Finding the Perfect Shed Size: A Comprehensive Guide to Optimal Storage and Functionality
Last updated Friday, September 1st, 2023
Choosing the right shed size is a lot like looking for the perfect pair of shoes. You need the perfect fit for it to be worth your money. But you can’t just dump it in your closet if it doesn’t fulfill your needs. You’ll lose thousands of dollars along with your precious backyard space.
Imagine being stuck with a tiny shed with all your gardening tools and power tools crammed together. Imagine ending up with a massive shed that leaves no backyard space for you to play with your kids. Either way, you’re losing out.
There’s a simple one-line formula to pick the right storage shed for you:
Right shed size = storage + utility.
You need to choose the perfect match of storage and utility for your needs. But we know you probably have a lot of questions to help you find that balance.
What are the common shed sizes? What can they be used for? How can you customize them? Will they fit in your budget? Don’t worry! In this article, we’ll answer every single question to help you build the perfect shed for your needs.
Assessing Your Storage Needs
The right shed will be a space that allows you to easily store and access your items, and provide you enough room to move around freely. If it’s making your life easier and more organized, you’ve probably picked the right option.
Here are a few factors to consider for determining your shed size needs:
What are you planning to store inside it? – Evaluate all the belongings you want to move to your new storage space. Is it just a few small gardening tools and decorations? Or are you planning to store bicycles, lawnmowers, and other big power tools? Categorize them based on their size and how often you use them. You can even bring them all together in one spot to estimate how much space they’ll be occupying once you build the shed.
How do you want to organize your belongings? – Once you know what kind of items you’re planning to store, you need to create the necessary space to neatly store them. Visualize how many shelves, hooks, and racks you’ll need to access your belongings and map it out.
What future storage needs do you expect? – You need to plan out your storage space keeping your evolving need in mind. You’ll add a lot more items to it as your family grows. So leave some room for growth to avoid the challenges of a cramped shed.
Shed Size Options
Let’s take a look at some of the most common shed sizes and how they can fit your storage needs:
- Small Sheds – These sheds are best suited for basic outdoor equipment that you don’t have room for in your house. They occupy minimal space and can be set up in a corner or right next to your home so that most of your yard space is unobstructed. If you’re certain your storage needs aren’t going to grow in the near future, you can stick to a small shed. You can choose from 6X8, 8X12, or 10X8 ft sizing options. They can be used to store small equipment like bicycles, gardening tools, cleaning supplies, and decoration material.
- Medium Sheds – These sheds can accommodate a larger variety of equipment and are more multi-functional in design. Medium sheds are good for homeowners with average storage needs who may require more space in the near future. You can choose from 10X10, 10X16, 12X10 ft sizing options. They can be used to store items such as lawnmowers, bicycles, large power tools, or a workbench.
- Large Sheds – Large sheds offer the most versatility in utility, but definitely take up the most storage space out of all shed options. You can choose from 12X12 to 12X24 ft sizing options. Their abundant space makes them more human-friendly and preferable for storing bigger machinery like ATVs, sports gear, and cabinets.
- Extra-Large Sheds – Extra-large sheds are like a second home within your property. They offer abundant living space and storage room for just about anything you want to store. They’re better suited to properties with large yard space. You can choose from 16X10 to 16X24 ft sizing options. You also need a more aesthetic approach to their design so that they complement your home design. People often convert them into gyms, pool houses, recreational rooms, office spaces, and workshops. You can use them to store tractors, boats, and larger machinery.
Matching Shed Size to Functionality
A clear purpose is the key to picking the right sized shed. Size matters, but only once you know what you need the shed for.
At Colonial Barns & Sheds, we offer a variety of different sizes and styles based on your lifestyle needs. Feel free to give us a call and let us get to know your needs better. It’ll help us pick out the perfect sized shed for you faster.
Here are some questions that will help narrow down your storage needs:
- Do you need a garage space for a vehicle?
- Will you use it as a workshop or art studio?
- Are you a passionate gardener?
- Do you want to build a play area for your kids or a guest house?
- How often will you use the shed? How much time do you expect to spend there?
- What are your current and future storage needs?
Each purpose has unique space needs to store equipment and facilitate the activities you want to do. The biggest factor that you must account for is whether it’ll simply be used as a storage space or an activity space. Activity spaces need to be carefully planned to allow people to comfortably move about and use for long hours.
Local Regulations and Permit Requirements
Want to know why you don’t see gigantic shed sizes like 40X60 or 50X70 ft.? Those typical shed sizes we shared earlier are typical not just because of their popularity. It’s because they are subjected to local zoning and building codes.
