Shed Kit Styles

There are many different sizes and styles of shed kits available on the market today. While functionally a lot of the styling has little or no meaning, in some cases it can dramatically change the intended use and/or storage space.

To make sure that when buying a shed kit you get the shed that is most applicable to your needs, we have put together this brief guide to the different styles of sheds you will run into. In most cases the main difference between them is going to be in the type of roof, and thus amount of headroom for a given wall height, that these sheds will offer.

There are other styles of sheds and variations that we haven’t covered here yet. Over time we will be adding more examples and critiques of these less common styles of sheds. We hope you find this guide helpful, and if you have any questions as to which style of shed would be best fitted to your situation, feel free to ask.

Ranch Style Sheds

The ranch style shed is perhaps the most simple type of shed that you can find. Generally with a square floorplan or close to it, the ranch style shed offers functionality and storage space first and foremost.

The exterior of the shed is simple and functional. Flat walls, occasionally with windows, are generally without detail. A single large door allows for easy access to the shed’s interior. The roof is sloped up to the center, and the eaves are minimal. Just enough to keep rain water from off the roof from flowing down the siding. The eaves won’t keep the siding dry though unless the rain is coming straight down.

These qualities give the ranch style shed an interesting combination of strengths and weaknesses. While the eaves don’t give the siding any real protection, the siding itself doesn’t have any decoration or artifice that would allow for the moisture to seep in. As long as you keep the siding well protected with a water and UV protective sealant, stain, or paint, there shouldn’t be any worries about rot or mildew forming like there can be with more ornate sheds which have moldings and other decorations that moisture can seep behind.

Barn Style Sheds

The barn style shed is a lot like the ranch style in most respects. Usually the exterior details are kept to a minimum. The biggest difference, an in many cases the only difference, is in the roof. Rather than having two planes as with a rach style shed, the barn shed divides the roof up into 4 planes.

The shape of the roof is essentially half an octagon, though sometimes two of the planes are extended and so the sides wouldn’t be equal. Also the angles of the planes may not always be 45 degrees from each other like they would in a true octagon.

Because of the difference in the roof, barn style sheds offer more headroom than their ranch style counterparts. Often it’s enough extra headroom to allow for a loft or overhead storage in fact. This extra space comes at a price though, as the roof has more surface area, and the front and back walls do as well. Still, it is often a cost-effective way to add more storage space to a shed given that the ratio of space to structural components is greater than with other styles of sheds.

Lean-To Style Sheds

The lean-to shed is the simplest type of shed structure you’re going to find. Generally this shed looks like half a ranch style shed, with only one plane for the roof. Often these types of sheds are more rectangular, though not necessarily. The reason they tend to have one dimension increased relative to the other is that they are designed for tight or narrow yards where they will be placed up next to a wall or fence.

This is where the moniker “lean-to” comes from, as originally these are the types of storage that you’d find actually built onto an existing wall or fence. The shed’s structure would thus actually “lean” on to the existing structure.

Modern lean-to style sheds are stand-alone structures in most cases though. They have 4 walls, even on the side that would be nearest to the existing structure. This means they can be installed even when not in full contact with the existing structure, and so allows for much more flexibility of placement.

Arrow: 10’x17′ Metal Outdoor Storage Shed

Exposed to the elements, and storing tools and machinery, an outdoor shed needs to be tuff enough to stand up to a lot of stresses. Arrow’s Outdoor Metal Storage Shed is a good example of a shed that doesn’t skimp on the rugged construction while still looking good.

The white paint is double baked enamel over a rust proofing primer to provide the galvanized steel underneath great protection from rust and corrosion. The finish looks good too. This is a shed that’s built to last, and Arrow is so sure of it that they offer a 12 year warranty.

At 10 feet by 17 feet, and with a door that’s almost 8 feet wide, this Arrow shed is big enough to fit a riding lawn mower easily through the ample door. The doors are large enough that you can even fit a small car or boat in. Not only will a large entry way help in storing larger items, but it can make working inside a much more comfortable proposition.


