Wood Sheds – A Buyer’s Guide

January 29, 2021

If your home or garage is getting tight on space (or maybe just a bit cluttered), then you might like to know about our wood sheds for sale here in Illinois. After all, we’ve been building, selling, and delivering wooden sheds to locations across Illinois and the Midwest for the past 15 years.

While wooden storage sheds are most commonly used to help free up space, there is no limit to their applications. We’ve built them for folks who turn them into vacation cabins, pool houses, art studios, hunting blinds, dog kennels, and all sorts of other structures. Your creativity is the only limitation when it comes to putting your wooden shed to use.

Before you set your sights on a particular shed, the useful information below may help you make an educated decision about your next wooden shed purchase.

Wooden Shed Buyer’s Guide Table of Contents

Buy or Build? 

Wooden Shed Cost 

Shed Financing 

Useful Life of a Shed 

Construction Materials 

Customizing a Shed 

Popular Shed Styles

What To Consider When Buying a Wooden Shed

One of the first things you may wonder when considering a new shed is whether buying one makes more sense than building one yourself.

Is It Cheaper to Buy or Build a Wooden Shed?

Typically, it’ll be cheaper to build a wooden shed if the cost of materials is the only consideration. If you have all the necessary tools and all the time in the world, building a shed could be a really fun project. Over the years, though, we’ve found that buying a shed is the best use of both money and time. Here are the reasons why:

  • Most people don’t already have the required shed-building tools, and will need to buy them. 
  • Most people don’t have the extra time it takes to build a shed.  
  • If you aren’t a master builder, a poorly built shed will cost you more in the long run.

This brings us to an important question:

How Much Does a Wooden Shed Cost?

The cost of a wooden shed can range anywhere from $1,500 to $25,000 (or more), depending on three key factors:

  • Shed size 
  • Desired roofing and siding materials 
  • Upgrades

Shed Size

Wooden sheds come in all shapes and sizes from small lean-tos to large barns. The size of the structure is often the largest determining factor in price because it determines the number of materials needed to build it. Generally, the smaller the shed, the more affordable it will be. However, the materials required to build the shed will affect the cost.

Desired Materials

The structural components of a wooden shed are primarily built with 2×4 studs and treated plywood. The structure then requires siding and roofing to help it withstand the harsh elements. The type of siding you choose (urethane, painted, vinyl, or metal) and the type of roofing (asphalt shingles or metal) will be major factors in shed price.

Wood Shed Upgrades

You can make a shed with four walls, a roof, a door, and little more. Our most popular wood sheds also include windows, lofts, additional doors, and larger upgrades like insulation, electrical, laminate flooring, and more. While some of these fancier features are included with many shed models, customization will quickly increase your shed’s price tag.

Are Cheap Wood Sheds Worth it?

We recommend thinking twice if you find yourself ever considering a “cheap” shed. If you know you will need a shed for the long haul, it’s always a better idea to spend more upfront to ensure your shed will last the test of time.

Can Wooden Sheds Add Value to Your Home?

Sheds can add value to your home; however, there are some caveats. If the shed is a nice building in good condition and it’s on a sturdy gravel pad, it can increase the value of your home ever so slightly. If your shed is old, standing directly on dirt, and has seen better days, it isn’t likely to add any value to your home.

Wooden Shed Financing & Rent to Own Wooden Sheds

While dropping thousands of dollars on a shed might not be possible for you at this moment, companies like Countryside Barns provide a variety of shed financing options. There are three common types of shed financing:

Rent-to-Own Wooden Shed Financing

If you have enough money saved for a first and a last month’s payment, you can choose a term from 24 to 60 months to pay it off, with the option to pay in full at any point during your term. If you are thinking about renting a storage unit, this is a great alternative — and you’ll end up with your very own shed at the end of it.

Installment Loan Shed financing

If you need to finance 100% of your shed, you can get a rate as low as 9.99% with approved credit. With terms between 12 and 48 months, this is a great option to get a shed without a downpayment.

Fixed-Rate Shed Loans

If you want to go big on your shed, you will need to go with a fixed rate shed loan. Rent-to-own and installment shed loans max out at $15,000, so if your shed is going to cost more, a fixed rate shed loan is the best option available.

This discussion might leave you wondering if a shed is actually a good investment.

How Long will a Wooden Shed Last?

A wooden shed will typically last 30–50 years before needing to be replaced. The lifespan largely depends on the materials it’s made of. The other highly important factor to take into consideration for shed longevity is craftsmanship.

