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How Big Of An Outdoor Storage Shed Do You Need To Build?

Happy to be finally getting all of their tools organized and put away in their wood shed

If you are looking at building an outdoor storage shed the first thing you need to consider is how big of a shed you need and want.

You also need to consider how much room you have for your shed in your backyard. I think it is always a good idea to build a storage shed a bit larger than you think you will need.

Once I started filling up the space I realized there is a lot more stuff I can put in there than I originally didn’t consider. Especially, during the winter months if you want to store your garden furniture and other things you don’t need outside during the cold months.

What Size of Shed?

The first step is to determine what you want to store in your storage shed. Here is a list of items that I store in my shed:

  • Lawn mower and gas can

  • Wheel barrow and fertilizer spreader

  • Garden tools: shovels, rakes, weed whacker, hoes, etc.

  • Flower pots

  • Bags of potting soil, fertilizer, lime

  • Lawn furniture – in the winter time

  • Kids inflatable pool

  • Paint and stain

  • A few power tools

  • Folding saw horses

You will probably want to store some of the items from my list above and also additional items based your stuff. It’s a good idea to write down a list of what you are planning on storing in your garden shed. Once you have your list you can move onto the next step, determine the required space.

If you have all of the items, especially the larger things, you can lay them out on your lawn and see how they will fit. If you have less time you can do a quick sketch on a piece of paper. This will give you an approximate size. I recommend you add a bit of space for the extras you haven’t listed or you will be purchasing in the future.

Plan Your Space

Next you need to consider how you will be storing and getting everything in an out. My first storage shed was cedar shed kit and it was 8x10. It was the perfect size for all of my garden and lawn stuff, except for the winter when I stored all of my lawn furniture inside. I was able to get everything inside, but it was really tough to get any thing out that was stored in the back. The next year I planned things out better, so that anything I thought I might need during the winter was near the front.

The other thing that was a bit tricky was getting the lawn mower and wheel barrow in and out. These two items can take up a lot of space and they can be hard to wheel around other items. This is a good time to look at where you locate the door, because it can impact your storage space. If you are using plans to build your storage shed you can move the door to location you want. If you are going to purchase a shed kit or have a custom shed built you should have the option of where you want to locate the door.

On an 8x10 shed you can have the door on the narrow side (8 foot) or on the long side (10 foot). You can have the door to one side or in the middle. The location of the door will depend on what works best your lawn and garden equipment and how you want to store things and get them in and out.

Another factor is your available space for your shed. I went with the door on the 8 foot section because I thought this would work best and also with the door on this side it fit nicely in the space we set had in our backyard.

For more information on building a shed for your stuff, please read these articles:

What to look for when purchasing shed building plans

Different shed roof styles and materials to build a roof


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