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Shed Build Or Buy – Which Is Cheaper (We Find Out)

A shed is a necessary building that can have different layouts and uses. Most often, such constructions are built for storing garden tools, special equipment, grown vegetables, and drying sheaves. Fans of outdoor activities will equip sheds in the form of spacious storage rooms, where chairs, hammocks, tables, and a barbecue are comfortably accommodated.

It is more cost-effective to build a shed than to buy it. When you’re building a shed, you decide how to build it and design it, since you’re the one who’s going to use it. Buying a shed is expensive since you have to pay for the pre-made shed and labour. You you can find sheds at a low price if you don’t have many needs.

Can’t choose between buying a shed or building it? There are pros and cons to both options. You can prefer one choice over the other, depending on your preference, skill set, and needs.

Pros Of Building A Shed

By offering you a place to store potentially dangerous materials away from kids and pets, a shed will make your home safer. In your backyard shed, weed killers, fertilizers, or other household chemicals may be stored and kept secure. Potentially unsafe items such as lawn equipment or power tools may also be stored. You reduce the risk of an accident by keeping these things outside your house.

Constructing a shed requires careful analysis and planning. Before you start building, you first need to decide the best shed design and size for your needs and find a high-quality plan to ensure a safe structure.

You will need to obtain a building permit before the start of construction, depending on your location. For the base, frame, and siding, you will need to pick and buy materials.

You will also need to choose a sturdy flooring material if you want an outdoor storage shed with a floor. The design of a shed takes time and needs close attention to detail to guarantee that the structure will last.

One of the reasons homeowners want to build a shed is simply because they appreciate the construction process. You have total control over the entire creative process when you create a shed. Customized choices, such as shelves, benches, tables, extra windows, and many more elements can be added.

It takes skills to build sheds, but it provides a lot of versatility for customization. Not only can you add decorative elements of your liking, but you can also change the design and dimensions.

Most people prefer to build wooden sheds because their installation is simple and does not require much financial outlay. Wooden constructions are usually built in a few days. The construction of such units is quite realistic to perform independently, without resorting to experts.

Constructing a shed will probably be a cheaper choice given all the money you can save on the cost of purchase as well as possible transportation and installation costs. Instead of splurging all your money on various tasks aimlessly, it is best to establish a proper construction budget and stick to it.

The budget stays under your full control as you create your shed. How much you want to invest and where that money goes is in your hands. For example, on the shed insulation, you can spend a little bit and add an extra window. Or you can make it a little smaller, install additional outlets, and stay within the budget.

When you design and build your shed, you have a great amount of flexibility. You decide where you want to put the windows and doors, and determine their heights. If you want the look of a shed roof or cottage, a gable window, you can make it. The height and design of the roof are not fixed by the manufacturer.

Take a look at this video of a home shed build.

Cons Of Building A Shed

When it comes to construction, tools, and instruments, building a shed from scratch requires a great deal of expertise. You can end up with a flimsy shed if you’re not sure what you’re doing. A badly designed shed cannot withstand severe weather and can even collapse, costing you large amounts of money and could potentially damage you or anyone else.

You only have yourself to blame while building a shed if anything goes wrong. If you need to change materials or if anything goes wrong and you have to start the project all over again, all expenditures fall on you. There is no warranty when you construct.

If you are building a wooden shed, there are many risks you need to think of. The disadvantage of wooden sheds is their fragility, as well as the instability of the process of decay and attack of insects. Also, wood is a fire-hazardous material, so it must be treated with special protective coats.

Before you start building yourself, you will have to figure out all of the building codes and bylaws in your city. You might end up with an illegal building not covered by insurance if you do not. It could even result in the building being torn down.

When you want to build your shed, time can be the biggest disadvantage. Although you have more creative control, it takes a substantial amount of time and effort to create your shed.

Building time will take from 2 weeks to 4 months, depending on how you work. It is important to have proper preparation and organization, but you can’t expect to build a shed overnight.

You may need to spend some money to get the right tools for the job if you don’t already have a regular toolset. Make sure you make a tool list when you’re planning to create a shed. This may be where the biggest expenses are!

You will probably call someone to help you make the shed. This can save you, but it will also be a drawback if that person is not available. A helper can assist you in the beginning, but under some circumstances, you rely on that person. Every time you don’t have someone to help, it will take you a long time to have something done.

Since building a shed is very time-consuming, your private life can suffer. Take time to organize your priorities, if you want to build your shed quickly, make sure you organize and plan everything. Every missed detail can prolong the building time and you can miss out on a lot of things in your private life.

Pros Of Buying A Shed

A tremendous benefit of purchasing a pre-built shed is time. All you have to do is build a foundation for it to sit on, schedule delivery, and set it up. It could be ready for delivery the day you buy it, or it may take a couple of weeks.

Since you’re not building a shed from scratch, you don’t need expertise in building. Everything on the shed has already been made, so you don’t have the fear of it being fragile and flimsy. Pre-built sheds are usually made to withstand extreme weather.

