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An outdoor storage shed helps protect and organize your tools, sports equipment, and gardening supplies. We spent hours researching the best outdoor storage solutions, evaluating ease of assembly, sturdiness, and value.
Our top pick, the YardStash Portable Shed Cover, is easy to set up, has a durable integrated floor, and is the ideal size for bikes, patio cushions, and other small outdoor gear.
Here are the best outdoor storage sheds.
YardStash The YardStash IV: Heavy Duty, Space Saving Outdoor Storage Shed Tent
Carrying bag included
Ideal for bikes, patio cushions, small lawnmower
Numerous zippered pockets
Not a walk-in shed
If you are renting or just need some temporary storage, an outdoor storage tent is a great alternative to a traditional shed. This model from YardStash uses heavy-duty vinyl tarpaulin to keep your items safe and secure, protecting them from rain, sun, dirt, and pests. It comes with a carrying bag so you can move the tent shed to a different location or even take it camping. It fits two adult bikes plus a few additional items in the included pockets. You can also use it for a lawnmower, but if you’re looking for large walk-in storage, this isn’t the option for you.
Outdoor Living Today Cabana 9 ft. x 6 ft. Wooden Storage Shed
Includes extra features
No cutting needed
Narrow door can’t fit larger items
Wood material wears faster
If a homey aesthetic is important to you, a wood shed kit from Outdoor Living Today is a great option. This 9 foot by 6-foot shed is perfect to store your lawn tools, but it can be a focal point in your yard as well. Because this is a kit, all pieces come pre-cut and ready for assembly.
This kit has a lot included, which likely accounts for the high price. The Outdoor Living Today Cabana 9 ft. x 6 ft. Wooden Storage Shed includes all of the lumber needed to construct the shed, shingles, two windows, flower boxes, a floor, and ventilation. It is made of natural, unfinished cedar, which is mold and mildew-resistant. This feature, along with its attractive, natural look, makes cedar a popular option for yards. You will need to put this shed on a foundation, which will need to be poured separately.
Outsunny Metal Storage Shed
No shelving or flooring included
This metal storage shed has a generous size, four vents, and two doors. The sloped roof is designed to keep snow and rain from accumulating and the painted metal is both durable and attractive. It looks like a utilitarian shed, which it is, but has a solid basic construction and will last for years.
One of the noteworthy features of this metal storage shed from Outsunny is the sliding door. If you don’t want to designate space in your landscaping for a shed door that swings out, you will love the design of this shed’s entry. The door slides into the interior on a track, saving you precious space.
Rubbermaid 7 foot x 7 foot Storage Shed
Doors open 180 degrees
Numerous add-on accessories available
No interior features included
Wall panels are a bit thin
This popular outdoor shed made by the well-known home storage company Rubbermaid doesn’t have a lot of fancy features but includes just what you need to store just about anything in your yard in an easy-to-assemble kit. The shed comes delivered to your door and only requires one person to put it together.
The doors open a full 180 degrees to provide plenty of space for riding lawn mowers, power equipment, or other large items to go into the shed. There aren’t any included shelves, but you can add them later. Compatible accessories from Rubbermaid, such as hooks, shelves, and storage baskets, make it easy to customize the interior of your shed.
Little Cottage Company Colonial Williamsburg Wood Storage Shed
Extra cozy touches
Easy to assemble
Windows, doors, and vents included
Paint and shingles required
If you want your shed to function as a mini-retreat in addition to keeping your things organized, this adorable shed from Little Cottage Company looks more like a cottage than a utilitarian space to hold lawn equipment. It comes in a ready-to-assemble kit with all pre-cut parts. All you need to add are shingles, a drip edge, and paint. The kit even includes a flower box and decorative cupola for maximum curb appeal.
This is an expensive storage shed, so if you don’t need the extra details or ample storage space, you’ll probably be happier with a more basic model. For those looking to create a backyard oasis, this is an investment that you will love.
