What is a Wood Shed?

Kate Monteith

A wood shed is a small outbuilding primarily used to store firewood. Wood sheds can range in size from a small broom closet to a garage. Sometimes called a storage shed or garden shed, wood sheds can also be used to organize garden tools.

Cut firewood is stored in a wood shed.
Cut firewood is stored in a wood shed.

Early people developed wood sheds to protect dry firewood and kindling from wet weather. The basic design hasn’t changed much since the beginning -- a functional wood shed always has a good roof, and the walls may be open for easy access to firewood, or closed to the elements. Depending on the homeowner’s desires, a wood shed can be placed near the home or in a remote corner of the yard. In the summer or fall, a homeowner can store a large pile of wood against the upcoming winter weather, and enjoy access to dry firewood throughout the season.

Firewood must be kept away from rain and snow to remain in good condition for burning.
Firewood must be kept away from rain and snow to remain in good condition for burning.

A wood shed is often a homemade structure with rugged log walls and a tarpaper roof. There is one type called a pole shed that is simply four poles and a roof. Some of the more elaborate wood shed designs look like small cottages, with a front porch, windows, coach lights, and dormers. A typical aluminum storage shed looks like a small barn with corrugated walls and two sliding doors in the front.

One of the great advantages to a wood shed is the extra storage available. Yard tools and outdoor machinery can be protected from the elements in a space that is separate from the garage or basement. For gardeners, a storage shed is the perfect place to keep bags of mulch, garden tools and plant pots. Garden sheds can also serve as greenhouses, with transparent or semi-opaque walls and roofs.

Wood sheds provide safe and dry storage space, and they make a great choice for organizing clutter and protecting precious belongings. Hobbyists and auto enthusiasts can find a lot to like about sheds, especially when the interior is large enough to step inside and work. A roomy backyard shed can be outfitted with shelves, cupboards, and racks to fit all kinds of tools and parts.

Shed kits are manufactured in several sizes and styles to suit specific functions. They are usually made of aluminum, wood or wood composite. The kits come with instructions and all the necessary parts and components, and they are relatively simple to build. Backyard shed kits are commonly sold at hardware stores, garden centers and lumber yards.

Wood sheds are usually small in size and provide ample protection from water damage.
Wood sheds are usually small in size and provide ample protection from water damage.

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Discussion Comments


When we defeated a team really badly in sports we would sometimes say, "We took them to the wood shed." Basically, this was our way of saying we had beaten the team soundly.


@Laotionne - I am old enough to know exactly what your grandmother was referring to when she talked about taking someone to the wood shed. In addition to being a place for storing wood out of the weather, the wood shed somehow along the way became a place for dishing out punishment to naughty boys and girls.

Adults would commonly spank their kids in the wood shed when the kids had misbehaved. I guess they used the wood shed so no one would hear all of the screaming and crying. That's just a guess though.


Has anyone heard the expression "taken to the wood shed"? My grandmother used this exprression a lot when I was little. She was always threatening to take someone to the wood shed. My cousins and I weren't sure what the expression meant, but from the way she said the words, we knew we didn't want to find out.


The house we bought had a detached garage or barn at one time, but the building has been removed. One of the neighbors said the structure fell down and someone removed the debris. Regardless of what happened to the building, my girlfriend wants to build a wood shed to replace the old structure.

She wants a place where she can store the old furniture that she likes to restore, and I want a place where I can store garden tools and yard equipment. We also have a couple of wood burning fireplaces, so we might add a little outside covered space where we can store wood and keep it dry. We just have to come up with the right wood shed design that will meet our needs, and not break our budget.

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