9 Tips For Choosing Shed Building Materials – A Definitive Guide [2021]

Every summer resident understands well that one cannot do without a barn on the site. This building can become a storage place for garden tools or firewood, a small workshop, a chicken coop or a rabbit house. Often, the barn becomes the first structure that is built on the newly purchased plot, but the utility block can be erected during the construction of the house or after its completion. In any case, it will be necessary to choose the material for the shed, and here the summer resident will have a huge assortment: from the usual lightweight concrete blocks and boards to ready-made containers. We deal with the features of different materials, types of foundations and roofs and determine which shed to build in the country.


It is better to choose a place for a barn in advance at the planning stage of a summer cottage. On the diagram, it is necessary to designate the areas for the location of the house, bathhouse, greenhouse , playground , barbecue area , garage and other buildings in order to find the optimal place for the barn and understand how best to arrange all the structures relative to each other.

The barn is usually located:

  • behind a residential building so that it cannot be seen. Sometimes the barn is also masked with vertical landscaping;
  • near the house , so that all the tools and small things necessary for the household are at hand;
  • on the border of the site .a place for a barn in the country

Often for a utility block , a place is chosen that is not suitable for organizing other buildings or zones there, for example, shady areas, areas on the north side or with not very good soil. In principle, there are no special requirements regarding the location of the shed in the country – it is important to observe only the distance from the fence :

  • if you are going to store garden tools, tools, carry out minor repairs in the shed, then the minimum distance from the fence is 1 m;
  • if the barn is used for raising animals or storing organic fertilizers, the distance from it to the fence must be at least 4 m;
  • when using a barn for raising animals, it is important not only the distance to the fence, but also the distance to the neighboring residential building. It must be at least 12 m.
  • a place for a barn in the country 2


The size of the barn is determined by the purpose of its use. The experience of numerous summer residents allows us to talk about the minimum necessary parameters for different purposes of use:

  • for storing garden tools (rakes, shovels, secateurs, etc.), a building with dimensions of 1.5 * 1.5 m is suitable, you can organize a system of hooks and shelves in it;
  • if it is supposed to store not only gardening tools, but also additional materials, such as paints, fertilizers and other things, then everything can be conveniently stored with sizes from 1.5 * 2 m;barn dimensions
  • if it is supposed to store equipment, such as a lawn mower or a pump, then it is better to expand the shed to a size of 2 * 3 m;
  • when using the hozblok as a chicken coop or rabbitry, its size depends on how many animals you plan to raise. For example, a shed 2 * 3 m in size is enough for 10-20 hens.

Often a barn is built with a margin, but its dimensions are rarely more than 3 * 6 m.

barn size 2


Modern summer residents build sheds from anything: both completely traditional materials and improvised ones are used. Conventionally, according to the material and construction technology, sheds can be divided into:

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  • frame;
  • container;
  • prefabricated;
  • sheds made of bricks and lightweight concrete blocks.
  • barn in the country


Frame construction technology is one of the most popular today, it allows you to get by with small investments, and it is not difficult to build such a shed with your own hands. The technology consists in creating a strong, reliable frame from a wooden bar or a professional pipe . From above, the frame is sheathed with any sheet or plywood material and, if necessary, insulated from the inside.

According to the material used for external cladding, sheds are:

  • wooden sheds with edged or unedged boards (slabs) are considered to be the easiest to implement and the cheapest structures, however, their durability is low. The construction begins with the construction of the foundation, then the support frame is mounted from a wooden bar, the rafters are attached for arranging the roof. The resulting frame is sheathed with an ordinary board or slab. The tongue-and-groove material is ideal as it avoids gaps. Some resort to installing herringbone boards. Wooden sheds can be used for any purpose, but if animals are provided for wintering in them, it is better to use windproof films and insulation material during the construction phase… A wooden shed is cheap, simple and environmentally friendly. The disadvantages are significant: low durability, susceptibility to decay, inflammation, the appearance of insects, the need for constant protective treatment to extend the service life;
  • wooden frame shed
  • sheds lined with OSB tiles show the best performance in terms of durability, because the material practically does not rot and does not warp. The basis is a wooden frame, but when erecting it, it is worthwhile to very accurately mount the support posts so that the seam between the OSB slabs falls exactly on them. At a cost, OSB boards will cost more than boards, but there is less hassle in terms of installation and maintenance. Nevertheless, it is still better to paint such a shed not so much for aesthetic reasons as to provide additional protection;
  • frame shed with osb slabsa metal shed is already a more reliable and durable structure. The frame is made from a profile pipe, some summer residents use old water pipes. They are concreted in the ground, vertical runs are fixed with bolts or welding, and the cladding is fixed, which can be used as corrugated sheets . The metal will have to be periodically protected from corrosion, then the shed will stand for a very long time. The metal utility block comes out cold, and if it is necessary to organize a workshop or a place for keeping animals in it, it is better to carry out internal insulation .frame metal shed
  • Polycarbonate is traditionally used for the construction of greenhouses , but it is used in the arrangement of sheds for indoor walking of poultry. If the shed will be used as a workshop or warehouse, transparent walls are useless for it, but in the absence of other materials, polycarbonate may also work. It is possible to fasten sheets of material on a wooden and metal frame; special self-tapping screws with a wide head and a sealing washer are used;
  • the slate left over from replacing the roof of the house can also be used to create a barn. Flat or corrugated sheets are best fixed to a wooden frame. Since the size of the sheets is large, installation is greatly accelerated. Such sheds do not look very attractive, but they are as economical as possible;slate barn
  • a sawdust concrete shed is being built using monolithic technology. You will need to create a frame and sheathe it with OSB plates, having received the formwork. A mixture of cement mortar and sawdust is poured into it. As a result, strong walls are obtained with a good indicator of thermal insulation. In such a shed, you can equip a workshop, warehouse or chicken coop;
  • pallets , they are also pallets , can be used as an alternative to timber when arranging a barn frame. It will not be difficult to get wooden pallets: if not completely free, then for a minimal fee. The pallets are put on the foundation, bolted together, the rafters are installed, and the finished frame is sheathed (usually with OSB plates).pallet shed


Of course, much more durable structures come out of stone materials. Recall at least the tale of the three pigs, which clearly shows that a stone building is not afraid of anything, but requires more time and effort to build.

Brick shed

Sheds are not often built from brick , and this is due to a number of disadvantages :

  • high price;
  • high labor intensity of work;
  • heavy weight and the need to lay a powerful foundation.

  A brick shed can boast numerous advantages :

  • great appearance. In fact, this is almost the only option when the shed looks quite acceptable without additional cladding and does not spoil the site;
  • high durability and reliability;
  • fire and moisture resistance;
  • resistance to rodents and mold .

Despite the high cost of building such a barn, some people prefer to invest money once, so that later they do not know the problems with constant reconstructions and repairs.brick shed

Shed from foam blocks

foam block shed is ideal when you need to build a durable building with a small budget. Foam blocks have large dimensions and a porous structure, due to which numerous advantages are achieved :



  • high speed of construction due to low weight and large block format;
  • low load on the foundation;
  • excellent thermal insulation properties;
  • resistance to fire and rodents;
  • relatively low cost.

The disadvantages of this solution are the possibility of shrinkage and not the most attractive appearance. The shrinkage is about 2-4 mm per linear meter, and the problem of appearance is solved by facing with plaster, decorative bricks or siding .foam block shed

Aerated block shed

Gas blocks are produced using a slightly different technology, but in many respects repeat the properties of foam blocks. They keep warm, weigh a little, are resistant to fire, are inexpensive, but are afraid of water. Water absorption can be as high as 35%, therefore reliable waterproofing is required . Not every summer resident is ready to bother so much when erecting a barn, so aerated concrete is not used very often, unlike foam concrete.

Arbolite shed

Arbolite blocks are made on the basis of concrete and wood chips. Not so long ago, they began to be actively used in private low-rise construction. So far, arbolite sheds are rarely erected, but it’s only a matter of time, since the material has a lot of advantages :

  • high thermal insulation qualities;
  • high vapor permeability;
  • large block size and light weight allow building quickly and with minimal load on the foundation;
  • high strength;
  • resistance to mold and rodents;
  • trouble-free installation of fasteners.

Arbolit is scolded for not the most accurate geometry, low frost resistance and moisture resistance, therefore, after erecting a shed, it is better to revet it. Finishing will not only make the shed more aesthetically pleasing, but also extend its life.wood concrete shed


If the time frame for the construction of a utility block is critically small, then you can greatly simplify your life by buying a ready-made barn . At the heart of such structures is a metal frame, sheathed with metal with a layer of insulation. All the necessary communications are laid in the insulation. Outwardly, such a shed looks like a container , and its equipment can be very different: from a small storage shed, then a full-fledged utility block with a toilet and even a place to rest and a canopy for arranging a veranda . The most functional containers can be used as a small country house while the main one is being built.

