Here's your ultimate shed guide that sets out 42 different types of sheds based on style, size, roof, material, foundation and features. Each example includes shed photos and detailed write up describing each shed option.
We have a backyard shed and it’s great to have. We actually have more room to store stuff which is handy. Ours came with the house, which we viewed as a bonus. It’s a wood structure with a cedar shake roof. It’s a bit worn, but is still dry inside.
If you have a yard, a shed is a great addition to help keep your garage clutter free. Here’s your ultimate shed guide that sets out 41 different types of sheds based on style, size, roof, material, foundation and features. Each example includes shed photos and detailed write up describing each shed option.
Table of Contents
- Decorative Elements
- Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing the right style of shed for you is important as the style will dictate not only the appearance but also how much room you will have to store your items inside. A Gambrel-style shed is very popular because the roof is so steeply sloped that it creates a lot of head space in the unit. Because of this extra space, you can easily build a loft or an attic in the shed, giving you extra storage space without taking away from the useable space that you need. This type of shed is ideal if you are looking to have a workshop in your shed or want to store your car as you are sure to have plenty of room without feeling cramped.
The saltbox shed is a great choice if you want your shed to be painted similar to a small house and enjoy the look of it matching your current home. Due to its shape, it can easily be scaled larger or smaller, making it ideal in a number of applications. Many people love building saltbox sheds on their property as playhouses for their children and find that they are just as attractive as they are functional. The part of this shed that sets it apart from other types is that the roof has a slightly different construction. While it does slope together and join at the top in a ridge as the gable shed does, one side of the roof is actually shorter than the other. This makes for a very attractive design but one that can be very difficult to build by yourself if you were to try to tackle this building project, making this a great shed to buy from a reputable retailer. They can be used for any type of storage and because they are attractive, you won’t mind having them close to your home.
Source: Home Depot
In terms of affordability, you can’t beat a plastic or vinyl shed. If you want to buy a shed that you won’t have to worry about performing upkeep on, then a plastic shed is the right choice for you. The price will increase if the shed is of a higher quality but you won’t have to worry about painting or refinishing it in the future. They will never rot and aren’t at risk of insect damage. In addition, any moisture or humidity problems that a wooden shed will face won’t affect a plastic shed and you won’t have to worry about the damage that moss growing on the side will cause. While they are incredibly sturdy and long lasting, plastic sheds are not as attractive as some of the other counterparts; however, this does not keep many homeowners from choosing this option over the other available ones.
Source: Home Depot
These sheds can be made from aluminum, steel, or even iron and are sturdy, long-lasting, and very durable. They are both insect-proof and fireproof and can stand up to a number of weather-related issues such as fungus, mold, and moss growth. They are harder to break into than other types of sheds so if you are worried about the safety and security of your items inside, then a metal shed is a great choice. Thieves are always on the lookout for buildings that they can easily get into and a metal shed is one that they will pass up time and time again. Unfortunately, there are some issues with metal sheds that make some homeowners opt for a different type of shed. Aluminum sheds in particular can easily be dented, which can happen with hail, falling limbs, or even an errant baseball. Thin roofs may not be able to withstand heavy snows in the winter and can buckle in so you will have to make sure that you are constantly cleaning off the roof during a snowstorm. In the same vein, if you live in an area prone to tornadoes or hurricanes, you will have to make sure that your shed will stand up to these high winds. Steel buildings are a much better choice in this case but you do have to treat them regularly so that they will not rust.
Source: Home Depot
Sheds made of wood are the most popular type, and for good reason. They look great and are the ideal choice if you are going to be using your shed as a home office or play space for your kids. Besides being visually appealing, wood sheds seem to stick out less when they are in your yard compared to metal or plastic sheds, making them less obvious and helping them blend into your property. You can easily update your wooden shed, adding on more space if you want or renovating the inside to better meet your needs. Unfortunately, without proper care, your shed will quickly be taken over by termites and can become moldy. It’s imperative that these sheds are stained or painted on a regular basis so that they not only look great but are protected against the elements. Very wet conditions will weaken the structure of this shed and you do not want to plant plants very close around them or they will hold a lot of moisture near the wood, possibly causing damage.
