A shed can be used for various purposes, but there are tons of different sizes that you can buy or build. Knowing the size to get and how to determine the size you need is important and it can help to know the most common shed sizes and what they can be used for.
Shed sizes are categorized as small, medium, and large. Small sheds are under 80 square feet with 8’x8’ or 10’x8’ options. Medium sheds are 90 to 120 square feet, including 10’x10’ and 12’x10’. Large sheds are 144 to 288 square feet, starting at 12’x12’ and up to 24’x12’.
In this article, you will learn all about the most common shed sizes and what they can fit so you can find out the sizes that you need. You will also discover how to determine the size shed you need and the factors you need to consider.
- Most Common Standard Shed Sizes
- What Is the Most Popular Shed Size?
- What is the Average Storage Shed Size?
- What Is the Typical Garden Shed Size?
- What Size Shed Do I Need?
- How Much Do Sheds Cost?
Most Common Standard Shed Sizes
The most common shed sizes are quite varied, but they are categorized into three size types: small, medium, and large. This can help narrow down the most common sizes in each category depending on your needs.
Small (Up to 80 square feet)
Small sheds are designed to hold items that need less than 80 square feet and some are much smaller than that. These are great for limited yard space and tool organization, storage of lawn supplies, gardening equipment, and other small items. The two most common sizes of small sheds are 6×8 and 8×10. Knowing what you can fit into these sizes is critical if you want to know if they will suit your needs. You can also check out LP Building Solutions’ calculator for shed size, which can be quite helpful when adding up the items you need to put in the shed.
- 6×8 – With only 48 square feet of space, this shed is too small for many items but can still be incredibly useful, especially in a small yard. These are usually used for tools and the storage of gas, oil, fertilizer, and other supplies.
To fit a lot of tools in a 6×8 shed, you will probably have to hang larger tools and use shelves to make good use of the vertical space. This will allow you to use the horizontal space for bicycles, push lawnmowers, and other medium-sized equipment on the floor as long as there is not too much of it.
- 8×10 – This size is made for similar types of items as the 6×8 but has significantly more space in comparison for the storage of lawnmowers, wheelbarrows, bikes, and other tools. Remember that 80 square feet do not allow much wiggle room.
If you properly utilize the vertical space, then you will have the room on the floor for a grill, a push or small riding lawn mower, sawhorses, and maybe a bicycle or two. However, if you have more large equipment you need to put into the shed, then you may want to consider a medium shed if your yard allows it.
Medium (90 to 120 square feet)
Medium sheds are some of the most common options because they offer a balance between cost, lawn space, and storage ability. They range from 90 square feet to 120, which is often large enough for homeowners who do not have specialized uses or large equipment they need to store.
- 8×12 – This size offers 96 square feet or around 85 square feet outside of the interior 2×4 framing. This is enough for most regular lawn and gardening equipment like riding lawn mowers, shovels, bicycles, gas canisters, and other equipment. If you make good use of the vertical space, you may have a little space to run around if you only have a small amount of larger items.
It is important to note that the 8-foot side may force you to have large items in front of other materials, shelves, and space. If you use the further back items often, this can be a frustrating hassle, so you should keep that in mind when deciding or organizing the layout of the things you keep in the shed.
- 10×10 – This is barely larger than an 8×12 shed, but the square design is often preferred by people who want to use it as a garage for an ATV, motorcycle, golf cart, or tractor. It also avoids the short 8-foot wall and some localities allow a 10×10 structure without a permit but require a permit for an 8×12.
- 10×12 – Like other medium-sized sheds, a 120 square foot, 10×12 shed can be used for many tools or the storage of larger items like bikes, motorcycles, lawnmowers, snowblowers, wheelbarrows, sawhorses, and supplies like fertilizers or bags of concrete. It is also a popular size to use for a hobby or art room, storage of boxed materials, or as a she-shed or other personal use.
Large (144 to 288 square feet or more)
Large sheds start at 144 square feet and are usually considered to end at 288 square feet, but there are extra-large sheds available that are larger than that as well. Large sheds can serve many purposes because of their large size and can even be used as a workshop or storage for recreational vehicles. You can also put furniture, shelves, and desks in them as long as the largest items fit through the doorway.
- 8×16 – At 128 feet, this size technically lands somewhere between large and medium-sized sheds and offers a balance between the two. While this size is also less common than some other sizes, it is great for offering additional space while remaining in a small area because of the 8-foot long depth.
An 8×16 shed will fit a lot of stuff, but because of the lengthened shape, it may not accommodate some of the larger items in a way that makes them easier to get out and use. Still, it can be a good option for saving space in the middle of your yard while still giving you room to store many items, especially those that fit on or under shelves.
- 10×16 – This size lands at 160 square feet, which provides ample space for movement within as long as you do not have excessive storage needs. Because of this, it is a popular option for use as a workshop, backyard gym, party room, hobby shed, art studio, or other similar purposes. It also offers enough width for a double door without taking up too much area inside.
Not only that, but it also offers an additional loft and shelf space for storage that frees up more floor area for your specialized uses or the storage of vehicles, tractors, and other large materials. Many of them also come with windows, skylights, and other features that make them suitable for recreational activities.
- 12×16 – With a spacious 192 square feet, this large shed has 16 feet of depth that is great for storing long items like large ladders, kayaks, canoes, and beams. It can fit a lot of anything, but the size and shape make it a great choice for woodworkers or anybody needing the rectangular room for small machinery such as a band or table saw.
