How Much Does It Cost to Build a Shed

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Shed From Scratch

It is a little difficult to estimate the cost of building a shed because there are so many different factors that can influence it.

Understanding how much does it cost to build a shed goes beyond just materials, labor costs, and different shed ranges.

Small sheds for people who live in city centres tend to be simple and built using a small amount of materials – they sometimes measure only 8′ by 8′. In cities, these structures often have very little in terms of foundation or flooring.

In rural areas, people have a lot more space and it is common to build bigger sheds that can measure as much as 10′ by 20′.

In these cases, the shed may have flooring, electricity, and sometimes even heating. In all cases, the price of building a shed varies according to how much work needs to be done to make it ready for use.

That said, let’s get into the different types, and exactly how much it costs to build a shed for your home.

What Is the Best Shed to Buy or Build?

It is important to note that the best shed is the one that meets your individual needs. For some, this means getting plans for a building and adding on different features like insulation or electricity; while others may prefer to buy something ready-made.

Before purchasing any type of storage building, it is important to make sure it is large enough to hold what you want while also having enough space for people to actually access it.

Sheds are a great way for people to create more storage space on their property, but before buying or building anything it is important to take your individual needs into consideration.

By spending the time upfront to gather information and compare prices, it is possible to get the perfect shed that will last for years while also providing the best value.

Either way, here are some of the top options for garden sheds or even home office sheds to consider.

What Is the Best Shed to Buy or Build
Image: Trout and Coffee

Vinyl Shed

When it comes to finding a quality shed at an affordable price, one of the best options is vinyl sheds. These types of storage buildings come in many different shapes and sizes and can be used for everything from storing tools to keeping garden equipment.

Vinyl sheds are also highly resistant to weather elements such as rain and snow which means that they are great for storing things that are frequently used. Most sheds used for storage purposes are vinyl as per square foot, it doesn’t get much cheaper when it comes to building a quality shed on a budget.

Build Cost Per Square Foot:

The cost of a vinyl shed is typically low and can vary from as little as $2000 to as much as $8,000

Vinyl Sheds
Image: Yulia Yarosh

Wood Shed

Wood sheds have stood the test of time for centuries and are still very popular the world over. These buildings are made from real wood and provide additional insulation to keep things safe and dry.

The best part about owning a wood-framed shed is that they can be customized to fit almost any property, which means that even those with unique needs can find something suitable. Although, material costs for a wood framed shed are going to cost a pretty penny, but, you get what you pay for.

Build Cost Per Square Foot:

Although the exact cost of a wood shed will vary from place to place, it is possible to estimate that it will be somewhere between $6000 and $20,000

Wood Sheds
Image: Magdalene Fiebig

Metal Shed

Metal sheds are another good option for those who want to spend less on their new storage building in relation to their lifespan. These types of structures are made from metal panels that can be easily installed by almost anyone in a short amount of time.

Because they have a long lifespan, a metal shed can last for many years and still look great even after being outside for an extended period of time. Plus, there’s limited upkeep with a shed built from metal.

Build Cost Per Square Foot:

A metal shed is much more expensive than a wood or vinyl one. It will initially cost between $20,000 and $45,000, but it can last for up to 25 years. 

Metal Shed
Image: Rua Creations

Brick Shed

Brick sheds are very similar to wood sheds in the sense that they provide additional insulation to keep all of your items safe and dry. Some people also prefer this type of building because it has a classic brick look that goes well with just about any property or home.

Having a brick shed is also beneficial for those who want something that will last for many years without requiring much upkeep. They are by far the most durable shed. That said, the project cost for shed builders to construct a brick shed will leave a decent hole in your pocket.

Build Cost Per Square Foot:

The cost of a brick shed is somewhere between $6000 and $15,000 which depends on the type of brick. 

Brick Shed
Image: Coastal Cottage Adventures

Prefab Shed

This type of shed is made from panels that are created in a factory and then installed on-site by the company. This means there is no need to hire someone to help you as it can be done easily with just a few tools.

