Best Storage Shed Kits for DIYers

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You can never have too much storage, and storage shed kits can help. Gardening requires tools and materials that you'd probably rather not leave outside in the elements, but you may not have space for them in the house or garage. Even if you don't grow veggies, you may use a lawn mower or enjoy barbecuing in the backyard. Where will you put everything when you don't need it?

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If you are a DIYer, you may like the idea of buying an easy-to-assemble storage shed kit. There are lots of interesting options when it comes to shed styles. Storage sheds are made of different materials in a variety of building styles and with a range of roof options. Before you jump in, it helps to become familiar with the different types of shed kits.

An Overview of Outdoor Storage Sheds

An outdoor storage shed is a stand-alone structure that is constructed to organize machines (like lawn mowers, string trimmers and even small tractors), tools (like shovels and rakes) and garden supplies. All those boxes or bags of potting soil, fertilizer and mulch need to go somewhere out of the rain, but you want them easily accessible so you don't have to go to great lengths to get them when you need them. Even extra plant pots or seeding six-packs would be handier (and stay cleaner) inside a storage area.

In the days of yesteryear, barns served this purpose in rural areas, and you can think of a storage shed as a mini barn substitute. Most storage sheds are considerably smaller than barns, but the only check on the size will be municipal or state zoning restrictions. You can find storage sheds that are tall but not wide, others that are wide but not tall and still others that look like little houses or barns. It's a good idea to determine early in the process how much room you have for a backyard storage shed and how much storage room you need.

DIY Shed Kits

Storage sheds can be custom designed by an architect and constructed by a contractor just like any other structure on your property. If you have the skills to construct a custom DIY shed, you can draw up the plans yourself, pull out the tools and get started. However, many homeowners prefer not to invest the requisite time and money in that kind of project. If you fall in that group, a DIY shed kit might be the way to go.

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A DIY shed kit lets you build a shed from prefabricated, precut pieces following detailed and easy-to-understand manufacturer instructions. Shed kits are an easier alternative for a first DIY project than custom sheds and generally take much less time to put together than a build-it-yourself shed project. On the other hand, storage shed kits are prefabricated, so you don't have as much leeway for customization. Putting together a kit is also likely to cost less than other types of shed construction. Don't worry — if you just can't find the time to do it or you are having a hard time with the instructions, you can always pay a handyperson to put the kit together.

Most shed kits come with everything you need to complete the installation, though you may need to prepare the ground first. For extra ease, you can purchase many of these kits online and have them delivered to your front door. Many areas don't require a permit to put together a shed kit in your back yard but check with the local permit office before you buy one. You can also find out whether you need to adhere to any specific requirements to meet the letter of the law.

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Wood Storage Shed Kits

Many homeowners are willing to pay a little more for a garden shed made of wood, and it's easy to understand why. Wood sheds win the beauty contest hands down. Wood structures look warm and homey, and some of the most popular kits for wooden sheds have windows with shutters and even chimneys. When assembled, these storage sheds look like a miniature house or a tiny barn. Best Barn carries quite a few wood shed options, and it's a good place to start in reviewing what's available in commerce. They are largely walk-in size and run from larger (20 x 16 feet) to smaller (10 x 10 feet).

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Best Barn styles are very attractive — even adorable — and make you think of a ski chalet or playhouse for kids. They are super practical too. Take the smaller model, for example — the Northwood Shed, which is a 10 x 10-foot wooden shed in an easy-to-construct kit. The double-door opening is 5 feet, 4 inches wide, which is large enough to get inside and to move things in and out easily, and there are small windows on the sides to let in light. It is topped by a gable roof (with faux shingles), which makes room for a 4 x 7-foot loft on either end of the storage shed. Lofts are great for stocking smaller items. You can add a ramp for the shed if necessary.

If you need something bigger (maybe somewhere to store the backyard tractor), Best Barn's selection is large, varied and impressive. Some of the Best Barn kits have barn-style gambrel roofs, some have full lofts, some have doors on two walls and some come with little chimneys or weather vanes. These kits arrive with all required materials, precut wood that is ready to assemble and detailed instructions on how to get your shed kit put together.

