Pre-Built Storage Sheds: The Ultimate Guide
April 11, 2022 Shed Tips
Simple. Easy. Stress-free. Those are the words we long to hear when it comes to storage space. There are many different solutions out there to increase storage capacity from renting extra space from a local CubeSmart® to simple house storage hacks. However, there are often problems with even these solutions: they produce consequential problems.
Here’s what we mean by consequential problems: for example, renting a storage unit from the local storage facility may solve your problem of lack of space but it produces (as a consequence) problems of its own. You now have to deal with monthly or quarterly rents, which can often be quite pricey. This also means extra time driving to and from your storage unit, which can be difficult to juggle in the busyness of life.
Photo Credit: Metropolis Moving
Photo Credit: Elbow Room by MakeSpace
House storage hacks are another example. Although they may help the storage problem to some extent, you’re going to have to put a lot of time into small DIY storage hack problems to increase storage efficiency or buy furniture that maximizes storage space, e.g. sofas with storage drawers underneath. Or, it may just reveal to you the problem that you simply don’t have enough space in your house to store everything, which may cause even more stress.
All that to say, let’s zone in on pre-built storage sheds. At first, you may think “C’mon, they’re too expensive,” or “We don’t have a big enough backyard space for a pre-built storage shed.” To answer the first question, depending on where you live, you may spend a lot more on monthly payments for a storage unit in the long run.
To answer the second question, you’d be surprised at how small you can get a pre-built storage shed. For example, an 8×8 pre-built storage building would only be as long and wide as your Christmas tree is tall, which isn’t very tall!
So, if you’re still skeptical about the idea of a pre-built storage shed, that’s OK. Keep reading and see if they are for you (also learn about shed permits in SC).
What Is A Pre-built Storage Shed?
Let’s start with the basics. A pre-built storage shed is exactly what it sounds like: a shed that has been built before-hand at the shop and designed for storage purposes. Of course, a storage shed can be used for many other purposes other than storage, such as a rec room or dining area.
To further distinguish what a pre-built storage building is, let’s make a difference between on-site shed builds and pre-built sheds.
- Pre-built storage sheds are either completely or at least mostly built at the shop and then delivered and installed at the customer’s location.
- An on-site shed-build is constructed from scratch at the customer’s location. This is often a more expensive option as it’s more time-consuming.
Prefab sheds have a variety of purposes and uses, including storage space, an AirBnB, a rec room, and many more.
Hopefully, that gives a clearer picture of what a pre-built storage shed is and how it is different from an on-site shed build. Here’s a quick clarification. Although the pre-built storage building category technically includes sheds and garages, we’ll be talking mostly about sheds.
Can You Buy A Pre-built Storage Shed?
The answer is Yes! You can absolutely buy a pre-built storage shed, whether that be from your local shed lot or from an established shed manufacturer themselves. Here’s a simple step-by-step process on how you can buy a pre-built storage shed.
- What are my needs? Do I need household storage? Will I be storing larger items like, a lawn mower, an ATV, a golf cart etc. If you only need it for household storage, a smaller shed may be a fit, but if you plan to store equipment a larger unit may be necessary.
- How much space do I have for this building? It is a great idea to decide where you will be placing the unit and then take a tape measure and make sure the space you are considering is sized to handle the size of the building you are considering.
- The next step will be to look at accessibility for the shed delivery process. Again take a tape measure and check any areas where you may have issues. The rule of thumb to use is “The space between immovable objects needs to be 2′ wider than the width of the building.” The height will need to be 13’6″.
- The other thing to consider is to visit a location where pre-built sheds are being sold and physically look at the different sizes. It can be hard to visualize how much space is needed and getting inside the different sizes can really help you with deciding what size may be necessary.
- The final item to consider is, “How will I pay for it?” There are normally 3 options for a pre-built shed.
- Cash purchase
- Rent to own
These options would need to be discussed with a sales person that would be able to help you choose the option that will best fit your budget.
