A backyard shed adds storage and, in some cases, working or living space to your property. Many homeowners store lawnmowers, gardening supplies, and even hand tools in the shed. Others turn their sheds into workshops, guest rooms, or even art or yoga studios. The possibilities are endless, and since sheds come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and construction materials, there is sure to be one that will suit the purpose that you have in mind for yours.
We’ve looked at a dozen or more backyard sheds in an effort to suggest the best of the best. We looked at durability, different options available, customer reviews, and other factors. We encourage you to keep your intended purpose in mind when choosing the best shed for your backyard; think about the amount of space you need, whether you want to have it delivered fully assembled or not, and whether you will be running electricity or even water to your shed. This list of the best sheds is a great starting point to get you pointed in the right direction.
Our Top 3 Picks for 2021 - A Quick Comparison
The Best Sheds of 2021
The Best Shed Overall:
For those who want a modest-sized shed, our top pick is the Suncast Cascade Storage Shed. This one is made of a sturdy resin that is designed to stand up to the weather elements, including the sun. The floor is reinforced to be able to withstand the weight of your mower or tractor. The doors open up completely to give you full access to what’s inside, and there are two windows to let in natural light.
Another nice feature is that this shed has the supports needed for wood shelving, so you’ll be able to keep your tools and other items organized. One person can put together the bottom part of the shed, but you will need a second adult to help put on the roof. The dimensions are 8.5 inches high, 4 feet deep, and 7.5 inches wide.
The Best Large Shed:
The Lifetime Outdoor Storage Shed is our top pick for those who need a large storage shed. Measuring 8’ x 15’, this shed will give you plenty of room to store just about anything you need. It can also function as a place for you to set up a guest room, a relaxation station, or an art studio. This is constructed from high-density polyethylene and reinforced with steel for extra durability.
The shatter-resistant windows allow natural light in during the day, and the screened vents keep air moving throughout without giving insects and spiders easy access. The roof is high-pitched to allow snow and ice to fall off easily without accumulating. You will need to pour a foundation for this shed, as it will not set up properly if the ground underneath is not level.
The Best Budget Shed:
If you’re looking to spend a couple hundred dollars on a shed and don’t need anything large, consider the Catrimown Outdoor Storage Shed. This structure measures 5 by 3 feet, giving you ample room to store garden supplies and a lawnmower. It is constructed of steel and has a protective finish to prevent scratches as well as UV damage.
Note that this shed has no floor; the floor will be the ground underneath. You will need to set it up on flat ground for stability, but you can put it on your existing patio or pavers, or you could even set it up directly on the grass as long as it’s level. The roof is sloped to prevent snow and ice from accumulating.
The Best DIY Shed Kit:
Do you want to purchase your own wood and build your shed on your own? The EZBuilder EZ Shed is a great way to get the plans and the steel base and brackets, so your job will be started for you. It comes with a materials list and detailed instructions with images. In the end, you will build a 7’ by 8’ wooden shed with steel reinforcements.
The steel angle brackets will help you create the correct angles, so you will only need to make straight, 90-degree cuts. You’ll need to buy your own wood and roofing materials separately, which is why the price for this kit is so reasonable.
The Best Vertical Shed:
If you are looking just to store those extra tools for the garden or just need that little extra storage, your best bet is a vertical storage shed.
The best thing is you can hide your gardening tools or ladder and you can keep your potting soil and peat moss dry and out of the way.
The best feature of these type of storage sheds is they are compact width wise and can be placed in a variety of areas in the yard and the majority of these are available constructed from PVC, which is basically maintenance free and long lasting.
The Most Versatile Shed:
A practical shed that has enough space and durability to store that extra baggage overflow of the backyard, is the Yardstash IV. Made of vinyl tarpaulin, this material is heavy duty, weatherproof, UV resistant and tear resistant which makes this shed act like a tent.
The biggest advantage is it's easy set up; you can have this setup in less than 10 minutes which makes is portable and convenient to move around. Great to take this on a camping venture straight from your backyard. Store bikes, tools, backyard project material out of sight keeping your backyard looking immaculate.
The Best Metal Shed:
The U-Max Outdoor Metal Storage Shed turned up at the top of our list for backyard sheds made of metal. This one is a nice size: 6 feet wide by 4 feet deep and over 6 feet tall. The roof is sloped to prevent ice and snow build-up, and there is a plastic shell to add extra durability. Note that this shed does not have a floor; you will need to set it up on level ground and that ground will become the floor if you don’t build one.
The doors can lock for extra security and to prevent the doors from blowing open and allowing animals in. While there are no windows, there are four vents to let air flow in and out. This shed has been reinforced with beams to help it withstand wind, snow, and other weather elements.
The Best Wood Shed:
If you are looking for a wooden shed to store your tools and garden supplies, the MCombo Outdoor Wooden Storage Shed might be exactly what you need. This shed is equipped with shelving and it’s not large (measuring 33.6"x 17.1"x 53.15" inside), so it would not be suitable to hold a lawnmower or other large equipment.
It has an attractive appearance and double doors. The roof is made of asphalt and the shed itself is made of pure fir wood stained a natural color. It is weather-resistant and easy to assemble. The legs have pegs that go into the ground to add stability; there’s no need to put this on a separate foundation.
The Coolest Tool Workshop Shed:
If you are an avid DIY or projects fanatic, this cool little storage shed has the versality to act as a tool storage cabinet and small work station. Designed in two parts, the top layer can be used for storing some small tools and the lower area for larger tools. Set with a special folding shelf on the door in addition, you can use it as a small table or a small shelf when in need, fold it when not in use.
