Having a backyard shed can be very convenient as it gives you more room to store your garden tools or equipment. Some types of sheds will come with your house when you buy it, or you can have one built right on the property. A shed makes a nice addition to your yard if you’re trying to keep areas like the garage or basement free of clutter. We’re going to outline 19 different types of sheds you can consider adding to your yard, and we’ll also touch on a few important factors to consider when you shop below.
Many people don’t realize how many types of sheds there are or that they can come in different styles to match their decor. Shed by iheartpandas / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
1. Cement Block Base Shed
This is a very simple type of shed that has a foundation you make by stacking cement blocks until you reach your chosen height. You can set the shed right on top of the concrete blocks, but you generally only want to use this foundation type if you have level ground and you don’t plan on storing heavy items in the shed itself. This is due to the fact that this foundation doesn’t offer nearly as much support as other types do.
2. Concrete Pad Base Shed
This foundation works well for holding up heavy types of sheds, and it’s ideal if you’re going to store your heavy machinery, vehicle, or yard equipment inside them. Since this shed will have a permanent and solid base, you won’t move your shed around in the future. However, it makes it a lot more sturdy.
It’s essential with this type of shed that water can’t pool on the pad or skids or the shed will start to rot very slowly from the ground up. The best way to avoid this problem is to pour the pad as the exact size of the shed that is going to sit on it so that any water slips off onto the ground instead of getting stuck and sitting on the pad.
3. Concrete Pier Shed
Instead of putting wooden posts down for the foundation of your type of shed that way that you would if you had a post-and-beam foundation, you can use concrete piers instead. Once you drill the holes into the ground, you can pour the concrete in to create a permanent post for the foundation to sit on. This setup allows the foundation to hold a lot more weight over a more traditional post and beam, but it’s not as durable as a concrete pad foundation.
4. Extra-Large Shed
This type of shed is excellent for storing any type of yard equipment, vehicles, toys, or overflow items that don’t fit in your home or garage. They also work well as a home office or as a creative space. You can finish the space inside this type of shed and customize them to fit your needs. You won’t feel cramped when you get up to walk around in it, and you get more than enough head space for everyone to fit and move around comfortably.
5. Firewood Storage Shed
If you rely on firewood to provide heat for your home, you know how important it is that your firewood stays dry, especially in colder planting zones. A firewood rack is a great way to start protecting your firewood, but a specific type of shed can really help. There’s nothing more frustrating than going out to get firewood and finding that it’s too damp to light.
Once your firewood seasons, you’ll want to stack it neatly inside of this shed to protect it and keep it dry and ready to use. A lean-to shed is usually enough for this purpose, and they allow for fresh air to flow around the wood and prevent it from getting musty and damp. Also, since lean-to types of sheds get built right up against your home, you won’t have to walk far to get the wood when you need it for your fireplace.
6. Gable Shed
Gable sheds are one of the most common types of sheds you can purchase, and because of this, you’ll have dozens of options to choose from when you shop. People love the way they look as they have a slightly sloping roof that peaks in the center and has an attractive ridge on top. It’s a very classic shape and feel, and it’ll look fabulous on virtually any property, no matter what your home’s style may be.
You can get a small amount of additional attic space with this type of shed, but not as much as you’ll get with the gambrel style. These sheds are very popular with people who want to store their garden tools, work on potting any plants, or secure smaller vehicles like motorcycles or scooters. You can buy this shed in a large range of sizes, and they look great no matter which one you get.
7. Gambrel Shed
Picking out the right type of shed when you shop is important because the style will dictate how much room you have for your items and the final look. This style of shed is popular because it has a very steeply sloped roof on it that gives you a lot of head room when you move around inside.
Since it offers additional space, you can easily build an attic or a loft inside of the shed to give you more storage space without taking away from the floor space. It’s an ideal option if you want to put a workshop in the shed or if you want to store your car as you’ll get more than enough room without it being cramped.
These sheds give you a decent amount of room to move around when you’re looking at your items or storing them, and you can fit a lot in without feeling cramped. Heritage listed round Explosive Hut by denisbin / CC BY-ND 2.0
8. Garden Office Shed
Sometimes, it’s good to have a space where you can get away from everything if you live in a smaller home or if you’re someone who has a very busy and big family. Finding your own space can be hard, but this type of shed will help. Being able to relax in a quiet spot to spark your creativity or spend time working on your next project is important, and this is why more and more people are turning their ordinary sheds into a high-quality office.
