Want to Save 20% off Any Shed Plan Purchase!

Signup For My 'Shed n Sight' Newsletter

and Get Your 20% off Promo Code To Use At Checkout.

Easy Diy Shed Building Plans

How does the cost of building your own shed versus buying affect your wallet?

Buying a shed versus building one yourself.  Which one is cheaper?Is It Cheaper To Build or Buy A shed?

A guide to help you understand the cost of building your own shed versus buying or hiring a shed builder

Determining the cost of building your own shed versus buying from a professional  shed builder involves several factors. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you compare the two options:

If you're considering adding a shed to your backyard and are wondering about the "cost of building a shed versus buying a shed kit or having one built by a shed builder," I have some great information for you.

Like most budget-minded homeowners, you want to make the best financial choice without compromising on quality.

Let me start by addressing a common dilemma: should you buy a shed kit, hire a professional builder, or take on the project yourself using quality shed building plans? There are various factors to consider and each option has its unique advantages and disadvantages, and I’m here to walk you through them to help you make an informed decision.

Building your own shed from scratch

You'll have fun and save money building your own shed.It Is Rewarding Building Your Own Shed!

First up, let’s talk about building a shed from scratch using plans. If you're someone who enjoys DIY projects and has basic tools lying around, this could be a rewarding and cost-effective option. Using professionally drawn and detailed storage shed plans can guide you through the process, ensuring you don’t miss any crucial steps.

The cost to build a shed yourself mainly involves purchasing building materials. You have the freedom to choose lower-cost or salvaged materials to further reduce expenses. However, remember that your time is also an investment in this project. Ensure you’re prepared to invest several weekends depending on the shed size and complexity.

Do you possess the necessary building skills and tools?

you will need the right tools to build your own shedUse The Right Tools To Build Your Shed

Another essential consideration is your skill level. Basic carpentry skills are generally sufficient for a simple garden shed, but more complex designs might require advanced skills. Lack of experience could lead to mistakes that might waste materials and time, potentially increasing the overall cost.

I've learned over the years that determination and the 'want' to build your own shed are very helpful in overcoming the lack of skills needed and will propel you to getting your shed building project accomplished with no issues. 

Be sure to be on the safe side no matter what it is that you are doing with power tools.  You don't want to have to make an emergency trip to the hospital for doing something to cause an injury!

As for the right tools to have, here's a list of what you will need:

 Safety Glasses for everyone working on helping you

Tape Measure

Circular Saw

Speed Square


4' Level

2 Sawhorses


6' Ladder

Extension Ladder

Nail Punch

Optional tools:

Air Compressor

Framing Nailer for building your floors, walls, loft and roof framing.

Roofing Nailer for shingles

Electric Miter Saw

Should you buy a shed kit?

Next, let's consider buying a shed kit. These kits come with pre-cut and often partially assembled parts, making the building process quicker and more straightforward. The cost of a shed kit typically includes all the necessary materials, which are precisely measured and cut, reducing waste.

While shed kits streamline the construction process, they are generally more expensive than buying raw materials yourself. Additionally, you're limited to the designs available, which might not meet your specific requirements or needs or preferences for a custom shed.

Shed kits are a great middle ground for those who like a bit of DIY but don’t want to start from scratch. They require fewer tools and less expertise, making them more accessible for individuals without extensive building experience.

Hiring a professional shed builder

You may have to hire a professional to do the electric workHire Professionals To Do Electric Supply For Your Shed

Now, hiring  professional shed builders is the most hassle-free option but also the most costly. Professionals can handle everything from design and material sourcing to construction and cleanup. This option is best for those who prefer a fully custom shed, built quickly and to high standards ( well, hopefully they build to high standards!).

The primary downside to hiring a professional, aside from the higher cost, is the lack of personal involvement in the building process. While you may get a quality shed, you miss out on the satisfaction of having built it yourself.

The cost of hiring a builder varies widely based on location, materials used, and the size and complexity of the shed. Always get multiple quotes to ensure you are getting a fair price.

With any of these options, don't forget to consider additional costs like a foundation, building permits, and tools, if you don’t already have them. These can significantly affect your budget.

What is the best route to take?

You're most likely to save money by building your shed yourself!

So, what's the best route for you? If you're leaning towards building a shed yourself to save money, using a set of comprehensive and very detailed shed plans can be a great way to ensure success. The plans should be easy to follow and cater to various skill levels beginner and skilled alike and styles.

Many find that building their shed using a set of plans is not only economical but also immensely gratifying. You have complete control over the materials and design, allowing for a fully customized outcome that fits perfectly with your outdoor space.

Maybe you have the money though to hire a builder!

professionals will be fast and quickProfessionals Will Be Fast and Quick!

On the other hand, if you're not keen on taking too much time and dealing with the intricacies of the construction process, a shed kit might be your best option. It strikes a good balance between cost, convenience, and customization.

And finally, for those who prefer a hands-off approach and have the budget for it, hiring a professional might make the most sense. This is especially true if you need a shed that’s large, complex, or needs to comply with specific building codes that might be difficult for a DIYer to navigate.

If you do decide to hire a builder, ask lots of questions!

Site prep by a professionalYou May Need A Professional To Do The Site Prep Work

If you do decide to go with a shed builder to build your shed, here are some important questions and key factors to ask your shed builder before shelling out any money to the builder:

Question:  How many years of experience does your shed builder have?  

Why  you want to ask:  If he is just starting out, he may not have a warranty for the sheds he builds.  You will want to get a warranty and I would suggest at least requiring a 1 year warranty for peace of mind.