The average lifespan of a pre-built storage shed is 30 years, so when you’re considering a pre-built storage building purchase, remember that these sheds will last you for a while. Another advantage to keep in mind is that these pre-built storage sheds are often portable, allowing for your shed to travel with you in the event of a move, relocation, etc.
At Fisher Barns, the process follows these general steps, allowing for a simple and easy shed order process. We also offer rent-to-own options on our sheds, so that you can pay incrementally per month.
Photo Credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya from Unsplash
Photo Credit: William Wendling from Unsplash
Is It Cheaper To Buy A Pre-Built Storage Building Or Build A Storage Building?
This is a very controversial question and you’ll find different responses across the board. Here’s what we found.
Buying A Pre-Built Storage Building
Buying a pre-built storage building may be cheaper if you have little to no experience in the construction industry and/or you have to purchase the correct tools for the job. For example, building your shed incorrectly can often turn out to be a costly reparation. Keep in mind that material costs will also have to come from your wallet. We’ll show you a quick list of potential tool costs and also a list of potential material costs as well. These lists will show how much time and planning you’ll have to do in order to DIY a prebuilt storage shed. With that in mind, it’s way easier and less stressful to just buy a prebuilt storage shed.
Tools may also be an expensive investment as well if you have none on hand already. Here’s a short list of the main tools along with a rough overall tool cost from your local hardware store that you will probably need to invest in to DIY your shed.
|6’ Ladder (& Extension Ladder)||$75|
|Site Markers (wooden stakes, twine, chalk)||$61|
|Grand Total||$407 ≈ $400|
Hopefully, this gives a clearer picture of how much extra money could be invested in tools. Other potentially more cost-effective options would be to rent tools or simply borrow tools from a neighbor or friend.
Here’s a basic list of materials along with their costs that you will probably need to invest in.
|2×4’s or 2×6’s||$7.40 (8ft.) or $10.70 (8ft.)|
|Paint||$175 (5 gal.)|
These are just some rough base costs for the main materials for your shed. Of course, you’ll need plenty of each material in order to complete the job.
Another factor to consider is that a DIY shed comes with no overall shed warranty. That would mean that all reparation costs in the future are total liability costs coming straight from your pocket.
DIY’ing A Pre-Built Storage Building
On the other hand, DIY’ing (is that even a word LOL!) could be cheaper if you do have some basic construction experience and already have/are able to borrow the necessary tools to complete the job. Although tools and experience are definitely big catalysts, probably the biggest distinction between pre-built storage shed costs and DIY storage shed costs is the labor factor.
Of course, DIY’ing a shed means that labor costs are cut to zero, assuming you’re the only one building the shed. This cuts out a huge factor in the overall cost of a shed, because to buy a pre-built storage building means that labor costs are factored into the overall cost of the shed, resulting in a higher shed price quote.
Another benefit to a DIY shed is that you can purchase the material options that you want to use, which may be cheaper than the materials used at your local shed manufacturer. Although this is not always a good idea, “cutting corners” is definitely another power that you hold when you DIY your own shed.
Although labor costs may be essentially free, this means that you will have to separate the time to build the shed yourself. Of course, this depends on two factors:
The more construction experience you have, the less time it will take you to figure out how to build a shed.
As Edison once said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” This goes for shed building as well. The more motivated you are, the less time it will take you to build your shed. This also plays into shed quality. The amount of motivation/attention to detail that you put into your shed is directly related to the quality of the finished product.
Generally, we would say that building a shed yourself is the cheaper option. However, like we said, it does depend on a variety of factors like tool availability, construction experience, etc. We’ll let you decide what you think is best! If you want to go the DIY route, check out this video or see these shed plans for some more practical help.
Is It Cheaper To Buy A Pre-Built Shed Or Pre-Built Garage?
Typically, a pre-built shed is cheaper than a pre-built garage. One reason is that a garage door tacks on additional cost to the pre-built storage building as opposed to a shed door.
