Building and Construction, Delivery & Installation, Feature, Operations, Sales & Marketing, V5I5

The ABCs of Shed Building Kits

Jamaica Cottage Shop’s shed-building kits are packaged in a manner to make them as intuitive as possible.

Selling shed building kits is the bread and butter of Domenic Mangano’s existence. That’s because as president and senior designer of Vermont-based Jamaica Cottage Shop, Mangano sells 1,500 buildings annually, with 80 percent in kit form.

To what does Mangano attribute those transactions? 

“When you look on the internet for shed kits, it’s difficult to find one for a home owner. Many don’t include a floor system or detailed instructions,” for example, he says.

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Conversely, Mangano’s shed-building kits are packaged in a manner to make them “as intuitive as possible,” he says. For example, pieces are color-coded and each part is numbered to match the included detailed color-coded guide.

“Instructions are highly detailed and even available online,” says Mangano. 

That’s convenient, not only for customers who purchase a kit from Mangano, but also for patrons who acquire their own building materials and simply purchase the instructions.

“We sell designs, set up to solve your (building) problems,” he says.


The age range of people who purchase Mangano’s shed building kits is generally between 28 to 70, he says. 

But, at Studio Shed in Louisville, Colorado, the numbers differ. According to Jeremy Nova, founder and creative director of the 10-year-old company, the age range of his company’s shed kits ranges between 35 to 65.

Studio Shed specializes in single room studios.

He attributes the uptick in interest in shed building kits to a shift in demographics. That change is “causing the trend of detached guest spaces,” he says.

Studio Shed specializes in single-room studios sheds, which are generally used as a home office versus storage. However, Nova says his company has experienced the greatest uptick in kits for small guest homes with kitchenettes. His company is also planning to launch a small home line in 2020.

Although his business is enmeshed in tiny spaces, Studio Shed isn’t focused on the tiny home trend. That’s partly because they aren’t allowed in many communities, says Nova. 

Fortunately for Nova’s company, “there are a lot of people who want an accessory home space.”

Nova says Studio Shed sells “a lot of kits. Everything we sell is flat-packed on pallets,” he says, noting the structures for which he sells kits range in size from 80 square feet up to 1,000. 

Studio Shed sends shed kits to all 50 states, and shipments arrive ready to be installed, pre-cut and even pre-painted. 

Nova’s company has developed an installation network across the country. According to Nova, the collaboration covers most metropolitan areas.

The kits come in a few sizes, such as 8 feet by 8 feet and 8 feet by 16 feet. Nova’s most popular product is the Signature Series, which produces shed kits ranging in size from 80 to 240 square-feet, with 120 square foot being the most popular. 

Other offerings are included in the Summit Series. They range from 250 square feet up to 1,000. That largest building is appropriate to serve as a small guest house and includes a bathroom and small kitchen. 

If Studio Shed installs and erects the shed, they bring nearly everything needed to complete the project. The customer only needs supply the foundation, electricity to the site and appropriate building permits.


California Sheds, located in Sacramento, doesn’t just build sheds. They move them, too.

According to Richard Ramirez, the company’s office manager, that has “a lot to do with the fact that we do a lot of custom work.”

The kits are a “lumber package so customers do not get preassembled walls, roof shingles, or sub-floor foundation,” says Ramirez. 

One way California Sheds differs from Nova’s company is that it does not work with subcontractors. 

“Our installers are our employees. That translates into consistency and reliability,” he says. 

A detailed instruction manual is also included in the packaging, and parts are numbered to simplify the building process for homeowners who opt to build their shed from Ramirez’s kits. 

However, he says, “The average person does not want to build their own shed, as least not in Northern California.” 

That’s especially true when customers learn California Sheds offers experienced and reliable craftsmen to erect the shed. 

California Sheds also offers free driveway delivery to customers within 30 miles of their headquarters. 

So just who buys shed kits? According to Mangano, people interested into the “back-to-the-land movement and simple living.”

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