Question:  Does your builder offer different types of sheds?

Why you want to ask:  Some builders only build gable roof style sheds because they are quick and easy to build.  Gable sheds however do not have as much  storage space in the attic like a barn style shed does.  A barn shed is a more expensive shed but offers way  more storage space in the attic and maybe that's what you need as far as one of your shed options goes.

Question:  Does the shed builder have a list of options?

Why you  want  to ask:  What you might think is automatically included in with your new backyard shed may be an option.  Maybe you want side and front overhangs, or you want your exterior walls painted.  Find out before you sign a contract to see if what you want included is going to be a lot extra over the total cost or final cost.

Question: Will  they get a permit or do I need to get one?

Why you want to ask:  If your locality requires a building permit for custom-built sheds, you will need to submit shed plans. Does the builder have these?  If your shed is a small shed, such as if the square foot of the shed is less than 100 square feet, you may not need a permit like you would for large sheds.  If the building department isn't happy with the provided shed plans, will your builder make the necessary changes?  Most counties across the country also require a site plan to be submitted for a permit.

Question:  What type of materials is the builder going to use?  

Why you want to ask: For example, a lot of builders will cut costs by using cheap siding or regular 2x4's for the outside trim which will deteriorate faster in inclement weather than say cedar wood.  You may want to request high-quality materials rather than being surprised when the shed is finished being built.

Question: Is the shed floor included in the price?

Why you want to ask:  Many times the floor is an add on cost not included in the builders initial quote so ask them about this.

Question:  What type of framing is used for the floor (if wooden), walls, and roof.  

Why you want to ask:  You want a wooden shed floor that is going to be sturdy and not sag, causing multiple problems down the road such as doors not opening and closing properly, roofs leaking, windows not opening, siding cracking.  This is not going to be a problem if your shed is going to be built on a concrete slab.  You also want walls that are framed with 2x4's and spaced 16" on center, not 24" on center. And your shed roof - is it being built with trusses or stick framed with a ridge board and rafters.  Trusses or rafters are both acceptable and most shed builders will come out with pre-built trusses.   

Question:  How long will the project take and how soon will it be started?

Why you want to ask:  If your shed guy has your money, he may not get started for a few months because he is backed up with work.  Find out.  Most really good shed builders have lots of work lined up.  If your builder can start the next day, this may be a warning sign that he really isn't that good.  It may be a better idea to find someone that can't start for at least a few weeks to a month.

Using a builder?  Have this goal in mind:

The main goal of asking all these questions is to save yourself grief and heartache after you've have your dream shed built. Realizing that maybe you should have gone with the 'diy route' and forgone the additional cost of hiring a professional shed builder is a gut punch that you don't want to have to experience.  

At least with a diy shed project you can make sure that your shed is built the way you want it to be built and hopefully it will stand the test of time and be your perfect shed that you've always wanted.

You've decided to build your own shed!

Get some really good shed plans!

shed plans from shedking.netDoing It Yourself? Get a Good Set of Shed Plans

Yes, yes, I know!  I do have an alterior motive here for trying to get you to build your own shed yourself!  You can do it!!  If you've been around my site at all, you've probably guessed or seen that I do sell shed plans.  I have about 50 of them.  Plans for gable, barn, saltbox, chicken coops, shed houses, and firewood sheds. 

I started out not knowing anything at all about building sheds.  I became a professional shed builder some time ago for Heartland sheds.  I now remodel homes for a living but have gotten into drawing up shed plans for people like yourself who may not be the most experienced at building things, especially sheds.  I have taken that into account and developed easy to use and follow shed plans for people like you who want and need to build their own storage shed.  

Click here to see all of my shed plans.  I think you'll like what you're going to get if you buy a set!

Cost of building your own shed versus using a shed builder...

Use my free shed plan materials cost sheets to compare!

One thing that may help you out is using my free pdf materials sheets for all my shed plans.  Print them out, take them to lowes, home depot, or menards.  You may not be able to find the exact shed you want, but I'm sure you'll find one that's very close.  

Compare shed building costs with  my shed materials listsCompare Shed Building Costs Using My Materials Cost Sheets

Once you find the total cost after you have Lowe's look up the prices for you, have your shed builder give you a quote on how much it would cost for him to build that shed.

This will give you an exact cost comparison for either building the shed yourself or having a professional shed builder do it for you.

Here's a link to all my materials cost sheets for you to use: Build it yourself materials costs

You might like these

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.
How to build a shed with easy diy shed plans.
Pictures and testimonials from happy shed plan buyers.

Monthly DIY 

Subscribing will get you discounts on shed plans, monthly updates, new shed design ideas, tips, exclusive discounts on shed building resources and tools.  Learn more here.

Recent Articles

  1. Gable shed roof, Building a shed roof, Shed roof construction

    Jun 12, 24 09:10 PM

    gable shed roof
    Your guide with easy steps to building a gable shed roof from scratch. Build with a ridge beam or gable trusses. Gable shed roof with overhangs and eaves.

    Read More

  2. Making Shed Trusses For Shed Roofs

    Jun 08, 24 09:57 AM

    making shed trusses with a speed square
    Making shed trusses is not always an easy job. Here are some of the problems you may encounter.

    Read More

  3. Your Resource for Building a Shed

    Jun 01, 24 01:59 PM

    learning center building a shed
    Learning center for building a shed. Learn how to build a storage shed.

    Read More

My You Tube Videos

All my tube videos.