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As a rule, such structures are brought to the site already assembled – all that remains is to connect all the necessary communications. These are durable structures, the arrangement of which requires a minimum of time. You only have to take care of the foundation, but a regular columnar or simple concrete slab will do. Such sheds are not cheap, they do not look very attractive, but due to the durability and strength, the structure can be sold if there is no need for it.container shed


Prefabricated sheds should be singled out as a separate group, despite the fact that they are actually a kind of frame. They are based on the same technology, only the manufacturer simplifies the task for the summer resident so much that it turns the construction of a shed into a kind of assembly of a designer.

Prefabricated sheds are produced based on:

  • SIP panels;
  • sandwich panels;
  • plastic panels.prefab barn

Initially, a frame is created, and pre-made standard elements are attached to it. A summer resident just needs to follow the instructions and mount one element after another to get a full-fledged barn. Time costs are significantly reduced, and the need for insulation or external finishing is eliminated due to the design of the panels. SIP panels consist of two layers of wood-based panels, between which there is a layer of insulation, sandwich panels are the same, but there are sheets of metal on the sides of the insulation. The cost of a finished prefabricated shed is more than that of a frame or block shed, but the speed of construction and mobility is higher.

Separately, it is worth highlighting plastic sheds . Elements for their construction are made of composite plastic. It is impossible to call such buildings super-durable, but they cope with the tasks of storing garden tools, they look nice, they are assembled quickly, they do not require a reinforced foundation. For keeping animals, this design is not suitable due to the lack of insulation.barn plastic



No matter how easy the construction is, the foundation for the shed is necessary in any case. If you save money or succumb to the persuasion of laziness, and miss this important stage in the construction of a barn in the country, then soon you can encounter rickety walls. Of course, a powerful labor-intensive foundation is not always necessary – it all depends on the material used in construction. Typically, these types of foundations are used:

  • block – the basis for the lightest sheds, incl. wooden. It is equipped using concrete blocks, which are installed on a sand cushion around the perimeter of the future shed in increments of 1-1.5 m. Financial and labor costs are minimal;
  • a slab monolithic foundation is a versatile option that can be used even in areas with loose soil. The process of arrangement is simple and consists in preparing a sand cushion 15-20 cm thick and pouring cement mortar 10 cm thick, to guarantee it can be additionally reinforced with reinforcement. A significant plus of this solution is the lack of flooring work;
  • columnar foundation is a popular option for frame sheds, it is cheap and easy to arrange, but not suitable for areas with difficult soil;barn foundation
  • the pile foundation can be used on any soil, it is quickly equipped, but it has a high cost, therefore, it is resorted to in the absence of alternatives;barn foundation 2
  • the strip foundation is the most laborious, but the construction of heavy buildings (a brick shed, for example) is difficult to imagine without it. The strip foundation is erected using monolithic technology from concrete and prefabricated technology from concrete blocks. An intermittent strip foundation can be used under the shed; it is not laid in a solid line.


The roof of the barn can be:

  • single-pitched;
  • gable.

Other options (tent, round, hipped) are very rare. The cheapest way is to equip a pitched roof , so this is the most common option. Its advantage also lies in better natural ventilation , which is especially important if the barn is used for breeding animals. When arranging a pitched roof, it is necessary to ensure that its slope is not towards the door, otherwise puddles will accumulate in front of the entrance during rain.

A gable roof is better only in appearance. Natural ventilation under it is worse, but it is possible to equip a hayloft under the roof. In any case, it is necessary to ensure a roof slope of at least 25 degrees.

The following materials are usually used to equip the roof of a shed:

  • slate is the most budgetary option, and even after the construction or repair of other summer cottages, most summer residents have it. The material is distinguished by its durability, good strength, weather resistance, but requires a reliable lathing and is too fragile. Its low aesthetic properties are not so important when building a barn;
  • metal tile is a lightweight inexpensive material that also often remains after the roof of a country house or gazebo . The pluses include the appearance, range and durability. The shed, covered with metal tiles, can become part of the architectural ensemble of the site. It is worth fearing the appearance of scratches during installation, as they start the corrosion process;shed roof 3
  • the properties of the professional sheet resemble metal tiles, but they are cheaper and look much simpler;
  • Roofing material is a soft roll material characterized by a low price and ease of installation. The aesthetics of such a roof is low, besides, it is better to put roofing material in several layers;shed roof 4
  • ondulin , aka soft slate, weighs a little, looks good, flexible, easy to install, but is flammable;
  • flexible shingles have excellent aesthetic and operational qualities, but due to the high price for roofing sheds, they are rarely used.

The external decor of the barn can be anything you want – if you wish, the outbuilding can not only organically fit into the landscape design , but also make it a highlight.