12×16 is also plenty of room for multiple bicycles, motorcycles, lawnmowers, or 4-wheelers and it will have an extra-wide double door that makes it easy to move large things in and out. In addition, they usually have a lot of space vertically for hanging other items, building shelves, suspending lofts, and other uses.
- 12×20 – At this size, you are getting large enough to hold larger items like a small boat, tractor, trailers, and large work tables. A 12×20 shed has a total of 240 square feet, which may be good for a mechanic, artist, or musician, and items that won’t fit in smaller sheds will often fit easily into this one.
This is also a good option for fitting several machine tools as a table saw, drill press, or band saw and still having room to move around and use them with ease. A motorcycle or boat restoration hobbyist or mechanic will often find this is large enough to work comfortably.
- 12×24 – This is the largest shed that fits into the common sizes and anything bigger will be considered extra-large or custom. This type is enough to have large furniture, refrigerators, and plenty of space, making it a good option for a she-shed, bar, or man cave. It is also large enough for car or boat storage.
The 288 square feet is roomy enough to accommodate four standard-sized 4-wheelers or ATVs while still having some walking room in between them. This is also a good size for a metal workshop or larger projects like constructing a boat or restoring a classic car. Many of them are also built in the barn style, which gives space for suspending items or lofts.
What Is the Most Popular Shed Size?
While the most popular shed size varies greatly depending on location due to more space and storage needs and building codes, the most popular size category is medium. This is because it offers a great balance between space provided and yard area taken up with the footprint. It is good from a cost perspective as well.
The most popular size should not necessarily be your main concern anyway. Someone who wants to store a few tools and garden supplies will have drastically different needs than someone looking to store extension ladders or tractors.
What is the Average Storage Shed Size?
It is hard to determine the average size of storage sheds, but the most common sizes range from 48 to 288 square feet. With medium options being the most popular, the average sizes probably land between 100 and 200 square feet. The average-sized sheds would then be 8×12, 10×12, 10×16, and 12×16.
What Is the Typical Garden Shed Size?
In general, a garden shed with a moderate amount of supplies and tools will be 8×10 for a small to the medium-sized yard and may extend up to 12×12 or 12×16 for a larger yard. This is because these do not take up too much space and offer tons of room for lawn mowers and other large equipment, as well as wall space and vertical room for hanging tools. However, if you do not have a ton of garden tools and materials, then an 8×10 or 8×12 shed may be sufficient.
What Size Shed Do I Need?
Knowing the size of the shed you need is sometimes hard to determine because there are more factors than merely the things you will need to include in it. So let’s look at how you can decide which size shed will work for you.
What Will It Be Used For?
This question includes everything about the use of the shed. The first thing to think about is what you need to keep in the shed. Take every possible storage need from lawnmowers and tools to paint cans and boxes of items from your house. You also need to consider any future needs if you don’t want to buy another shed later. This means that any future needs for the foreseeable future should be included in the size that you purchase initially.
The space for movement is another consideration for what the shed will be used for. If you plan to be the only person in the shed and only use it for storage and getting the things from inside, you will not need as much space as someone who will be using it to do work or hobbies. You will also want to make sure that you can get the items out without having to move too much out of the way every time because that can be a hassle if you use the items every other week or so.
How Big Is Your Yard?
After you examine the use of the shed, you will have a good idea about how much space you may need. Then, you will have to consider the size of your yard. You do not want to take up too much of your lawn with a shed if you can help it. You also need to keep in mind the things you use your yard for, like pets, kids, and other activities.
Also, remember that the size of the shed is not the only thing that will be affected by the size of your yard because you will need the space in front of the door and maybe a ramp depending on the size of the shed and what you plan on keeping inside of it.
What is Your Budget?
A shed can be expensive, so this is something to keep in mind. You can see a cost analysis later in the article to help you narrow down the size of your shed by cost. In general, you can expect to pay a few thousand dollars for a shed, but the larger the shed, the more you will pay on average, whether for materials to build it yourself or to buy one already made and have it installed.
Are There Codes, Laws, or HOA Rules?
You will want to check local building codes and laws and your HOA rules before building or buying a shed to make sure that you abide by any sizing restrictions. The IBC allows homeowners to build a single detached accessory structure without a permit, but local codes sometimes only allow them to be certain sizes or heights or cover up only a certain percentage of the land around your home.
In most places, a 6×8 or 8×8 shed is fine without a permit and a 10×10 is often allowed as well, but you still want to make sure. It may not be difficult to get a permit if you need one. Other restrictions may be based on electrical wiring, severe weather like flood zones, neighborhood rules, and homeowners association procedures.
How Much Do Sheds Cost?
Shed costs can vary a lot and size is one of the most important factors in determining price. The average cost of a shed is between $3,000 and $4,000, but it is possible to get a shed for less than a thousand or greater than $10,000. Even by square footage, the cost can be vastly different between two sheds and be as little as $20 per square foot or as great or greater than $150 per square foot. Medium sheds will cost an average of $500 to $3000 and large sheds cost between $1000 and $5000 on average.
Some of the other factors that will affect the cost of a shed include the material, manufacturer, height, and type of shed. A small, prefabricated shed will be priced lower than a custom-built option, and a brick or wood shed will cost more than a vinyl or tin option.
It is also important to note that the larger a shed, the less you will likely pay per square foot. For example, a small shed made of wood is 80 square feet or smaller and will probably cost $50 or more per square foot, when a larger option may cost as little as $30 per square foot.
The size of your shed is important and there are plenty of common sizes to choose from. The common sizes are small, medium, and large, but popular options fall within each of those sizes. So, whichever size you choose, you just want to make sure you consider the use, the size of your yard, possible building, HOA codes, and your budget.