So even if you have a massive back yard, you can’t build an airplane hangar-sized shed just because you can afford it. Every area has its unique local zoning and building codes. You must review them to see if there are any shed size limitations
You’ll also have to verify if you’ll require any building permits or approvals from local authorities. Once they approve your proposal, you can officially begin building your shed.
Luckily, that’s another thing we take off your plate when you hire us to build your shed.
We’re familiar with the building codes in your area and will get all permits cleared. You just sit back and watch your dream shed come to life!
Optimizing Space: Shed Layout and Organization
Want to know what takes your shed utility to another level? An optimized interior layout. A poorly designed layout can compromise the benefits of large storage sheds too. You need to figure out how to make the best use of the available space.
Think about the variety of items you’ll need to store and separate them into groups. Now you’ll be able to estimate how many cabinets you’ll need to store these different groups of items. Try to keep your most frequently used items within easy reach when you open your shed.
You can use a variety of smart storage solutions like cabinets, shelves, and hooks to keep your shed more organized. Don’t limit your storage planning in a one-dimensional way. You can use taller cabinets, hanging storage, and create an attic space to make the most of your storage space.
There are a lot more design factors that come into play if you’re planning to use it for activities. Now, your shed needs to be more optimally designed for easy movement and activity. That means you may need to plan space for furniture, proper ventilation, lighting, plumbing, heating, and insulation.
Shed Size and Accessibility
What’s the point of building a shed if you can’t easily access your belongings? Its sole purpose is to take the burden of organizing your belongings so you can keep your home neat and tidy. But if you have to keep digging through a messy storage space outside your house too, it’s not serving its purpose.
Here are some essential factors to consider to make your shed more accessible:
- Laying the foundation – Your shed is only as strong as its foundation. Pick a spot that’s away from water lines, septic tanks, or utility lines. The ground should be properly levelled to ensure your shed is stable and safe to use.
- Door frame – The door size should be big enough to move your largest items through it without any struggle. You can evaluate whether you need a sliding or hinged door for your shed. You can choose between single or multiple entryways.
- Clear pathways – You need to keep your shed obstruction-free by building a clear pathway. This will help you easily navigate your shed without tripping over things and risking injuries or damage to your belongings.
- Windows – Natural lighting and good ventilation is something you need to consider if you’re planning to use your shed for activities. You’ll have to evaluate the direction of the sun and exposure of sunlight you’re looking for. Based on this, you can choose the right size for the shed windows and where you need to install them.
- Flooring – Based on your utility and local climate conditions, you need to pick the right flooring. You can choose from moisture-resistant flooring, basic wooden flooring, laminate flooring, and many more.
Budget doesn’t have to be a limitation if you plan out your storage and utility needs well. You also need to account for how much maintenance work you’ll have to invest in after building the shed. Small-sized and medium-sized sheds are great economic options if all you’re looking for is some storage space for tools and smaller machinery.
Larger sheds are better suited for those who are looking for abundant storage and activity space. They’re going to cost more and are also going to cost more to maintain.
You must find the sweet spot between your desired shed size and your available budget.
Don’t assume cost cutting is going to compromise quality. We work with a variety of affordable and durable materials that are hassle-free to maintain. We can show you all kinds of sheds we’ve built that are standing strong even after 20 years.
If you’re a strong DIY person at heart, you can save a lot of money building your own simple shed and its interior space. However, larger sheds may require more expertise. Keep in mind that you may also have to spend to get the necessary building and zoning permits.
At Colonial Barns & Sheds, we like to go the extra mile to help you find the perfect shed without breaking the bank. We have partnered with a financing group to provide easy low-interest loans for qualified applicants.
You can choose from a variety of flexible shed financing options, such as:
- Loans with zero interest for six months
- Affordable ten-year financing plans
Custom Shed Size and Design
If none of the standard shed sizes and designs we offer match what you’re looking for, don’t worry! We care about giving you the right shed instead of just limiting you to the standard options.
Colonial Barns and Sheds offers custom shed sizes and designs tailored specifically to your space, utility, and budget. Do you love coming up with your own designs? Did you find something in your Pinterest boards that you want to try? We’re eager to find out and help you bring your dream shed into your back yard. Our team specializes in creating custom sheds that will check all the boxes of storage and functionality that you’re looking for.
Sometimes, you may need some extra height for more vertical storage space. Sometimes, you’ll need some specific insulation and flooring for your shed. We can help you customize both the construction and layout of your shed to match your requirements.