When it comes to materials, metal and vinyl siding last slightly longer than treated wood siding. Metal roofing will ensure a longer life than asphalt shingles. The more features your shed has (like windows, lofts, and flooring), the more deterioration can happen over the long haul.

When it comes to extending the life of the shed you purchase, make sure that you start by purchasing a shed built by seasoned shed builders using high-quality materials.

Vinyl vs. Metal vs. Wood Sheds. Is Wood The Right Choice?

The first thing you need to consider when shopping for a shed is the building material. We aren’t talking about siding; we’re talking about the structural material that gives the shed its form.

These days, the three most common shed building materials are treated wood, vinyl, and metal.


Wooden sheds are what we build at Countryside Barns; they’re the easiest to customize when it comes to size, style, siding, and interior features. While they’re typically a bit more expensive than metal or vinyl sheds, they definitely look better than either of those options. Given our dedication to quality craftsmanship, our wooden sheds tend to last just as long as wood and metal sheds.


Vinyl sheds are great if you’re shopping based on price and durability. They’re lightweight compared to the alternatives, and don’t require much maintenance. However, they aren’t as easy on the eyes as wooden sheds typically are, and they can’t be customized like wood sheds.


Like vinyl sheds, metal sheds are durable and inexpensive, don’t look the best, and aren’t customizable. Additionally, they are susceptible to rust if you live in a humid climate (like on the coast).

Customizing Your Wooden Shed

When it comes to customizing your wooden shed, the sky’s the limit if you work with a company like Countryside Barns. There are three key elements of any wooden shed that you can customize: siding, roofing, and additional features.

Wooden Shed Siding Options

Wooden shed siding is made out of engineered wood, vinyl, and metal. We recommend picking siding depending on the intended use of the shed and the intended location on your property. For example, a garden shed with painted wooden siding is going to be much more at home in a suburban backyard than an all-metal storage barn.

Here are your options when it comes to siding:

Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood siding is a composite of wood fibers, which make it extra durable. This type of wooden siding is the most aesthetically pleasing siding choice. While it doesn’t have the same life expectancy as vinyl or metal siding, it usually looks much better. The LP Smartside siding that we use also has a 50-year warranty.

Engineered wood siding is best for sheds where aesthetics matter as much as function. If you are planning on seeing your shed in your backyard every day, want to impress the neighbors, or just want a good-looking shed, this type of siding will be your best bet.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), an extremely durable material that comes in a wide variety of colors. With vinyl, you won’t have to worry about rotting wood, bugs, dents, or rust. While vinyl can fade slightly over time, it provides more durability than wood. The vinyl siding we use at Countryside Barns includes a limited lifetime warranty.

Metal Siding

Metal siding is a great wooden shed siding option if function is your priority. Like vinyl siding, it’s a more durable option than engineered wood. While metal siding looks more industrial, it can still be customized with paint. Metal siding is highly durable, but it dents easily and can succumb to rust, especially in coastal areas.

One other important consideration when it comes to ensuring your shed’s long life is the surface on which you choose to place it.

Wooden Shed Roofing

The truth is, there are dozens of different roofing options you could choose for your shed — from terracotta shingles to a living roof planted with grass and flowers. However, for the vast majority of people, there are two main types of roofing material that make sense: asphalt shingles and corrugated metal. Both are roughly equivalent in terms of price.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are arguably the most attractive of these two roofing options. While they are durable (they last for the lifetime of the shed and withstand 130 mph wind gusts), asphalt shingles are not quite as durable as corrugated metal.

asphalt shingles

Corrugated Metal

Corrugated metal may be slightly less attractive than asphalt shingles, but it can be customized by choosing from a wide variety of colors. At Countryside Barns, we use 29-gauge roofing and offer a 40-year warranty.

Corrugated metal roofing

Wooden Shed Upgrades

Sure, you can build a basic wooden storage shed with four walls, a door, and a roof, but where’s the fun in that? Especially when you can add features like:

  • Insulated windows
  • Non-insulated windows
  • Floor insulation
  • Seamless rubber flooring
  • Luxury vinyl tile flooring
  • Flower boxes
  • Shutters
  • Ramps
  • Electrical
  • Fully finished interiors

While it may take you weeks (or months) to settle on which upgrades you want, we highly recommend you consider your shed’s intended location and foundation first.

Do Wooden Sheds Need a Foundation or Concrete Pad?

In the images above, you’ll notice that most of the sheds have been placed on a gravel base. We’ve found that often, a 4-5” gravel base is all you need to ensure your shed withstands the test of time. We recommend gravel because it drains well and is much more affordable than laying down a concrete slab. That said, you can still build a concrete foundation for your shed if you desire.