Metal Storage Shed Kits

Wood is lovely, but metal lasts longer. If durability is your top priority in a storage shed kit, consider one of the many metal storage shed kits on the market. Metal storage sheds are sleeker and more modern than wood sheds, are free of pests (no termites to worry about) and are often treated to prevent corrosion and rust. They tend to be much less expensive than wooden shed kits and require less maintenance.

Arrow makes some of the best metal storage shed kits. These corrosion-resistant sheds protect anything stored inside from rain and dampness. For example, the 10 x 8-foot Lexington model is made of galvanized steel with a durable, baked-on enamel paint finish. It is walk-in size with an interior height of over 7 feet and more than 487 cubic feet of storage space. The double doors are big enough to allow small tractors to enter. With eggshell-colored walls, taupe doorjambs and a taupe roof, the look is neutral and can complement a wide range of home styles. They come in larger and smaller sizes as well.

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One of the easiest types of storage sheds to assemble, a metal shed seems to assemble with little effort. The Arrow sheds, for example, have drop-in-place panels with precut and predrilled pieces.

If you want the ease of assembly and the resilience of a metal storage shed but prefer the look of a wood shed, Arrow's got you covered. Look up their Woodbridge storage shed with corrosion-resistant galvanized steel covered in attractive wood-grain siding with coffee-colored trim. These come in sizes from 6 x 8 feet to 10 x 8 feet and have pad-lockable sliding doors to keep your tools safe.

Plastic (Resin) Shed Kits

Resin sheds are popular these days as a lower-cost option in shed kits. Natural resin is a sap that is secreted from plants, a translucent substance in a shade of yellow-brown, but today, almost all resins in industry are synthetic materials close in structure to plastic. In fact, when it comes to storage sheds, "resin shed" is another name for a plastic shed.

A resin shed is durable and portable as well as extremely low maintenance, and once assembled, resin sheds require very little care at all. You can clean them with a regular garden hose and a soft brush. They are also very light (think low shipping charges). Since they incorporate UV protection, you won't waste any time painting and repainting. The real attraction might be the price, as they cost less than most other types of shed kits. On the downside, they can stain from things like ink, oil or tar, and they can't bear much hanging weight on the walls.

Lifetime is a noteworthy brand that specializes in resin sheds. Their 7 x 7-foot Desert Sand outdoor shed is an excellent example of a plastic shed at its best. It offers a good-quality, roomy outdoor storage shed with a touch of charm and a lot of resilience. Its exterior is UV-resistant, and it has lockable, steel-reinforced doors and a high-pitched roof that lets rain and snow slide off. You get 42 square feet of floor space as well as three shelves to keep things organized. The Desert Sand model offers two shatterproof windows as well as a full-length ridge skylight to allow for natural light. Desert Sand requires two people to assemble it.

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Vertical Storage Sheds

Sometimes, you don't need a large shed to hold your tools and materials. You might only need a closetlike vertical shed in which you can line up your shovel, hoe, backyard broom and string trimmer. With these small sheds, you can attach wheels to make them easy to move around the yard.

Keter makes some resin storage kits that look like wood but last much longer. If you are looking less for a tiny house and more for an outdoor storage closet, Keter's Manor is a style you might want to consider. It provides 4 x 6 feet of storage space, with a pitched roof, one window and a skylight to let in the sunshine. It is also vented for air circulation. This unit is made of polypropylene resin plastic reinforced with steel, so it won't peel or rust and never requires painting. The material is appealing, with a stylish, woodlike texture.

Arrow makes a similar storage kit in steel, the Brentwood. It is 5 x 4 feet, with a sloped roof and a single door. It is an easy-to-assemble choice for storing shovels, rakes and similar garden tools. When assembled, the Brentwood does a good job of maximizing storage, with a full 93 cubic feet of storage and a 67-inch wall height to give you headroom.

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references

From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. A professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler has written about home and garden for Gardening Know How, San Francisco Chronicle, Gardening Guide and Go Banking Rates. She earned a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France.

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