Arrow's Metal 10x17 Storage Shed

A 10 foot by 17 foot Metal Shed from Arrow

Manufacturer: Arrow
Model Number: GA1017
Siding Color: White
Roof Color: White
Construction: Galvanized Steel
Warranty: 12 year (Limited, Manufacturer)
Depth: 10 feet (199 inches, 506 centimeters)
Width: 17 feet (111 inches, 283 centimeters)
Wall Height: 76 inches
Interior Height: 94 inches (239 centimeters)
Volume: 1094 cubit feet (26.3 cubic meters)
Door Width: 93 inches (236 centimeters)
Door Height: 75 inches (191 centimeters)
Shipping Weight: 650 pounds (289 kilograms)
Shipping Restrictions: No Returns


The Arrow GA1017 is a utility and storage shed. There’s nothing cute about it. This is a shed for people who just want a tough and reliable shed with the maximum amount of storage and work space. The doors are full width, swing outwards, an allow you the most usable storage space possible in a 10 foot by 17 foot floor plan. They’re also great for allowing a lot of light into the shed if you plan on using it as a work space.

Inside there isn’t anything that you haven’t put there. Shelving is absent from the kit, but can be added at your discretion. This makes the Arrow shed a very versatile building, as you won’t be forced into cramped quarters if you choose to use it for something other than a storage building.

The clean floor plan, wide doorway, and walls give this shed an open feel that isn’t very common in sheds. Even sheds with windows generally can’t compare. So if you’re looking for an efficient and utilitarian shed that looks great, and will for years to come, check out this shed!

Garden Shed Plans – Quality Low Cost Storage Solutions

A garden shed is one of the more useful utility buildings you can add to your yard. However, the quality of the garden shed plans will play a large role in how much use you get out of your new shed. A well designed shed will accomodate the needs you have out in the garden, while poorly thought out plans could leave you with major headaches over the years to come.

Garden sheds can fill roles that we often don’t consider as well. How about as a playhouse for the kids, or simply a nice quiet spot, sheltered from the weather, to relax and enjoy the beauty of the garden? With the right design you can accomodate these sorts of alternative uses and still have the traditional use of the shed.

Ask yourself what you need from the shed. Do you need it to allow you to store tools and equipment? Would it help to have small work area near the garden that is out of the elements? Are you going to want to install planters, or even have a small sunroof so you can raise seedlings away from the pests and diseases they would face out in the garden? These are the sorts of needs that a garden shed can fulfill.

Keeping Yard Traffic Lanes Open

Also think about how you move through your lawn and garden. Would building out of the way increase the amount of work you have to do to get tools and then put them away again? Would it be inconvenient to have the shed in a more central location, possibly getting in the way of foot traffic?

One way to address this would be to have a shed which can be walked through. With a door on each end you could move through the shed when needed. This can be a great setup for those who have large lawns and gardens. Being able to take the mower out directly onto the lawn, and being handy for storing your rakes, spades, pots, and other gardening equipment.

Where to Find Plans for Garden Sheds

Garden shed plans can be found in many home improvement centers and hardware stores. Sometimes these plans come bundled with the materials, other times you will be on your own to choose the right type of wood and fittings to build the shed from.

Here at we offer some shed plans for free, and have found a lot of great shed designs that are available for not much more than a night at the movies. The MyShedPlans offering that we feature here has thousands of different shed and small building designs that are well thought out, complete, and all available for a very low price.

Free Shed Plans or You Get What You Pay For?

There are a lot of free plans for sheds out on the internet. Here at we offer a set of 12 x 8 shed plans for free download. However, be warned that it’s just one plan, and the design is rather basic. While a garden shed built from such plans may fit very well into your specific situation, for most people there will probably be something lacking. No one set of plans is going to work for everyone.

Another option is of course to go with a prefabricated shed, or a shed kit. These options are generally a bit more expensive than building a shed yourself though. Given that a shed is a relatively simple DIY project, so do-it-yourself types would be well advised to just spend the extra few dollars on a well designed shed plan.

What’s the Best Garden Shed Plan Option?

Considering the cost of garden shed plans, and the amount of value that a good garden shed represents, it’s not much of an investment to spring for a more precise and adaptable shed design. If you do go that route, you really can’t do better than the My Shed Plan set of plans. They have shed designs for just about any layout you could imagine. There’s lean-to designs, or even sheds that can double as a garage.

Not only will you be sure to find a great shed design just right for your lawn, but there are also other small building and woodworking plans that may come in useful later on. From gazebos to arbors, pergolas to furniture, you will have enough home improvement and woodworking projects to keep even the most prolific handyman occupied for years to come.

All that for only $37 dollars! Less than you’d expect to pay for even just one quality plan, and you’ll be getting over 12000! Best of all, if you aren’t completely satisfied there is a 100% money back guarantee. So try it out now!

Plans For Building A Shed

Sheds are relatively simple structures. That doesn’t mean you should just build one ad hoc though. The plans for building a shed are an important thing to set down before starting the build, otherwise you may find yourself in a real mess down the road.

