Picture of Improve the looks of a storage shed

Many storage sheds are built in backyards, but never integrated into the yard itself.  By that I mean most storage sheds tend to look like an afterthought -- sort of like a "big box with a roof" fell from the sky and landed in the yard.

This instructable focuses on how I started with a new storage building and integrated it into the overall landscaping of my backyard.

The materials I used included:

- 2x6 treated lumber for building a 5' x 12' deck
- 2x6 treated lumber for the ramp
- several concrete stepping stones to level the deck
- shutters and window boxes for the storage building
- approximately 20 bags of shredded wood mulch
- steel landscaping edging
- various landscaping plants
- a drip irrigation system
- primer & paint

I didn't list the quantities of lumber & edging that I used, because that will vary depending on how large a person wants the deck, and what they need in terms of landscaping.

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Step 1: Prepare and paint the shed

Picture of Prepare and paint the shed
In my case I began with a new, unpainted shed.  So, my first task was to caulk all joints -- all except the underside of horizontal joints.  You want to leave the underside of all horizontal joints open to prevent moisture from being trapped.

I also calked each and every nail to prevent moisture from seeping in over time.

Once all calking was dry, I put a coat of primer on the trim, followed by two coats of trim paint.  The siding was pre-primed, so I simply applied two coats of exterior latex on it.

Whether you are starting with a new shed or working with an old one, getting a good, protective layer of paint is critical.  No shed looks good with peeling paint and rotting trim.

Step 2: Build a ramp

Picture of Build a ramp

I built the ramp from 2x6 treated lumber.  I didn't make photos of its construction, but basically it consists of three tapered runners, with 2x6 decking.  I made mine the width of the double doors, since I have to back a riding mower into the building.

Not to sound like an idiot, but I really like the picture that shows the shelf on the inside of the shed with the windows.. What was the best way that you attached the shelf to the shed wall? Is it simply 2x4 that are cut at a 45 degree angle at both ends then the shelf if bolted ontop?

It's a very simple design that but works!

Also your landscaping is awesome for the shed! I noticed that sheds normally sit "off" the ground a little bit. Mine for instance is sitting on 6x6 posts, so that it is off the ground a little higher. I'd LOVE to do exactly what you did with the mulch. When you added the metal "frame" that houses the mulch (curved piece) what's the best way of adding the mulch to give the appearance that it's not a "mound" IE Your mulch looks about even with the grass but also looks even with the shed on the one side. I feel like if I added mulch it would have to be a higher mound to give the same appearance... Did you cut into the ground at all to remove dirt at all or simply laid the fabric cloth down then put mulch on top of that?

Thanks much!


knife141 (author)  NewShockerGuy1 year ago

You are correct about the shelf -- it is supported by a 2x4 cut at a 45 degree angle.

Regarding the mulch, I first placed a weed barrier fabric on the ground right over the grass, then added the mulch. My shed sits on 4x4 treated posts. It looks like it is even with the ground most probably because of the deck I built on one side, and since the ramp on the front takes up much of the width of the front, it sort of hides the fact that the building is 4 inches off the ground. Thank you for your comment!

This is really nice, I want to do this to mine. I was trying to figure out how and where to put a small patio to sit in the evening.. Perfect, Thank you
manuka2 years ago
As windows are the "eyes" of a building, consider adding more of them to make a structure look more homely. Most sheds are black holes inside when the door is shut, & improved interior illumination helps you locate things (!!) or work/shelter indoors during bad weather. \

Even a translucent roof panel can greatly improve daytime illumination, & it's not so prone to breakage by intruders either.
peterfoote3 years ago
Great job on your shed, you really gave me some ideas on how to "jazz" mine up a bit. Well done!
knife141 (author)  peterfoote3 years ago
Thanks for the kind words! Good luck with your "jazzing up" project!
gwrober3 years ago
Great 'able - looking for ideas for my shed, I think I may do most of these. Great work!
knife141 (author)  gwrober3 years ago
Thanks for the compliment. Good luck with your shed!
ksellars13 years ago
Excelent work! I love it! Thanks for adding this..I have a new shed in my backyard..and I have been scouring the internet for ideas on how to integrate it into the garden. Thanks again!
knife141 (author)  ksellars13 years ago
This is an easy project, because it can be divided into as many segments as you wish. In my case, I built the ramp and the deck in one day and installed the edging and dug the beds a few days later. A bit later I installed a drip irrigation system for the plants, so now I don't have to stand in the sun on a hot day with a hose! Good luck with your project.
ksellars13 years ago
Absolutley Love It!!!
packniam4 years ago
At first I thought the "Warehouse 13" thing was a little cheesy, but now that I've seen your lawnmower, I would be worried too. And by worried I mean I would be asking to borrow it all the time. This is probably the best part of the design! And your shed as a whole is amazing!
caarntedd4 years ago
Great work, I might see if I can do something like this with an old tin shed I have stored away behind the garage.
Great job and idea
Kiteman4 years ago
Yay, sheds!