For your garden tools, this shed is equipped with hooks on the outside of the storage shed can be used to hang these gadgets. There is also addition shelf and hooks on the door for storing tools and accessories. Made of high grade fire wood and waterproof roof, it is equipped with waterproof coating to protect the shed from the elements. A drawback of this shed is the complexity of the assembly, doable but not too enjoyable.
The Best She-Shed:
If you’ve been wanting to set up a she-shed (or a man cave, yoga studio, or even a tiny guest house), your search might be over with the Lifetime Dual Entry Shed. This one has the appearance of a small house with two doors as well as two windows, complete with decorative shutters. You will need a wood or concrete foundation for this shed, as it is too large to sit on the grass or a non-level surface. Pea gravel or crushed stone might also be options.
The shed is constructed of high-density polyethylene, and it has a full floor that is stain- and slip-resistant. The finish is UV protected, and the structure is wind-rated to 65 mph. There is plenty of room for you to set up furniture, bookshelves, or anything else you might want in your relaxation station, as it measures 8’ x 15’.
What to Look for in a Backyard Shed
While your initial thinking might be that bigger is better, keep in mind that a larger shed will be more expensive. It might also need a better foundation, which will also add to the cost. Think about what you plan on storing in your shed and go from there. If you are only storing your push lawnmower and a small toolbox, you won’t need a shed that is 15 feet long. On the other hand, you also don’t want to underbuy only to have to upgrade in a year or two, so think about what you plan to use it for in the future, too.
If you are looking for a shed that will look great for years to come, wood might be your best option--it’s also often the most expensive. The least expensive material is usually metal, but it won’t stand up as well to high winds or heavy snow. And plastic sheds hold up well but tend to fade and even peel over time. You’ll need to take the pros and cons into consideration when deciding which material to go with.
Doors and windows
Having one door and no windows is generally fine for a small shed that will exist solely as storage. If you plan to do any work in your shed, however, you will probably want at least a window or two for a cross-breeze. Those who want to set up a guest suite or a studio in their shed might want two doors for the best airflow and aesthetics. Think about how many doors and windows you want before purchasing your new shed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it cheaper to buy or build a shed?
If you already have the tools, then it will be cheaper to build a shed than to buy one that’s already made. If you have to purchase or rent the tools, however, then the costs to do so will add up and might make it less expensive to purchase a ready-made shed. You should also consider the time you will be spending; if you need to take several days off from your job to build it and you won't be paid for those days, then it will likely be less expensive to simply purchase a shed that’s already made.
Do you need a foundation for a shed?
Yes, you will need a stable, flat area to put up your shed. Very small sheds can often be put on existing pavers or a patio. Larger sheds will require a wooden or, for sheds over 48 square feet, concrete foundation. If you don’t have the right foundation, your shed will tend to buckle, warp, or even break as the ground underneath shifts over time. Investigate what type of foundation you will need before making the investment in a shed.
Do you need a permit to install a shed?
This will depend on your local municipality. Contact your city hall, county administration, or whatever entity is in charge of building permits in your area and find out whether you need a permit to put up a shed. The last thing you want is to put it up without checking and then end up having to take it down again in order to have the permitting done properly. Always check before you order or start your shed.
Can I let someone live in a shed on my property?
Many places in the United States do not allow sheds to be used as residential property. If you live in a place that does allow it, you might have to have certain amenities, such as electricity and running water, in your shed. Again, this is a situation that requires checking with your local government to see what the rules are and to be sure that you are following them.
Amazing Shed Ideas To Inspire You!
If you’re looking for some inspiration for making your shed fit into your backyard decor, here are a few great ones that we came up with.
A Row of Sheds
Do you have a large family, a multifamily home, or the need for several sheds? Consider purchasing several smaller wooden sheds, lining them up, and painting them in a rainbow of colors. You’ll smile seeing them, and you won’t have to deal with mixups where one person goes into the wrong shed or someone putting garden supplies in the spot designated for sports equipment.
A Homey Welcome
Make your shed look welcoming by adding curtains in the windows and perhaps a place to sit outside the door. Some potted plants or a small garden bed can also go a long way toward making it look and feel like an extension of your home. This idea can be used for any shed, but it’s especially nice if you are using your shed as a guest room or a space for you to read, exercise, relax, or otherwise just get away from it all in your own backyard.
Choose a Bold Color
Pick your favorite color and roll a coat or two of paint onto your shed. A white window frame will make the color pop. Choose something that will complement or match your house, or go in the opposite direction and pick something completely different. It’s up to you!
Create a Playhouse
Do your kids need a place to play where they won’t be underfoot in the house? A shed can make a wonderful playhouse! Fill it with books and toys, and put a table with chairs outside so they can enjoy their snacks in the beautiful weather. A shed with windows is the best bet for this type of project so they can open them on nice days and keep them closed when it’s chilly or rainy outside.
Deciding to purchase a storage shed will open up a world of options to you. Once you decide exactly how you will be using your shed, you’ll be ready to look at a variety of structures in different materials, price points, and functionalities. We found the best shed overall to be the Suncast Cascade Storage Shed, but we’ve also offered you several other great sheds to consider. Take your time in finding the right storage or living space for your backyard so you can enjoy it for many years to come.
About The Author
Michelle Kulas has been writing professionally since 2008 in a variety of niches. She is a gardener and enjoys spending time with her family and her dog in her sunny Southwest Florida backyard. When she's not writing or in the garden, you can find her cooking or volunteer with foreign exchange students.