How to Choose the Best 8 x 10 Shed


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An 8 x 10 shed is one of the more popular sizes of small sheds on the market. It will easily fit into most yards, even the smaller yards. In some places, installing or building this size shed won’t require a building permit, but you must check with your building code authority to make sure what the regulations are in your area.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with zoning regulations regarding the placement of your shed as well. Some areas have restrictions as to the minimum distance required between the shed and property lines, other buildings, and utilities.

If you have shed dealers in your area, or a big box store that sells them, by all means, go see what’s available locally. Even if you plan on building your shed yourself, you may get some ideas from the pre-built show models for little things that will come in handy. If you are planning to buy a shed pre-built, you really do need to look over the various models.

One of the most important things to check when choosing an 8×10 shed is the quality of both the materials used and the build. Is one brand using thinner plywood on the flooring, perhaps to save money? How sturdy does the shed build look? Are the studs farther apart than they should be? You want a shed that can safely and securely house your items, and it certainly shouldn’t be flimsy. Take a close look at the joints on a plastic shed. Does everything join and fit snugly?

Also, see what is offered with each shed model and whether these features in the show models cost extra. For instance, some plastic sheds come with slots to install a floor, or a floor may come with the shed, but it may be at an extra cost.

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Is an 8 x 10 Shed Big Enough?

It’s a bit hard to picture exactly what various shed sizes look like and how much room they actually provide. This size shed would be roughly equivalent to an average size parking space. One way to get a good idea is to go to a dealer and look over their stock.

You’ll be able to see from their models what popular sizes look like and how much space there actually is inside. This will help you visualize your items and how they will fit, including any shelving you think you’ll need.

Another good way to see how large a shed you need is to get some graph paper. Draw out the size of the shed you are thinking about, then draw in your door and any windows. Draw out the larger items you plan to have such as that mower and any other large garden item such as a tiller.

Also, draw out any shelving or shelving units you plan to install or toolboxes. This will give you a good idea of whether you’ll have enough room for your important items without sacrificing enough space to move around inside freely.

One assortment of typical shed items that will fit into this space includes a small drivable vehicle, a shop vacuum, a push lawnmower, a ladder, a propane grill, a generator, and maybe a couple of five-gallon fuel cans, and a few garden tools. If you have an attic with usable space, of course, more items can fit in there.

If you draw things out and find that you have your future shed space already used up to house the things you have now, you may want to think about getting a larger shed. People tend to accumulate more yard tools or seasonal items rather than fewer over time. It’s smart to plan for future needs with a shed.

Pros and Cons of a Plastic 8 x 10 Shed

Plastic sheds are becoming more and more popular, especially in smaller sizes.

Pros: They can be purchased in kits and are fairly easy to assemble. Many HOAs approve of these sheds because they come in more decorative styles, including shutters and other trim, and don’t detract from the look of the neighborhood. The plastic is water and weatherproof, and they don’t need to be painted every few years.

If they get muddy or have algae growth near the bottom of the walls, a pressure washer will take care of it. Because they have gotten more popular, their build quality overall has improved over the years.

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Cons: The light weight of these sheds means that they can suffer from wind damage. Many areas prone to wind will require some sort of method to tie them or stake them down. The plastic itself can suffer from extreme temperature changes, buckling in the heat or contracting enough to leave gaps in the cold. Situating yours out of the direct sun will help.

Your foundation must be completely level for all the parts to fit. On a hot day, parts may expand enough to make it hard to assemble. Plastic sheds are usually easier to break into, even with locks. Check out my article Are There Any Advantages to Using a Plastic Shed? for more details on plastic sheds.

Pros and Cons of a Metal 8 x 10 Shed

Pros: Metal sheds are sturdy. Metal isn’t as costly as you might think, since metal roofing and siding can be recycled. They don’t require frequent painting as wooden sheds do. Usually touching up deep scratches on the roof is all you need to do. Metal is usually coated to last a long time.

It’s not affected as much as some other materials by heat, as long as the shed is constructed properly to allow for slight expansion. They are usually sturdy enough to be moved if necessary. These sheds are available in kits with all holes pre-drilled and all fasteners included if you’re good at assembling things.

Cons: They can be flimsy if thinner metal has been used to allow for a lower price point. They can be prone to rust, especially in coastal areas with salty, humid air. While aluminum can withstand salt, most small metal sheds are made from steel.

It will come with a protective coating, but this must be touched up when something scratches the coating down to the bare metal to prevent rust. Make sure your chosen one carries a warranty against rust before you purchase. Some people think that metal sheds aren’t attractive. Some sheds are now lined outside with a PCV or vinyl coating to make them more attractive. For more information on metal sheds read my article Is a Metal Storage Shed a Good Option?

