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barn vs shed

Barn vs Shed

Both barns and sheds have a lot to offer in terms of utilizing outdoor space. But what's the difference between the two? Are they the same, or are there features that set them apart? 

From our extensive experience at Homestead Supplier, we've seen, built, and put to the test numerous barns and sheds, and today, we're sharing all those juicy details with you.

We'll explore their differences in terms of material, style, construction, and more, as well as help you decide which one is right for you.

So dive in and discover the difference between a barn vs shed. 

What this article covers:

What's the Difference Between a Barn and a Shed?


Barns traditionally lean on robust materials like stone and timber so that they stand sturdy for housing livestock and storing hefty items like grains and hay.

Sheds, however, can be crafted from a variety of materials, including metal, wood, plastic, or even concrete, each bringing its own perks and quirks to the table.

According to our research, the best wooden sheds, though requiring a bit of maintenance, provide excellent insulation and stability.


The style of barns and sheds can be quite distinctive. Barns often exude a traditional aura, sometimes painted in classic white or red, and might feature large doors and windows.

Sheds, conversely, tend to embrace a simpler, more utilitarian style, though they can be customized to a myriad of aesthetic preferences.

We've found that the style often boils down to personal preference and intended use.


shed vs barn

Size does matter when distinguishing between a barn and a shed. Barns, even mini barns, generally offer more space, accommodating larger items like big tractors or even serving as a cozy abode for livestock.

Sheds, while also versatile, are typically smaller, often providing just enough space for storage or recreational activities without feeling too cramped.


Barns are often constructed with a focus on durability and longevity, employing more complex construction techniques and materials designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.

The best sheds, while still sturdy, might utilize lighter materials and simpler construction methods, making them a quicker and sometimes more cost-effective option.


While both barns and sheds serve storage purposes, barns traditionally cater to agricultural needs, housing animals and storing crops.

Sheds, however, often serve as storage for tools, equipment, and can even morph into a serene space for hobbies like woodworking or painting. You can even use them as secure sheds for bikes, making them a versatile storage option. Medium to large sheds are usually the best shed size for workshop.


In our experience, barns, with their larger size and robust construction, tend to be more costly than sheds.

However, the ultimate cost can be influenced by factors like materials, size, and customization, providing a range of options to fit various budgetary needs.

Barn or Shed?

Advantages Of A Barn

difference between a barn and a shed

A barn is a fundamental structure on a farm, providing a crucial space for various agricultural needs. It offers a substantial area where livestock can be sheltered, equipment can be stored, and crops can be kept safe from weather elements.

Barns, due to their size and multifunctional nature, are particularly beneficial for larger properties or farms with extensive storage requirements.

In our work at Homestead Supplier, we've observed that barns serve multiple practical purposes on a farm. They provide a secure environment for animals, ensuring they are protected from adverse weather conditions.

The ample storage space allows for machinery, such as tractors and plows, to be stored alongside harvested crops, optimizing the use of available space.

Barns can also be utilized for non-agricultural purposes, such as hosting events. The spacious interior can be adapted to accommodate gatherings, providing a straightforward, functional space for various activities.


  • Spacious interior for varied use
  • Robust and durable construction
  • Traditional aesthetic appeal
  • Suitable for housing livestock

Best For

  • Large property owners
  • Those with agricultural or extensive storage needs

Advantages Of A Shed


A shed is a compact structure that provides a dedicated space for storage and other activities. It is typically smaller than a barn and can be placed in various locations on a property, making it a flexible option for additional space.

Sheds are commonly used to store gardening tools, outdoor equipment, and other items that need to be shielded from the weather. They can also serve as a dedicated space for hobbies, workshops, or other recreational activities.

Sheds have proven to be incredibly useful for a wide range of purposes. They can be customized to serve as a practical storage solution, keeping tools and equipment organized and within easy reach.

Sheds can also be insulated and equipped with power to serve as a comfortable workshop for activities such as woodworking, crafting, or other DIY projects.

Moreover, sheds can be adapted to serve various other purposes based on individual needs. They can be transformed into a serene retreat for relaxation, a productive home office, or even a playhouse for children. The relatively simple construction and smaller size of sheds also make them a more cost-effective and quicker solution for adding additional space to a property.


  • Versatile in function and design
  • Typically more cost-effective
  • Easier and quicker to construct
  • Can be placed in smaller spaces

Best For

  • Homeowners seeking additional storage
  • Hobbyists needing a dedicated space


Choosing between a barn and a shed doesn't have to be a conundrum. By considering your space, budget, and purpose, you can select a structure that not only meets your needs but also complements your property beautifully.

Whether you opt for the spacious and sturdy barn or the compact and versatile shed, you're making a fantastic addition to your outdoor space. And whatever your outdoor storage needs, Homestead Supplier has you covered from cedar sheds to barn shed kits.

If you want to learn more, why not check out these articles below:

Previous article How Much Does It Cost to Build a Shed?

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