What is a Shed Kit?
Unlike a barn or another outdoor storage unit, a shed kit is essentially a product that comes with most or all of the materials and hardware required to build an outdoor shed. These products can come in variety of styles, arrangements, and materials with being better suited for one purpose or another.
Who Needs a Shed Kit?
Most of the time, it is better if you own your own property, though you need not be a homeowner to get benefit out of a shed kit. Property managers can also find value in shed kits for an easy and convenient way to store tools or lawn care equipment. That said, renters are better served with a smaller, vertical shed.
How to Choose a Shed Kit?
Choosing a shed kit can be difficult because of all the different features and qualities. That is why we have put together a list of the 10 best shed kits. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the shed kit that best suits your needs.
Best Shed Kits of 2018
|Best Barns Woodville||Wood||10x16||50 years|
|Keter Fusion||Wood-Plastic||7.5x4 | 7.5x7 | 7.5x9||12 years|
|Suncast Everett||Resin||8x6||10 years|
|Keter Factor||Resin||4x6 | 6x3 | 8x6 | 8x11||10 years|
|Suncast BMS1500||Resin||2.7x2.2 | 4.7x2.5 | 4.7x4||10 years|
|Arrow Sheds Hamlet||Steel||6x5 | 8x6 | 10x8||12 years|
|Suncast BMS4700||Resin||5.9x3.7||10 years|
|Rubbermaid Vertical Shed||Plastic||2.5x2||10 years|
|ShelterLogic SHED-IN-A-BOX||Fabric||6x6 | 6x10 | 6x12|
8x8 | 10x10 | 12x12
1. Lifetime 6446 – Best Plastic Shed
Lifetime might be better known as a maker of basketball goals, but they actually manufacture a number of products for outdoor and backyard use – including shed kits. Founded in 1986 in Riverdale, UT, this company’s shed kit sets itself apart from most on our list by making the only plastic shed that we reviewed. Keep in mind, this is not like cheap, thin plastic but closer to a commercial or industrial grade of plastic.
This plastic has also been treated for UV protection so the colors will resist fading over time. Though, if you live in an especially hot region you may want to be aware that the hardware is made from metal and has been known to heat up and loosen from the panels.
Still, if you need a shed kit that can withstand the elements, you would be hard-pressed to find one significantly better than the Lifetime. For one, while the panels are made from thick, dual-sided plastic, the frame is made of heavy-duty steel. Beyond the panel supports, the roof trusses are also made out of heavy-duty steel to prevent rain or strong winds from affecting the shed.
Arguably one of the best qualities of this shed kit is that it comes with shelving units – something far less common than one might think in this product market. Even better, the Lifetime actually comes with a total of 4 shelving units which should be more than enough for the multitude of miscellaneous oils, solvents, and other volatile chemicals you would want to keep off of ground level.
Lifetime Shed Assembly
2. Best Barns Woodville – Best Wooden Shed
Best Barns is a company that specializes in outdoor shed kits and accessories that accompany them. That said, they are also certified dealers of Sentry Storage products as well as Suncast Resin Sheds. Still, the bread and butter of Best Barns are their self-branded shed kits which are all made out of real wood and come in a wide variety of different models. The Woodville enters our list as the only shed kit made out of 100 percent wood.
That said, this shed kit has a number of advantages working for it that extend simply beyond the quaint aesthetics of a wood barn themed structure.
Though, the actual ceiling inside the Woodville is only 6’ tall. Still, this actually presents with another advantage that this shed kit has over every other model we reviewed: storage space. With 3’ between the ceiling and the actual roof, the Woodville provides classic barn-style rafters with a loft storage system held above. While you may need a small ladder to reach it, this provides for more shelving than any other product reviewed.
Beyond the shelving, the Woodville is also one of the more durable and weatherproof shed kits on our list as well. The wood itself is Swedish pine that was treated with a Louisiana-Pacific embossing. This will prevent water and humidity from rotting or swelling the wood. Even better, the roof is held together with Sturdi-built trusses that are rated to be able to withstand 140 mph wind loads. The Woodville also comes with pre-cut siding and roof sheathing and all of the included hardware is metal.
