A shed is typically a simple, single-story structure in a back garden or on an allotment that is used for storage, hobbies, or as a workshop. more...
The modern Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines sheds as a "slight structure built for shelter or storage, or for use as a workshop, either a separate building or attached to a permanent building as a lean-to; often with open front or sides."
Sheds vary considerably in the complexity of their construction and their size, from small open-sided tin-roofed structures to large wood-framed sheds with shingled roofs, windows, and electrical outlets. Sheds used on farms or in industry can be large structures.
Small domestic sheds
The simplest, least expensive sheds are available in kit form. Both shed kits and "do-it-yourself" plans are available for wooden sheds. Sheds are used to store home and garden tools and equipment such as push lawn mowers, lawn tractors, and gardening supplies. In addition, sheds can be used to store items or products that are not suitable for indoor storage, such as gasoline, pesticides, or herbicides.
For homes with small gardens or modest storage needs, there are several types of very small sheds. These include corner sheds, which fit into a corner (3’ tall x 3’ wide x 2’ deep), vertical sheds (5’ tall x 3’ wide x 4’ deep), horizontal sheds (3’ tall x 5’ wide x 4’ deep), and toolsheds. When a shed is used for tool storage, shelves and hooks are often used to maximize the storage space. Gambrel-style roofed sheds, which resemble a Dutch-style barn have a high sloping roofline which increases storage space in the 'loft'. Another style of small shed is the saltbox-style shed.
Larger domestic sheds
Larger, more expensive sheds are typically constructed of wood and include features typically found in house construction, such as windows, a shingled roof, and electrical outlets. Larger sheds provide more space for engaging in hobbies such as gardening, small engine repair, or tinkering. Some sheds have small porches or include furniture, which allows them to be used for relaxation purposes. In some cases, teleworkers and homeworkers in general who live in mild climates use small- to medium-sized wooden garden sheds as outdoor offices. There is a growing industry in providing "off the peg" garden offices to cater for this demand, particularly in the UK but also in the US.
Shed owners can customize wooden sheds to match the features (e.g., siding, trim, etc.) of the main house. A number of decorative options can be added to sheds, such as dormers, shutters, flowerboxes, finials, and weathervanes. As well, practical options can be added such as benches, ramps, ventilation systems (e.g., in cases where a swimming pool heater is installed in a shed), and electric lighting. Sheds designed for gardening, called "potting sheds", often feature windows or skylights for illumination, ventilation grilles, and a potter's bench for mixing soil and re-potting plants.
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