Related: 18 Different Types of Lumber
Source: Home Depot
While more commonly used on commercial buildings, sheet metal is a great option for the home shed because it’s not only economical but also very durable. It’s a perfect choice if you live in an area that suffers from extreme weather as your roof is very unlikely to ever be damaged. It will last for over a decade before it has to be replaced and requires very little upkeep over its life. If you are buying a premade shed, it can be tricky to find one that comes standard with sheet metal roofing, but your roof can always be updated or replaced as you see fit.
This is one of the best ways to make your wooden shed look as if it is a permanent structure on your property and as if it matches your home. They are tricky to use for a roof because they are so heavy so you have to plan for clay tiles from the moment you begin your foundation or your shed will not be able to support them. In addition, the walls and the roof of your shed need to be high quality to hold up against their weight. You will be hard-pressed to find an option with clay tiles that you can buy directly from a manufacturer so it’s important to be prepared to do the roofing work yourself or hire a local expert to complete it for you.
For a roof that blends in seamlessly with the woods around it, you can’t beat a green roof. They begin with a waterproof membrane on top of the roof that will keep the water from soaking down into your shed and causing damage and then have a growing medium on top to ensure that the mosses that grow on top will be able to last. While this isn’t the ideal roof for every homeowner, it does create a storybook feeling in your shed that is hard to beat and appeals to a lot of people.
Source: Home Depot
Perfect to make your shed look like a part of your home, roofing shingles ensure that it matches your home perfectly. In addition, when you use high quality shingles you won’t have to worry about leaks or the roof not lasting for a long time. It’s smart to replace the shingles on your shed roof at the same time as you do your home so they age at the same time and continue to look great together. This also ensures that you have enough of the same type and design of shingles to finish your shed and don’t have to choose another type that may not match as well.
Source: Home Depot
The most common roof type for prebuilt sheds, this roof will last for a long time even in the sun. You won’t have to worry about any upkeep with this roof although most homeowners like to wash it from time to time to make sure that there is no mildew or mold that is growing on top of their sheds. To ensure that the roof will last for a long time, manufacturers often use steel to reinforce it. This makes sure that there won’t be any problems with heavy snow or even if a large tree limb lands on the shed. This extra strength and protection is important and will keep your shed looking great for a long time.
This roofing option comes on a roll that can be easily cut to size and installed on your shed. While it works perfectly on flat roofs, it can actually be used for any pitch. It’s easy to install on new roofs but also works perfectly as a replacement if your roof has been damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced.
Source: Home Depot
If you are only going to be storing some outdoor equipment and tools in your shed, then you will be best off with a smaller kind. These will not only cost less but they will take up less space on your property and will be less obvious when someone is your yard. While you will generally be able to stand up in these sheds, you will not be able to spend a lot of time in them working so it’s important to think about the future and how well a small shed will continue to meet your needs. It’s smart to install pegboard and other storage options on the walls in smaller sheds so that you can easily store items and have them close at hand when you need them.
Source: Home Depot
By moving up a size, not only will you be able to store more items in your shed but you will be able to get into it and walk around if necessary. This size shed will work well for a riding lawnmower as well as any other small garden tools that you need to stash away but you won’t want to try to turn it into a workshop or office space. In addition, it’s important to consider storage space above your head as you may be able to eke out a little extra space by installing some sort of an attic overhead instead of only relying on ground space.
Source: Home Depot
By moving a little larger with your shed you will not only gain a lot of storage space but be able to move around more freely. This is important if you think that you want to spend time in your shed potting plants or tinkering with equipment. Some large sheds may work for an office or personal space but you will have to be very picky about the items that you bring into it as they are still not the largest shed choice available and can end up feeling cramped if you are not careful.
The floor that you decide to use for your shed will play a huge role in how you are able to use it as certain materials will be able to hold heavier weights than others will. If you buy a pre-constructed shed, this will not be as big of a concern as it will if you decide to build your own and this is a very good reason why some homeowners change their plans and decide to buy sheds that are already built. Timber floor boards are generally a great option because they are already tongue-and-grooved, making it very easy to install this type of floor. OSB or plywood, while strong, has to be installed correctly to ensure that your floor will last for as long as possible. Make sure that you have very strong floor joints that can support not only your floor but everything that you decide to store in the building as well.