Your mind will be at ease because even if you plan every step, some factors can depend on your building. When you don’t have to plan everything, your mind will be at ease. When you’re building a shed, you might have to make repairs, and in some cases start all over. With that in mind, buying a shed is much less stressful.

The building codes and laws have already been inspected by the manufacturers. Since they made the shed based on regulations, you won’t have to worry about building an illegal construction in your backyard.

You do not need to think about learning how to build a roof or use some tools when you buy a shed. Pre-built models typically need just a simple set of tools even if you need to put it together. You will need tools such as a hammer and screwdriver, ones that just about everyone already has around the house.

A pre-built one has been planned for you already. You don’t need to think about where the window should be mounted, what the floor dimensions are, and how tall the ceiling should be.

When you buy a shed, you automatically get a warranty from the manufacturers. That means that if something breaks on the shed, you have a warranty that covers the costs of the damage. For well-made sheds, you can get a warranty for a minimum of 25 years, while a high-quality shed can even have a lifetime warranty.

When you’re buying a shed, you don’t need any helpers. All the construction work is done by someone else. This will also save you the hassle because the pre-made shed only requires delivery and setting up.

If someone else is doing all the work, you have more time for your private life. Since building won’t take up most of your time, you can focus on your family and your job, all while the shed is being made.

If you’re buying a wooden shed, you don’t need to worry about rotting and moisture. Pre-made wood sheds are coated with a protective finish that makes the wood resistant to insect attacks. Also, wood will be treated with anti-moisture coats, if your shed is going to be in a high humidity area.

Cons Of Buying A Shed

The biggest disadvantage when buying a shed is money. The pre-made high-quality shed can be very expensive. When buying a shed the rule “what you pay is what you get” applies. Buying a shed is not the best option if you have a very limited budget.

You won’t need any helpers when you’re buying a shed. The only help you will need is to decide which shed to buy. Because someone else is building your shed, you have to pay for their labour.

Most pre-made sheds are made of plastic because plastic is the cheapest material to work with. This means that if you want a high-quality shed you will need to spend more money to get a wooden or metal shed.

Plastic sheds are the least secure ones. They are very easy to break into and provide minimal security. They are also very light and not so sturdy. Plastic sheds can be damaged by very high temperatures, so they are not suitable for areas with very hot summers.

You need to know what you will use the shed for. If you plan to keep power tools and many heavy things inside, you need a sturdy shed. More so, you need a sturdy floor and reliable walls. Again, most manufactured sheds are made of plastic, meaning they can’t fulfil these needs.

When you buy a shed, you lose all creativity that goes with it. All pre-made sheds are already designed and unless you want to spend more money, you will have to go with selected options. You know what you want in your shed, but many already made designs may not have what you desire. Even if you have the chance to customize the shed, the options can still be limited.

If you want some extra experience, buying a shed is not a way to go. You don’t get to plan out every step of the way, since everything is out of your control. If you enjoy doing DIY projects, you can build your shed and learn new skills on the way. What you see is what you get, meaning that when you buy a shed, it’s final. You cannot change its size or design.

The problem can occur with manufacturers. Let’s say you are in desperate need of a shed and you want to have it in your garden as soon as possible. You found a shed that you want, but the manufacturers say that it will be available in 3 months. There is no guarantee that you will get the shed the moment you buy it. It can take days and even weeks for the manufacturers to deliver it to you.

Many people opted to buy a shed but soon realized that it doesn’t fit the garden. Although sheds come in different sizes it’s possible that you don’t find the one that will fit your garden. Each shed requires a certain size for foundation, and if you can’t fit it in your garden, you should not buy it and try to install it anyway.

Cost Involved When Buying A Shed

When you are buying a shed, the price ranges based on materials, size, and design. This applies to pre-made sheds, it may cost even more if you hire a contractor to design the shed from scratch.

Unfortunately, buying a shed will save you time, but it will cost you more. Usually, the total price is the number of labour prices, service rates, time, and expertise placed into the shed’s production and retailing.

While seasonal discounts with good prices can be seen, note that you will always cost the retailers a substantial profit. In this case, it is usually more costly to purchase than to build.

As said before, the additional expense appears if you don’t want to install the shed by yourself. Labour work is commonly charged by the hour, so the complexity of the shed can depend on the time it takes to put it together.

You will probably have to pay a delivery fee. Sheds are very heavy, and if the delivery is not free of charge, the delivery will be added to the final cost. Also, the cost is higher with every element you want to add, for example, extra hinges.

Wood is the most aesthetically appealing material for a shed, but it is one of the expensive ones. Wood sheds require robust foundations, which in the design process can be a challenging step. To repel insects, fungi, rot, and weather damage, wood sheds often require added protection. All of that means that manufacturers can demand more money. The average price for a quality wooden shed can be around $5,000.