Another reason to look for shed plans before you start is that there are a lot of interesting design styles and functionality that can be included in a shed. Understanding which ones are going to be right for your situation means looking around and considering what is possible.

Once you know what you want, you can design your own plans if you wish. Looking at existing plans can simply help make that process much quicker and more comprehensive.

What Type of Purpose will the Shed Serve?

The types of tasks you will be asking your shed to cover is perhaps the most important aspect to consider when designing a shed or looking for plans on how to build one. A simple storage shed just needs to provide some space in which to store your items. Shelves, racks, and perhaps cupboards are going to be integral. Other than that, a light is about all that needs to be provided.

With other types of sheds, some other ammenities should be provided. In some cases these can be rather complex and require that the entire shed plan be built to accomodate them. A sink in a potting shed for instance. You need water supply lines, drains, and in some cases may even want a disposal. This adds quite a lot of complexity to the design of the shed. If you are not comfortable with running plumbing or electricity yourself, it could be a good reason to go with a contractor instead.

What Environmental Interactions Will There Be?

The way the components of the shed interact with each other is just one concern. How the shed will interact with the rest of your home and garden is another big one.

Footpaths should be considered when placing your shed. Will the orientation of the door(s) be such that if facilitates easy movement throughout your yard? Are there more than one routes by which the shed would be accessed, and would providing multiple doors be useful towards making this movement more efficient?

For instance, you may have the shed out on the lawn, with the garden behind it. Storing your lawn mower in the shed means you’d want a large door facing the lawn. However, bringing tools out of the shed to go work in the garden would be much more efficient if there were a back door. This door wouldn’t need to be large in most cases, but would definitely cut out a lot of unnecessary walking.

How to Leave Your Options Open

The future always brings unexpected events, and when planning a new building for your yard it’s a good idea to try to accomodate them whenever possible. You may not need plumbing in your shed now, but what if at some point in the future you want to turn it into a potting shed? Well, you don’t have to run the water pipes now, but realizing it’s a possiblity in the future can help you to build the shed in such a way as to make doing so easier. This way, if and when you wish to complete such a project, you won’t have to go through a bunch of unnecessary hurdles to do so.

Would You Be Better off With a Prefabricated Shed?

While sheds are pretty simple structures, not everyone has the tools, time, or expertise to build them right. You can save some money on DIY sheds by cutting out the labor costs, but you need to ask yourself if your time is more valuable?

Generally speaking, prefabricated sheds can be made for less total expense than DIY ones. This is due to the assembly line type production. So if you value your time, it may make a lot of sense to simply bite the bullet and buy a manufactured shed.

There is an option inbetween these two possibilities, and that is to go with a prefabricated shed kit. This is a kit which has been designed to be constructed easily, but the labor is left up to you. This way you benefit from some of the efficieny that mass production of the various components can bring; such as uniform components and less expense. However, you can handle the labor of construction yourself. The shed plans are very straightforward in this case, and not a lot of tools or skill is required.

Whichever route you choose, remember to take the time to plan your shed build before beginning. Even with a shed kit the plans are very useful towards ensuring that the shed you end up with is sturdy and will serve you well for years to come.

Garden Potting Sheds – Storage, Utility, Planter, and Greenhouse!

Would you like to add storage and utility space to your yard while making it look better? If so, you should consider what garden potting sheds have to offer you and your landscaping. A cross between a storage shed and a gigantic planter, potting sheds are a garden and shed all in one.

The eaves of a potting shed should be designed to hold up relatively heavy hanging plants, which allows you to grow plants that are known for their trailing vines. On the ground these plants don’t get to show off the full extent of their beauty.

Shelves that are built in to potting sheds can help showcase other potted plants. Since these are often under eaves, it means you can grow shade tolerant varieties which need some protection from the hot sun or heavy rains.

Having the plants elevated off the ground can help guard against disease and pests which are harbored in the soil. This is an important thing in regards tot he long term health of your garden, as otherwise it’s a viscous cycle of the diseases transferring to the plant from the soil, and then being returned to the soil when the plant dies.

Easily Construct Your Own From Shed Kits

You might think that building a potting shed would take a lot of time and effort to plan and build. But the truth is that most potting sheds are simply assembled from kits these days. You can find a wide variety of kits online or at your local hardware stores and home centers.

With so many designs and styles to choose from, it’s pretty easy to find one that fits in well with your landscaping.