What to Look for in an Outdoor Storage Shed
Size and Style
Once you determine what you want to store, you will be able to choose the right size and style of shed to suit your needs. Tools like rakes, hoes, and hand trowels will fit easily in a small unit. A storage box for furniture cushions or grill accessories works well on a deck or patio. Large power tools like mowers and rototillers or sports equipment like bicycles will require more room. Large sheds come in styles ranging from utilitarian to decorative buildings designed to look like small cottages, complete with windows and flower boxes. High-quality garden and tool sheds tend to have interior shelving, either included with the shed assembly kit or available as an add-on purchase from the manufacturer. When selecting a site for your outdoor storage shed, make sure that you account for the space in front of the shed that is required to open the doors.
Material and Assembly
Outdoor storage sheds can be constructed from resin or durable plastic, wood, or metal. Some portable sheds are made with flexible tarp materials that can be easily put up, taken down, and moved. Larger units usually require some assembly, which may include preparing the site with a concrete foundation. Size, materials, windows, ventilation, and shelving will all add to the time and effort required to put the outdoor building together. A large unit will likely require some ongoing maintenance, and the construction material will determine how well your building stands up to the weather. A large shed with an elevated floor and a sloped roof will help mitigate mess and damage caused by rain and snowfall.
Resin is usually the lowest-maintenance material option. Look for something that has been treated to be UV-resistant so that it does not fade quickly. For large structures, steel support beams should be inside to reinforce the roof and other structural elements. Wood sheds offer a more traditional look but may require additional upkeep, such as paint, stain, or sealant. Metal options are usually cheaper but may not be as long-lasting as their resin counterparts, although they are still a durable option.
For areas with high winds, a smaller storage shed can be moved or even taken up by a strong gust. Storage sheds usually have a wind rating recommendation, so look for something that will stay secure in your area.
Some sheds have space for insulation. For those who live in hot or cold areas and plan to use their shed as a workspace, taking the time to insulate the structure can keep it comfortable for you and increase the longevity of equipment that you store inside.
How do you level an outdoor storage shed’s foundation?
A foundation that is leveled prior to installation of the shed will save you time and effort. You will need a level tool used in construction. A laser level is easy to operate and emits a light beam between specific points to measure differences in height. Leveling with a bubble type level is also a straightforward operation involving stakes and string. The string is run between stakes placed in the four corners of the area to be leveled. With either type of level tool, you will need to measure and adjust until all strings or light beams indicate level. You are now able to level the surface on which the building will sit. This can be accomplished with additional supports or by excavation.
How important is ventilation in an outdoor storage shed?
Air flow becomes more necessary in a large walk-in shed, since heat and condensation can build up inside a closed unit and cause problems like rust or volatility with gasoline-powered equipment and chemicals used for lawn and garden maintenance. Look for buildings with windows or venting that allow for a cross-flow of air through the unit. Sheds with windows provide the bonus of light, which is essential for locating your equipment stored in a large space. You may even find storage boxes or smaller units with some type of venting in the door or sides. These storage options, however, function mainly to keep your hand tools and patio accessories clean and dry.
What should you not store in a shed?
Most materials and tools used outdoors can be stored in an outdoor shed. If you live in a climate with freezing winter temperatures, however, you may want to take a few extra steps with tools that have gas powered motors. You can drain the gas at the end of the season or add a fuel stabilizer. Dark outdoor spaces are favorite haunts for ants, spiders, and other insects. Keep potting mixes and fertilizers tightly closed. If you are overwintering bulbs or seeds, store these in bags that seal or in containers with tightly fitting lids. Small rodents are attracted to organic materials like straw, and soft materials like padded cushions and furniture coverings. Place these items in plastic bins or plan to store them elsewhere. Check manufacturers directions for chemical herbicides and pesticides. Most will recommend a temperature range for storage and may require a warmer or cooler location. It's not a good idea to try to overwinter your living plants in an outdoor shed. Store them in a heated garage, basement, enclosed porch, or greenhouse.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Katie Begley, who values storage and organization in every area of her home. When not writing, you can find her in her backyard, creating the perfect outdoor space to enjoy. Additional research is provided by Barbara Gillette, a Master Gardener, herbalist, and beekeeper. Her eight-acre farm includes four outbuildings and a greenhouse, each with a designated use which saves time and effort when working on dozens of outdoor projects.