Choosing The Best Storage Sheds For Your Needs
Before you head over to your hardware store and ask to see what they have, you need to know what you are looking for. I know, a storage shed. But right now, chances are you don’t know all that much about them. So I'm going to walk you through the details of what you need to know before you start shopping for your outdoor storage shed.
But before we do, I strongly suggest you grab some paper and a pencil to jot down some notes. I’m going to basically give you a complete starter course on outdoor storage sheds. I am going to cover the different styles available as well as the materials you can select from.
That’s right, they don’t all come in poly-something-or-other. I’ll share with you some of my pros and cons of each type of storage shed to help you figure out what kind you need. And to top it off, I’ll even show you some nifty extras to help you pimp out your shed. I’m that shed guy, you’ll be glad you've stumbled across my site about the best storage sheds on the market today.
Recommended Best Storage Sheds On The Market Now
What Style of Storage Shed Should I Buy?
That is a question I get a lot. Before I can give you any kind of answer you need to consider a few things. First off, what kind of space do you have that you plan to fill with an outdoor storage shed? Second, what do you plan to store inside that shed? Third, well, I haven’t really come up with a third but there are three main types of storage sheds available.
They are known simply as Backyard Storage Sheds, Large Vertical Storage Sheds and Large Horizontal Storage Sheds. The different shapes have a lot to do with the types of things you plan on storing inside them. Let’s take a closer look at each of these three styles.
Backyard Storage Sheds
The most common of the outdoor storage sheds I have seen are these. They have a few names including backyard and portable sheds. These are the ones that look like a miniature house or garage minus the square footage for a car. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that a portable storage shed is the biggest of the sheds that are available to buy.
You can get a really, really big one but the medium-sized ones are probably the better choice overall. Because I really like this style of outdoor storage shed, I have a lot more pros than cons here:
- When comparing cost between a backyard storage shed and a permanent shed, this is your most affordable option.
- Still comparing to a permanent structure, a backyard storage shed will be fully assembled in much less time. This gives you more time to enjoy it.
- This style of shed – along with most other outdoor storage sheds – is easy to assemble with just a few basic hand tools. Nothing specialized required and no special skills. If I can put one together, you can.
- Unless you live in a community with really strict bylaws, you don’t need a building permit to put up one of these sheds in your yard.
- The word portable tells you that if you need to move this shed around your yard or to another city, it can certainly be taken apart and moved.
- Probably the only real downside to these types of outdoor storage sheds is that they have no floor. That means you have to plan ahead and sit it on a concrete slab or wooden floor that you’ll have to build yourself. I had a concrete pad where I put my shed and it works out just fine.
Vertical Storage Sheds
These large vertical storage sheds are pretty effective in containing a lot of your yard and garden tools. They come in various sizes but are considerably smaller in size than the backyard storage sheds. So really, if you don’t have a lot of stuff you plan to keep out of the weather, but still require a place to keep these things away from your garage or basement, a vertical storage shed is a really good option.
Some of them even look good when sitting side-by-side if you end up with more than one. However, there are just about as many pros as there are cons for this particular style of shed:
- The most obvious benefit to a vertical shed compared to a backyard shed is that the vertical one takes up less space. In other words, a smaller footprint but vertical storage space.
- These storages sheds can be personalized with shelving units to help maximize the storage capabilities. Some units come with shelves and for others the shelving is extra.
- Because of their smaller size you can virtually tuck one of these easily in a corner of your yard, in a garden, along a fence or wherever.
- Just like the portable backyard storage sheds, vertical ones can be assembled with simple hand tools and requires no special skills.
- Vertical sheds are easy to take apart and move around your yard or take with you to a new home somewhere else.
- Well, if you don’t tuck this unit in a corner or alongside another structure, it is going to stick out. For some that may be an actual plus but for others this will definitely be a downer.
- The inside of a vertical storage shed is tight once you start storing items on shelves and on the floor. In fact, you could potentially get hurt moving something from the shed and either tripping on something else or knocking an item off of a shelf.
- I’m not going to say that a vertical storage shed standing alone in a field is going to be windproof but you may find yourself adding extra bracing to keep the shed from falling over if it is standing alone somewhere.
Horizontal Storage Sheds
These outdoor storage sheds are short and wide. They are also called deck or box storage sheds or storage boxes. They are too short to stand in but come in various sizes to allow you to keep various items ranging from garbage containers to bicycles and assorted gardening supplies, deck cushions and such out of the weather.
There are many different styles with front doors, an open/close lid or a combination of the three. In all, a very handy small storage space. Again, this particular type of outdoor storage container has as many pros as cons:
- This style of shed is crazy convenient. It can go almost anywhere you need it and it doesn’t take up a ton of room. It can also be moved with ease.
