What is a Barn Shed?

Dan Cavallari

A barn shed is a type of shed that essentially mimics the style of a full-sized barn, but on a much smaller scale. Such sheds are often defined by the shape of the roof, which is similar to a gambrel roof. The size of a barn shed varies according to the builder's or owner's specifications, and the purpose of the shed will also vary according to one's needs.The size and shape, as well as the purpose of the barn, can dictate how the barn shed is built; larger sheds will more than likely need a concrete slab as a foundation, while smaller sheds may simply need concrete footings.

Larger sheds need a concrete foundation.
Larger sheds need a concrete foundation.

The doors of a barn shed also look and function similarly to the doors of a full-size barn. The barn shed often features two doors that hinge on opposite ends from each other, and in many cases the doors are bordered with decorative white trim to accent the size and shape. More elaborate door designs may feature half doors that split the full doors in half. The door features add to the versatility of the space, as some barn sheds are not used only for storage. They can be used as a living space, an office space, or even as a business space.

The size of the shed depends entirely on the needs of the owner. Some prefabricated models come in certain sizes and shapes, but custom made models can fit virtually any need. Larger sheds made of wood will require a sturdy, flat, and even base that will support the weight of the structure as well as the contents of the shed. Concrete slabs are best for such an application, as they can support the weight of the structure and provide a waterproof barrier between the ground and the wood of the barn shed. Smaller sheds or sheds made from lighter materials such as plastic of vinyl may not require a concrete slab. Instead, some may require concrete footings only, while others may be lightweight and light-duty enough that they can be placed directly on the ground with no fabricated support beneath them.

All barn sheds feature a gambrel roof, which is a style of pitched roof that maximizes the amount of space available within the structure. The roof features two sets of pitches: the top pitches are set at a less steep angle, while the lower pitches are much steeper to allow rain, snow, and debris to fall off the roof naturally.

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