Prefab sheds also come in many different sizes and styles so not only will you have lots of options to choose from, but you will also be able to find something that matches your needs. If you’re leaning more towards a home office or mancave setup, these prefab shed kits are the way to go.

Build Cost Per Square Foot:

A simple 10′ by 14′ shed costs between $25,000 and $35,000. The price of this kind of building varies according to the size and type of materials used.

Prefab Shed
Image: Modern Shed

Garden Shed

Having a garden shed on your property is ideal for those who want to store their tools and various gardening equipment away from would-be thieves and environmental threats.

These types of sheds can be built with different types of materials and also come in many different shapes and sizes depending on the needs of each individual. In terms of budget for these sheds, a small garden shed generally won’t require a building permit or other expensive building materials reducing cost factors.

Build Cost Per Square Foot:

The cost of building a garden shed is much lower than the other types. It can be built for approximately $3,000 to $5,000

Garden Shed
Image: Bowermere Cottage

Pool Shed

A pool shed is a great way for those who have swimming pools to store all of their equipment. These buildings are designed with easy access in mind so it will be easy to easily get your things out when you need them.

A pool shed can also be built using a wide range of materials depending on the application. Honestly, you can get very creative here and transform a boring-looking shed, into a pool shed with a bar, and maybe even accompanied with a fire pit. In other words, if you have the luxury of owning a pool, you might as well make the most of it.

Build Cost Per Square Foot:

In most cases, this type of structure costs between $40,000 and $60,000 to build, that’s if you want to go nuts with a shed bar. 

Pool Shed
Image: Oakville Photographer

He Shed – She Shed

A He/She Shed gives the owner an area to escape from the world and relax in a visually serene space featuring all of their favorite elements. From the outside, these unique outbuildings look like your average garden shed or pool house but on the inside, they are uniquely styled for each respective gender with plenty of character.

A She Shed will be warmly decorated with an abundance of pink hues and flowery designs whereas a He Shed will feature bold colors, rugged materials, and perhaps even a home bar or game room. As for which design to go with, that’s for you and your partner to battle it out.

Build Cost Per Square Foot:

Think of this as a designer shed, hence the reason, the price for one can be anywhere between $20,000 and $70,000.

He Shed - She Shed
Image: Ever Hopeful Gardener 

Tiny House Shed

One of the fastest-growing trends is to build a tiny house. People are realizing that they don’t need all of the space in their homes and are looking for something smaller that will require less maintenance.

Generally, tiny house sheds are the trade-off for all of those who cannot afford to build a full-sized house. These sheds come with basic amenities like electricity and at least one walled boundary (no tents!) so they’re only slightly smaller than your average garden shed.

Build Cost Per Square Foot:

In many cases, a tiny house shed is just as expensive as one built from wood. Think $10,000 plus (on the low end) and that’s without a foundation and floors installed.

Tiny House Shed
Image: Jim Charlier

Large Loft Shed

A loft shed is a good idea for those homeowners who need additional space to segment their lifestyle and working space all while conserving floor space.

Why’s that? Because they are highly beneficial for people who want to create an office or play area in their garden where they can spend time with friends and family. One viable option is to transform an existing shed by adding a mezzanine floor beyond the ground floor of your shed to act as a DIY attic space.

Build Cost Per Square Foot:

These structures cost between $2000 and $10,000 depending on the materials used and how big the build is.

Loft Shed
Image: Mellow Molly

Horse Shed

If you have a horse or other animals that need shelter, then building a horse shed can be an excellent option for you. These buildings are normally designed with the animal’s needs in mind so they will have plenty of room to move around safely and also be kept warm in the winter months.

These structures can come in many different sizes so it is important to know what you will need before you start the project. Shed prices here can vary from $2000 to $30,000 and above. But then again, that beautiful beast has other associated costs that far outweigh the price tag of a shed, so storage shed costs would likely be the least of your concerns when it comes to owning a horse.

Build Cost Per Square Foot:

A horse shed costs between $40,000 and $50,000 because it must be built to withstand heavy daily use.

Horse Shed
Image: Credence Barn and Stables 

Storage Shed

A basic storage shed from your local home improvement store is a good option for people who have small items that need to be stored somewhere safe, like general garden tools. These structures are made from metal, wood, or plastic and can be installed on almost any property with ease.

