What Is a Shed Used for?

Outdoor Structures and Garden Buildings

Garden shed
Moniquewray/ Twenty20

A shed is a small building used for storage or as a studio or office, usually situated in a backyard or side yard of a residential property. Sheds can be simple or elaborate, small or large, store-bought or a project for the do-it-yourselfer. Materials and styles often mirror main residences, although simple pre-made models can be situated at the back or side of a property, away from the view of the house. 

Sheds are used for various purposes, including:

  • Potting or for storage of gardening supplies, like containers, soil, seeds, and tools.
  • Storage of a lawn mower and yard equipment.
  • Miscellaneous storage.
  • As a studio or office, separated from the main house.

A well-built shed with proper ventilation can be used as a child's playhouse, freestanding office, greenhouse or art studio. Sheds have grown in popularity during the past decade as the desire for and manufacture of prefabricated (prefab) housing has increased.

Potting Sheds

A potting shed is a simpler alternative to a greenhouse and is easier to construct. It can be a structure with a barn-like sliding door or can have regular doors with glass panes to allow in natural light while working. Some are made of recycled materials, which cuts down on costs. Most are not intended to be a space in which to grow plants for long periods of time and are simply spaces to work and keep garden supplies.

Storage Sheds

Before they became popular as studios and retreats, sheds were usually built to store all those things in the garden that needed to be housed under one roof. This includes garden equipment, toys, sports equipment, tools, and basically anything that was is used in the yard.

Some echo the architectural style of the main residence, while others are prefab structures that come in just a few styles in materials. If you're ambitious, you can make a storage shed from a kit recycled materials. Just make sure it is constructed of weather-resistant materials, well insulated, has some sort of lighting, and is easily accessible.

Also Known As: Playhouse, hut, lean-to, tool shed bike shed, potting shed

Examples: Ozzie and Harriet remodeled a shed in their backyard, using the new structure as a pool shack or pool house for changing in and out of swimsuits.