The Amish are a group of Anabaptist Christians originating from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They are noted for their strict religious beliefs and commitment to a traditional way of life. The stereotypical view of the Amish paints them as an insular people who completely reject modern conveniences, such as electricity and automobiles. Though grounded in truth, this characterization of the Amish as a totally austere group is overblown. In particular, while they generally shun technology, the Amish generate a large amount of revenue by leveraging their reputation for craftsmanship in the production and sale a variety of products, among the most popular of which is the Amish shed.
The Amish shed and similar products are popular among mainstream consumers for their sturdy, reliable, handcrafted reputation. Retailers market and price Amish products based on these preconceptions, and, as a result, Amish furniture and buildings command a premium in the marketplace. The Amish do limit who they allow to sell their products, which adds to their exclusivity as well.
The old-fashioned, hand-built aura that surrounds products like the Amish shed is somewhat a product of savvy marketing. Though indeed the Amish do not use power-line electricity, they use power tools run from generators and do not hand-carve and whittle each piece of furniture or building they produce. Most, though not all Amish, use telephones to conduct business and arrange transactions with resellers. Amish groups will also host periodic expositions for the purpose of partnering with retailers. This has resulted in Amish goods being made available for order over the Internet, for sale to a worldwide audience.
Despite the somewhat mythical nature of their production methods however, Amish products are still, for the most part, high-quality pieces that justify their cost. Rather than keeping stock on hand, the Amish and their selling partners take custom orders from buyers, which means exact types of wood, stains, and other options can usually be chosen. A wide variety of styles are available as a result, including A-frames and barn roofs, among others.
Most Amish shed products are sold in kits and must be assembled on-site. They are delivered by truck, on pallets, fully-finished and painted, ready to be bolted together. Most sheds need to be located on small foundations so they do not subside over time.
Smaller Amish shed designs typically start around $1,000 US Dollars (USD), and prices can go up, depending on the size and number of options selected. Aside from sheds, other Amish buildings commonly available for purchase include gazebos, livestock barns, and hunting cabins. Like their sheds, these other products are built-to-order and command the same cost premium over ready-made alternatives.