Garden Sheds: Buying Guide

wood shed garden shed

Do you feel a bit of trepidation about buying a new garden shed? Maybe you assume or read somewhere that buying a garden shed is something you only want to do once.

Good news! Buying a new garden shed can be a simple and enjoyable process!

So, whether you feel unsure or confident, this garden shed buying guide provides you with everything you need to know about garden sheds including types of garden sheds, how to choose the right one for your home, garden shed’s materials, sizes, and where to buy.

Let’s get started!

What Are the Types of Garden Sheds?

The following are 3 types of popular garden sheds. Let’s look at each type along with its pros & cons to determine which could be best for you.

The Wood Garden Shed

garden shed in pa

Pros: Sturdy, easily customizable, paintable, most aesthetically pleasing

Cons: Prone to rot and pesks, requires some maintenance

The Metal Garden Shed

metal garden shed in pa

Pros: Extremely durable, rot and pesk resistant
Cons: Susceptible to rust, limited customization, limited paint options

The Plastic Garden Shed

garden plastic shed

Photo Credit: Source

Pros: Rot, rust, and pesk resistant, cheap

Cons: Not customizable, no options for custom paint, lacks structural strength

Which Option is Best?

Wood garden sheds top the charts for popularity thanks to their well-rounded combo of durability, beauty, and customization possibilities.

However, metal and plastic have their places as well. Those types of garden sheds are best suited if your #1 priority is durability or if you need the cheapest option.

Of course, personal tastes contribute greatly to which option is best for you. Some like the look of clean metal rather than traditional wood.

How to Choose the Best Garden Shed for Your Home?

Now that you know the available types of the garden shed, let’s keep on breaking down the details leading to the discovery of your ideal garden shed.


Determine the Purpose of Your Garden Shed 

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How do you wish to use your garden shed?

Perhaps as a literal garden sheds just for your gardening tools, equipment, seeds, etc.?

Thankfully, garden sheds provide space and functionality beyond just garden-related items.

Do you wish for:

  • Storage space for surplus household items
  • A hobby space
  • Tool storage
  • Large equipment storage
  • A tool shop

Nailing down your specific purpose for a garden shed is vital before continuing with the following steps.

Take a moment and dream…

Regional Permission and Regulations – Does Your Garden Shed Need a Permit!?

garden shed permit

Armed with your garden shed’s specific purpose in mind, next consider whether you need to get a permit for your shed.

Typically, if your desired shed’s size is 100 square feet or less you do not need a permit to place one on your property.

This is great news if you wish for a small garden shed.

However, the regulations regarding the cutoff square feet vary from state to state and even from county to county.

To guarantee whether your size of garden shed needs a permit or not, it is highly recommended to check with your local township.

Simply google, “What size does a shed need a permit in … (fill in the blank with your county or borough)?” You should be able to find information on what square footage requires a permit.

If you imagine your shed bigger than the space limit, you can prepare to request a permit for your garden shed from your local township.

However, before you reach out to your local township, let’s nail down your garden shed’s ideal size.

Determine Your Garden Shed’s Size 

Jot Down a List of Items & Visualize

The first tip for determining your ideal garden shed size would be to jot down everything you envision storing, using, or setting up inside your shed. This enables you to imagine where you would set what and if it could fit well inside your estimated size projection.

Consider Your Yard’s Size

If you have a smaller yard (while it might be tempting to get a larger shed) it is best to stick to a smaller size. Nothing looks less appealing than an oversized shed in a small yard.

The moral of the story…carefully consider your yard’s available space.

Get an Idea of What Size Fits Best

The following offers you the available sizes for your garden shed. Consider whether your purpose for your garden shed fits best in a small, medium, or large structure.

Helpful Sizing Tip: When choosing your ideal size, figure out the total square feet by multiplying the feet together. Then if you wish, you can take a tape measurer out to your yard and stake out the space and see if it will be big enough for your desired items or setup.

Small Garden Shed’s Sizes:

  • 8×8
  • 8×10
  • 8×12
  • 8×14
  • 8×16
  • 10×10
  • 10×12

Here is an illustration of how your larger items could fit inside a 10×12 shed.

garden shed 12x12

Medium Garden Shed Sizes:

  • 10×14
  • 10×16
  • 10×18
  • 10×20
  • 12×12
  • 12×14

Here is an illustration of what a 12×12 can hold inside.

what can you put in a garden shed

Photo Credit: Source

Large Garden Shed Sizes:

  • 12×16
  • 12×18
  • 12×20
  • 12×24
  • 12×28
  • 12×30
  • 12×32

Just to give you space ideas check out this illustration of a 12×24 shed.

garden shed 12x24

Photo Credit: Source

Final sizing tip! Always go one size bigger than your ideal size. It is amazing how fast it will fill up!

Now that you have a general idea of what size you wish, let’s talk about location. Time to see if your ideal shed size fits its available space!

Determining Location and Choosing the Ideal Foundation

Location Matters

When you look around your lovely property where do you imagine your garden shed?

Tips for choosing a location include:

  • Avoid setting underneath trees – Reduces the chance of damage from tree branches
  • Place in a sunny location – Sunshine helps with moisture control (especially consider this if you wish for a wooden shed)
  • Ensure your shed is not set atop underground sewage or septic tanks

Once you choose your ideal spot, you could measure it out with a measuring tape to ensure your ideal size fits well into the allotted space.

The Foundation Makes All the Difference

gravel shed foundation for a garden shed in pa 1067x800

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Without a proper foundation, your careful investment in a garden shed will have a sad ending.

