If you’re thinking about adding a shed to your property, you’re likely considering things like color and the overall design of the building – but you really need to be giving thought to the size of the shed. Your unique needs will dictate what type of shed you will buy, so here are some factors to keep in mind while you’re shopping around.
What Are Sheds Good For?
Sheds are an excellent option if you need a bit more storage space in your backyard. They can be used to store equipment, lawnmowers, animal feed, electronics, heavy duty equipment, and more. Others transform their sheds into work spaces where they can paint, woodwork, play drums, or focus on other hobbies away from their home. This can be extremely helpful if you have a particularly messy or noisy hobby.
If you happen to be a farmer, a shed becomes more than just a nice extra space — it might be useful to your operation for storing everything from tractors to utility vehicles to seed grain.
Some families even turn sheds into mini-guest spaces, a living area for their teenager, or a play space for their children. Sheds definitely are multi-purpose! And what you use it for should impact the size of shed you buy.
What Should You Look for in a Shed?
There are a few different factors that you should look in for in a shed, aside from the size. You probably want one that fits the décor of your property and home, so that means taking colors, design, and material into consideration.
You may also want to consider a shed that comes equipped with a loft for extra space, or ones that contain sound proofing (or at least have a design where it can be added at a later date) if you have noisy hobbies and you don’t want to disturb your neighbors.
A good idea is to go to a national retailer and look at their models. It will give you a better idea of what you need and are looking for. Costco and Menards sheds, for example, are pretty representative of what is on the mass market today.
What is the Best Shed Size?
Overall, though, the main thing you should look for in a shed is the size. While there is no best shed size, there are different options available and your needs should dictate the one you buy. Common shed sizes include 6×8, 10×8, 12×12, and 12×20. There are options that are larger and smaller, but these are the most available choices that fall under the “shed” umbrella.
These are one of the smaller shed options, but also very common. They are perfect for individuals who simply need to store a few items away from the elements and don’t already have the space in the home for it. 6X8 sheds are great for gardening, holiday lights, and personal items. However, keep in mind – space is limited, and while you can definitely add wall racks to maximize the space, if you have larger equipment, you may want to go up a size.
- Small enough to not take up a ton of space
- Likely requires minimal permitting if you are in a municipality with codes
- Very small. You will fill it up VERY quickly.
- If you are going through the effort of building a shed, why not go a little larger?
10×8 sheds are actually the most common shed size for homes as they provide a little more space than a 6×8, but don’t take up the entire backyard in homes that have less acreage. They also tend to be a very cost effective option and fit a variety of different storage needs for a family.
- Big enough for multi-use. For example, a garden shed plus a workbench.
- Can drive a ZTR or rider lawn-mower in.
- Usually can be constructed in a day (with an experienced crew).
- Many will still find the space a little small
A 12 x 12 shed is ideal for larger yards and for individuals who need space for storing lawnmowers, equipment, workbenches, ATVs, wheelbarrows, and/or gardening supplies. In some cases and designs, they can also be used for a garage! Lofts are easy to add, but it’s important to note that some townships will require permits to build a 12×12 shed or larger.
- Highly functional, with space for multiple uses
- Big enough to be able to provide a meaningful loft space for extra storage
- Likely to require permitting
- Getting more expensive
When it comes to a 20×12 shed, you definitely need to make sure you have the space on your property before making a purchase. These things are a beast! Zoning laws may also come into play here. However, they are perfect if you need room for heavy gardening equipment, workbenches, lofts, and more.
- Excellent storage and likely a large loft
- Can double as a small car garage with the right doors
- Cost increases, of course
- Some municipalities may limit square footage, so do your research
How Can You Determine the Best Shed Size For You?
Even though there is no necessarily best “shed size,” there are ways to determine the best shed size for YOU! To help you make your decision, we suggest:
- Measuring the space available in your backyard or property where you intend to put the shed
- This will prevent you from accidentally buying too large a shed!
- Place everything you intend to store in the shed and measure the space
- Even if you have the space for a 20×12 shed, it doesn’t mean you need it. This step ensures you’re buying the right shed for your needs (though you may want to go up a size if the space is cramped).
- Decide on a budget
- Your budget could very well dictate the best shed for you, but there are plenty of cost effective options out there.
- Look into local laws, community regulations (HOAs), and restrictions
- Local laws and restrictions may keep you from buying larger sheds. You may also need permits or permission to add it to your property or use it for specific purposes.
- Consider materials and design
- The materials used in the shed can dictate its use. Some materials and design can impact your ability to add lofts, wall racks, and other organization options. It could also affect the prize and sizes available.