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12×16 Shed Plans

You’ve decided to install a storage shed on your property, but the big question is if the 12×16 shed plan is right for me? When planning, choosing the right size is the most important decision you must make. Too big and you will have more than you need. On the other hand, too small, and you will not have what you need, which leads to frustration. A 12×16 is the most popular shed size because it is a mid-size that is small enough to fit into most backyards.

How Much Available Space Do You Have? 

Your property’s size is a limiting factor in how big of a storage shed you can construct. The good news is that most backyards are large enough for a 12×16 outdoor building. There are a couple of factors to consider. A 12×16 may be too big if the structure dwarfs your yard. You do not want a shed that is too large and makes your yard feel cramped and cluttered.

On the other hand, if you have a larger space, you may want to size up. The last thing you want to do is go too small when you could have gone larger and regret it down the road. Learn how to pick the best location for your shed.

Check With Local Rules and Regulations

Before committing to a 12×16, check with your local planning and zoning. Some municipalities require that you obtain a shed building permit before construction begins. Others may have stipulations on the size of the building allowed on the property. Secondly, you should refer to your HOA’s covenants and restrictions before deciding on a size. HOAs tend to limit how large outdoor structures can be, where you can put them, and what materials they can be made of. 

Logistics of Getting a 12×16 Storage Shed into the yard

You have to decide whether you will construct your 12×16 storage shed on-site or off-site and then transport it to your backyard. If you are going to build your shed on-site, you do not have anything to worry about. However, if you plan to build off-site, then you need to make sure that you have a way to transport the finished product to your backyard. A 12×16 shed will need at least 14-foot openings all the way to the site to ensure no part of the shed will get snagged.

How Much Square Feet of Floor Space do You Need? 

It is hard to understand just how much usable space you will have by the dimensions. It is much easier to think of usable space in terms of square footage. In a 12×16 shed, you will have 192 square feet of floor space. This is compared to a 12×12 shed, which only has 144 square feet of floor space.  

Don’t Forget About Height

12x16 Shed Plan Size



Floor space is essential but don’t forget about cubic feet. The usable space in your 12×16 shed is significantly increased by taking advantage of height. You can add shelving, hangers, and even a loft, depending on what style of 12×16 shed you choose. In particular, loft boarding gives you more usable space that is also safe to walk on. These additional storage methods are a great way to maximize space and free up valuable floor space. Not to mention hangers and shelves allow you to organize what would otherwise be cluttered piles on the floor that people might trip over. If you need vertical space, you should opt for a shed design that offers plenty of height.

What is the Intended Purpose of Your 12×16 Shed?

If storage is the first reason that comes to your mind for having an outdoor shed, then you aren’t alone. It is becoming increasingly popular to use outdoor buildings for so much more, including a workshop, gardening shed, office space, at-home gym, art studio, and so much more! Make sure a 12×16 shed is large enough to accommodate its intended purpose. This includes factoring in its length, width, and height. Do not just plan for today. Take into account expansion in the years to come. 

What All Can I Fit in a 12×16 Shed? 

12×16 sheds are incredibly versatile and large enough for multipurpose use. Here are just a few ideas of what you can fit inside a 12×16 storage building. 

  • Two pieces of small outdoor equipment will typically fit (e.g., ATV, side-by-side, lawnmower). You should have enough room to maneuver around each piece of machinery. The amount of extra space will depend on the size of the equipment. 
  • No matter what you store on the floor, you can install shelves and hangers as long as you have room left around the walls. These are perfect for storing smaller items such as pots, boxes, garden tools, and much more.
  • If your shed is tall enough, you can incorporate a storage loft. Lofts are a way to get rarely used items out of your way. 
  • This is the perfect size shed to store recreational equipment such as kayaks, canoes, bicycles, and motorcycles. 

The number of items you can store in a 12×16 storage shed will depend on the items’ size. For instance, you can store more bicycles than you can ATVs. 

Find the Perfect 12×16 Shed Plan

After considering the above factors, if you find that a 12×16 shed is the right size, you won’t be disappointed. It is the best compromise between having additional working and storage space while not being a monstrosity in your back yard. Browse our selection of 12×16 shed plans to find the one that is perfect for your needs!