Things to Know Before You Buy a Storage Structure

We've been in the shed business for so long that we sometimes forget what it's like when you're getting your very first storage shed. It may seem like a simple procedure but so you can make the most out of your investment, read through Our Beginners' Guide below to make sure you've covered all your bases.

Take a few minutes and consider each of the questions we've come up with for you. By the time you're through, we guarantee you'll have a crystal clear idea of what you're looking for.

Step 1. What will you be using your new structure for?

Basic Storage?

Most of our past customers don't wake up one day and say "Hey! I'm going to get me a storage shed today..."

Instead, they first notice they seem to be collecting a bit too much stuff. Their garage may be getting harder and harder to park the car in. They're afraid to open the closet door because all the things crammed in it may landslide out on top of you.

Whether it's to clean out the garage or the basement, getting your own storage shed is like getting a brand new room with over 200 square feet overnight.

Lawn and Garden Equipment?

If you're a property owner, you know first hand how much lawn and garden equipment you need to keep your curb appeal fresh. Riding mowers, push mowers, potting soil, rakes, shovels....all that needed equipment takes up space. So rather than trying to squeeze them into your garage, or down stairs in the cellar where it's hard to get to, a Storage Shed positioned just where you want it can make your own landscaping all pleasure and no pain. Make sure you ask as us about the specific options we've created just for lawn and garden equipment.

A Workshop?

The do it yourself carpenter, craft booker or sewer who truly enjoys their hobby almost always gets their money out of a storage structure when they use it as a workshop. Instead of having to keep your tools and supplies packed up and dragging them out each time you want work on it, a storage shed used for a workshop will let you leave your supplies out so you can come and go as you please. Hobbies are supposed to be fun, right? By having a separate designated area for your workshop or hobby room, we'll be you'll be more motivated to work on your crafts.

Your Own Private Retreat?

Rather than a costly construction project, one of our pre-made storage sheds can be a faster, more affordable way to add another room to your home. We've seen folks use their storage sheds as home gyms, an office, or a secret get away. By choosing the right options you can create an exterior and an interior that won't look or feel like a shed at all.

Are You Renting a Storage Locker?

Investing in your own storage shed can pay for itself in a matter of months. And after you stopped paying money on storage locker, then your shed is actually saving you money! And just think how simple it would be to walk a few steps to the back yard to get your treasure rather than spending gas driving 20 minutes to your local storage shed locker.


Shed Secret #1: Buyers' Remorse In Shed Buying

By far the most common "complaint" we get from our customers is "I should have listened to you and gone with something bigger." There always seems to be more stuff you want to put into your new storage shed than when you originally thought. It make sense- by the 2nd or 3rd weekend, when you really start appreciating you can park both cars in the garage again, and you get use to having a neat and orderly home because you have everything organized in your storage shed, you probably will think of other things you want to store in it.

Step 2. How Much Space Will You Need?

After you know what you'll be using your new storage shed for, make sure you have a good idea of what you'll be putting into before you go shopping. Try to have an idea of how much you will be storing so you can make sure you will enough space. The eye can play tricks on us- what you "think" will fit into your new storage shed may not all get in there. To combat this, create a list of everything you'll want to put into your new shed and compare that to our "Guide to Square Footage" below or bring your list in with you when you come to our Display Lot and we can advise you on which space will meet your needs.

Guide to Square Footage

Square Footage Range

Good for storing...

We Recommend...

96 sq. ft. to 120 sq. ft.

Garden Tools, Push Mower and a Snow Blower, a little bit of boxed storage

8' wide x 12' long good for small back yards, don't need a lot of storage. A Riding mower here would be a tight fit. The smallest structure- a 6' wide by 8' long are less than 50 square feet.

140 sq. ft. to 180 sq. ft.

Lawn Tractor and push mower and snow blower. Still room for a small workshop. Use wall space for garden tools. Space leftover for box storage

10‘wide x 16' -160 square feet works well for nearly all our customers. Most popular size. Fits all the important items but not a lot of room to walk around. Pay special attention to where you will you place your riding mower.

240 sq. ft. to 280 sq. ft.

Law Tractor with the attached bagger, and push mower and snow blower. Longer walls mean more hanging space for garden tools. Still have room to devote one end for 8' x 12' workshop

12' wide x 20' long is the best seller in the large shed category. If extra space to walk around is important, or you want some left over room for a functioning workshop, going with this larger size won't disappoint.