While your typical storage shed cost is going to cost a lot less to build (as you won’t require a host of other building materials) when compared to other shed builds, you’ll still have to factor in the labor cost and other common shed materials.

Build Cost Per Square Foot:

In most cases, a storage shed will cost somewhere between $8000 and $15,000, but it can get much lower with pre-built sheds, and of course, the size.

Storage Shed
Image: Carol Cook

Shed Plans and Cost

There are many different plans available that provide guidelines on how to build a shed. These plans often include photos, materials lists, and step-by-step instructions for construction.

Here’s one of the better shed resources offering both free and paid plans for some further in-depth analysis on the cost to build a shed for homeowners. 

Generally, basic shed plans typically outline the total cost of building the shed, plus the materials cost. At least this way, it’s is possible to compare them and consider all options before choosing which way to go.

However, these numbers may be difficult to estimate because they tend to be more of a ballpark figure and often do not include all the expenses associated with building a shed.

Shed Cost by Size

The price of building a shed varies according to size and materials. The cost of materials can be anywhere from $100 for a small storage shed up to $2,000+ depending on the type of wood, hardware, and insulation that is used.

Regarding the size of the shed, it is important to note that larger buildings require more wood, which makes them more expensive. Also, using thicker wood can also increase the price of building a shed, and not just in regards to materials, but also with labor costs.

Shed Installation Costs

In addition to the cost of materials, it’s also necessary to consider installation costs. For example, if you need someone to install concrete footings or support beams for your shed, you must factor these expenses into your budget.

Also, if electrical wiring is required for an outdoor structure, the person doing the work may require a permit and this can also impact the total cost of building a shed.

Labor Cost to Build a Shed

In some cases, it may also be necessary to hire someone to help with the construction of a shed. This can add significantly to the cost of building a shed because contractors generally charge by the hour for their services.

All-in-all, there are many factors that must be considered when estimating how much a new storage building will ultimately cost.

Material Cost to Build a Shed

Oak, pine, or spruce are just some of the types of wood that people use to build sheds. The most common material type is pressure-treated boards that have been dipped in chemicals (commonly creosote) to make them more resistant to decay and insects.

Since different materials cost different amounts, it is important to note that the type of wood used may affect the cost of building a shed.

Cost of Concrete Slab for Shed

In rural areas where there is a lot of space, it is common for people to build a concrete pad or slab before they begin building the actual shed.

This can help reduce the cost of a shed because it gives people a place to work and also acts as a foundation that can provide insulation. The average price for this type of base is $15 per square foot.

Cost of Foundation for Shed

The average price to have a foundation built is anywhere from $800 up to $3,000 depending on the size and type of material used.

It may be possible to find someone who will do the work at a lower cost but it is important to note that some types of materials come with warranties that provide protection in the event of problems.

Cost to Roof a Shed

The type of roof that is used on a shed can also affect the price. The average cost for a simple roof is $2,000 while more complex roofs can go up to $5,000 or more.

In addition to the materials needed, it may be necessary to hire a contractor before installing this type of roofing system.

Cost to Insulate a Shed

There are many different types of insulation that can be used in a shed and almost all of them can increase the cost. The average price for insulation is $10 per square foot while higher quality materials may cost twice as much.

Having better insulation installed on exterior walls can help regulate the temperature inside a shed, which makes it more comfortable for people to use on a regular basis.

Also, in winter, it is common to have a layer of insulation added to the top of a roof before installing asphalt shingles. While this step can lead to a higher overall price, it will help keep a shed warm during cold weather and reduce heating expenses.

Electrical Cost to Wire a Shed

It is common for people who build larger sheds to install electricity in them so they can use things like lights and power tools. The price of this type of installation varies depending on the location (inside or outside) and the number of outlets that need to be installed.

Homeowners with a larger budget may want to have this type of installation done by an electrician which can be even more expensive.

If you do not plan on using electricity in a shed, it is a good idea to avoid installing wiring and outlets as these upgrades can increase the overall cost of building a shed.

