I vividly remember parasailing across a South Dakota home improvement store parking lot. Not on purpose. I’d picked up a vinyl shed panel in the wind. It was 6:15 am and I’d just been sent to clean up after a recent blizzard. Sleeting snow and wind stung my face as I skated across the slush-filled asphalt, and thus begins my love/hate relationship with shed building.
In my 20’s I merchandised lumber and building materials, and display sheds were my responsibility. Unfortunately, display sheds are empty and become great big kites with enough wind. Due to this fact, I gained significant experience in both building and supervising the construction of multiple structures in wood, metal, and resin shed kits.
Check out some of the most interesting ideas we’ve seen with these Shed of the Year Finalists, inspired by Britain’s best shed builders.
Choosing the Right Shed Kit Material for Your Build
Between South Dakota blizzards and crazy store managers who adored carting my sheds around with forklifts for the latest sale, I learned the relative merits of common shed materials. I was able to build any resin shed kit single-handed, although I recommend two people for a project. I learned that a completely level foundation is key to any pre-cut kit too. The slightest warp will have panels falling and seams that don’t meet so prepare either a cement slab or leveled wooden foundation.
Metal and wooden shed kits were built easily in a day and were also easiest to repair using common building materials. The smaller and lighter weight things got though, the more anchoring mattered. My worst shed-kite incident happened after a South Dakota snowstorm, where an empty anchored metal shed pulled free from concrete anchors and hopped a fence. An unanchored 12×8 resin shed almost followed, but didn’t pop apart at the fence and therefore stayed on the right side of the property.
Don’t let these stories deter you, though, as I’ve bought and built many sheds on our family properties and loved them. Just remember to choose the right fit for your property, storage, and climate. Here are some of my favorite options to choose from.
Wooden Shed Kits
Wooden shed kits traditionally come with pre-cut lumber and materials, that are then assembled by either the manufacturer or the buyer. Most kits can be assembled in a day or two. Found in materials including spruce, cedar, or plywood – here are some of our favorite wooden designs.
Solid Wood Garden Shed
Available in 8′ x 10′, 8′ x 12′, and 8′ x 16′, these solid wood garden shed features both an interior and exterior space. This shed could also serve as an art space, an office, or a mother-in-law suite.
Jamaica Cottage Shop Garden Shed
These 8′ x 12′ garden shed plans feature a 8′ x 8′ interior space and a 4′ x 8′ porch.
Utility Shed With Porch
This fantastic little wooden shed comes pre-assembled, but don’t let that stop you from customizing. This Etsy seller offers a myriad of options from antique hardware to a weathervane top.
Eco-Friendly Wooden Shed
This company operates by the environmental principles to first do no harm, using only wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This sleek design features sunny windows and an entry overhang perfect for wetter climates.
Barn Style Shed Kit
This barn style siding and angled roof will compliment any American classic home.
Pine Cabin Shed Kit
The tongue and groove pine on this build provides a natural and clean feel to the entire structure.
Square Box Cabin Kit
Square and boxy, this unique design lets light in through tempered glass double doors.
Window Box Wooden Shed
At 587 square feet, this delightful shed feels almost like a tiny house. The polycarbonate windows and flower boxes add charm to this Western Red Cedar build.
Wood Gardener’s Shed
This natural cedar exterior also features mahogany veneers inside to provide a clean and classic charm to your landscape. Customize the interior with shelving to hold your favorite pots and tools.
Utility Wooden Storage Shed
The manufacturers of this shed want to make assembly as easy as possible. You’ll only need a few tools needed to assemble this, and the red cedar shingles come pre-attached to the roof panels. This utility shed is a simple and easy design to enhance your yard.
Metal Shed Kits
Metal sheds, made of steel or galvanized aluminum, come in many shapes and sizes. Most are less expensive than similar-sized wooden sheds. Builders will need to create a foundation using a sturdy material, then assembly is generally straight forward. Many sources will tell you about optional anchor kits, but I’ve found from experience that anchoring is necessary—not optional at all.