This type of shed is a great thing for anyone who works in the creative industries and they want to get inspired by nature to design, paint, write, or build. This is a very cost-effective way to add usable space to your home without having to take on a renovation or home improvement project in your home. Outdoor offices are easy to install, easy to upkeep, and they’re a flexible space to use however you need.
9. Gravel Pad Shed
Gravel is a great choice for a type of shed foundation because you can always add more should you need it. This shed foundation will only work well if you have a totally level piece of ground for your shed to sit. You want to build a short barrier around the foundation to keep the gravel from slowly moving away from the shed like you would for a gravel driveway. It allows water to run right through the stones and away from the shed to prevent pooling.
10. Large Shed
By picking out a slightly larger type of shed, you get a lot of storage space and space to move around freely. If you want to spend time in your shed potting your plants or working on equipment, this is an important consideration. Some large types of sheds can also work for personal space or an office, but you’ll have to be very selective of any items that you bring into it because it’s easy to clutter up the space for it to feel cramped.
11. Lean-To Shed
This type of shed is very easy for you to build, and it’s a fantastic project for a DIYer who wants to have the convenience of a shed but doesn’t necessarily want to purchase one. The ease is partly due to the fact that they use an existing wall of your home so you don’t have to take on a full-scale construction project to get this smaller shed.
It’s possible to create this type of shed as a freestanding structure, but it’s much more popular to attach them to your garage, home, or building on the property. So, you only have to build the three remaining walls with a sloping roof to complete it. Because they’re close to the house, they’re a great space to store your toys, grill, or lawnmower.
12. Metal Shed
As the name suggests, this type of shed can come made from steel, aluminum, or iron to give you a very long-lasting, sturdy structure. They are fireproof and insect proof, and they can withstand a host of weather-related issues like mold, fungus, or moss growth without any damage. They’re much more difficult to break than other types of sheds, so if you’re worried about the security and safety of whatever you put in them, a metal shed is something to consider.
People are always looking for things they can break into, and a metal shed is one that will make them pause. However, there are a few issues with this type of shed that you have to know about to make an informed choice when you shop. Aluminum sheds can dent relatively easily, and this can happen due to falling limbs, hail, or even an accidental meeting with the lawnmower.
Thinner roofs might not be able to stand up to heavy snows during the winter months and they can buckle, so you’ll have to clear off the roof when it snows large amounts. In the same vein, if you live in a spot where hurricanes or tornadoes are common, you want a type of shed to withstand these winds. In this instance, steel is a much more practical choice that you have to treat so it doesn’t rust.
Metal is a very popular material for your sheds as it is very durable, and it requires very little maintenance to keep it looking nice. Metal Shed by SteelMaster Buildings / CC BY-SA 2.0
13. Medium Shed
Going to a medium type of shed will give you space to store a few more items, but you’ll still be able to get inside it and walk around as necessary. This shed size works very well for storing your riding lawn mowers and smaller garden tools that you need to put away between uses but you don’t want to bury and make them hard to pull back out. It’s also important to consider storage options above your head to help make the most of every inch of space this type of shed offers. You could install an attic overhead to stop from relying purely on ground space.
14. Personal Belonging Storage Shed
Having a space to store your personal belongings is a very good reason why many renters and homeowners install this type of shed on their property. As people get older, they start to collect more and more stuff, and it can be challenging to let them go and get rid of them. Also, smaller homes are becoming more popular, and this gives you less storage space overall.
Ideally, you’ll want to buy a type of shed that has a lot of storage space like a gable or gambrel because they allow you to store items on the floor and by the ceiling by creating an attic space. This maximizes your storage space without taking away from your walking space.
15. Post-and-Beam Shed
If you have a sloping yard where you want to install your new shed, you’ll have to adapt your build plans to get a foundation that will stay strong and supportive on an uneven surface. This type of shed will help you create a very strong and flat spot for your shed because you bury posts deeply into the ground. Once you make sure they’re all level, you can attach pressure-treated beams to the posts and build a level platform to place your sehd on.
16. Saltbox Shed
This type of shed is a great choice if you want it to look like a smaller house that matches your current home’s design and paint scheme. Due to the shape of this shed, you can scale it smaller or larger, making it a very flexible choice. A lot of people love building this shed on their property as playhouses for their kids, and they find them a very functional addition to their yards.
The thing that sets this type of shed apart from others is that the roof has a slightly different construction process to it. It does slope and join at the top to form a ridge just like a gable shed, but one side of the roof will be shorter than the other side. This gives you a very attractive design, but it’s also one that can be hard to build on your own if you want to try and take on this building project. You can use them for virtually any storage needs, and they can enhance the look of your yard.