Which Wood is Right for Your Shed?

Garden Sheds and Potting Areas by Penelope O'Sullivan

Most garden sheds are still built from wood. This is because of how easy it is to build wooden structures, as well as the natural look and feel that wood brings as a material. You may find the odd aluminum or vinyl potting shed, but by and large it’s the natural timber look that’s going to be a major selling point.

That doesn’t mean all wood is created equal. It’s not. There is quite a lot of variation in looks such as grain and color. Cedar potting sheds are especially nice because the wood has a wonderful rich and dark color, while adding in a fragrance that makes this wood the first choice for closets and chests as well. The fragrance is not only good for the senses, but also as a pest repellant.

Other woods that are well suited for such an application would be teak or redwood. Both of these woods are naturally resistant to water damage and insect pests due to oils that occur in the wood. This means that your investment will stand the test of time rather than rotting away before your eyes.

Even with weather and pest resistant materials though, it’s advisable that you keep the exterior of the potting shed treated with sealant. Preferably one which has UV protection, as otherwise the beautiful color of your wood will fade to gray.

Adding a Greenhouse Into the Mix

Sometimes you already have enough storage for tools and other supplies. That doesn’t mean you can’t still benefit from the additional room that a potting shed brings to the table.

For one, you can utilize the space as a work area that is near to your garden. As such a garden shed can make for a wonderful place to get out of the hot sun or rain while you take care of some of your gardening tasks. Re-potting plants for instance goes a lot more smoothly when you have a table to work on and you aren’t exposed to the elements, especially on windy days.

You can take it further than that though with some modifications to your potting shed. Skylights that allow some sun into the shed can turn a dark interior into the perfect place to grow seedlings. You can easily modify the amount of light they receive with a shade cloth, and the roof and walls keep the damaging elements and pests from attacking your new plants before they get established.

This means that not only will a potting shed make your yard more beautiful by giving you a place to showcase your best plants, and adding a charming structure to draw the eye, but also can help all your plants in the garden get off to a healthier start.

Patio Shade Ideas – Cool Pop Up Tents, Awnings, Gazebos, and Pergolas

Have you ever found yourself wishing you could go outside and enjoy a beautiful summer’s day, but ended up hiding inside from the hot sun? With damaging UV rays posing a threat to our health, it’s imperative that protection from the sun is provided for you and your family to truly be able to enjoy your back yard patio.

Luckily there are a wide variety of options available on the market today for homeowners to address these concerns. From gazebos with their graceful and stylish lines, to pergolas with their characteristic slats and shade patterns, there’s sure to be a good fit for your yard, as well as for the look of your home.

The main reason for looking for ideas to shade a patio is of course to provide a cool and sheltered area for you to enjoy the outdoors. Doing so can help open up your house so that you aren’t always stuck inside. Not only can it help ease the transition from inside to out in a functional sense, but also from one of looks as well. A project like this is your chance to spice up the look of your yard, and at the same time help create a more gradual transition for the eye between the home and garden.

Which Form of Shade is Best?

Different situations call for different types of shade ideas for your patio. Sometimes the warmth of the sun can be a welcome thing, at least to some extent. Shade which is complete can leave things dark and cold at times, and so partial shade solutions, especially those which provide shade at necessary times, can be a real boon to backyard enjoyment.

Similarly, the look of the structure can really make a big impact on the aesthetic appeal of your yard. By choosing a design style which fits in with the rest of your landscaping and home decor, you can help bring everything together into a cohesive whole. This can be a difficult problem to approach after the fact, as you can paint yourself into a corner with other choices for other projects.

This is why it’s a good idea to carefully consider future additions for every project. Doing so will help you plan later additions, as you can just stick to a theme which is already set, rather than having to come up with some way to tie all the structures in your yard together one by one.

Shaded Patio below a Deck with Pergola

A Deck with Pergola extension provides Shade below.

Some Common Patio Shade Structures

In general, there are a few main forms of shade that you can add to your yard. Pergolas offer incomplete shade, often in visually attractive patterns. These patterns can be adjusted to give a precise amount of light, and even regulate light at certain times of day while letting more through at other times.

A pergola can also serve as a great trellis, which can not only bring more life to your patio, but adds another dimension to shading possibilities. Trellises and arbors can also perform he same tasks, and at a design level are sometimes hard to distinguish from pergolas. The pergola really being just an elevated horizontal trellis itself.