280 sq. ft. or higher

Vehicles- autos, trucks, small hobby tractors, ATVs, classic autos, boats, and all the items listed above

 14' wide by 28' long are the dimensions for our popular 1 car garage model. Two car garages can be as large as 24' by 36'.

Step 3. What Style Do You Like?

You've spent all that money and time on making our home a real show place. And depending on where you place your new storage shed, it could get just as much "curb time" as your home. Make sure not to detract from the appearance of your home and property by not paying attention to the appearance of your structure. You can select from over 11 styles to compliment it in a truly unique way. Match roof lines, materials, door and window combinations- make sure you know all of the free choices you have to select a beautiful storage structure. For a full range of choices, check out the list on the left side of the home page.



Ideal for


A Frame or Cottage

Named for the Roof line

This style is our "can't go wrong" pick. Good storage capacity with a fresh look.


Limited overhead storage



  Most popular style    


A full 15" overhang on front gives this style a more finished look

Our customers usually buy Quakers for the look; other styles give more storage space


The sloped back roof line does limit the head room in the back of the shed.



Dutch Barns

The most overhead storage of any style

combination equipment and boxed storage


Most functional and best value for the money

Consider a Dutch barn if you have a lot of smaller boxed items that can fit on a loft.


New England Classic Cottage or Quaker

Top of the line in appearance.

When the appearance of your structure is just as important as its function.


Higher pitched roof sets it apart in looks from other sheds

Wise choice when the shed will visible from the road



Sometimes called a Victorian, the only style that has the third gable on the front above the door.

Easy to match the roof line of your home with this style. Double doors make it easy to drive your lawn tractor in and out


Comes standard with double doors and 3 foot front door.



Mini Barns

Simple appearance; more popular because of its usefulness and not necessarily its look

Fast and simple storage, when appearance is not as important as function


Free standing garages pre built and delivered to your site for a lot less than having one built.

The Single vehicle garage can be set up on your property to store the extra car sitting in your drive way. Many of our customers purchased a single vehicle garage to store their classic car or boat.

Garden/Potting Sheds

Already set up for the Gardner- comes with a 6' work bench for potting plants and 2 sky lights and 3 oversized windows.

The home gardener who wants to organize all their lawn and garden tools/supplies in one place


One side wall is slightly higher so the roof slopes down

Those that have limited space to place your shed, you can position this right against a building.

Hip Roof

Four sided roof gives you a cathedral ceiling feel on interior.

Matching homes that have the same roof design

Step 4. Select Your Color Combinations

Once your style is selected, review the many choices you have for the different parts of your structure. Start at the roof and work down:choose a color for our 30 year warranted architectural shingles; select from painted/stained wood color choices or vinyl sided selections.

When selecting the siding for your structure, the first thing to decide is a WOOD or a Vinyl Sided Structure. Our most popular wood siding is called Smartside, it is manufactured by LP building Products and carries a 50yr limited warranty. The Vinyl Siding we use is a Georgia Pacific Co. Cedar Lane double four or dutch lap double four. (other brands and colors are available for additional cost).

Your other choices for siding include Pine board and batten, cedar, smartside lap, log, or hardie plank. These are a bit more expensive but will help you match your homes exterior if that is your goal.


Wood Structures/Painted Wood Structures

Vinyl Structures

Range of Sizes

no difference

no difference

Style Choices

no difference

no difference


no difference in choices

no difference in choices

Ability to Customize

no difference

no difference


repaint every 10-12 years


Color Choices

Ability to match any color


Trim Color Choices

Ability to match any color



Can run about 15% below Vinyl

Can run about 15% above Wood

Step 5. What Options Do You Want?

Since you decided on the function in step 1, now you can go back and match up the options that will let you get the full use out of your investment.

Backyard Sheds already includes these standard FEATURES:
Larger windows, Gable air vents, pressure treated 2x4 floor joist, 30 year architectural shingles, over sized doors, pressure treated ramp, double top plate - window and door jacks on all sheds.

Storing gas or paint cans? Then our ridge vents and end vents for example will give you that much needed circulation. Storing a riding mower? Make sure to measure the full width of your tractor against the opening in the doors. And make sure to ask about the ramps we offer. And if your structure is intended to do double duty- like part storage and part pool changing room- at least find out how much a partition or wall would be.

We can guarantee you'll be surprised when you learn what choices you have that are included for FREE with your storage shed. And for a few dollars more, you can get some really functional options added to your structure to make it your own- like shelving units installed at the time we make your shed for you.
Thinking about adding your options yourself? We applaud your great intentions but just make sure you will eventually get around to doing them. We've seen so many sheds with everything heaped on a pile in the floor because the well meaning home owner never got around to installing those simple shelves or that overhead loft to create more storage. So when shed shopping, at least find out what these "must have" options are going to cost.

