At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is a Prefab Shed?

A Kaminsky
A Kaminsky

A quick peek behind many homes will reveal a small outbuilding. In many cases, this might be a prefab shed. Prefab, or prefabricated, sheds may be used for storage or as a workshop. In general, a homeowner who wants extra storage space is looking for an inexpensive, yet sturdy building. A prefab shed may be the answer to his problems.

A prefab shed differs from other kinds in that it comes to the home either already assembled or as a kit. It is not built from plans drawn up by the homeowner or contractor. A prefab shed may be made of wood or steel and many designs are available at home centers and garden stores.

Assembling a prefab shed only requires basic carpentry skills.
Assembling a prefab shed only requires basic carpentry skills.

A homeowner should consider how much storage space he needs when choosing a prefab shed, as well as how much space he has for the building. Also, does he want a pre-assembled shed, or is he able to put together a kit? If he is thinking about a kit, he will probably want to look at the instructions first to make sure he has all the necessary tools to build the shed. Metal kits are probably easier to assemble, but only basic carpentry skills are required for wooden prefab sheds.

A prefab shed can be bought pre-assembled or as a kit.
A prefab shed can be bought pre-assembled or as a kit.

Someone who feels his construction skills are not adequate for a kit may opt to have a contractor install the building for him. The advantage is that the installation will be a professional job and the homeowner may have some legal recourse if the structure collapses. If he builds it himself, he's stuck with the results of his efforts, good or bad. However, a contractor's services will drive up the price of the shed at least 100 percent.

A prefab shed usually starts at about US$150 and goes up from there. Size, quality and design all affect the price. A homeowner should look for quality in the structure before buying. If the prefab shed is steel, it should be hot dipped or galvanized steel for maximum durability. Wood sheds should be made from pressure treated wood. All prefab sheds should include a guarantee against damage from the elements for a certain period of time.

A well-built prefab shed should last for years and will pay for itself by providing usable storage space.

Discussion Comments


It seems like we keep outgrowing our garage space no matter how big it is. We really need to get a shed built and have looked at quite a few prefab sheds.

We live in an area that has a covenant, so there are very specific regulations about how large any out building can be. We are able to pick out the material ourselves, but it must fit in well with the area.

One of our neighbors put up a metal prefab shed last year, and we will probably go with something that is similar to his in size and color.


When we were deciding which kind of prefab shed to install, we looked at both metal and wood, but went with a metal shed. My husband is a good carpenter, so he did not have any problems putting the shed together himself.

He loves to use it as a workshop and keeps many of his woodworking tools there. This gives him more space to work and I like it because I have more room in the garage.

We also store our bikes out in the shed. We usually have at least 5 bikes around, and this gives us more room, and is also easy access.


We put up a prefab shed in our back yard for extra storage. We have a very small garage, and needed a place for the lawn mower and gardening tools.

I really enjoy having this extra space. I love to garden, and by keeping everything in one place I am much more organized. I don't have to hunt for something every time I need to use it.

This also cuts down on the amount of clutter in the garage. I don't have to worry about rakes and shovels falling over and all my gardening containers are out of the way so we are not tripping all over them in the garage.


@KaBoom - For whatever reason, men seem to love putting stuff together. I know my boyfriend enjoys putting together Ikea furniture. Whenever we buy something new I just leave him alone for awhile and voila, new furniture.

I think if it was just me and I was going to get prefab shed I would either get one that was already put together or hire someone to help me. I'm not very handy!

Speaking of prefab sheds, I was reading a newspaper article about a funny controversy in one of my local neighborhoods. For whatever reason, it's against the neighborhood bylaws to have a shed. A few of the people that live in the neighborhood got upset and wanted to put up a shed, so now there's a heated battle going on between certain members of the neighborhood and the homeowners association. Some people are arguing that sheds look "trashy" while others thing they're harmless if kept in the backyard. Who knows how it will turn out though!


When I was growing up, we had a prefab shed in our backyard. My dad actually put it together himself. I remember my mom urging him to get professional assistance with the shed, he insisted that he could do it. As an office worker I think he just wanted a chance to do something manly around the house. And, although he's no professional construction worker, he did a pretty good job!

The shed actually held up for many years. We kept stuff out there like our bikes, tools, and the lawnmower. However, the shed met a sad end during a summer storm when a tree fell on it.


steel is the best type of shed.


Steel is a much stronger choice. It is also immune to corrosion.


Which one is the best type of shed? Wooden or Steel?

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Assembling a prefab shed only requires basic carpentry skills.
      By: auremar
      Assembling a prefab shed only requires basic carpentry skills.
    • A prefab shed can be bought pre-assembled or as a kit.
      By: fallesen
      A prefab shed can be bought pre-assembled or as a kit.