A Wooden Pergola Extends from the House

Natural Wood Pergolas create beautiful extensions to Homes

Gazebos on the other hand tend to have solid roofs. These can be made from many materials. Some gazebos do offer a pergola type of roof, or more precisely, no roof at all. This is most common with wrought iron gazebos, which often leave the wrought iron frame uncovered. Because of this, wrought iron gazebos are mostly for visual impact, rather than protection from the weather. Fabric gazebos, often referred to as canopy gazebos, give more protection than the open designs, without the added weight and bulk of a wooden or metal roof gazebo.

A Tree Shades a Lattice Gazebo

Sometimes Shade Comes Naturally

Awnings are another great option for shading your patio. Patio awnings work best when your patio is adjacent to your home. That way the awning will provide protection not just for the patio, but can help protect the house as well.

One of the main benefits of awnings is how they can help regulate the temperature inside the house, blocking the heat from the sun from entering in through windows and doors, and helping the siding of the house to stay cool as well. This can be a rather large effect in some cases, where an awning can intercept and disperse several kilowatts of energy, reducing the load on your air conditioning in the summer. Such an effect can even pay for the cost of the awning over time. The same holds true with awnings for decks.

Choosing the Right Materials for Your Patio Ideas

A White and Airy Pergola over a Patio

White Venetian Pergola on the Patio

Not all shade is created equal. Plus there are other factors that need to be taken into account when choosing a material to provide the shade.

In regards to the shade itself, the intensity of the light can vary from material to material. Some, like canvas, allow some of the radiation from the sun to penetrate through the material and pass through. This means that the shade won’t be as dark, but also won’t have as much of a cooling effect. With some shade sails and umbrellas, nylon or rayon are used to not so much block sunlight, but to disperse it to be not so intense. This can mean more even lighting, without really doing much in regards to the heat of the sun.

Other more formidable materials such as wood or metal can block the sunlight completely. That doesn’t mean they provide teh same amount of protection though. The way a material heats up can also affect how cool it stays underneath. Metals which trap heat and radiate it downward may end up creating a warmer environment than permeable fabrics which allow heat to disperse up through the material.

Should You Build it Yourself or Buy a Manufactured Product?

This question of whether to go the DIY or prefab route is usually a very personal one. Not everyone can be the ultimate handyman. At the same time, these types of structures not only allow for a great deal of flexibility in design and building style, but can be a lot of fun to work on. Even if the finished product isn’t quite perfect, given the setting out in nature, sometimes these little imperfections in design can actually add to the natural feel of things.

Of course you want to make sure that your structure is solid and safe. Given that wood, which is the most commonly used material in these DIY type of projects, is a relatively heavy and bulky material, the structures themselves can come out weighing quite a lot. Certainly enough to do some damage if they were ever to fall over. So if you aren’t sure of your ability to build a strong shade structure, it may be a better idea to just go for a prefab kit or even hire a professional to build it for you.

Taking Your Shade on the Go

With lightweight solutions you open up the possibility of using the structures for other purposes as well. While a popup tent may not be the most beautiful addition to your patio, it’s one that you could reasonably take with you to the park, campsites, or even the beach for a day out in nature. This multipurpose usefulness can make what otherwise would be an unattractive option, and make it much more efficient at least.

Some gazebo canopies may also be lightweight enough to take with you. Often though, they aren’t designed for setting up and breaking down in quickly. This may limit the amount of use you can get from them while out and about, and may even make them difficult to re-purpose within your yard.

A folding gazebo or party tent can be a good intermediate option. They are lightweight enough that they can also be moved around, but offer more protection and generally better aesthetics than flimsy popup tents. These often come with wall panels that can help protect against insect pests when you’re out enjoying the evening.

Long-Term Patio Shade Ideas

All of these solutions can be implemented in rather short order. The time involved is mostly in determining which product is right for your patio. After that has been decided, the structure itself can be purchased and/or set up rather quickly.

Other ideas to modify shade for your patio or yard in general can take much longer to implement. Trees can be used for shade, but can take decades to reach their full potential in that regard. As such, even if you do choose to eventually address patio shade concerns naturally, you may need a stopgap measure for the years until the trees can take responsibility for the shade themselves.

Given how long-term a solution that trees are, it’s very important to take your time in deciding how to approach the problem. Remember that a few weeks or months of planning really aren’t going to make much difference as it’s going to take years to come to fruition. A good time to start planning is during the winter, as that way you give yourself plenty of time to set your plans down, before it’s time to plant your trees in the spring.

A Backyard Patio Overlooking a Shaded Lawn

Trees can provide Natural Shade over Time