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The Beginner's Guide To Buying an Outdoor Shed

by Dakota Storage Buildings, on January 09, 2023

Blog_Header_BeginnersGuide toOutdoorshed

Have you gotten to the point where you are tripping over excess stuff in your house? Do you need more living space but do not necessarily want to throw or give stuff away? An outdoor storage shed may be the best solution for you! Not only do outdoor sheds have a long lifespan, but they provide a vital way to keep your stuff organized and out of the way. If you’re looking to buy a shed, you have come to the right place! We’re detailing everything you need to know on how to buy an outdoor shed. 

At the beginning of the shed buying process, it is imperative that you evaluate your needs so you get the right fit for how it will be used. For example, a she-shed will be more aesthetically pleasing than if it is used to store your bicycles or lawn equipment. Knowing how you will use the shed is the first step in the buying process. Once that is determined, you can consider these aspects to ensure you purchase the right outdoor shed. 

Things to Consider 

Purchasing an outdoor shed is a big step and you will want to be fully informed of all your options. To help minimize some of the stress that comes with shed shopping, we are going to cover some of the most important aspects of a shed that you will need to look out for.


While staying on budget is always a good thing, make sure you are not sacrificing on quality. When you invest in high-quality materials, your shed will have a longer lifespan and increased durability. If you want to buy a shed that will be in use for the long haul, investing in a well-built shed is a necessity. For those who have a tight budget, consider compromising on the bells and whistles. The added features are not always necessary and add extra costs that your budget may not be able to cover. This will free up some of your finances and invest in a simple shed with basic materials. Well-built yet simple triumphs over a cheap structure with fancy details. 


For many, adding a shed to their backyard not only provides valuable storage but adds dimension to their yard. Design elements and landscaping can add color and life to your property. By coordinating the colors, style and features with your home, you can create a yard that feels inviting. Adding small landscaping elements can help your shed blend into its surroundings. 


Sheds come in all different shapes and sizes along with numerous material options. With siding alone, you have three options to choose from. They can last for quite a while and have a variety of colors to choose from. However, these outdoor sheds are more prone to rust and will not be as pretty as some of the other options. 

Vinyl sheds are another low-maintenance siding option that is also extremely weather resistant. These sheds will have minimal problems due to their ability to resist rot, fire, insects and flaking. However, if your vinyl siding ever needs to be replaced, it can be more costly. 

Engineered wood sheds are more durable than traditional wood due to the technology-based treatment. This type of siding will need to be inspected for damage, cracks and leaks annually to ensure there is not a major problem. Overall, these sheds are durable and you will not need to worry about replacing the siding often. 

When it comes to roofing, you want to ensure that the material is weatherproof and durable in any climate. The roof will come in contact with harsh conditions like hail, rain, snow and ice and should be able to withstand any natural elements. Just like your home, your shed’s roof needs to be able to keep your belongings secure and safe. Asphalt shingles and steel panels are some of the best roofing options available for outdoor sheds. 

Zoning Laws

To ensure you do not encounter any hiccups, inquire with your local government to see if there are any restrictions on sheds. Sometimes, sheds over 120 square feet require approval and the shed’s placement can have limitations. By checking with the proper authorities before you buy a shed, you can make sure it does not violate any regulations. 


Regardless of your budget or style preferences, laying a foundation is essential to prevent corrosion. When your shed is elevated and equipped with a draining system, it will be ready to withstand any weather elements that may come its way. Meanwhile, flooring is optional and based on your needs. While it is an extra cost, if you are going to be spending a large amount of time working or relaxing in the shed, the extra layer of comfort may be worth the investment. If your intended purpose for the shed is to store tools, equipment and other stuff, skip the flooring. In the future, if you decide that you would like for your shed to have proper floors, you can add it later. 


While the price of an outdoor shed can vary drastically, we will give you a basic rundown of the different types of sheds and the investment cost. On average, a pre-built shed can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. If you are looking for a large farm shed, it would be more than double that amount. However, smaller garden sheds can be even less and average a few hundred dollars. 

A custom shed will be the more expensive option but is unique to the buyer’s needs and style. It is difficult to accurately convey pricing for custom sheds due to each shed having specific characteristics. A good rule of thumb is that a custom shed will typically range from $17 to $24 per square foot. With both pre-built and custom sheds, the price will vary depending on materials, size and style. It is important to do your research on pricing before you buy a shed. 

Types of Sheds 

Your shed’s purpose greatly affects which type of shed you should invest in. From a fishing cabin to gardener's oasis to a nice guest house, sheds can be whatever you want! Here are some of the most common types.

Standard Sheds

These types of sheds appeal to those mainly interested in a storage solution. From storing garden equipment to precious memorabilia, this option is ideal to keep excess stuff out of your home and garage. A gardener who needs extra space, a handyman wanting a workshop or the family with too many ham-me-downs, a standard shed would provide extra space for any of those needs.  

Utility Sheds 

If staying within budget is a top priority, consider a utility shed. These options maintain durability while being low-cost and budget friendly. These pre-built or custom storage shed solutions would be ideal for a family that is just looking for a basic, sturdy place to store extra stuff. 

Specialty Sheds

Specialty sheds are each unique and serve a different purpose. A modern backyard shed would be a valuable addition to any home that is looking for an upscale storage solution. A cabin shed can be used by the lake to store fishing and hunting equipment. Man cave and she-sheds can add bonus relaxing space. Meanwhile, farmhouse sheds offer a cozy aesthetic with a covered front porch. Whatever you choose, you can customize it to suit your specific need. 

Which Shed Should You Use? 

There is no specific answer to which shed is the best option. It is completely up to you and your needs! However, there are important things to consider that will give you clarity to know which shed is right for you. Consider your budget, reason for purchasing, space requirements and materials to determine which shed option is the best fit for your backyard. When you buy a shed, it will be a backyard staple for an extended amount of time. Look to the future and determine which shed option will give you the space and features to utilize it for years to come. 

How to Buy an Outdoor Shed

From pre-built to custom, we have a variety of sheds for you to consider. We only use high-quality materials and offer factory-directing pricing to ensure you buy a shed that is best suited for your needs. If you are still on the fence about purchasing a shed and want more guidance, download our Shed Buying Workbook.

Download Our Shed Buying Workbook


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