For example, here’s an illustration of what the price difference is between a 12×20 A-frame pre-built storage shed and a 12×20 garage from Fisher Barns. Although Fisher Barns does not represent the price differences in all of the pre-built storage building industry, these prices should at least give you an idea of what the cost differences are.
A simple 12×20 A-frame pre-built storage shed runs at about $6,500. It comes standard with large double doors, two windows (on all buildings larger than 10×16), and gable vents on either side.
12×20 A-Frame Pre-Built Storage Garage
The base price for a 12×20 A-Frame pre-built storage garage comes out to roughly $8,000. These come standard with a heavy duty floor system, a 9’x7’ garage door, and two windows (on all buildings larger than 10×16).
What Is The Cheapest Storage Building Style To Build?
While this can vary across from person to person a little, a simple A-frame shed style would definitely be the easiest and cheapest way to build a shed. Again, like we said earlier, a large part to building a shed is simply motivation and dedication. So, you could effectively build a Dutch Barn or some other style if you’ve got the grit-and-grind mentality.
What Are Common Pre-built Storage Shed Sizes?
Although there’s a wide range of shed sizes, here are a couple of the common sizes. As you’ll soon see, we have broken sheds into 3 categories. Keep in mind that the definitions of the different sizes may vary slightly across the shed industry.
Small pre-built storage shed sizes would range from 8×8 to 10×12 with 8×12 being a very common small shed size.
Medium shed sizes start roughly around at size 8×16 and travel to the 10×16 shed size with a 10×16 being another fairly common shed size within the medium shed category.
Large sheds start around 12×12 or 12×20 and go to around size 12×24. 12×24 sheds are a common large shed size partially due to their versatility and spaciousness. Although 12×24 is a common pre-built storage shed size, it is also a common size for garages, featuring the ability to store an ATV or two, your car, or even your SUV.
Although this is not a common shed size, large sheds can even encompass the largest pre-built storage building sizes like the gigantic 16×48 shed size that boasts of 768 sq. ft. of interior space. Sometimes, a second floor can also be added to increase space, like Shed’s Unlimited’s Legacy Workshop. Another massive shed size is the square 20×20 shed.
What Are Some Common Pre-Built Storage Shed Styles And Prices?
There are many different types of pre-built storage shed styles out there so we’ll highlight a couple of the common ones.
Did you know that the Dutch Barn style has been around since the 11th century? The Dutch Barn shed inherited its name from the traditional Dutch barns that were first built in the Netherlands by Dutch builders. This traditional barn style was brought to the New World (USA) in the 1620s.
Once in the New World, the unique structural beauty of the Dutch Barn began to be imitated by other structures beyond just the traditional barn. Thus the Dutch Barn shed developed.
Logistically, the Dutch Barn is a common type of pre-built storage building that combines the Gambrel roof-style (barn-style roof) with a barn-like build, allowing for an open and roomy interior, perfect for maximum storage efficiency. Essentially, the Dutch Barn is in between the Mini Barn and an actual barn. Mini Barns are practically identical to a Dutch Barn but just on a smaller scale.
Here at Fisher Barns, the Dutch Barn style is one of our most popular barn styles, and for good reason. When combined with a loft, the Dutch Barn’s gambrel roof style (double-sloped roof) offers maximum storage. Here are a couple of the standards that come with our Dutch Barn pre-built storage sheds:
- Large double doors
- 2 windows (on all buildings larger than than 10×16)
- Gable Vents
The base price for our Dutch Barn Sheds starts at roughly $3,000.
The Workshop shed, also known as the A-Frame or Gable shed, is probably the most standard type of pre-built storage shed there is. With a simple, single-slope roof design and affordable pricing, the workshop pre-built shed is a classic, economical option for storage space lovers.
The way you can think about workshop sheds is that they are essentially the most basic pre-built storage building style. Of course, customization options and other factors may affect the overall design and style but at its core, a workshop shed is your typical A-frame shed.
