When you've run out of space in your home and garage for your belongings, or you've decided you want your car to fit in the garage, it may be time to consider the purchase of a backyard shed. Sheds can provide watertight protection against the elements, ample security, and plenty of room for most of what you hope to store depending on the size purchased.
The question is, what size shed is the best fit for your needs? Could a lean-to against the house or fence be just right, or do you need a lot of space for a small workshop? Here's some insight to help you decide.
What Are You Planning to Store?
A good place to start when considering what type of shed to buy is to consider what you need to store in them. Garages and sheds provide a good place to store items for outdoor use, but they can also be a place to add more functional storage space for other items as well, such as fitness gear, workshops, and even those extra tables and chairs you have around the home.
If you are hoping to make room in your garage, you may want to move heavy equipment out, such as lawnmowers, tractors, and the snowblower. Consider the large items first, but also think about the extras that need space, such as yard tools, electric tools, and fertilizing equipment.
Some people may be planning to store items for the winter, such as patio furniture, pool items, and other items that may not need to be accessible during this time, such as the kids’ trampoline or blow-up toys. You may want storage for things like trash bins, too.
What Size Is Your Backyard?
It’s also important to consider your yard size and features. A small yard is likely to benefit the most from a smaller shed, such as one that's 8 ft x 8 ft, as that will limit the amount of yard space taken up by the shed. If you have a lot of outdoor gear and ample yard space, go for the bigger shed.
Lean-to sheds are a good option for those without a lot of yard space but with some patio space or area next to their home. If your yard is narrow, this may be a better option.
Shed storage should be enough for your needs, but also not so much that it is hard to get into or takes up all of your outdoor area unless that's your goal. What do you use your yard for throughout the year? Do you like to host large groups, or do the kids play catch? Do you need space for your pets to run and play?
How Much Usable Space Do You Have?
Another factor to think about when comparing options for steel sheds or other shed storage is the amount of usable space in your backyard. Just because you have a large backyard doesn't mean it's all ideal for the placement of a shed.
For example, is the backyard very hilly? That could limit the amount of level space for building a shed. If there are large areas that are consistently wet, that’s going to create an unstable foundation for your shed, limiting where you can build.
Consider, too, what restrictions may be in place. Is there an HOA that may limit where you can place a shed or the size of it? Some communities have very specific restrictions about the placement of sheds near property lines or green spaces that the public has access to. It's a good idea to find out if you need a permit for your shed at this time, too.
Don’t forget that your shed space isn’t just the floor’s size. You can build upward as well. If you are looking for a way to add more usable space when you don’t have a large amount of yard, consider how adding shelving to a metal shed, for example, could help you make the most out of the room you do have.
Will You Need a Foundation?
The larger the shed, the more permanent the structure. Foundations are beneficial for many reasons, including creating a strong place for the shed to sit. Most larger metal sheds benefit from a cement foundation placed professionally to ensure the walls can remain sturdy and dirt doesn't shift under them. Most often, sheds larger than 6 ft x 8 ft need a foundation to extend the shed's life and maintain its usability.
What About a Flooring Kit?
If you have a smaller metal shed or a lean-to, you may benefit from a floor kit instead of a permanent foundation. A floor kit helps to create a stable bottom to build up from, but it still requires sturdy ground to ensure it doesn't topple over.
What Can I Fit in a Steel Shed?
With some insight into what you need to build a shed, now it’s time to think about matching up the right size shed to your needs. If you’re considering a steel shed, here are some factors to keep in mind. What size shed do I need? Here’s some insight.
A backyard shed typically offers the most space to use. Typical sizes include:
- 6 ft. x 6 ft.
- 8 ft. x 8 ft
- 10 ft. x 8 ft
- 12 ft. x 10 ft
The largest of these sheds could hold a significant number of items, including your tractor, other lawn equipment, bike, and much more. This is a great place to create a bench for supplies or a place to handle your gardening equipment. You could turn this into a small hobby shop, too.
Consider an 8 ft x 8 ft shed when you want to store away the patio furniture for the winter, tuck away the snowblower during the window, and still have ample room to move around the space. You could easily add a few shelves here to store all sorts of smaller items, too.
Upgrading to the 10 ft x 8 ft offers all of those benefits but also gives you a bit more room for a bench or table or other items that are longer, like that hammock you want to store for the winter or your child’s trampoline that’s collapsed.
The smallest of these sheds still provides ample space for lawn equipment, tools, and even a bike. You could store your garden supplies in a smaller backyard shed as well.
Lean-to sheds are a good option for those who have space next to a home or another structure and want to tack on some extra storage. While they may seem small, they can have some height to them, which gives you more room than you think for storage. Some common sizes include:
- 4 ft x 7 ft
- 4 ft x 10 ft
The smaller of these two is still going to give you ample room to put away all of the patio furniture under cover for the winter months. You can also use it as a place to put two or three bikes. You can use the smaller option to help with trash cans, the kids’ outdoor toys, or even your grill if you want to protect it from the elements.
Upgrading to the 10 ft long version provides a bit more space for longer items, including more bikes or the lawnmower, but also may offer enough room for a small table or bench for added storage. Place pool equipment in it as well.
Patio sheds are typically shorter and provide limited storage, but it could be just the right storage for your specific needs. Patio sheds are a good option when you just want a space to tuck items away, so they are out of sight but still easily accessible for when you need them. Typical patio shed sizes include:
- 6 ft x 3 ft
- 8 ft x 3 ft
- 8 ft x 4 ft
Perhaps one of the most common uses for patio sheds is to store your trash and recycling bins. If you don’t want these to be visible and you do want to keep the critters out of them, using any of these patio sheds can work well (choose based on the number and size of the trash bins you have). The smallest versions will have room for 2 larger trash bins.
There are other uses, though. An 8-foot-long patio shed can be a good option for a patio set, perhaps a small table and a stack of chairs. You may be able to store your gardening tools here, too.
Find Just What You Need at ShelterLogic.com
When it comes to finding the right size for a garden shed or patio box, you can trust in finding just what you need here. ShelterLogic offers plenty of sizes to choose from in a range of styles, giving you the added space you need. Contact us for more insight and support.