17. Small Shed
If you only need a type of shed to store some random outdoor equipment or garden tools, a smaller option will work nicely. These sheds are more cost-effective, and they take up less space on your property while being less obvious when someone comes over. You will generally be able to stand up in this type of shed, but they’re not large enough to spend a significant amount of time in there. So, it is important to consider what you want to use the shed for and whether it meets your long-term needs. You want to install storage options like pegboard or shelves on the walls to maximize your storage space.
18. Vinyl Shed
When it comes to affordability, it’s hard to beat a vinyl or plastic type of shed. If you want to purchase something that doesn’t require upkeep, a plastic shed is the right choice. The price will go up if the shed is of a higher quality, but you can save on maintenance costs as you don’t have to worry about refinishing or painting it going forward.
They won’t rot, and insects won’t cause damage. Also, any humidity or moisture problems that some types of sheds struggle with won’t impact a vinyl shed, and you don’t have to worry about moss growing on the side of the shed and causing damage. They are very long-lasting and sturdy, but they’re not as attractive as others on the list.
Vinyl or plastic sheds are immensely popular pre-built types of sheds because they’re cost-effective, but they can also last for a long time without any maintenance. Deluxe gable with accented, deluxe trim package by Skips Outdoor Accents / CC BY-SA 2.0
19. Wood Shed
The final type of shed on the list is one of the most popular for many reasons. They look fantastic, and they’re the ideal choice if you’re going to use it as a play area for the kids or a home office. They are very visually appealing, and they can stick out much less when you put them in your yard compared to plastic or metal sheds. This makes them less obvious because they blend in so well.
You can update this type of shed easily too, and you can add more space or renovate it to meet your needs. However, with the correct care, your shed can mold or have problems with pests like termites. You have to paint or stain this shed on a regular basis to keep them looking the best and protect them from the elements.
Being in very wet conditions can quickly weaken the shed’s structure and you don’t want any plants close to them as they hold a lot of moisture by the wood to cause damage.
Additional Considerations for Picking a Shed
Now that you know 19 of the most popular types of sheds, you should know the things that make them stand out. There are three big considerations to keep in mind when you start comparing sheds, and they are:
If you’re going to treat your type of shed as an extension of your home and you want to create an office, you’ll have to insulate the floor. This is a relatively easy project where you put the installation between the floor joists while you build the structure. While this may seem like a step you can skip, if you don’t insulate the floor properly, you will have huge temperature swings in the office. Not only will this be generally uncomfortable, but it can have a negative impact on any computer equipment or electronics you leave out here.
You’ll also end up paying much more to cool and heat the shed if you don’t add insulation. This is important even if you buy a pre-built type of shed and install it on your property. So, it’s a good idea to know how you want to use the shed before you finish building it.
Even if you don’t plan to spend a huge amount of time in the shed, you want to consider adding insulation or buying an insulated shed to keep anything you store in there at a steady temperature. Big temperature fluctuations can cause damage to your items, and it can help minimize the humidity levels.
The floor that you choose to install in your new shed will dictate how you are able to use specific materials and the weight limit of the items you store. If you get a pre-constructed shed, it won’t be as big of a concern as it will if you decide to draw up plans for and build your own. This is why many people change their minds and choose to go out and buy a complete shed instead of building from the ground up.
Timber flooring is usually a very nice option because they come with a tongue-and-groove design to them, and this makes them easy to snap into place. While plywood is strong, it has to have the correct installation process to ensure that the floor will last for as long as the shed. You want to have extremely strong floor joints that can support the floor and whatever you decide to put in the shed.
Finally, you want to do everything you possibly can to minimize the dampness and water pooling under the shed before you install or build it. One way you can accomplish this is to install a polythene barrier on the ground where you want to put the shed. This barrier can help block moisture from creeping up into the shed from the ground, and it stops plants from growing under the structure. You also want to have enough ventilation so the wood doesn’t get wet and rot.
Having wet timbers under the shed means that they’re not very strong, and you can have mold problems appear very quickly. It’s also a good idea to consider leaving your shed’s underside 100% open to allow air circulation and to release any trapped humid air. You can protect your joists’ integrity by adding a damp-proof membrane under the shed and install a gutter system along the roof to make water drain away when it rains.
You now know the 19 most popular types of sheds on the market, and you can read through and decide which one is going to meet your long-term needs the best. Some will work better for large-scale projects while others are suited for short-term storage. Comparing your options will ensure that you get a finished type of shed that will be a nice bonus for your existing property.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.