3. Keter Fusion – Best Quality Shed
Keter has been around for over 60 years and manufactures a wide range of products that all rely on some type of thermomolding resin construction. Though they offer primarily outdoor products, they are also known for their children’s line as well. The Fusion is actually a bit of a departure from the standard Keter mold in that it does not exclusively use resin as its primary material. Instead, the Keter Fusion uses a hybrid material of wood and recycled plastics.
While not necessarily as resistant to rot and decay as pure plastic or resin constructions, the wood-plastic composite is still incredibly durable and unlikely to suffer issues if properly cared for. This allows for a quick and easy cleanup by simply spraying down the panels with water. Even better, the composite is also resistant to UV damage and will not fade much over time. That said, extreme temperatures can cause some problems.
While the Fusion does not actually come with any shelving, the ability to drill into it means that you can quickly and easily add shelving of almost any type and style without having to worry too much.
In terms of durability, the panels are extra thick with double siding and the roof is shingled and reinforced with steel. This means that it can handle a snow load without trouble or leaks. This shed kit features multiple windows as well as a skylight for natural lighting throughout and is ventilated at the top to help control heat or fumes from stored chemicals.
Keter Fusion Shed Assembly Instructions
4. Suncast Everett – Best 8×6 Shed
While they may broadly focus on outdoor products, Suncast specializes in outdoor storage more specifically. Made in the US for over 25 years, this brand is noted primarily for its use with resins, though they are not at all opposed to using wood as well. This product blends a number of advantageous qualities at a slightly lower price point than most of their competitors to provide the best all-around value shed kit that we saw.
The use of resin carries with it a number of benefits, though it is probably the ease of assembly that will appeal to consumers a bit more. With double-wall panels, the installation of this shed kit is a bit easier than some of the other on our list. That said, the provided hardware is a bit lacking as it is made out of plastic. This is especially relevant for the door hinges which are not the strongest.
Still, this shed kit is a great value for a variety of regions as the shingled and sloped roof with an overhang combined with the UV resistant panels provide a fair amount of weatherproofing for most environments. The skylights and windows allow plenty of natural light in while the gabled ventilation prevents heat or fumes from becoming trapped.
5. Keter Factor – Best Resin Shed
Going with their more traditional approach, the Keter Factor follows the standard suits set by the company by manufacturing this shed kit using primarily polypropylene resin. While this will somewhat reduce the customization options with this shed kit that it might otherwise have had were it made from a wood-plastic composite material, the polypropylene resin does carry with it some distinct advantages on its own.
For one, the polypropylene resin is far more resistant to rot or decay than a wood-plastic composite material would be. Granted, it is not advised that you drill your own holes to hang shelves, hooks, or pegboards in the Factor like you might be able to with a wood-plastic composite, but maintenance is even easier. Simply spraying the dual-wall panels with water is sufficient to clean them.Moreover, while the Factor may not be suitable for custom shelving options, it is one of the few shed kits on our list that comes with shelving units that you either do not have to purchase separately or make on your own. That said, the shelves are only corner shelves and are not exceptionally large, though they should be more than sufficient to hold a fair number of volatile chemicals.
While the roof and panels are somewhat thin and not as durable as other products that we have reviewed, the frame of the Factor is made from steel. Even better, the included floor for this shed kit is actually one of the more durable that we saw. Like many other shed kits, the Factor also has ventilation built into the gables, and the window will allow in some natural lighting.
6. Suncast BMS1500 – Best Garden Shed
Taking a bit of a sharp departure from most of the other shed kits on our list, this Suncast differentiates itself primarily by being a vertical unit. This means that the shed kit is a bit more like a glorified closet than it is a shed. While this means that this Suncast is by far one of the smaller shed kits we reviewed, it is also far more suitable if your space is limited. Even better, this is by far the least expensive shed kit per square foot that we saw.
