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When you buy a house, especially a small home or one without a garage, a shed can be a real lifesaver. There’s just so much extra stuff that comes with homeownership, and it takes up a whole lot of precious space. Lawn mowers, snowblowers, shovels, rakes, fertilizer, paint, tools, and tons of other home maintenance items all need a permanent home somewhere on your property — and sheds can be an ideal storage solution.
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As functional and practical as sheds might be, they still need to look good to help you attract prospective buyers. If your home has dazzling landscaping and pristine paint, but your shed looks like a rundown mess, buyers will definitely take note. Though it may not necessarily make or break the deal on its own, a neglected shed can contribute to how buyers feel about your property overall
“I’ve seen sheds that are just an absolute eyesore,” says Candance Toscano, a Florida-based home stager and interior designer. “It’s an often-missed opportunity to transform an outdoor space and enhance the home’s overall exterior appearance — and this can have an impact on the resale value, too.”
Though you may be inclined to take a few artistic liberties with your shed, assuming that because it’s in the backyard no one will care what it looks like, it’s best to stick to basics. When it comes to painting your shed, use the same color you used to paint your house — or, at the very least, a complementary hue.
“Think of your shed like your home’s younger sibling,” says Rachel Moore, a home stager and lead designer for Madison Modern Home in Southern California. “Keep the paint color and trim the same. The shed should look like it was built with the house, so keep the two structures consistent in exterior style.”
The exception to this rule is if you have a modern, design-forward shed, like those used to provide extra office space or even add an accessory dwelling unit to the property, says Moore. In this case, you want the shed to stand out, so use appropriate paint colors that contrast with the house and highlight the shed’s architectural style.
Still, even if you do proceed with a contrasting paint color, keep the masses in mind. A buyer may be turned off by your favorite shade of lavender or a trendy dark green.
“When considering return on investment, the color should never be too outlandish for prospective buyers hoping to see themselves in your property,” says Carolyn Gagnon, a real estate agent in New York City.
Beyond paint, think of your shed in the context of your overarching landscape aesthetic. Like potted plants, shrubs, and pavers, your shed should factor into your outdoor design decision-making process.
“If the shed has windows, you can add shutters, some patterned curtains, and a flower box to add some charm,” says Toscano.
If your budget allows, or you want to enhance the functionality of your property, you may even want to go so far as to convert your shed into a studio, a cute workspace, or some other value-added space (something like a “she shed”). Especially if your house itself is on the tinier side, converting your shed can help buyers imagine themselves making do with a smaller main home.
And remember: Buyers will probably want to look inside the shed, too, so make sure to spruce it up before showings. Invest in some free-standing shelves, baskets, burlap bags, and metal boxes to give everything a place and add some cute decor at the same time.
“The shed is an extension of the house and the interior shouldn’t be overlooked,” says Toscano. “As with the home, the shed needs to be organized and free of clutter.”