Sheds offer valuable extra storage space for garden tools, lawn equipment, sports equipment, and other items. They can also function as an outdoor living space or workshop.
In this article, we will explore the various types of sheds, the factors that affect the cost of building a shed, and the average costs involved in constructing one.
Considerations Before Building a Shed
Before embarking on any construction project, it’s essential to consider a few key factors, such as available floor space, local building codes, and your specific needs.
Additionally, you should determine the type of shed you’d like to build, the materials you’ll use, and the overall project cost.
Let’s take a look at the four most common shed types, their benefits, disadvantages and building cost.
Wood sheds are a common type of shed, known for their natural aesthetic and versatility. They can be customized easily, but may require more maintenance than other materials.
Building materials for wood sheds typically include lumber, plywood, and wood siding.
- Natural aesthetic and warm appearance
- Highly customizable in terms of design and size
- Can be easily modified or expanded
- Good insulation properties
- Requires regular maintenance (painting, sealing, and protection against pests)
- Can be more expensive than other shed types
- Susceptible to rot, termites, and other wood-related issues
- May not be as fire-resistant as other materials
Building Costs of a wood Shed
Wood sheds typically range from $20 to $40 per square foot, depending on the quality of wood used and additional features.
For example, a basic 10-foot by 10-foot wood shed might cost around $2,000 to $4,000, while a more elaborate wood shed with custom features could cost upwards of $6,000.
1. Metal Sheds
Metal sheds are durable, low-maintenance options made of materials such as steel or aluminum.
- Durable and long-lasting
- Low maintenance
- Resistant to pests and rot
- Typically more affordable than wood or brick sheds
- Can be prone to rust if not properly treated
- Less customizable in terms of design and appearance
- Can be noisy during heavy rain or hailstorms
- May have poor insulation properties
Building Costs of a Metal Shed
Metal sheds are generally more affordable than wood sheds, with prices ranging from $15 to $25 per square foot.
A basic 10-foot by 10-foot metal shed might cost between $1,500 and $2,500. However, adding insulation or customizing the shed’s design could increase the price.
2. Brick Sheds
Brick sheds are sturdy, long-lasting structures that can withstand harsh weather conditions. They offer excellent insulation and require little maintenance. However, brick is one of the more expensive materials, and building a brick shed can be time-consuming.
- Extremely durable and long-lasting
- Excellent insulation properties
- Low maintenance
- Resistant to fire, pests, and rot
- Expensive and time-consuming to build
- Limited design flexibility
- Heavy and requires a strong foundation
- Difficult to modify or expand
Building Costs of a Brick Shed
Costs can range from $50 to $100 per square foot. A 10-foot by 10-foot brick shed could cost between $5,000 and $10,000, depending on the complexity of the design and the type of bricks used.
3. Prefabricated Shed Kits
Prefabricated shed kits are an excellent option for those looking for a simpler, more cost-effective solution. These kits come with all the necessary components and basic tools for assembly.
Prefab sheds are available in a wide variety of materials, including wood, metal, vinyl, and plastic.
- Economical and cost-effective
- Quick and easy assembly with basic tools
- Available in a wide variety of materials, designs, and sizes
- Can be disassembled and moved if needed
- May not be as durable or sturdy as custom-built sheds
- Limited customization options
- Some prefabricated sheds may have lower-quality materials
- May not meet specific needs or preferences
Costs of a Prefabricated Shed Kit
Prefabricated shed kits are an economical choice, with prices starting as low as $5 per square foot for basic plastic sheds and going up to $20 per square foot for more durable materials like wood or metal.
A 10-foot by 10-foot prefab shed kit might cost between $500 and $2,000, depending on the materials and design.
4. Custom-Built Sheds
Custom-built sheds allow for greater design flexibility and can be tailored to suit specific needs or preferences.
They are ideal for those who want a unique shed or need additional space for larger equipment or specific purposes. Custom-built sheds can vary greatly in price, depending on the materials, size, and design.
- Unlimited design flexibility to suit specific needs or preferences
- Can be tailored to match the style of your home or garden
- Built to accommodate unique requirements or larger equipment
- Can be constructed using high-quality materials
- Can be significantly more expensive than other shed types
- Takes longer to build compared to prefabricated shed kits
- May require professional help or expertise
- Could be subject to additional costs for custom features or designs
Costs of a Custom-Built Shed
The cost per square foot can range from $30 to $100 or more. A simple 10-foot by 10-foot custom shed might cost between $3,000 and $10,000, while a larger, more elaborate custom shed could cost $15,000 or more.
Average Cost to Build a Shed
The U.S. national average cost for building a shed ranges from $1,500 to $5,000, with most homeowners spending between $3,000 and $4,000. The cost per square foot varies, depending on the materials used, labor costs, and other factors.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Building a Shed
1. Building materials
The cost of raw materials is one of the most significant factors affecting the project cost. Wood, metal, and brick are common materials, each with its price ranges.
Larger sheds require more materials and labor, which increases the cost. For example, a 12-foot by 12-foot shed will cost more than a 10-foot by 10-foot shed kit.
A solid foundation, such as a concrete slab or concrete foundation, is essential for ensuring the shed’s stability. The cost of a concrete slab foundation can range from $5 to $10 per square foot.
4. Labor costs:
Hiring a professional to build your shed can increase the cost, but it ensures that the construction is done correctly and complies with local building codes.
5. Additional costs:
Other costs may include land clearing, installation fees, and custom design features, such as double doors or a gambrel roof.
It’s essential to consider that these price points are just estimates and can vary based on location, the complexity of the project, and other factors. To get an accurate estimate for your specific project, consult with a local contractor or shed builder.
How to save on shed building costs
Building a shed can be a significant investment, but there are several ways to save on shed building costs without compromising on quality. Here are some tips to help you reduce expenses:
Proper planning is crucial for any construction project. Determine your budget, the shed’s purpose, and the size you need. Carefully plan the layout and design to avoid costly changes later.
Choose the right materials
Opt for cost-effective materials that still meet your durability and appearance requirements. For example, consider metal or vinyl sheds instead of wood or brick, as they are typically less expensive and require less maintenance.
Do it yourself
If you have some basic carpentry skills and access to tools, consider building the shed yourself. This can significantly reduce labor costs. There are many online resources, tutorials, and plans available to help guide you through the process.
Purchase a prefabricated shed kit
As mentioned above, prefab shed kits can be more affordable than custom-built sheds and are generally easier and quicker to assemble. They come in various materials, sizes, and designs to suit your needs and budget.
Shop around for materials and services
Compare prices from different suppliers and contractors. Look for sales, discounts, or bulk-buying options to save on building materials. Additionally, ask for quotes from multiple contractors to ensure you get the best deal on labor costs.
Salvage or repurpose materials
Reusing materials from previous projects or finding second-hand materials can significantly reduce costs. Check local classifieds, online marketplaces, or salvage yards for deals on used or surplus materials.
Build during the off-season
Building during the off-season may result in lower labor costs and material prices, as contractors and suppliers may offer discounts to secure business during slower periods.
Opt for a simple design
Choose a straightforward design with minimal customizations and features. This will reduce both material and labor costs. Remember that you can always add enhancements to your shed later when your budget allows.
Apply for permits yourself
Some local building codes may require permits for constructing a shed. Applying for the permits yourself can save on contractor fees.
Enlist help from friends or family
If you have friends or family members with construction skills or experience, ask for their assistance. They may be willing to help for a reduced rate or in exchange for a favor.
Building a shed can be expensive, but there are several ways to save on shed building costs without compromising on quality. With careful planning and budgeting, you can create a beautiful and functional shed that fits your needs and budget.