12x16 storage shed

12×16 Shed Uses: What Makes This the Most Versatile Size?

Midrange yet spacious, a 12×16 storage shed is a popular option for homeowners who need a larger storage solution with the option to convert their storage shed into a recreational space. 

With its 192 square feet of internal storage space, it’s a common storage shed size for outdoor enthusiasts, craftsmen, and families that have accumulated a sizable amount of paraphernalia over the years.

What Can I Do With a 12×16 Shed?

Your first consideration before installing a 12×16 storage shed on your property should be the size of your backyard. It’s typically not a shed size suited to smaller backyard spaces. Unlike the classic and commonly-purchased 8×10 shed, a 12×16 might also require additional approvals from your onsite Homeowners’ Association or local building authority. 

Once you’ve carved out a spot in your yard for your large storage shed – and it has been approved for placement – you can fantasize about the many purposes it will serve.

Oversized Storage

A 12×16 shed is ideal for storing oversized items. While you can of course use it to store standard gardening gear, like shovels and lawnmowers, its 16’ depth allows it to thrive as a container for your recreational vehicles, outdoor equipment, and more. 

  • UTVs/ATVs: These wide and stocky vehicles need to be kept out of the elements, but often won’t fit alongside your cars in a garage. A 12×16 storage shed provides ample room for at least two of these parked side-by-side.
  • Canoes & kayaks: It’s difficult to find a storage shed long enough to accommodate these large boats. You can even hitch them onto the walls of your shed in order to leave room for other items.
  • Motorcycles: Yet another item you’ll want to keep in tip-top shape. This storage shed size is well-suited to the motorbike collector.

A Workshop

No matter what your craft, whether it’s wood-working or metal-working, a 12×16 storage shed can easily convert into a workshop. With plenty of room for larger machinery, like circular saws and welding equipment, you’ll have ample space for work and storage.

Use the abundance of wall space in this storage shed size to implement wall shelving that will allow you to store your tools. 

An Art Studio 

Another thing you might like to do with your 12×16 shed is to create a space to enjoy your hobby or passion. This space might be ideal for a personal art studio, especially if your shed has windows to let in natural light. 

You can make use of your shed walls to display your work or you can install shelves to maximize your space. Set up your studio based on your needs, and don’t forget to close up your shed when it’s not in use to protect your creations.

A Personal Sanctuary

Even if you don’t have a spare room in your house, you can still create a personal sanctuary on your property with a 12×16 shed. The large square footage opens the door to many possibilities. If you’re looking to create a man cave or she shed, you will have plenty of room to sprawl out on a couch or recliner. 

If you want to create a quieter space, try laying down a plush rug for additional warmth and comfort. You can set up electric candles to build a calming mood, and you can even create a space to do yoga or pilates. 

The sky’s the limit with such a spacious shed, so use your creativity to map out your perfect happy place. You can also open up your shed’s versatility by installing double french doors and using it as a pool house. Place it within your pool area and it can serve as a place to change in/out of your bathing suit, relax in the shade with a cocktail, or store additional towels. 

Selecting a 12×16 Shed Layout 

Depending on the purpose you designate your 12×16 storage shed for, you’ll want to customize the window/door layout carefully. For example, a wide entry door like the one pictured below is suitable for when you need to start wide objects like ATVs or riding lawnmowers. 

12x16 shed with wide entry for UTV.

Meanwhile, if you are using your storage shed more recreationally, you might want to opt for a two-door option with windows like the one below. This allows for optimal ventilation, additional access points, and better fire safety. 

12x16 storage shed with doors and windows

Trying to up the aesthetic of your shed for a tiny home conversion or poolhouse? A boxed eave variant with a porch allows this structure to look more residential than utilitarian. 

12x16 shed converted into tiny home with porch

There are many door options when it comes to a 12×16 shed, depending on its application. Some popular selections include: 

  • Double 46-inch doors
  • Sectional 8-foot wide roll-up door 
  • 60-inch wide and 81-inch tall single door – this will surely accommodate most golf carts and UTVs

Just remember that the more doors you have, the more wall space you are taking up, therefore limiting options for shelving, storage, etc. Also, keep in mind that most storage sheds only come with a 6-and-a-half foot top plate, to which you would mount the top of the door, followed by attaching it to a header plate.

As such, it might be wise to shell out a little extra for an 8 foot top plate upgrade. This allows higher clearance for taller doors and more wall space for shelving (or to add a loft on one end!). 

Furthermore, on hotter days, your radiant heat sits a little higher in the building because of the taller top plate, thus allowing for a cooler workspace.

When trying to choose the right portable storage shed for your needs, it’s also important to consider the general construction of it. Metal storage sheds are popular for their enhanced durability, superior temperature disbursement, and easy maintenance.