Like other Suncast products, this shed kit uses materials made from polypropylene resin. This resin is fairly durable and will neither rot nor decay from within due to exposure to wet or humid climates. The resin panels are also treated to be UV protected. Also like other Suncast shed kits, this product features a reinforced floor, though it will primarily be used for power tools or heavy metal containers since it is not large enough for a riding lawn mower.
While the instructions are a bit sparse, the panels fit with a locking mechanism that can be accomplished by a single person in very little time. That said, the hinges of the door to this Suncast shed kit are not the most durable, so you will want to be careful during assembly and when using it thereafter.
7. Arrow Sheds Hamlet – Best Metal Shed
When people think of an outdoor shed, they are likely imagining something similar to the Arrow Sheds Hamlet model. Even though polypropylene resin may have become a fairly popular material in recent years due to its less expensive cost, ease of installation, and general durability, it cannot truly compare to the older style of shed kits which use metal.
Interestingly, this is the only shed kit we reviewed which does exclusively use metal in its construction. With panels that are made of electro-galvanized steel, you will not have to worry about this shed rusting or corroding despite its metal construction. Even better, the steel panels will not rot or decay either. Still, one of the best qualities of the steel panels, when compared to polypropylene resin, is that it can withstand extreme cold and hot climates better without warping or cracking.
In terms of the construction itself, the Hamlet also supersedes many of the other shed kits on our list in terms of security. For one, this shed kit, once complete, offers some of the tightest seams on our list which will help prevent bugs and other pests from getting in. Also, the slanted roof with overhang, combined with the sealed seams, makes this one of the more watertight shed kits we reviewed.
That said, this shed kit is not without some faults, though the biggest one most definitely comes with its assembly. This is by far one of the most complex shed kits to assemble that we reviewed. Much like a shed kit significantly larger, this model relies on a far more complex rafter and truss system for the roof. On top of that, many of the pre-drilled holes often do not line up, making assembly a pain as well as complicated.
Arrow Sheds Assembly Instructions
8. Suncast BMS4700 – Best Backyard Shed
Suncast manufactures a great many different types of shed kits, but this one, in particular, is notably different by being a horizontal style of shed. That means that it is not in any way suitable for walking into unless you happen to be a small child. That said, its arrangement does offer some unique advantages as is actually intended to be used for a specific purpose.
Ostensibly, this shed kit is meant to house large garbage containers. It is sized for two 96-gallon garbage containers, but it can obviously be used to hold other objects as well. For instance, this shed kit would be perfect for holding and securing bikes and is actually large enough to hold three full-sized bikes – though they will have to be arranged in a particular manner.
Still, this arrangement also provides a few other advantages. Entrance to this shed is likely one of the easiest out of any other product that we reviewed. This is because the Stow-Away offers two different methods for getting into the shed. It features two normal doors that will open 180-degrees, but it also features a top that will open for easy access if you do choose to use this shed kit for securing garbage containers.
Like most other Suncast products, the Stow-Away is made from durable polypropylene resin. This means you will not have to worry about rot or decay and that it is UV protected. Another advantage of the material that coincides with the arrangement of the Stow-Away is its installation. The different pieces mostly snap together making this one of the easier assembled shed kits on our list.
9. Rubbermaid Vertical Shed – Best Tool Shed
Rubbermaid is probably one of the more well-known brands on our list, though it is likely not for shed kits. Founded over 80 years ago and named “Brand of the Century,” Rubbermaid products can be found in countless homes across the country, though they are far more likely to be found in kitchens than outdoors. That said, the company does make products for pretty much every room in the house.
This shed kit is a vertical model which means it will serve far better as a storage closet than as a traditional shed. One of the biggest telling factors about this is that the Rubbermaid does not include shelves. That being said, this shed kit does have slots where you can either build your own shelves or purchase shelves that Rubbermaid manufactures for this product.
This product joins the long line on our list of shed kits made out of polypropylene resin which means that cleaning it up will not be much of an issue. This also means that the Rubbermaid will provide peace of mind that you do not have to worry about it rotting or decaying, and it will not degrade when exposed to the sun and UV radiation. This shed is also one of the easier to assemble.