Metal sheds are much cheaper than those made of wood and will not be harmed by fire and insects. Cheaper metal sheds, however, rust over time, but more expensive sheds made of aluminum will be resilient to it. Overall, the sharp edges of the protruding metal may be dangerous for kids and not too aesthetically appealing. The average price for a metal shed is up to $2,000

The cheapest choice of material that manufacturers use is plastic. Also, it is lighter and tougher than wood. Additionally, since it avoids most types of destruction, such as insects or decay, it needs the least amount of maintenance. Plastic sheds, however, do not have the same construction or decorative choices as metal or wood sheds do. Even though they are cheap, these sheds are also the ones that vary largely in price.

If you choose a pre-made shed that is made out of vinyl, please note that it is one of the expensive options. Vinyl is one of the best choices since it is stronger than sheds made of plastic or metal. Vinyl sheds would be a strong option if you want a shed that will withstand the weather if you can spend more money. The starting price for a vinyl shed is around $3,250.

Many of the issues conventional wood flooring faces are overcome by engineered wood: exposure to moisture, pests, and rot. However, engineered timber can still be more costly for the initial purchase compared to conventional wood, and homeowners should ensure the core layers are still made using high-quality materials.

Small sheds can be effective if you don’t need a lot of space. It will save you money. Small plastic sheds can be very cheap, meaning you can find sheds for the price of around $600. Many small wooden sheds cost between $600 and $3,000 or more on average. A small metal shed ranges between $200 and $2,000. Steel and aluminum are cheaper than wood, while also being resistant to insects and rot.

Cost Involved When Building A Shed

The cost of the DIY shed depends on its size. If you want a shed that has a higher ceiling, you will need more wall material to build it. More material equals more money to spend. So, determine the size you want and need so you can plan out your budget.

Sheds are usually built from plastic, wood, metal, concrete, and brick. The cheapest one you can make is from plastic, but plastic sheds are not so sturdy. Plastic materials come in so-called kits that you assemble on the spot. The plastic shed also tends to be very small, from 16 to 150 square feet. The average cost of plastic per square foot is around $15.

Wood is the most durable and common material for building a shed. Building with wood can be time-consuming. In some cases, you won’t have the chance to buy the exact size you wish, so you will have to cut it. By the square foot, the average price of wood is from $17 to $40.

Metal frames are very sturdy. By their price, they fall between plastic and wood. Metal comes in panels that can be assembled on the spot. The price for a square foot is from $5 to $10. This may not seem so expensive, but metal can be very flimsy and blown away by high winds. This is why many people attach metal to wooden frames, and wooden frames are pricey.

To start building a shed you need to think about everything you need to layout and build. The first thing you need to do is lay out the foundation to suit your shed. Foundation is usually made from concrete, so depending on the size of the shed, you need to determine how much foundation you’re going to lay out.

You need to build frames for walls and flooring and assemble a roof. Choose a flat roof to save money. The most common and cheapest material to use for your shed is tin. It comes at a price from $1.50 to $2.50 by the square foot.

Tiles are also popular for roofing, but their price can range from 3 dollars up to 3 dollars. Metal roofs are also popular and their price is from 5 dollars to 20 dollars. But again, metal can be ripped by strong winds, so a wooden base is needed for the roof.

On this link, you can find average material costs that equal to the size of the shed.

Since the shed has many variables, from materials to size, the average price to build a shed cannot be pinpointed. If you can snatch some reusable and recycled material, you can lower your cost significantly. The average price per square foot also cannot be pinpointed since the height can increase, or decrease the price.


Your main concern when deciding to buy or build a shed should be to get a sturdy shed that stands up to your environment and suits your needs. Some people feel that a pre-built plastic shed perfectly suits their needs, whilst others prefer a custom shed that fits best with their property and allows them to host visitors overnight.

First and foremost, the choice of a shed depends on your budget. It might be safer to buy a shed outright if you have the money for a custom-made shed. On the other side, it could be more cost-effective to build a shed, especially if you use repurposed and recycled materials.

The biggest advantage of constructing a shed from scratch is that every step of the way, you are in full control of your budget. You will make adjustments at any time in the building to ensure that you remain under the budget.

When you’re building a shed, you can get very creative and design it the way you want. It also gives you more experience and you can learn a lot of things. If you don’t enjoy building, buying a shed will save you the time and effort you may lose on the way.

If you’re buying a shed, research the manufacturers. Don’t buy the first shed you see. You should listen to recommendations and choose reliable manufacturers. Make sure to consult with a professional to see whether you can fit a shed in your garden or not. Also, think about the terrain. If you have a rocky and bumpy terrain in your garden, you will need to straighten it out.

Depending on your needs, buying a simple shed can satisfy them. Most people don’t care about the design of the shed. Usually, they will buy sheds to have just a little extra space. More so, having a shed increases the value of the house. Having a hand-made shed may bring a bigger value than the store-bought one.






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