At Fisher Barns, we also offer the Workshop Shed. The A-frame style can easily match your existing structures and meets most Homeowners’ Association (HOA) requirements. Available in sizes 8×12 to 14×36, our Workshop Sheds come standard with the following elements:
- ¾” tongue and groove flooring
- A set of double doors
- Gable Vents
Starting at a rough base estimate of $3,000, workshop sheds are affordable as well as classical.
Historically, New England claims responsibility for the now well-known Saltbox roof style. The saltbox shed is a unique type of pre-built storage shed that utilizes two different roof lengths on the same roof. The front roof is short and steeper-sloped while the back roof is longer but with a shallower slope.
Photo Credit: Sheds Unlimited
Immediate headroom directly inside the entry door is a key benefit to Saltbox sheds. Another benefit is just the uniqueness of its design as opposed to the rather simple Workshop shed style or Dutch Barn style.
Modern sheds live right up to their name: modern. With a minimalistic look and a single-slant roof design, the modern shed has a very appealing exterior look.
Photo Credit: Modern Shed™
Let’s first talk about the single-slant roof design. With the peak of the roof at the farthest front roof overhang, modern sheds look like saltbox sheds but with no roof ridge and no steep-sloped front roof.
A modern pre-built shed often allows for plenty of sunlight, which creates a light, spacious, and airy environment for a man cave, art studio, she shed, invention workshop, and more.
Although many of these common styles can be used for living quarters or for in-person dining/entertainment use. Cabin sheds often come with the option of a porch, house door style, and other features that can transform a pre-built storage building into a tiny home, rec room, or dining area.
We also create pre-built cabins so that you can create the perfect guesthouse, hunting cabin, home office, or get-away by the lake. Some of the standard features of our cabins include the following:
- A corner or full width porch
- Three windows
- Gable vents
A Cost Overview For Common Pre-Built Storage Sheds
Here’s an overview of some common pre-built storage shed price ranges.
|Shed Style||Price Range|
Note: * means that those price ranges for Fisher Barn’s products.
What Are Common Pre-Built Storage Shed Siding Options?
We thought that it would be a good idea to give a general overview of the different siding options out there, so that you can order the correct siding that you need for your shed with confidence and surety. There’s a wide range of siding options out there, so here’s a breakdown for a couple of them.
1. Natural Wood Siding
Natural wood is basically the original when it comes to siding. I mean, c’mon, wood has been used for structures and buildings since ancient times. Even in the early days of America, many settlers built their homes from the trees that surrounded them. There were no polyvinyl siding or engineered wood siding options for their homes back in those times.
So, if you’re going for an aesthetic shed look, pre-built wood sheds are a great option. Not only do pre-built wood sheds offer an aesthetically pleasing exterior wood shed look, but it also gives a rustic appearance of simpler, by-gone days.
Of course, pre-built wood sheds are built from uh…wood, making them susceptible to rot. They also are fairly expensive and require some amount of maintenance, not to mention being a fire hazard.
But, then again natural wood siding is a great insulator and looks great. A pre-built wood shed may be what you need on your property.
2. T1-11 Wood Siding
Often derived from southern pine, T1-11 siding is a type of wood siding that usually comes in 4’x8’ panels with also the possibility of the panels coming in 4’x9’ sizes. There’s a couple different grades, two of them being plywood and OSB.
Typically, plywood is a better option but can tend to be a bit on the higher side of the price range. T1-11 siding looks like cut sheets of wood with grooves every couple of inches for aesthetic purposes. The seams then overlap from panel to panel, creating a smooth and nice exterior look.
Maintenance is fairly minimal, other than a repaint job every 3-15 years. Another plus of a T1-11 pre-built wood shed is that wall-sheathing is not required. If you’re wondering what wall sheathing is, here’s a quick explanation: it’s in-between the frame of the pre-built wood shed and the siding so that the siding can be fastened securely to the wall sheathing, which prevents the siding from swaying.