Pros and Cons of a Wood 8 x 10 Shed

Wood is one of, if not the, most popular type of shed on the market, especially for people who build their own.

Pros: Wooden sheds are sturdy if constructed correctly. They are heavy enough to keep them from being blown about by wind for the most part. The connections of the various parts will be sturdier as well. Wood is also a natural insulator, making a wooden shed more comfortable inside naturally.

You can paint the shed and trim any color or colors you want, making it match your house. Since wood is easily modified, you can add a window or eave vent later if you find you need one.

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Cons: Wood does require more maintenance than some other types of shed. The wood has to be repainted every so often, and any rotten or broken parts replaced. Wood will absorb moisture, leading to possible warping, bowing or twisting. Buying kiln-dried wood to build your shed, or getting one built from that, will help with this.

Wood is prone to pest invasion as well as rot and moisture damage. This means using pressure-treated lumber whenever possible. Building a wooden shed, yourself is usually the most time-consuming of all the materials, as everything must be assembled from scratch unless you buy a kit that includes panels.

Pros and Cons of an 8 x 10 Rubbermaid Shed

Pros: Rubbermaid sheds are usually made of heavy-duty polypropylene resin. Some are made to be low height so as not to rise above the typical yard fence height. This can be a sticking point for some HOA regulations.

These sheds are touted as being leakproof, weather-resistant and dent resistant. They are made from a resin that resists the damage UV rays can cause so as to keep the colors from fading. Of course, they are low maintenance as is any plastic shed.

Rubbermaid sheds come with a floor, so you won’t have to worry about moisture seeping up from the ground and getting into your shed and toying with rusting your tools. They are lockable for security and are mostly easy to assemble, usually taking only a few hours. They also feature wall anchors that you can use for adding shelving or wall hooks.

Cons: If all the parts don’t fit correctly, you’ll have a time putting it together. One drawback is that the door hinges are plastic, which may give you pause if you’re going to be going in and out quite a bit. This shed needs to be put onto a firm foundation and should be secured to that foundation or to the ground with some sort of tie-down system. Many zoning regulations will require this, especially in wind-prone areas. Get more information on sheds types in my article Wood Vs Plastic Vs Metal Shed [Which is Best Choice?].

Is an 8 x 10 Shed Big Enough for a Riding Mower?

Most riding lawn mowers are about three to five feet wide and six or seven feet long. Some zero-turn mowers are up to six feet wide. If you choose an 8 x 10 shed, you may have room for your particular riding mower but not much else.

Another consideration is how easily you can drive your mower in and out of the shed. If you have to put it into a corner, you may find you have to wiggle it around quite a bit to get it back out, especially if the doorway is a tight fit. There’s that grass chute to deal with as well.

Just remember that most people aren’t only going to store a riding mower in a shed. You’ll want room for other tools and goodies as well. Most people end up putting more and more things into their sheds over the years rather than fewer things. Consider possible future needs when planning for your shed.

What’s the Best Foundation for an 8×10 Shed?

The gravel base is usually considered the best option for a shed foundation without costing a lot of money. A gravel base helps keep water drained away from the shed. It’s also good for a shed on a slope, as a treated lumber frame will keep the gravel where it needs to be while also bracing the high side of any dirt on a slope.

This type of foundation does need some careful work, such as leveling and smoothing the dirt, putting down a weed barrier, then putting in at least four inches of gravel, and tamping it down every two inches. This type of foundation will usually satisfy zoning regulations that require a foundation for a shed.

Of course, probably the sturdiest foundation for a shed is the concrete pad. However, for a small shed such as an 8 x 10-foot shed, it’s really not necessary to go to the expense of a concrete pad foundation. Besides, depending on the shed’s construction, an 8 x 10 is small enough to be movable if necessary, and the concrete pad foundation would not be able to move with the shed in most cases.

Buy a Shed or Build

If you want your shed raised a bit to provide airflow, a pier block or deck block foundation will be a good solution. It will also solve the problem of standing water or rainwater washing around your shed area. Pier blocks are concrete blocks with attached brackets to fit lumber joists that you attach with screws.

Deck blocks are concrete blocks formed with channels to allow the joists to fit into the slots without fastening. Either type will need a level gravel base to keep soil from washing out from under them. They should also be inspected regularly for any sign of sinking or tilting. Need more information on types of shed foundations? Check out my article What’s The Best Shed Foundation Option For You?

Conclusion

A small-sized shed such as an 8 x 10 is often the perfect size for people in suburban areas who don’t have big yards. They can fit all sorts of things, whether you need storage for yard tools, bikes, summer toys or other things. The attic space can be used for storage as well. Just draw out a diagram to see how your things will fit inside the space, and don’t forget to include room for walking around and expansion. This size may just be the right one for you.

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