The unique roof with one side shorter than the other defines the classic saltbox style. It’s a very common type of shed and most people are familiar with the term, but do you know where the name comes from? Don’t feel bad, most people haven’t a clue. The “saltbox” style originated in England in the 16th century. In the 1650’s, well-established English settlers in New England needed more space for their growing families. To efficiently grow the size of their existing two-story home, a one-story addition was commonly added to the rear. This created the classic saltbox roof style with one side of the roof longer than the other. The resulting shape of the building with one long sloping roof and one shorter was called “saltbox” style. But why did they call this style saltbox? Well, in colonial America salt was necessary for preserving food and was a very valuable commodity. To protect the salt, special boxes were designed to safely store the salt on the wall, up off the ground. These boxes had a similar shape with one long sloping side. People recognized the similarity and thus, the name saltbox style was born.
Saltbox Shed Benefits
For a wooden shed, the benefits of saltbox style is that the front wall of the shed is higher than the back wall. This gives you a higher entry point at the front with plenty of headroom while conserving on lumber in the overall build — making them more affordable. This design also keeps the shelves on the back wall at a very manageable height, particularly for heavy items. And, let’s face it, they just flat-out look cool.
Saltbox Design Ideal Uses
Saltbox shed designs are perfect for gardening tools, outdoor storage, potting supplies, pool supplies or everyday items. They make great garden sheds or workshops but today a very popular application for this style is the bar shed. The taller front roofline makes it easy to open up the front with a bar window for serving and on the back wall you can have a full-length counter with shelves below for drink bottles, serving glasses and more. So, whether you need the functionality saltbox style offers, or you simply like the classic New England design aesthetics the style may be perfect for your backyard.
Saltbox shed roof style: Front wall is higher than back wall, providing more headroom at entry
Materials: Wood sheds make the best saltbox storage solutions thanks to the ease of adding custom options such as shelves, workbenches, hooks and much more