- One of the most amazing things I like about horizontal storage sheds is that they are just about invisible. That is to say, you can have one on your deck and it won’t stand out like a vertical storage shed will.
- Just like all the others, you can put one of these babies together quickly and without a lot of extra tools or skills.
- There are several different designs to choose from, but unless you plan on hiding this behind something, horizontal storages sheds look rather blah compared to vertical ones.
- Although these units are generally small in overall storage space, if you have a small deck, you can lose a lot of valuable deck space when you put one of these boxes on it.
- As sturdy as these units are, you probably shouldn’t try to use one as a table or as bench seating. Trust me on this one. I may tell you my story one day but until then, just use it for storage.
The Best Material For Outdoor Sheds
So, I sort of touched on this already but will now go into deeper detail on what I consider to be the best material for outdoor sheds to be made from. There are a few different kinds of materials to consider and using a touch of logic, I am going to save you a lot of work and tell you right now that the type of material the shed is made from is going to have a bearing on the price you are going to pay. That is not to say that the cheapest of the materials is the best choice, either.
Your climate is going to have something to do with the final selection simply because some climates will be brutal on some materials. Your basic choices are: resin/plastic, metal/steel-reinforced, composite and double-walled/multi-walled. Here’s a closer look at each of these:
Resin/plastic outdoor storage sheds are durable which means they should last a good long time. They are not as sturdy as wood, but I won’t discuss wood sheds because in my mind that is a permanent building. Outdoor storage sheds as far as I’m concerned are portable in nature.
That is, they are easy to put together and to take apart to move. One major plus for plastic/resin as a shed material is that it is weather resistant. This is a big deal if you live in some climates with extreme weather. These are sheds that are going to be on the upper end of the price scale.
If one solid wall is good, then a double wall has to be somewhat gooder, right? Minus my bad English, the concept between double and multi-walled outdoor storage sheds is to provide more strength and durability. You see these kinds of sheds typically reside in the resin/plastic side of the garden center and that’s for a good reason.
Any shed with more than single wall construction is going to give you a long-lasting place to stash some stuff. The cost will be higher as a result but when you weigh that over the lifetime of the shed, it’s a good investment to make.
A composite storage shed is actually a combination of wood and resin/plastic. You could say that this kind of combo is the superhero of shed materials but wood can still rot or crack or warp or…you get the idea. And if you live in one of those snowy, rainy, hurricane-style climates, a composite shed is going to get a really serious workout.
The idea of a composite storage shed is to store things. It is not to see how many different weather conditions it can survive.
Sheds made of metal with steel-reinforcement are extremely strong. They assemble quickly and are resistant to many different pests that can otherwise invade and wreak havoc on most any other shed material. Before you rush out and get one of these, keep in mind that although metal sheds are probably the closest ones to the bottom end of the pricing scale they can be damaged.
Accidentally back your car or ride ‘em lawnmower into it and you are going to have dents in that shed forever.
Outdoor Storage Shed Accessories To Maximize Your Space
Just so you know, not every outdoor storage shed kit includes some extras to make your shed that much more user-friendly, safe, secure or space-friendly. So, you have to keep in mind that you can add pieces to your shed to solve these problems. Here are a few of the ones I like best and if you look around elsewhere in this website, you’ll find other accessories that I think can really help you turn your outdoor storage shed into an awesome outdoor storage shed.
Rubbermaid 30-Tool Corner Tool Rack
Have a corner in your storage shed that could be better used? Well, this is the perfect reason to use this 30-Tool Corner Tool Rack organizer. It’s made by Rubbermaid so you know it is going to be tough. It measures 32-inches by 18-inches by 20-inches and has a large base to keep it stable.
Plus, it has spaces to hold up to 30 different tools (I'm in heaven). Imagine getting that pile of tools off the floor and on a rack that organizes them and keeps them where you can get to them. This is that storage rack.
They call it a Tool Corral for a good reason. This unit will keep a lot of different tools in place and not only organizes them but will make it easy for you to find what you need when you need it. Designed for Lifetime brand sheds, this turns otherwise wasted storage space into a very useful part of any outdoor storage shed.
Made of powder-coated steel, this unit is strong and is built to last. Keep in mind also that this has been built by Lifetime and may not fit other sheds.
Corner Shelf Storage Shed Accessory Kit
3-Shelf Storage Shed Accessory Kit
This Shed Shelf Storage Kit contains 3 storage shelves. These 30-inch by 10-inch shelves are made from polyethylene plastic and are steel-reinforced. They come complete with steel support channels to ensure a stable fit and all the hardware you need to get these shelves in place. There are also 6 metal shelf support brackets to keep everything looking spiffy.