Feature, Operations, Sales & Marketing, V6I2

Shed Lot Organization/Appearance for Sales

(Photo courtesy of Charles Hutchins)

Charles Hutchins operates Shed-N-Carport Pro in Radcliff, Kentucky, and Scott Vallie owns Huntsville Portable Buildings & Carports in Texas. Each uses sales lots to attract customers and sell portable structures built by various manufacturers.

And each has found that certain shed placement and lot appearance have an impact on sales.

Hutchins always tries to display his top-sellers in a visible, easily accessible location on his lot. 

“I view my lot as a constant work in progress (organized chaos), with placing display sheds coming in to be dropped off, and customer deliveries being picked up,” he shares. “I also work with the delivery drivers on shed placement to make it easier on them as well.”

Vallie’s two lots are on a four-lane stretch passing a high school and on I-45, a main traffic artery in Texas. 

“We have found everyone wants the cabin look,” he says. “We have learned over the years that placing cabin-style buildings toward the highest traffic routes leads to increased activity on that given lot.”

This is just the beginning of what both dealers have learned over the years attracts customers to a shed sales lot.


For both men, the placement of sheds on their lots, the layout, is key to catching the eyes of customers.

“I’m fortunate to have a variety of sheds, carports, garages, playsets, decks, and poly furniture to draw customers in,” says Hutchins. “I have customers stop in to check on a shed and then are looking at a carport to protect their vehicle, or a playset for their kids. I believe that having a variety of outdoor products allows you to serve more customers and allows them to spend more time on your lot. 

“If you only display sheds on your lot, I suggest that you show as many sizes, options, styles, and colors as you can to keep people captivated.”

He says that he also places sheds that are wood, vinyl, and metal near each other to show off the variety of shed structures available.

Vallie says the layout is different on each of his lots.

“On my static display lot, I group buildings by style and within that style I arranged them by size,” he says. “The way I segregate the buildings is simply all the barns are with the barns, all the cabins are with the cabins, so forth, and so on. 

“Many times, drivers deliver buildings when I’m not there, and this type of configuration helps keep things straight for everybody involved eliminating double work.”

When Vallie first started, he says deliveries were haphazard, and drivers were sticking sheds anywhere. 

“I found things to be very confusing every time someone would call from the satellite lot, so I developed my current layout and put this on a computer drawing and printed it for every driver to eliminate buildings being put in the wrong locations,” he shares.

Grouping of shed and structure styles can also help increase sales, depending on the area.

“The lofted high barns with windows and the metal econo sheds are very popular in my market,” Hutchins shares. “People really like the appeal of having the lofts for extra storage space to keep items off the floor. 

“For example, couples typically talk about using the loft space for Christmas decorations, plastic tote containers, and other smaller items, using the floor for mowers, motorcycles, four wheelers, etc.”

In addition, he says lofted cabins on the lot really draw attention and ignite customer imaginations. 

Hutchins also shares that the tiny home movement is really gaining popularity and more and more people are seeking to downsize. 

“I’ve had many customers over the years turn lofted cabin sheds into tiny living spaces,” he says.

He goes on to say that options such as transom windows, skylights, work benches, and shelving are always popular draws to his lot. 

Color is also a key display lot feature.

“There are so many diverse color choices available,” says Hutchins. “Colors such as red, clay, buckskin, and gray trimmed out with different colors are very popular.

“I have found that lining up sheds and mixing in different color combinations tend to increase sales. For example, I try to mix up the colors so to not have multiple red and white barns on my lot at the same time.”

Vallie shares that his repo sheds are segregated to the back corner of the lot, because “most of them are ugly buildings until they’re repaired.” 

Another key to the layout, shares Vallie, is having prices and options posted in all of his buildings.

“I do this for two reasons,” he says. “One, when the person opens the door and sees the price and options, in their mind they can either afford it or not. This helps eliminate phone calls that lead nowhere, and it also increases phone calls for the people that know what they want and have the means to achieve it. 

“Two, this is a very upfront approach. The person knows going into the sale all the information regarding the building they’re looking at unless there is a special, as an example aged inventory, then they get a pleasant surprise of the building being reduced.”


Hutchins has noted that the more organized and neater his lot is, the better sales seem to be. 

“I believe customers appreciate being able to view sheds on my lot that are laid out nicely and have pricing with rent to own payments clearly visible,” he says.

“It’s very important for people to have a great first impression of your lot. I make it a point daily to inspect my lot and pick up trash. Keeping your grass cut and neatly manicured sends a positive message to customers as well. I also make sure to replace old signage, and close any shed doors that have been left open.”

Vallie also considers lot appearance to be a critical element to sales in general, and safety.

“We have a weekly yard crew that takes care of both properties,” he shares. “Maintaining a manicured look brings a more professional attitude to the business. 

“I’ve also found people seeing activity on our static display lot brings phone calls to me, especially during the times of new delivery of building inventory.” 


No matter how a dealer decides to place sheds, Hutchins encourages keeping them organized to where the sheds are easily accessible for customers to walk in and out of them.  

As Vallie mentioned earlier, he suggests having point-of-sale signs, along with prices displayed and brochures in the sheds.

“As a tip, I would suggest dealers looking at their property and road frontage from a customer’s point of view rather than a dealer’s point of view,” Vallie says. “Another tip would be signage guidance for building styles and or models.”

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