your shed in the workshop as panels then deliver the panels to your site. On your site, the deliverers will piece the panels together and BOOM! You're ready for Shed Life!

If gaining access to your site is essentially as follows...

"You can park in our massive driveway, unload the sectional building right outside and carry it, say 10 metres, to the actual site without anything at all in the way..."

Then you can skip this bit. You are our favourite kind of site access and ROSS AND SORLEY LOVE YOU

Take note of the answers to these questions and bring them as well as images with you to your consultation.

Site Access Questions to Ask:
  1. Distance

Is the carrying distance, from where the guys can park their van to where the G&M building is going, more than 30 metres?

If YES: Please let us know the exact distance and the terrain so we can calculate an additional labour charge for long distance access. The charge covers an additional deliverer to help with handling the panels and protects the Health and Safety of the team.

  1. Tight Turns

Are there any tight turns between existing buildings, walls or fences that will restrict the team when carrying the panels to your site?

If YES: Please let us know as we may need to conduct a site visit to ensure access is doable with the standard panel sizes or whether we need to make adjustments to suit. There will be an additional charge for this.

  1. Obstacles

The lads' nemesis is the dreaded plant pot! Are there any obstacles in the way of the guys when they're carrying the panels to the site or erecting the building?

If YES: Please make sure you move all planters, pots and ornaments out of the way before the guys arrive.

We cannot be held responsible for any accidental damage to garden furnishings should they not be moved out of the deliverers' way.

  1. Watch Your Head!

Are there any overhead restrictions? Our guys will be carrying panels above their height. Are there any arched gateways or through-wall access that will stop them from being able to do this?

If YES: Please let us know as we may need to conduct a site visit to ensure access is doable with the standard panel sizes or whether we need to make adjustments suit. There will be an additional charge for this.

With this kind of access if you can measure the diagonal of the opening, it's a great help to know that measurement on order.

  1. Steps and Hills

Are there steps up to or down to your site? Is your garden elevated in tiers? Is your garden a steep walk?

If YES: Please let us know. Feel free to send us in pictures and give us the exact amount of steps or tiers.

If you don't tell us about your unusual access before delivery it means that when the guys come to deliver they won't have enough time to do so.

This will mean your building won't get assembled on that day and you will be expected to pay a re-delivery charge as well as following the lead time for a new date.


Health and Safety

Your garden or land becomes a construction site from when our deliverers arrive until they leave. For your own safety we ask that you remain indoors whilst the team construct your building. Our deliverers will give you the all clear when they are finished then you can enjoy your brand new G&M.

4. Aftercare
Painting your shed

This is vital to make sure your G&M building lasts and minimises the common issues when dealing with wood.

Timber is a natural material and it will deteriorate over time if it is not properly protected. When your G&M leaves our workshop it will have one coat (basecoat) of Sadolin on it.

Once the building is assembled on your site, give it a three-week settling period to allow the timber boards to contract and then paint it up good
and proper.

You will need to purchase your Sadolin colour for your second coat.

After you have applied the second coat, you should re-apply every 3-5 years depending on exposure.

Sadolin can be purchased online or at selected local paint stores.

Where can I buy Sadolin?

A tin of Sadolin ranges between £40 - £80 depending on the size of your building and how much paint you will need.

Our recommended Sadolin stockists:

Your Paint Colour

Take a look at the selection of paint colours available in our range here at Gillies & Mackay.

View Our Colour Chart
Next Steps...
So how does it all work?
STEP one
Visit Our Show Area

If you haven't visited our show area yet, we highly recommend starting there. Explore a variety of sheds to see the exceptional quality, sizes, styles, and customizations available. Our knowledgeable team will be on hand to guide you and answer all your questions about your project.

Can't visit in person? No problem! We can arrange a call or video consultation to discuss your project and provide the same level of support remotely.

STEP two
book your consultation

Ready to move forward? Book your shed consultation with our team through an in-person visit, phone call, or video call. We’ll gather all necessary information for your order and address any final questions about your project.

At this stage, a 20% deposit is required to secure your order. You can pay via card, bank transfer, cheque, cash, or online payment.

STEP Three
Checks and Delivery Date

After placing your order, we’ll send you a digital copy of your order form for review and sign-off. Once confirmed, we’ll schedule your specific delivery date, which we’ll adhere to unless exceptional circumstances, out of our control, arise. If any changes occur, we’ll communicate with you promptly.

Your full confirmation and delivery date will be emailed within 7 days of your order. Our shed lead times range from 4-8 weeks. For real-time delivery times, please visit our shed page.

Crafting Your Shed
Your building will be fully project-managed and processed by our very skilled and in-demand operations team to ensure everything goes smoothly with your shed in our workshop. Your shed will start being manufactured by us around 3 weeks before your delivery date. Starting from timber quality checks right through to panel construction and completion.
delivery day!

The big day is here! Make sure your base is ready and there is a clear for our team. No red carpet needed this time 😉

Our skilled delivery crew will arrive to construct your shed in 2-3 hours, depending on its size. They're very keen on a wee cheeky biscuit and cuppa - keep their strength up!

You do not have to be in for your delivery —we understand busy lives! We’ll snap some pics to share the team's work, and Ross will walk you through care tips before we bid farewell.

Then it's over to you to start enjoying your Shedlife! 


Once your very own Gillies & Mackay shed is sitting pretty in your garden, you're ready to enjoy it. Just remember to get it painted after 3 weeks to keep it protected and looking BEAUTIFUL!

Welcome to the Shedlife.

Book your consultation
Want to talk to us about getting your own Gillies & Mackay shed? Head to our appointment booking page where you can choose from a phone call, video call or show area appointment at a time that suits you.