Cost to Add Plumbing to Shed

In some cases, it is possible to add plumbing to a shed so that water can be used for showers or sinks.

The cost of this type of addition varies widely and may be anywhere from $500 up to $2,000 depending on the complexity and the materials used. Some people also decide to do this in order to avoid having to go back and forth to the main house to take showers or wash hands.

Shed Costs Estimator

There are many different variables that can affect the total cost of building a shed. The easiest way to figure out how much it will cost is to compare prices from different companies or look at plans that include an estimated price for materials.

It may also be possible to have someone come out and do an on-site estimate before beginning construction. Sure, this will add to the overall cost to build a shed, but it could save you hundreds or more in costly mistakes.

Is It Cheaper to Buy or Build a Shed?

The short answer is that it depends on the type of shed you want, but you will generally find it cheaper to buy a shed in most cases. Construction projects today in 2022 have considerably higher building materials costs due to market macro issues.

In short, a prefabricated shed kit has already been priced in those factors and what you see is what you get in terms of price. There are no hidden costs 3 weeks into the build when compared to your custom backyard shed.

However, if you are looking for a specific style or a custom-built structure then in some scenarios it might be cheaper to have one built from scratch by a professional.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Shed

In order to decide whether or not you should buy or build a shed, it is important to know the pros and cons of each option.

  • The cost: If you decide building is your best choice, then there are certain things that can make it more expensive. That is considering the rising prices of materials today.
  • DIY or kit: If you go with a prefabricated structure then it might be more expensive than if you buy a kit and build it yourself. These prefabs are a little more niche, aka expensive.
  • Labor cost & time: If you are having someone build the shed for you then they will need to factor in labor costs which will increase the final price of your building.

Pros and Cons of Building Your Own Shed

  • Cost-saving: One advantage that comes with making your own structure is that you can save yourself some money, although, you will need your own tools and materials.
  • Construction time: It might be cheaper to build from scratch, but it will also take more time so you must first consider that before making a final decision.
  • Your building skills: If you’re not construction savvy, you’re going to need to hire a professional to build a shed.

Note, with prefab kit sheds, it’s all done for you… mistake and headache-free. Just something to keep in mind when considering either-or option.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Shed
Image: Joshua Eckstein

Cheapest Way to Build a Shed

There are many different ways for you to build your own shed, but the cheapest option is to find a kit that matches what you need and follows the instructions on how it should be constructed.

If you have ever built something similar before then the process will be the same, but if this is your first time then it might take some time before you get it done correctly.

However, if you have the necessary skills then this should be a relatively quick and easy process for you to complete. Just make sure to speak with a draftsman first when it comes to custom sheds, and factor in a higher than the national average cost for raw materials for your DIY shed.

Calculating the Cost per Square Foot to Build a Shed

The total cost to build a shed will depend on what type of building you need (i.e. horse barn, storage area, etc.), but one way to calculate the cost is by evaluating how much it would cost per square foot.

The larger your structure is, the more expensive it will be so keep that in mind when deciding what size you will need for your new building.

For example, a 16×20 foot structure might cost around $15 per square foot based on the materials that you will need to purchase and the contractor fees.

Build a Cheap Shed Yourself

Yes, if you have all of the necessary tools required for construction then it is possible for you to build a shed from scratch.

However, if you have never done this before then it is best to hire someone who has the necessary knowledge and experience as they will be able to properly construct your building so it doesn’t collapse or fall apart in a short amount of time after being completed.

Buy a Cheap Shed Kit vs Custom Shed

If you decide to buy a shed kit, then it is recommended that you don’t just put the wood together in any order. It is vital that each piece of lumber is cut to size and placed in the proper area because if they are not it will make your building weaker than it should be which can cause many problems over time.

Most kits will come with detailed instructions that need to be followed explicitly, but if you do not feel confident in your ability to construct the building correctly then it would be best for you to hire a professional who can follow the plans and complete the project to make sure it is done correctly and safely.

Buy a Cheap Shed Kit vs Custom Shed
Image: Tillys Nest

Are Storage Sheds a Good Investment?