So, all in all, T1-11 is another siding option to consider if you’re looking for a pre-built wood shed.
3. Engineered Wood Siding
Here’s our last type of wood siding that we’ll look at. This is another technologically advanced wood siding that is formulated from wood scraps, sawdust, or other wood. Here’s the neat part about engineered wood siding: it’s very strong. This is due to a genius build process that includes multiple layers of wood.
To summarize, engineered wood comes from layers of these forgotten pieces of wood, that we mentioned earlier, combined together by adhesives. However, multiple layers are then combined to form one engineered wood board. The trick is that these individual layers are running at different grain directions, which increases the durability of the wood.
Another plus is that engineered wood is fairly affordable.
Almost every single shed company that you visit will offer vinyl siding on most of their shed styles. This siding type is one of the most common types of siding in the shed industry, and the number 1 shed siding type in America, and for good reason.
Photo Credit: Esh’s Utility Buildings
Vinyl siding doesn’t need much maintenance, is customizable, and is also a great combatant against the elements; plus, it does not rot. Made from a resin called polyvinyl chloride, this siding type can be easily designed to your liking and will last for years to come.
There are plenty of videos on the Internet about rain sounds on a tin roof with millions of views a-piece. To complement that metal tin roof with metal siding only seems fair. Although the price range can vary, pre-built metal sheds are extremely durable and also mostly recyclable.
Pre-built metal sheds are also great against mold and rot and are also pest-resistant. What’s even more comforting is that metal siding is not a fire hazard, allowing for your pre-built metal shed to be kept safe.
There are a couple of downsides to metal siding, however. Corrosion and rust are variables that you’ll have to consider in a pre-built metal shed equation. Overall though, pre-built metal sheds are sort of the “tanks” of the shed industry and will last for a while.
The last type of siding that we’ll look at is a popular, fairly trendy type of siding: fiber-cement siding. Made from 3 main ingredients–sand, cement, and cellulose fibers (such as wood pulp)–fiber-cement is a great pre-built storage building siding option because of its outside sound resistance, fairly little maintenance, and durability.
One of the main tricks with fiber-cement siding is the install process. If you’re building a shed as a DIY project, you’ll probably have to hire someone to install the fiber-cement siding since it is a fine skill to install this siding. Of course, the installation process will then be an extra expense. However, fiber-cement siding is a great option for your pre-built storage shed if you want a rot-resistant, heavy-duty shed.
What Can I Use My Pre-Built Storage Shed For?
Let’s talk about the different uses for pre-built storage sheds because there are a lot of them. You could use your pre-manufactured garage shed for your brand new car, for example. Of course, we can’t list all the uses in this article…but we’ve got a more comprehensive list of shed uses here if you’re interested, 91 ideas to be exact. But here are 2 ideas for each of the 6 categories, including backyard creativity, hobby havens, relaxing spaces, ideas just for fun, business ventures, and organization.
A pre-built storage shed doesn’t have to be just for storage: it can also be a place to chill by yourself or watch a game with your friends. If you’re further interested, we’ve got more backyard creativity ideas than just these two!
Pre-Built Garden Shed
Whether you actually enjoy gardening or not, a garden shed may be just the thing to add some pizzazz to your backyard. There are so many attractive designs and styles of sheds to choose from. Do your research, get your green thumb ready, then go for it!
Of course, if you’re a gardener, a pre-built garden shed is revolutionary. Now you don’t have to throw your expensive garden tools, such as your battery-powered weed eater, soil cultivator kit, or shovel in the garage with the car. You now have your very own pre-built garden shed, that will be more than able to spaciously store all of your gardening equipment. Here’s a look at some pre-built garden shed sizes that you may find helpful.
If you plan to store gardening tools or other small items in your shed, an 8×8 pre-built garden shed may be the right size. Or, if you’ve got a zero-turn lawn mower or some other large outdoor lawn/garden equipment, a 10×12 pre-built garden shed may be a better option.
