Exterior Sheds & ADUs

10 Totally Unexpected Uses for a Backyard Shed

A sturdy shed is great for storing gear, but why stop there? People with all sorts of diverse interests—from growing their own food to hosting big barbecues—are discovering how a shed can be a functional and fun backyard escape with the power to truly enhance their lives. To help your property’s newest addition reach its full potential, LP Outdoor Building Solutions® offers products and guidance to customize one of these stellar little structures. Whatever your favorite pastime, click through this gallery of innovative backyard structures to get a little inspiration, and check out LPShed.com for more ideas—then get busy creating your own personal dream shed. This content has been brought to you by LP Outdoor Building Solutions. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

Mini Movie Theater


AdvertisementWith little more than a designated zone, a high-definition projector, and an ample screen, you can bring the cinema experience home so fast that you’ll be able to catch the best of the summer blockbusters in the comfort of your backyard. To calculate how big your theater can be, use the Size Selector at LPShed.com. You’ll need to run a line from your home’s circuit breaker (110-volt power should suffice), and be sure to trick out the interior with velvet drapes and plush seating for all-out ambience. If you’re feeling less ambitious, simply transform your shed into a concession stand and show films alfresco!

Perfect Playhouse


A well-built shed can become the ideal spot for pint-size tea parties with the addition of a few Victorian details like a little porch, quaint railings, and charming touches of gingerbread. Inside, too, the clean look for LP® ProStruct® Flooring® helps to transform little ones into pretend homeowners each time that they step in to “make more tea.”

Adorable Doghouse


Your furry best friend deserves spacious and stylish accommodations, complete with built-in protection from the heat of the day—more than you’ll find in the average doghouse. Walls constructed from LP SmartSide® Panels with SilverTech® can reduce the structure’s overall solar heat gain by preventing sun-warmed siding from radiating the heat inwards where it could transfer to the small shed’s occupants. As a result, both the interior (and Fido) remain comfortable even in the dog days of summer. Plus, the siding resists rot, termite damage, flaking, and peeling, so the house will look great out there on the lawn. Talk about bowwow!

Great Greenhouse


Turn a simple potting shed into a greenhouse to sustain plants in cold weather and give you a jump-start on the spring growing season. All it takes is swapping out some of the roofing and siding with panels that let in light, such as fiberglass or polycarbonate sheeting. Tip: You can convert the entire shed or do just a portion, depending on your—and your garden’s—needs. 

Backyard Bar


Trekking back and forth to the kitchen for drinks is a drag! Stock your shed with beverages and the next round will be right at your fingertips. Design your backyard bar in a classic style, or key it to a theme—tropical tiki, British pub, or a sea-faring motif, complete with portholes and a captain’s wheel. Simply install a ledge beneath the windows, set on brackets about 15 inches deep, to use as a work space, or purchase a portable bar with built-in shelving. Then, equip your saloon as extravagantly as your imagination and budget allow, starting with a few stools, a mini-fridge or kegerator, and maybe even a portable sink. For illumination, think solar LED lights or string lights plugged into an extension cord. Cheers!

Cool Pool House


Take your pool and patio to the next luxurious level with a comfortable cabana where you can change clothes, chill out, and even prepare a snack. The key to beating the heat here is LP ProStruct®Roof Sheathing with SilverTech®—its radiant barrier will help keep the shed cool inside during summertime heat. This ingenious roof sheathing also has a highly reflective surface that brightens the interior for better visibility without additional lighting.

Cute Coop


Raising chickens is a popular hobby that pays for itself in fresh eggs! But if you want your birds to produce, you need to keep them healthy and safe in a coop that has a mesh frame door and screened windows to provide adequate ventilation, and a secure closure that keeps predators out. Innovative LP SmartSide® Panels with SilverTech feature a finish-grade radiant barrier that both looks great and helps keep the temperature comfortable inside. Shelves built along the sides of the coop will allow ample room for chickens to roost.

Outdoor Kitchen


Host more than a handful of barbecues over the summer? Streamline the food-to-picnic table process with a designated outdoor kitchen. The biggest challenge of a shed-to-kitchen conversion is usually creating access to running water, but you can run a pipe from the main house by drilling a small hole in the basement or exterior wall, digging a trench for the pipe, and then installing a sink. (Note: A water quality test is recommended to ensure safety.) You’ll also want to add a countertop for food prep, cabinets for storage, and a small fridge convenient to the hardworking outdoor grill. With walls constructed from LP SmartSide® Panels with SilverTech, your outdoor kitchen will be brighter while you’re in there busily preparing food.

Awesome Office


Make business a pleasure with a unique home office sure to inspire creativity and confidence—and shield you from the distractions of dirty dishes or piles of laundry that beckon during work hours. Start at the bottom, installing an LP ProStruct® Floor with SmartFinish®. The rest is up to you: Go sleek and modern with bright wall paint and finished floors, opt for muted colors and traditional furnishings, or anything in between! (Note: If you choose to embrace the natural tones of the knot-free LP ProStruct® Floor and leave it unfinished, be sure to lay down a chair mat to protect the hard surface before you bring in a rolling chair.)

Foolproof Firewood Storage


Nothing beats a roaring fire—and nothing foils your plans for one like soggy wood! Keep your firewood dry and ready to burn by stacking it in a shed. The ideal enclosure sits on footings to keep logs off the ground where they’d surely get damp, and is open on one side to allow for air circulation. While you’re customizing, consider a sloped roof to provide optimal drainage of rain and snow.