Ways to make the Most out of a Backyard Shed

A garden shed or a workshop is a useful outbuilding to have on your property. Perhaps it’s just sitting there, sticking out like a sore thumb. Or did you buy the shed for a dual purpose workshop and storage only to have it turn into a storage space for items you’ll repair someday? Have some fun with it – it’s a small home improvement with big dividends. Ways to make the most out of a backyard shed include adding colour, storage organizers, or different light fixtures.

Repainting the Shed

In the process of repainting the shed, holes will be filled in and repairs made. Whether you use the same colour or go with a bolder shade, it will improve the shed’s overall appearance and increase its lifespan. Adding a bright colour will make the shed stand out, turning it into a focal point in your backyard.

Insulating the Shed

If you’re using the shed as an art/crafts studio, a workshop, backyard office/guest house, or a garden shed, you will be inside for extended periods of time. Insulating the shed will make it a more comfortable space year-round. Insulation also reduces the chance of unwanted moisture from getting into the walls and regulates temperature and humidity. There are a number of effective methods to insulate a shed, including installing siding (exterior) or fiberglass insulation (interior).

Upgrading Storage Options

Whatever you are using the shed for, consider upgrading its storage capacity. Is your workbench used more for storing than doing? Do you open a drawer and will never be able to find what you’re looking for? Don’t forget to include the inside of the shed doors – they can increase your storage capacity. Bring order and functionally to your shed by:

  • Installing different types of shelving such as floating, adjustable, and free-standing
  • Using wood crates, plastic tubs, plastic bins, and jars for small tools, miscellaneous small to mid-sized items, and nails, paint brushes, etc.
  • Adding drawer organizers and pegboards
  • Keeping tools like screwdrivers, shovels, and rakes in storage racks
  • Utilizing storage hooks to hang bicycles, snowboards, and canoes

Adding Power to your Shed

If the shed is a workshop or a backyard office, it will most likely already have power. But if it doesn’t, adding power can transform an outbuilding into a functional place to work after dark, entertain friends, or provide an outlet for the lawnmower. Running a power line is the most obvious way, but if that’s not possible, solar panels or a generator are alternative options.

Making the most of Light

Lighting should be bright, safe, and efficient. Install fluorescent lights above a workbench or recycling station. If you do woodworking or auto body work, check bulbs for their CRI (colour rendering index) – it will help you see the true colours of paints and stains.

Clamp-on lights are portable and can be moved around to provide light wherever it’s needed. Under-cabinet light fixtures are ideal for lighting task areas beneath a row of cabinets. Task lights illuminate certain areas such as a desk top, part of a potting bench, or crafting table in order to perform a specific task.

If the shed doesn’t have power, use battery powered lights – they are typically easy to install and convenient to use.