The Most Complete Shed Types List, Period!

Sheds play far more important part in out life than you may possibly think. No, they are not only those small wooden buildings that some gardeners use to store stuff inside. They are outside and inside, made of wood, metal or plastic, used for store household items, materials, tools, stuff, used for backyard offices, workshops, greenhouses, bike garages, wardrobes...

OK, here is the most complete list of shed types/styles you are going to find. If you think I have missed anything, feel free to comment.

The Materials

Because this is a site for shed builders we have paid a lot of attention to the different materials used to build sheds. And that's a really important categorization because material defines the price, the quality, the durability and whether you can build the shed yourself!

Depending on the materials there are metal/steel sheds, wooden sheds, plastic sheds, recycled plastic sheds, custom sheds (yes, some build them with bricks!).

Plastic (Vinyl) Shed:
Plastic/Vinyl Shed
Photo by Alans Factory Outlet
Wooden Shed:
Wooden Shed
Photo by Alans Factory Outlet
Metal (Steel) Shed:
Metal (Steel) Shed
Photo by SteelMaster Buildings

The Roof

The roof forms the visual style of the shed so very often outdoor sheds are categorized depending on their roof style. Does that mean that you can change your shed design just by changing the roof? Often yes, but sometimes replacing the roof won't be an easy job - see what it takes to build a shed roof.

So here we have:

  • Gable roof storage shed - one of the most popular styles because of its simplicity and durability.

  • Gambrel roof storage shed - these sheds have roofs that provide more usable vertical space than most shed types. Such sheds look like barns and their roof is a bit more complicated for building.

  • Lean-to roof ("Shed roof") storage shed - this is one of the roofs that can't easinly be replaced because the walls of the shed are forming its sides. Such roofs have a single slope and are usually built for smaller narrow sheds.

  • Salt box storage shed - Such roofs are like the gable roofs but have two uneven slopes. They are allowing more usable space in one of the sides of the shed.

  • Hip roof shed - similar to gable roof sheds, but the framing is more complex. These sheds are considered better looking but offer less storage space.

  • Flat roof shed - simple to make but not recommended because of drainage problems.

Lean-to Roof Shed:
Lean to Roof Shed
Gable Roof Shed:
Gable Roof Shed
Photo by bill barber
Gambrel Roof Shed:
Gambrel Roof Shed

The Foundation

Believe it or not, the foundation can also define the style of the shed. Building the shed foundaton is the first and most important process in shed building so spend some time to learn about the foundation types.

Here is what we have here:

  • Pressure treated timber sleeper foundation. The simplest and cheapest shed foundation type. This is what we have described in our visual guide.

  • Concrete block pier foundations. This one is more stable and slightly more complex to build. You can learn how to do it here.

  • Concrete slab shed foundation requires pouring a concrete slab. It's more work but it's perfect for any kind of ground and very durable. Here is how to pour a concrete slab.

The Door

Every outdoor shed needs at least one door, some have two or even more. The doors number and style often defines the style of the shed as well. Here we go:

  • Personnel door shed. Normally such sheds have also a large sliding door (and are large too). The personnel door is intended for easy and quick entering the shed while the other door is used for putting and getting larger items.

  • Overhead door shed. Some large sheds that are used to bringing riding mowers often have such remote-controlled electric doors made of steel or vynil. The doors go up and allow a vehicle go inside.

  • Sliding doors shed. Unlike the overhead door shed, this one has one or two doors that slide on the sides. These doors are made of metal sheets or vinyl and are easy to operate. Usually they are moved manually without electric power.

  • Double doors shed. This is one of the most common shed types because it's cheap and easy to build. The doors are swinging and attached by hinges. Some of the cutiest sheds have double doors.

Personnel Door Shed:
Personnel Door Shed
Photo by jimthompson
Double Doors Shed:
Double Doors Shed
Photo by Skips Outdoor Accents

The shed doors differ also by the door-locking options. The most important of them are Hasp and staple, Pad bolts, Rim locks, and Securing framed doors. Learn more about them here.

The Purpose

Sheds are categorized also based on their purpose. And you want to know more about that because you may just find out that it's not an outdoor shed what you are looking for, but an indoor one! Well, just for example. So, think about these:

  • Garden Storage. These are the sheds we most often discuss on this site. But they are not always like a small house - such a shed can be just a cupboard, a tidy-tent or a container.

  • Garages. Many people use large sheds with sliding doors or overhead doors for garages. Indeed, why would you want to build a brick and mortrar garage when you could just use an affordable vinyl shed?

  • Pet houses. Some dogs or other larger pets won't like the small dog houses that are usually sold.For them it's better to build a larger shed-like construction.

  • Playhouses. Essentially the kid's playhouses are just small cute sheds! If you can build an outdoor shed for your tools you can certainly build a playhouse for your children as well.

  • Greenhouses are also sheds, just generally simpler and lighter. In fact if you need a greenhouse, it's an excellent idea to try doing it yourself because it's a simple and cheap project.

  • Shed offices and Summerhouses. I love the idea of working outside in the garden when the weather allows it. Using a shed for your summer office or just a place for drinking tea is always a nice idea.

  • Indoor sheds. All those smaller vinyl or metal boxes are just sheds and can be purchased by any local or online shed store. And it's not hard to make such one yourself too.

I think that sums it all. When you want to buy or build a shed, first explore this list and see what style, material and shape you want.

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