Popular Wood Shed Styles

Once you’ve settled on your shed materials, upgrades, and shed placement, the final thing you want to do is make sure that you pick the perfect style to complement the existing buildings on your property.

There are three primary categories of wooden shed styles:

  • Wooden Utility & Storage Sheds 
  • Wooden Cabin Sheds 
  • Wooden Barns

Here are some of the most popular styles within each category:

Wooden Utility & Storage Sheds

Best for: Those that need storage space

Wood utility and storage sheds are great for residential backyards, and look slightly more modern. The distinguishing characteristic of these sheds is large doors that open wide to allow easy entry and storage for large items.

Wood Utility Shed

The Utility Shed is the most well-known of our storage shed lineup. With doors on the short end, this shed will help you store all that stuff you can’t find room for — like your lawnmower or lawn tools.

wooden utility shed

Shop Utility Sheds 

Wooden Garden Shed

A garden shed is perfect for (obviously) your garden. Or your backyard, side yard, or front yard, for that matter. Complete with doors on the long side of the shed, wooden garden sheds also tend to have windows. If you’re in the market for an auxiliary room or studio, this type of shed is going to be your best bet.

Wooden garden shed

Shop Garden Sheds 

Wooden Garden Sheds With Loft

Like the utility and the garden shed, the wooden garden shed with loft comes in extra handy for those needing to maximize storage space. The twin lofts provide extra space in the ceiling for boxes, tools, or whatever you need to get out from underfoot.

Shop Garden Sheds With Loft 

Wooden Cabin Sheds

Best For: Those that need a liveable space

If you are less worried about storage and just need a place to work or hang your hat at the end of a long day, a wooden shed cabin is going to be your ticket.

Wooden Shed Cabin

A basic wooden shed cabin is the perfect choice for people that need a liveable space. Whether you’re using it as a pool house, a backyard office, or a weekend getaway, this is a great option for day use.

Shop Shed Cabins

Wooden Lofted Cabin

Add an individual loft or double lofts to your shed cabin, and you’ll have a much more versatile structure. While the profile isn’t quite as low, you can use the lofts as bunks or for storage. If you need a shed that can facilitate overnight excursions, this is a good place to start.

wooden shed cabin with loft

Shop Lofted Cabins 

Wooden Side Porch Cabin

If you are looking for a cabin with ample deck space, the side porch cabin provides a covered porch that spans the length of the building. Whether you’re using your cabin as a weekend escape or an office, being able to sit outside in the shade is a nice option for the summer months.

Side porch wooden cabin

Shop Side Porch Cabin 

Wooden Lofted Side Porch Cabin

A lofted side porch cabin is the ultimate weekend getaway, guesthouse, lakehouse or hunting cabin. With lofts that provide ample room for sleeping quarters or storage, the lofted side porch cabin feels more like a traditional handbuilt cabin than any other product we offer.

Shop Lofted Side Porch Cabins

Wooden Shed Barns

Best for: Those that need storage space with a country feel

Much like utility and storage sheds, wooden shed barns will give you all the benefits and extra space of a traditional shed, with more of a rustic country feel. These shed barns are at home on large properties, farms, ranchs, or next to country homes.

Wooden Country Barn

Similar to a lofted garden shed, the country barn provides tons of space for storage, but with a quaint, country look and feel. Its double doors are located on the short side of the shed versus the long side. With two lofts, there’s no shortage of storage space in the Country Barn.

wooden barn shed

Shop Country Barn 

Wooden Storage Barn

Like its cousin the utility shed, the storage barn is purpose-built to be a bare-bones storage option. With no windows, a barn-style roof, and lower sidewalls than lofted sheds, this building is perfectly at home on a farm, ranch, or out in the countryside.

red wooden shed barn

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Wooden Lofted Barn

The lofted barn is a great option for those who want the look and capabilities of a country barn without windows. The loft area provides additional storage space while the barn doors on the short end make it easy to move things in and out.

lofted wooden shed barn

Shop Lofted Barns 

Final Thoughts

You should have enough information to start making an educated decision about your next shed purchase. It’s always worth remembering that a little more investment on the front-end of a shed purchase can end up saving you lots of money in maintenance down the road.

No matter what style of shed is right for you, make sure you invest in premium craftsmanship and customer service. You won’t regret it.

If you have any general questions about making a shed purchase, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at or give us a call at 1-800-467-4614.




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