Step 6. Decide Between In Stock or Custom Order

You're now ready to go shopping! As mentioned above, we encourage you to stop by our site so you can see first hand what the different sizes, styles and colors are like. Then you can stroll through our displays to see if you find anything that matches everything on your list. Remember anything from our large assortment currently in stock can be delivered quickly.

Don't see what you want? You can really have a one of a kind structure by custom creating one. There's never an extra charge for custom ordering a standard structure. There could be a few week wait, but we'll need some time to hand build your shed exactly the way you wanted it.


Step 7. Permits and Selecting Your Location on Your Property

Most towns require permits for the installation of sheds. You will need to bring a copy of your lot plot plan (pencil in where you want to place the shed), a copy of the construction details, and it helps to have a picture of your proposed shed.

The town will want to have insurance certificates from Backyard Sheds ( we are on file with most towns in our area) if the town has any questions on these they can contact us directly.

The location you select should take into consideration what you are storing.
Will you need to access this shed daily, weekly, or is it dead storage? If its daily you'll want the shed near the house. If your just using it for the mower you won't mind walking out to the shed once a week. The town will have setback and sideline requirements so be sure to take these into consideration when making your placement decision.

Your site should be as level as possible, we always suggest a bed of crushed stone to place you shed on. It is by far the best method for keeping your shed level. (Please see "Site Prep" form)


Step 8. Your New Shed is Delivered!

If you have picked out a stock shed(one that is on our lot) you can have delivery within a few days. If you have placed an order for a shed you can expect the lead time to be 2-4 weeks. The actual delivery should take less than one hour, so be ready to clean out the garage, attic, and reclaim your living space.

Free Bonus Guide: How To Clean Up That Garage and Set Up Your New Storage Shed

Since you followed the instructions in our Beginners' Guide, you should be ready to play ball.

After the shed is delivered, put up any additional storage savers like shelves or lofts. Trust us- if you don't do this first, you run a good chance of never getting to it and your new shed will be another unorganized mess. (Another reason to choose some of the cheaper organization options is that you'll be ready to start using your new shed minutes after our delivery truck pulls away.)

Using post it notes or labels, indicate what each shelf or loft will be used for. Pay attention to the spaces that will be easier to get to- those should be the new home for the items you'll be using on a more routine basis. Seldom used items- like Outdoor Christmas Decorations should go in a harder to reach area of your new storage shed. If you are storing lawn and garden equipment, consider putting them along the interior walls to take advantage of every square inch. Fill up the smaller spaces along the wall and overhead first before moving in your larger items like pulling in the lawn mower and snow blower. You're going to need the space to move around setting this part up.

Now work on the garage or closet or basement.

The first thing you need to do is throw away any junk that is laying around that you never use. Only keep the items that are absolutely necessary! Adopt the rule that it if hasn't been used for 12 months, it is probably not needed (except for very expensive equipment or if you have been too ill or work-swamped to get to a hobby).

Go through all of your stuff and organize it into piles. Decide which sections or piles will go into your new storage shed. For example, tools, Christmas ornaments, collectables, etc. Be methodical, as the more things that you can place together in related groups, the easier it will be to see what you want to keep, what you have in duplicate and what you no longer want or need.

Move the piles that will go into your new shed. You may want to consider some of those oversized plastic storage containers if you have many smaller items.

Your garage (or closet or basement) should instantly look better! Now might be a good time to get the broom and hose for a thorough cleaning.

Lastly, take the unwanted items to donate to charity, to a recycling center or to the garbage dumpster. Or use your garage to have a garage sale! Let someone give you money to take your unwanted stuff and put it in their garage.

Download the Workbook that goes with this. The Beginners' Buying Guide to Storage Sheds lets you answer these questions and keep all your wishes and wants organized in one place.
....bring this in with you and we can direct you to the perfect shed in no time...

Main Office
1208 US Route 9W
Selkirk, NY 12158

Burnt Hills Location
658 Rt 50
Burnt Hills, NY 12027
Display Location Only
Peacedale Rd and Rt 9
Schodack Landing, NY 12156
Phone: 518-767-2671
Email: BackYardShedco(at)
Main Office: M-F 10-5pm Sat 10-4pm Sun 10-2pm
Burnt Hills: Same as above
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