A great idea to implement in a pre-built garden shed that increases storage capacity is to tack on a loft. There’s plenty of other things that you may want to eventually store in your pre-built garden shed, such as seasonal decorations, etc., so having a loft inside your pre-built garden shed helps to keep your seasonal items separate from work-related/garden equipment.
If you’re interested in learning more about garden sheds, here’s another resource that you may find useful.
Man Cave/She Shed
Relax from the stress of work-life and be anti-social or host parties all day every day in a pre-built storage building converted to a man cave. Whatever floats your boat. Just add a sofa, mini fridge, and/or screen for the ultimate hangout.
A She Shed is a place where you can make your perfect paradise. Let your creativity flow in your own judgment free zone.
A pre-built storage shed can also be a place where your hobbies can find a home. Here’s 2 hobby haven ideas for your new pre-built storage building. You can also look at our more comprehensive list of hobby haven ideas here.
Wear the headphones. Spend time alone or with the band. Make the pre-built storage shed space yours, and then let the music roll. No need to tear down the equipment when you’re done. Lock up, then return soon for some more tunes.
Dogs need room to run, but they also need protection (to keep them out of trouble). Build a dog kennel shed and even add a run around the back for more space and fresh air.
There’s a time to be busy, but there’s also a time to just kick back and relax. Here are 2 ideas to do just that with a pre-built storage shed (with plenty more at this blog post).
If you have property in a secluded location or by a lake, get a small cabin and decorate it as the perfect little getaway. Whether you make your pre-built portable building into a log cabin or a romantic chalet, you’ll enjoy the time spent with those closest to you.
School Study Room
Whether you are homeschooling your children or doing college work, sometimes it helps to have a designated study spot. A minimally decorated pre-built storage building could be just what you need. Turn on the classical music and get studying!
Just For Fun
Sometimes it’s good just to find humor in the simple aspects of life.
Float down the river in your raft-turned-storage-building. Take some time off from busy life, and recharge in nature’s beauty.
Yes, you read that right. Technology may be attempting to build flying cars but some people have actually built a shed that runs like a car. If you want to see a video of this shed car phenomenon, watch this video.
Pre-built storage sheds absolutely shine for business venture purposes like an office, AirBnB, barbershop, ice cream shop, or bait shop. Here are 2 ideas with a bunch more ideas here!
The office. A necessary part of every business. Turn your shed into an office by setting up a corner desk, finishing out the building interior with pine or drywall, and decorating to your heart’s content. Then tackle that paperwork like a pro.
You cut hair, not corners. That’s why you get a quality pre-built storage building for your barber shop. Get a building that’s large enough for your equipment and will give customers a pleasant experience. Here’s a great example of someone who converted their shed into a fantastic barbershop!
The final category of pre-built storage shed uses is organization. This is probably the most common way that pre-built storage buildings are used; I mean, after all, storage is in the name itself. Again, here are 2 ideas with more ideas here.
Mini Storage Alternative
Why would you drive across town to a mini-storage facility, when you can have your own pre-built storage shed in your backyard? With affordable monthly payments, Rent-to-Own programs offer a great alternative to mini storage. Also, after you rent to own for 3-5 yrs, the pre-built storage building is yours. Don’t pay for mini storage and have nothing to show for it in a few years. Check out Rent to Own options, and own that building!
Know exactly where your bats, gloves, helmets, golf clubs, and other sports equipment is located with an organized pre-built storage building.
Well, that’s 6 different categories for how to use your pre-built storage shed.
What We Offer
Well, that was a ramble! You now know the unbelievable potential, diversity, and extreme value that a pre-built storage shed offers. So let’s cut to the cheese. Fisher Barns offers these pre-built storage sheds as well as horse barns (like horse lean-to’s).
You can use our 3D Builder and design your own shed or request a quote. If you would like a little time to dream about how you want your shed to look, browse our in-stock pre-built storage buildings. And, of course, if you have any questions, just contact us!
As always, happy shed hunting!