It is highly recommended if not “mandated” 😉 that you never set your shed (especially if it’s wood) directly on the ground. Mold, rot, and splintering will be in your garden shed’s near future if not properly set on a reliable foundation.

Thankfully, you do not have to invest only in a solid concrete foundation.

Highly Recommended Foundation for Sheds

A gravel pad provides your garden shed with an ideal and financially friendly foundation.

Learn more about gravel pads for sheds by checking out this extremely helpful article, How to Build a Gravel Shed Foundation and learn the why behind gravel shed foundation.

Next, let’s figure out your ideal garden shed style and ways you can specially customize it.

Garden Shed Styles & Available Customizations

Choose Your Ideal Style

Garden sheds typically come in two different styles, and at Gold Star Buildings, we offer both the lofted garden shed and the gable garden shed.

  1. The Lofted Garden Shed – Adds extra headspace (which is perfect for a loft), provides a country style appearance, and allows you to enjoy maximum interior space
  2. Gable Garden Shed – Ideal for basic storage and provides a contemporary appearance

So, if you need maximum space, a lofted garden shed offers you the perfect fit. However, if you are looking for basic storage for tools, lawn care equipment, or bikes, the space inside a gable garden shed will be more than sufficient.

Available Roof Types

Once you have chosen your ideal garden shed style, you can choose details like your ideal roofing material.

We offer 3 types of roofing material.

  • Asphalt Shingles – Most aesthetically pleasing
  • Metal – Extremely durable – provides optimal roof strength
  • Copper – Very durable and aesthetically ages a bit more gracefully than metal

Pick Your Ideal Door Type

The door of your garden shed provides a special touch to the appearance of your new structure.

Plus, depending upon what you wish to store inside your garden shed, the size and functionality of your shed door matters.

Choose from door options such as:

  • Single Wood Door
  • Double Wood Door
  • Wood Loft Door
  • Fiberglass Door (with or without a window)
  • Garage Door

How Many Windows?

At Gold Star Buildings, each of our garden sheds come standard with one window. However, you can always request to add more windows.

Windows offer increased natural lighting and encourage better airflow. Plus, multiple windows increase the beauty and enjoyment of your new garden shed.

Available Siding Types

We prioritize both quality and durability and thus we sell our garden sheds with either wood or metal siding.

  • Wood Siding – Strong, traditional, natural, and stunning
  • Metal Siding – Resilient and classy

Add Special Shed Accessories

When it comes to choosing your ideal garden shed, you may wish to add one or more of the following accessories for optimal function and enjoyment.

  • Shelves – Enjoy immediate space for storage organization
  • Ramps – Allows you to easily park your garden tractor, ATV, or wheelbarrows inside
  • Heavy-duty floor – Ideal for heavy equipment because it ensures optimal floor strength
  • Flower Boxes – Beautify your garden shed
  • Shutters – Add the perfect touch to your garden shed’s windows
  • Ridge Vents – Increase airflow
  • Double Bubble Floor Insulation – Perfect for maintaining interior temperature
  • Extra Height Walls – Enjoy more space!

How to Design My Garden Shed

Once you have chosen your ideal combo from the above garden shed styles and available customizations, the rest will be a breeze.

The next step is to fill out a custom quote which you can do right here.

Once you are in the quote you can go down the page choosing your ideal garden shed style, and desired customizations. The process is simple, straightforward, and stress-free.

Plus, once you submit the custom quote and hear back from our team at Gold Star Buildings, you can discuss further details perfecting the design of your garden shed.

Also, as an additional benefit, you will always receive the estimated price for your garden shed.

How to Finance Your Garden Shed

rent to own garden sheds

Obviously, paying for your garden shed upfront with cash, credit, or check is the ideal route.

However, if your budget is a bit tight, there is an affordable way for you to pay for your garden shed without laying it all out at once.

A popular financing method for sheds is Rent-to-Own. Rent-to-Own provides you with a monthly payment plan (the amount depends upon the cost of your ideal garden shed) spread out in a designated amount of time. Once you fulfill your monthly payments the shed is completely yours!

Learn everything you need to know about Rent-to-Own in our article, How Do Rent to Own Sheds Work? The Complete Guide. Also, view our Rent-to-Own page as well for a shorter version and a Q&A.

Where to Buy a Garden Shed?

There are basically 3 ways you can buy a garden shed.

  1. Shop Online – Enjoy discovering your ideal shed from the comfort of your couch
  2. Stop by a Local Shed Builder – Local shed builders are usually family-run and provide you with high-quality customizable sheds and excellent customer service.
  3. Visit Lowes or Home Depot – Offers basic shed sizes, kits, and styles with limited customization

Shopping online allows you to purchase from either a local shed builder or a big-box hardware store (all from the comfort of the couch). If you wish to shop online, you can search garden sheds near me.

Or if you wish to purchase specifically from a local shed builder, you can search, local shed builders near me and get their address to stop in or order directly from their website.

Plus, if you live in western Pa and Ohio, including the cities of Butler, Meadville, Erie, Greenville, Sarver, Edinboro, Freeport, Pittsburgh, [and those surrounding areas] Gold Star Buildings provides garden sheds to this general region.

Learn if you are in our service area here.

Get Your Very Own Garden Shed Today!

Nothing feels better than owning a set apart space to organize your life!

Whether you are desiring space for your tools, outdoor equipment, ATV, mower, household items, relaxation, you name it…a garden shed is your space solution!

Get ready to enjoy the simple and stress-free experience of picking your new garden shed.

Your ideal garden shed awaits!

You got this!

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