Arrow is a well-known name in metal sheds. This classic design provides a slanted roof that works well in snowy areas and a double door for larger equipment.
Window Pent Shed
This boxy design leaves room for skylight style windows. Light can filter in while still maintaining maximum protection against the elements.
Faux Wood Steel Shed
If you like metal materials but not the look, this shed is for you. The faux woodgrain appearances tricks the eye with this 8×6 storage option.
Ventilated Gable Shed
This simple shed is all about utility. Galvanized steel with pre-drilled holes offers easy assembly. Kit also includes vented “windows” for light and air.
Barn-style Metal Shed
The barn-style roof provides additional headroom and storage. Durable construction includes baked polyester enamel finish and mid-wall bracing for strength.
Lean-to Metal Shed
A smaller option, this space-saver can be anchored to a house, garage, or fence for additional stability.
Carport and Storage Shed Combo
If you’re having trouble picking between a storage shed and carport, no need to stress. This hand metal option provides you with covered space and storage too. You can customize size, shape, and color with the builders at Bargain Structures.
Firewood Metal Shed
Resin Shed Kits
Resin sheds refer to shed kits made from polyethylene resin, vinyl, or plastic. Polyethylene is commonly seen in greenhouses such as these. This type of shed can be built by those with little experience, but a strong ability to follow detailed instructions (IKEA or children’s toy experts look here). Kits can be built on sites with minimal prep, and provide a weather-resistant and durable structure.
Unfortunately, not all materials used in resin sheds are eco-friendly. If it’s in your budget we recommend finding sheds made from recycled plastic, and checking to see whether your shed materials can be recycled or must go to the landfill in the event the shed is dismantled.
Double Door Vinyl Shed
This vinyl shed features double doors plus a bonus door for strong protection from the elements with easy accessibility.
Doublewide Garden Shed
This shed is so big, it almost seems like two combined. Reminding me of the spaciousness of a doublewide modular home, this large shed has doors, windows, and a slanted roof much like a home too.
Super Sunlight Resin Shed
With windows everywhere this shed will be full of sunlight. In addition to windows at the doors, there are also side windows that open wide to let sun and air in too.
Recycled Plastic Lumber Shed
This cute shed could double as a playhouse. Construction materials included recycled plastic lumber and polycarbonate windows.
Basic Plastic Shed
This shed is all about utility. Recommended for storage-only, this shed provides ample room for outdoor equipment without costly add-ons.
Wood and Plastic Composite Shed
This shed combies the appearance of wood with the durability of plastic resin. The attractive shed is resistant to rot and decay, for a long-lasting backyard structure.
Tiny Shed Kits
Whether looking for a supplemental tool locker, or a solution to compliment a small urban yard, tiny sheds are easiest to find in ready-to-assemble kits. Here are a few of our favorites.
Rubbermaid Roughneck Shed
Available in multiple sizes, this resin shed from Rubbermaid comes in options as small as 53 cubic feet.
Rubbermaid Closet Shed
This 2-foot wide shed acts like an outdoor closet with a taller vertical reach and 17 total cubic feet.
Fir Wood Locker
This locker-style shed is 50.5” x 19.5” x 34.5”(including the roof).
The double doors allow for easy storage of plants, pots, and other gardening gear.
Cedar Garden Locker
This vertical shed is a handy space-saver. The tiered shelves on the right can store smaller items, yet still have room for taller tools like rakes and shovels on the left.
Outhouse Tiny Wooden Shed
We’ll leave it up to you to decide exactly what goes on inside this wooden space, but we’d use this cute little shed for garden tools.
Space Saver Metal Shed
We wanted to include a metal shed in our tiny shed search, but with a slight warning. Metal sheds work better as larger buildings since they are lightweight and prone to wind. If you choose a smaller metal shed, this was the best-reviewed one we found. (And the reviews aren’t all that good, so buyer beware.) You’ll want to spend some extra time to anchor this well.
Pop Up Space Saving Tent Shed
A permanent structure isn’t for everyone. If that’s the case for you, check out this tent-style shed that is portable and packable, yet still big enough for all your basic garden tools and a bike too.