If you are going to be using your shed as an extension of your home and want to use it as an office, then you will have to make sure that the floor is insulated. This is easily done and the insulation can be installed between joists in the floor while you build. While this may just seem an extra step to have to worry about, if your floor is not insulated, then you will suffer extreme temperature swings in your office. Not only is this uncomfortable but it can take its toll on any computer equipment or paint that you have in the shed. In addition, you will have to pay more to heat or cool your shed if you have not taken steps to insulate the floor. This is important even if you have a pre-built shed installed on your property so make sure that you know what you will be using the shed for before you finish the building project. Even if you are not going to spending a lot of time in your shed, it’s still a good idea to consider insulating it to keep your items stored in there at a regular temperature. Huge temperature fluctuations can easily damage any electronics that you have stored and it will also minimize the humidity inside your building.
It’s important that you do everything you can to minimize water and damp under the shed before it is built or installed. One way to do this is to install a polythene barrier on the ground where your shed will be. This will help block moisture from coming up under your shed from the ground and will also keep plants from being able to grow under your shed. In addition, you will want to make sure that there is enough ventilation so that your wood does not get wet. Wet timbers under your shed will not be very strong and you can have mold or construction problems if you are not careful. It’s a good idea to consider leaving the underside of your shed completely open to allow air to circulate and release any humid air that may get trapped under there. You can protect the integrity of your joists by placing a damp-proof membrane under the shed and installing gutters that will drain water away when it rains.
These foundations are great at holding up very heavy sheds, making them ideal if you are going to store your vehicle, heavy machinery, or yard equipment in them. Because they are on a solid and permanent base, you will not be moving your shed around in the future but it does make them a lot sturdier. It’s imperative that water does not pool on the pad or your skids and then your shed will slowly begin to rot from the bottom up. The best way to get around this issue is to have the pad poured in the exact same size as your shed so that water will end up on the ground and not resting on the pad.
If your yard where you want to install your shed is sloping, then you will have to adapt your plans to build a foundation that will remain strong and sure even on a hill. A post-and-beam foundation creates a strong, flat spot for your shed because you will bury posts deeply in the ground. Once you have them all level, you can easily attach pressure-treated beams to the posts and begin to build a level platform that your shed can sit on.
Instead of using wooden posts for your foundation the way that you do in a post-and-beam foundation, you can opt for using concrete piers. After drilling holes into the ground, concrete will be poured in to create a permanent post for your foundation to rest on. This type of foundation can hold much more weight than the post and beam but not as much as the concrete pad.
For heavy equipment, gravel is a great choice and you can always add more if you need to. This type of shed foundation will only work if you have a nice level location for your shed. It’s important to build some sort of barrier around your foundation to keep the gravel from moving away but you will enjoy how easily the water runs right through the stones without pooling near your shed.
This is a relatively simple kind of foundation for sheds and is built by stacking cement blocks to the correct height. You can then easily place your shed on top of the concrete blocks. You will only want to use this type of foundation if your ground is level and you won’t be storing very heavy items in the shed as it doesn’t offer the same amount of support that other foundations do.
Source: Home Depot
If you rely on firewood to heat your home, then you already know how important it is that your firewood is always dry and protected from the elements. There are few things more frustrating than wanting to start a fire either to heat your home or to cook something to eat and being unable to because the wood has gotten wet. Once your firewood has seasoned, you will want to protect it and placing it inside a shed is a great way to do this. You can use a lean-to shed for this purpose as they are best suited to it because they will allow fresh air to flow around your wood and keep it from becoming damp and musty. In addition, because lean-to sheds are built up against your home, you won’t have a long way to go to get wood when you are feeling a little chilly in your home.
Storage for Personal Belongings
Source: Home Depot
This is a very good reason that homeowners or even renters install sheds on their properties. As people age, they begin to accumulate more items and try as hard as you might, it can be very difficult to get rid of things. In addition, smaller homes are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. They cost less to buy or build, are less expensive to heat, and decrease your impact on the environment. Unfortunately, if you have collected a number of items during your life, you will need a safe place to store them. A shed on your property is a safe place where you can store even your most favored antiques without worrying about them breaking or being damaged by the weather. In this case, you will want to buy a shed that has a lot of storage space; opt for the Gambrel or the gable as you will be able to store items not only on the floor and on shelving units but also in a space that you can create in the attic. This will maximize your storage space without making you buy a significantly larger shed.
