You’ve been thinking of buying that extra storage space for the backyard and have settled on an 8x12 small storage shed as the possible size. But before you place the order, let’s look at a few things to be sure you won’t wish you had ordered a larger one when it arrives (or three months later after it's full and overflowing!) or find ways to get more storage space out of the 8x12 shed you hope to purchase.
8x12 Storage Shed: 96 Square Feet or 85 Square Feet?
Here’s the deal, an 8x12 storage shed is 96 square feet small. But consider that a shed is built with 2x4 framing which will intrude into your interior space making your useable space even less. A standard 2x4 measures 3 ½ inches which means you will lose 7 inches of interior space all around on an 8x12 shed.
Not that all that space needs to be wasted. It may be useful as a place to hang garden tools or create tiny shelves between the studs for storing small things, but it is something to keep in mind as you shop for a shed.
All that to say, if you buy an 8x12 storage shed, you end up with around 85 square feet of space inside the framing.
Is 96 Square Feet Enough of Space?
That is a question only you can answer
You want to begin by asking what all you hope to store in the 8x12 portable shed. Since the shed offers 96 square feet of interior space (minus the space taken up by the framing), you want to be sure it will do the job.
It’s much easier to go bigger before you order the portable shed, than wish you had a week later!
The best way to figure out if an 8x12 Shed is large enough for you is as follows:
- Get a piece of sidewalk chalk
- Measure out an area 8x12, the size your shed will be
- Then go gather your stuff and set it inside that area
If you have boxes you want to store, stack them on top of each other, park the lawn mower inside, grab your wheelbarrow or whatever else you hope to fit into the 8x12 shed and place it inside the box you drew with the chalk.
Don’t forget to leave floor space to walk around. You don’t want a storage shed that is packed tight and no room to walk around (trust me, I’ve been there!).
Now, if you don’t want to gather all your stuff and do the demo as mentioned above, try to think about what all you hope to put inside and how you hope to organize it.
How to get more Space out of your 8x12 Shed
So, you have your stuff inside the box you drew but there are all those small items that you need a place for. The Christmas décor, pool cleaning equipment, leftover materials from the update you made to the house… And the shed is full…
Or ask the question
How can I get more space in an 8x12 storage shed?
There are ways to expand the interior space of your 8x12 shed and get more inside. We’re going to discuss a few of those here.
1. Increase the Wall Height
The easiest way to get more interior space inside the new shed you want to buy is going higher. Let’s begin by talking about wall height.
The 8x12 Mini Barn Shed in the photo here has a very low wall. The wall is around 4’ tall but the roof design gives you the interior height. But even with that roof design, this 8x12 portable building gives you the least amount of cubic space on the interior of almost any shed on the market.
Keep in mind, you will not be able to use the side walls to hang your garden hoe or your garden rake vertically. If you want the best use of the wall space, consider going with a shed that has a higher wall space with another roof style or a Maxi Barn that has this same roof design but walls that are 2 ft higher.
Bottom line: You will greatly increase the amount of interior space of your 8x12 shed with higher walls.
2. Consider your 8x12 shed roof design
The design of your roof has a lot to do how much headroom your 8x12 storage shed will have.
Take a look at the two examples here. The Standard Economy Workshop roof (left) has limited storage space in the roof area. Even if you add a loft to your 8x12 Standard Shed, the benefit will be minimal.
However, if you upgrade to a Premier Garden Shed (right), you’ll get a good bit more interior cubic feet inside your shed. The steeper roof pitch gives you much more space to stack things or to add a loft and store things above.
Get even more cubic feet of interior space with the 8x12 MaxiBarn, Gambrel or Dutch Barn. The barn roof design gives you plenty of space to add a loft in the shed and have space to store boxes, décor, and any kind of knick-knack you can think of off the floor and in the loft.
Imagine how much more open the floor space on your 8x12 portable shed will be if you could store things in the roof area!
3. Add Shelves to your 8x12 Shed
So, now we have the height thing figured out, let’s consider more things we can do to help make more space in a small 8x12 portable shed.
Shelving is the next thing you can do to keep the floor area of your 8x12 shed open and accessible. You know how it is (or you’ll soon find out), even if you have a much larger shed like a 12x16 storage shed or a 10x20 shed, before you know it, the floor is utterly cluttered with stuff here and there (I’ve been there…or should I say, I am there?)
Adding shelves along the wall takes away some of the interior space, but it gives you much more than it takes away. You can add narrow 12” shelves along one wall at 16” intervals and really increase the organization of your 8x12 storage shed.
If you’re going with a larger shed, you might even consider a full second floor like you will find in the Legacy Two Story Sheds here.
Alright, now we figured out what we can fit inside an 8x12 backyard shed and we discussed how to increase the interior space in the building with higher walls, a roof design with more interior space and shelving.
Lastly, I’d like to introduce you to four of my favorite 8x12 sheds that have been built by Sheds Unlimited.
Are you ready?
8x12 Premier Garden Shed: Quite Unlike the Rest
We love this little 8x12 Premier Garden Shed and think it adds a very nice touch to this backyard. The shed includes a 4’ shed dormer which (besides adding a bit more space), just makes it look like…well, amazing!
Another brilliant idea this customer had was to add more windows. Notice the windows above the 4’ Doors? They bring in extra light. BTW: The Premier Garden Sheds actually include four of those windows as a standard feature.
Check out the interior of this shed so well organized with a loft and even garden tools hanging from the rafters (I guess we missed that as an idea of adding more space to your 8x12 shed!). The 4’ doors on the gable end make this shed very accessible and the abundance of windows give it a bright interior.
8x12 Dutch Barn: More Space Up Top
Ok, I tried to find a photo of an 8x12 Premier Dutch Barn but was not successful. So I settled for this 10x12 Portable Barn that towers above almost any other 8x12 shed at Sheds Unlimited!
Notice the high walls combined with a very high roofline. This means you will have a lot of interior space to store stuff so you can keep the floor area of your 8x12 shed clear.
If you chose to buy the 8x12 Dutch Barn, I would highly recommend adding a 4’ loft with a step ladder so you can make more space and keep access to the area easy.
8x12 Modern Shed: The Future…Now
Ok, now that we’ve talked about what you can expect from your 8x12 storage shed, go ahead and find the one that pleases you most.
Or shop the discounted sheds and you might be lucky to find the one that will fit your taste and style perfectly!