That said, this shed definitely has more issues with durability than some of the other products we reviewed. While the resin panels will not break or degrade, they are also not the most stable. This is most notable in extremely windy conditions where this shed has been reported collapsing altogether – though it was able to be reassembled.
10. ShelterLogic SHED-IN-A-BOX – Best Cheap Shed
While ShelterLogic may not necessarily be a household name, they are actually a fairly reputable company within the shed kit industry. In fact, ShelterLogic owns another major shed kit manufacturer, Arrow Sheds, which allows them to diversify and provide wide variety of shed kits to suit different customer’s needs. That said, the ShelterLogic brand is fairly unique.
Specifically, the ShelterLogic brand specializes in the manufacturing and selling of fabric-based storage products. While this includes sheds, it actually extends to garages and greenhouses as well. This particular shed kit features a polyethylene cover. While that might seem a bit sketchy, this cover has actually been treated with so many protections, it may be more resistant than some of the other materials we reviewed.
For one, the cover is completely waterproof – and without seams, this statement is truer than with some snap-in sheds we saw. On top of that, this cover is also treated with anti-aging and anti-fungal agents which extend its lifespan considerably. Finally, the cover is UV protected on both sides to prevent color fading of UV degradation. That said, being a large piece of fabric does mean that this product will not be as ideal for regions that get especially windy conditions.
Beyond the cover, this shed kit also uses strong and durable supports. The frame of the ShelterLogic is made from powder-coated 1 ⅜” steel. This is important because the steel is thick enough to withstand the elements, while the powder-coat prevents rust and corrosion. On top of that, the frame uses and easy slide cross rail system, a ratchet-tite tensioning system, and large auger anchors to keep the shed stable.
Shelterlogic Shed-in-a-Box Assembly Instructions
Storage Shed – Buyer’s Guide
The material of the shed kit will play an important factor in terms of durability, though it is not a one-size-fits-all consideration. Specifically, the temperature, humidity, wind, and rainfall will all play important roles in determining what material is best for you.
This is by far the most durable material on our list, though it is often manufactured into thin sheets for shed kits. Metal often provides a better structural support and it will not rot or decay. That said, wetter or humid climates can cause rust or corrosion to form on untreated metal.
After metal, this is the most durable material used, and in some instances can be the most durable. This is because wood is often cut into thicker pieces than metal with less give. That said, wood is also more susceptible to warping or bloating due to rapid temperature shifts or extreme humidity.
In terms of dealing with humidity and wetness, resin is the best material available for shed kits. However, this material can suffer from extreme temperatures – potentially melting in the highest of heats or cracking in the coldest of colds. It is also not as structurally sound as metal or wood.
This is the least structurally sound material used for shed kits, though it is meant to provide cover from the rain more than anything else. In this regard, it is the best as an absence of seams and waterproofing often prevent rain from getting in. That said, windy conditions can either cause the fastening to come loose or outright tear the fabric.
This is important depending on the amount of space that you have and the items you need to store. If you do not have much space, then you might be better off going with a vertical-style shed kit. Conversely, if you need to store a riding lawn mower, motorcycle, or other large objects, you will want a bigger shed with a door that can open wide – generally 5 ½’ to 6’.
This covers both windows and ventilation. Windows, which can sometimes be opened to provide even more airflow, primarily serve to provide natural light, so you do not have to install an electric light. Ventilation generally refers to vented gables which allow heat and dangerous fumes to escape the shed.
The best shed kit will be different for everyone, but there are a handful of qualities that can help make that choice easier. Generally, you get what you pay for, and if you bargain shop for shed kits, you may be left a bit disappointed.
If you are looking for a shed that is a good size and reasonably durable for a variety of climates, the Lifetime offers a solid value. Though the panels are made out of recycled polypropylene plastic, the dual-panel walls are thick and reinforced with a steel frame.
That said, if you need a larger shed that will last for decades, the Best Barns Woodville is by far one of the more impressive shed kits we say. With more cubic footage and convenient loft-style storage, the only bad thing about this pine wood shed kit is the bite it will take out of your wallet.