Source: Home Depot
Every homeowner is going to have tools that he or she uses to take care of the property but unless you have room in a garage or a basement to store your tools, it can be tricky to know where you can put them. Backyard sheds are perfect for this application and will do a great job keeping your yard tools and equipment safe. While there are some people who opt for carports instead of sheds to store items such as lawnmowers, the problem with this is that bad weather can still get on and affect your equipment. To really protect your yard tools and equipment from driving rain, snow, hail, and the hot sun, you will want to store them in a protected environment. Sheds have such easy access that it won’t be difficult for you to get to your items when you need them. If you install a ramp at the entrance, then you won’t have to worry about lifting heavy equipment up and down every time that you need to mow. This is also an ideal location to store bicycles and even yard toys as it will keep them protected while not in use and improve the appearance of your property because they won’t be strewn around in your yard.
Garage / storage combo shed
Attached firewood storage
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about backyard sheds.
Are sheds allowed in front gardens?
Generally speaking, sheds are not allowed in front gardens, according to most local municipal regulations. Only in cases where a homeowner has a front garden large enough to place a shed far enough back from the street to satisfy local ordinances can a front-garden shed avoid running afoul of the law. Local laws differ on how far back from the street a shed must be, how large a front-garden shed can be and whether it can be painted.
Are sheds covered by home insurance?
Different insurers have different policies regarding sheds, but in most cases a shed is considered a “fixture” and thus is covered under home insurance policies. Even the contents of a shed can be under the policy as well, as long as the shed is used for storage of items that are legally insurable. In most cases, the contents of a shed are categorized as “personal property” for insurance purposes and get the same protection as the contents of one’s house. Again, homeowners should check the fine print in their policies and ask an agent when there is any doubt.
Are sheds insulated?
Depending on local weather conditions, it can make perfect sense to insulate a shed. Some shed owners place fiberboard panels over the outside of their sheds and then cover the fiberboard with another material, like sheet metal. It’s important to remember that most ready-made sheds can be insulated, but owners will need to think about ventilation. Air vents, even very small ones, allow sheds to “breathe” and keep from suffering wall distortion. In geographic locations where there are wise-ranging temperatures, even a heavily insulated shed needs one or two air ducts somewhere in its walls or ceiling space.
Can metal sheds be painted?
Metal sheds can be painted, but it’s important to follow typical guidelines that pertain to the painting of any metal surface. Particularly when rust is present, owners should remove as much of it as possible before painting. Using a metal-safe paint is important. Otherwise, a nice-looking paint job can peel off in a matter of days. Many metal sheds are sold with the expectation that the owner will be painting them. Some direction booklets include information about how to paint metal sheds. In short, unless a shed is made from a specially-treated metal, and is clearly marked as “non-paintable,” it can be painted.
Can metal sheds be insulated?
Metal sheds can be insulated. In fact, the uneven surface of many metal sheds makes the insulation job that much easier. Most metal shed owners choose to insulate the outside of the unit, but he inside can be insulated as well. Insulation can take the form of wood, sheet metal or fabric, depending on the preference of the owner.
Can plastic sheds be painted?
Most plastic sheds can be painted but owners need to read the specs to learn details. Some types of treated plastic won’t take a paint job easily, regardless of what the manual states. Sanding the surface of the plastic is a good way to begin the painting process. Find a paint that works well on plastic and test it on a small, non-visible area of the surface. Wait a few days and if it seems as if the paint properly adhered to the plastic, it’s likely the entire shed can be painted. Always check out the specs before buying a plastic shed and ask the sales agent whether the unit can be painted.
Can vinyl sheds be painted?
Vinyl sheds take a paint job as long as you use the right kind of paint. Most paints listed as “self-priming” and/or “waterborne” are ideal for vinyl sheds. Before starting the job, however, the shed needs to be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water. Any dirt, grime or mildew will not allow the paint to adhere to the surface. In most cases, only one coat of paint is necessary, but two might be a better idea in harsh climates.
Can used sheds be sold?
Not only can used sheds be sold, they often fetch very high prices. Owners who take good care of sheds, paint them, insulate them and routinely maintain their overall appearance can easily sell sheds online or by posting flyers in the neighborhoods where they live. It’s even possible to find “comparable” sheds in order to set the right asking price. In general, prices depend on size, condition and the material the shed is made of.
A great place to sell sheds is Craigslist and/or Kijiji for your local region or town.
=> Next: 5 shed Design Software Options
Home Stratosphere is an award-winning home and garden online publication that’s a result of our talented researchers and writers who work directly with hundreds of professional interior designers, furniture designers, landscape designers and architects from around the world to create helpful, informative, entertaining and inspiring articles and design galleries.