If you are planning on putting your new shed to use right away, then you will need to make sure it is sturdy and safe for the items that you want to store in it. A pre-built building might cost more than one that is built from scratch, but if it does not meet your standards then there is no point in buying it.

If you need a structure that can withstand the weather and provide an appropriate level of security for your belongings, then you will want to invest in one that meets those requirements. Another benefit of purchasing a pre-built shed is that it will be ready to use right when you get it which might save you a significant amount of time.

There are many factors to consider when determining if a storage shed is a good investment, but one of the first things that you should think about is how much it will cost and what it includes materials.

You want to make sure that your building can provide adequate support as well as protection, but those two elements are not always available with pre-built structures.

Why are Storage Sheds so Expensive?

If you are planning on purchasing a shed, then it is important to understand why they are so expensive.

There are many factors that can impact the overall price of your building, but one of the main ones is the materials used. If you choose to use cedar or pine wood, for example, it will be more expensive to buy but it will also look better.

You should factor in the cost to build a shed into your overall budget because it can get relatively high depending on what type of wood you decide to purchase, how much of it is needed, and the size of the building itself.

It is also important that you do not try to skimp on the quality of your shed because that will lead to problems down the road, especially if you are trying to keep items safe in it.

Does a Shed Bring Value to Your Home?

If you store your garden equipment and extra lawn care items in a shed, then it will add value to your property because of the extra storage space.

However, if you only use it for your own personal belongings like cars and other expensive items, then there is no added value because they will not increase the overall price that people are willing to pay for your home.

On the other hand, if you need more storage space then it will be beneficial to own a building that has some sort of value for future buyers. If they want to purchase your home and there is already an existing structure on the property, then chances are high that they will pay more than what you originally paid for it.

It is important to consider whether or not a shed brings value to your home because it will impact the overall price and desirability of the property.

If you only need extra space for storage purposes, then there is no added benefit to having one installed on your property unless you plan on moving in the near future.

Does a Shed Bring Value to Your Home
Image: This Old Cape House

Are Storage Sheds Taxable?

One of the questions that many people wonder about is whether or not they will have to pay taxes on their shed. It can be considered an outbuilding, which means that it does not need to be listed separately from your home when you go to sell it.

However, if you use a structure for business purposes then it might be taxable depending on the local laws.

Wherever you live, it is important to understand whether or not storage sheds are taxed because that may impact how much money you will need to pay when filing your taxes.

If you plan on renting out a unit for extra income, then you will want to make sure that it is not taxable or it will significantly reduce the overall profit margin.

Is a Shed Considered a Permanent Structure?

Many people do not know whether or not their storage shed will be considered permanent, but it all depends on what you are using it for. If you are looking to make money by renting out an extra unit, then the building must meet certain requirements in order to avoid being classified as temporary lodging.

On the other hand, if you are using it for your own things like gardening equipment and extra lawn care supplies, then it will be considered permanent so long as you continue to use the storage space.

You should be aware of what makes a shed permanent or temporary in order to understand how much insurance coverage is needed for your building.

Can a Person Live In a Shed?

Whether or not you can live in your shed is something that will depend on where you live. If you do plan to use it as a living space, then there are certain requirements that must be met for it to be considered legal.

There must also be adequate protection from the elements including insulation, heating, and cooling.

If you do not meet all of the necessary requirements, then it will be considered a storage shed which means that you cannot live in it.

If your local laws allow for living in a shed though, make sure to think about whether or not you will need insulation and heating before making the purchase because extra items like these may be required.

The Bottom Line

Having a shed is a smart way to increase the amount of storage space around a home. Seeking estimates from different companies can help people figure out how much it will cost for materials and labor.

In general, building a shed can cost anywhere from $100 for a very simple structure up to more than $5,000. Then again, if you go with a DIY custom-built shed, it can go well above that price point.

This is typically based on the price of materials and the size and design of the shed you choose, and whether or not it’s a custom shed, prefab shed kit, or even a pre-built shed. Of course, hiring someone to help with construction can also be expensive depending on how many hours they work.

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