Shed Options for Smaller Properties

Adding a little storage room to a small backyard can add a charming focal point to your property. However, there must be a balance between your plans for the space, how much landscaping you can sacrifice, and the shed’s placement in a location that will enhance and not dominate your property. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a shed for a smaller property.

Best Size For Small Yards

Before building a shed that could crowd your outdoor space, figure out what the shed will be used for. Small sheds measure between 80 and 96 square feet. So, plan by mapping out an 8'x8', 8'x10', or 8'x12' area. Then, mock up a floor plan by laying a tarp in the area of your yard that the shed will stand. Step back and decide whether the shed's footprint doesn’t take up too much room in your yard or block an aesthetic view.

Next, adjust the tarp on the lawn and try it out in different corners of the yard, centered on the yard, and closer to gate access or the back door. Which location feels right and makes sense? Additionally, try walking from the house to the shed. Is this path awkward or difficult to navigate? Will you need to pave the way to the shed, or is there an existing path in place? These are some important questions to ask yourself before building your shed.

Obviously, you don't want to sacrifice your entire garden space for the shed, but make sure the size you select is still functional and accomplishes your goals. Think about how you are going to be using the shed, and determine whether or not the size will accommodate your needs.

It’s not a bad idea to bring the items that will go into the shed and position them on the tarp. Measure out shelves around the edges, and see if you have enough room to walk down the center aisle. Do they fit within the square footage of the plan or do you need a few extra feet? Open the tarp to a larger size if you feel the space is too cramped.

Shed Style For Small Yards

Since the new shed will become a dominant feature of your yard, consider integrating its design into the landscaping or fencing, or paint it to match your home. Use the same pavers at the entrance door, paint the trim and front door to match your home, or use the same color roof tiles to bring the two buildings together. Careful planning will give the impression that the shed was designed to enhance the garden and accommodate the style of your home.

If your tiny yard has few places to sit and enjoy the scenery, consider extending the shed’s roofline and setting up a seat beneath the eaves. Decking or a patio surrounding the front of your destination shed will complete the covered sitting area and give you a place to read or watch the sunset. 

To tackle the interior and get the most out of your new space, consider how you'll use the shed and figure out which piece of furniture or equipment will take up the most space. Then, design the shed based on the focal point, or item that will get used the most.

Small Shed Design Ideas

Depending on how you’re going to use your new shed, it will need to be laid out in a way that makes sense. Here are a few common uses for a storage shed, along with some design and layout suggestions to get the most of the space.

Hobby Room / Art Studio

Design the space around your work table. Perhaps it extends across the far end of the room. You’ll need natural light, as well as an overhead light source to see the details within your craftwork. Then, decide where to place storage shelves and drawers for your supplies. The smallest shed of 8'x8' will easily accomplish your hobby goals.

Garden Shed / Greenhouse

Design the space around the potting table and plant shelves which need to be placed near a window. Soil and empty pots will be kept on the floor, while tools can be hung on the walls. A footprint of 80-96 square feet is enough space for a workbench, and the heavier items you'll store on the floor.


Consult an electrician first, since an office will need outlets, lighting, and year-round temperature control. Design the space around the desk and chair, but remember to give yourself plenty of sunlight and a window view at eye level. A bookshelf and second chair to curl up into is a good idea too. A comfortable office can be accomplished within 64-80 square feet.

Tool Shed

Build a tool bench into one end of the shed, and organize the tools to hang or stack on shelves around it. If you plan to accomplish a lot of detailed tasks in the shed, you'll probably need overhead lighting. If you don't want to sacrifice wall space for the tools, consider one or two skylights. These provide a surprising amount of light, even during a nighttime power outage. 

Include the lawn mower, weed whacker, and leaf blower in the floorpan if you also plan to store these in the shed. Due to maneuvering large equipment, you may want to begin with a plan between 90-120 square feet. Additionally, if you’re going to be moving heavy equipment in and out of your shed, adding a ramp may be a smart move.

If you’re ready to purchase a shed for your smaller property, Shed Solutions builds small sheds in both garden, mini barn, and high barn designs. Browse our selection today!

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