Is It Cheaper to Build Your Own Shed or Buy Pre-built in 2024

When it comes to adding more storage space to your property, investing in a shed is a popular solution. However, one of the most significant decisions you’ll face is whether to build your shed from scratch or purchase a pre-built one. Both options have their pros and cons, including cost considerations. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the factors influencing the cost of building versus buying a shed in 2024, helping you make an informed decision.

Factors That Determine How Much A Shed Costs

  • Size: The size of the shed is a significant factor in determining its cost. Larger sheds require more materials and labor, so they are more expensive than smaller ones.
  • Materials: The materials used to construct the shed play a crucial role in its cost. Common materials include wood, metal, vinyl, and plastic. Each material has its own price point, with wood typically being more expensive than metal or plastic.
  • Quality of Materials: Within each material category, quality variations can affect the cost. For example, high-quality, pressure-treated lumber will cost more than lower-grade lumber. Similarly, thicker metal or higher-grade vinyl will come at a higher price.
  • Design and Style: Sheds come in various designs and styles, ranging from simple utility sheds to more elaborate structures with windows, doors, and architectural details. The design’s complexity and the customisation level will impact the cost.
  • Foundation: The type of foundation required for the shed can influence its cost. Options include gravel, concrete slab, or pavers. A more complex or durable foundation will add to the project’s overall cost.
  • Labor Costs: The cost of labor for building the shed can vary depending on factors such as location, availability of skilled labor, and the complexity of the project. Hiring professionals to construct the shed will increase the overall cost compared to DIY options.
  • Add-ons and Accessories: Additional features such as windows, doors, shelves, lofts, ramps, and electrical wiring will add to the cost of the shed. These accessories can enhance the aesthetics and functionality of the shed but will also increase the total price.
  • Location and Site Preparation: Site preparation, such as clearing and leveling the ground, may be necessary before installing the shed. Factors such as accessibility to the site and local building codes can impact the project’s overall cost.
white shed in the backyard

Everything You Need to Know About Building a Shed

Advantages of Building a Shed


Building your own shed allows you to customize it to meet your specific preferences and needs. You can choose the size, design, materials, and features that best suit your requirements.

Cost Savings

In many cases, building a shed yourself can be more cost-effective than purchasing a pre-built one. If you source materials and do the labor yourself, you can save money on construction costs.

Quality Control

When you build your own shed, you have control over the quality of materials and craftsmanship. You can make sure that the shed is built to your standards and will meet your expectations in terms of durability and longevity.

Skill Development

Building your shed can be a rewarding DIY project that allows you to develop valuable carpentry, construction, and project management skills. It’s an opportunity to learn new techniques and gain hands-on experience.


Building your shed allows you to add personal touches that reflect your style and preferences. Whether it’s decorative elements or functional features, you can make the shed uniquely yours.


There’s a sense of pride and satisfaction that comes from building something with your own hands. Completing a shed construction project can be a fulfilling accomplishment and a source of pride for years to come.


DIY shed construction offers flexibility in terms of timing and scheduling. You can work on the project independently, fitting it around your other commitments and priorities.

Disadvantages of Building a Shed


Building a shed from scratch can be time-consuming, especially if you have limited construction experience or resources. It requires careful planning, preparation, and execution, which can take weeks or even months to complete.

Skill and Knowledge Required

DIY shed construction requires certain skills and knowledge in carpentry, construction techniques, and building codes. If you lack experience in these areas, you may encounter challenges or errors during construction.

Physical Labor

Building a shed is a physically demanding task that involves lifting heavy materials, using power tools, and working in various weather conditions. It can be strenuous and exhausting, especially for individuals with limited strength or mobility.

Initial Investment

While building your own shed can save money in the long run, there is an initial investment required for materials, tools, and equipment. Depending on the size and complexity of the shed, these costs can add up quickly.

Risk of Mistakes

DIY construction projects are prone to mistakes and errors, which can lead to rework, delays, and additional expenses. You may encounter challenges or setbacks during the building process without proper planning and attention to detail.

Limited Warranty

When you build your own shed, you assume responsibility for its construction and performance. Unlike purchasing a pre-built shed from a manufacturer, DIY projects may have limited or no warranty coverage.

Tools You Need To Build A Shed

  • Circular Saw: Used for cutting boards and plywood to size. It’s a versatile tool for various cutting tasks.
  • Sawhorses: Provide a stable platform for cutting materials with a circular saw or other saws.
  • Ladder: Essential for reaching high areas during construction, such as installing rafters or siding.
  • Nail Punch: Used to set nails below the surface of the wood.
  • Drill: For drilling holes and driving screws or nails. A cordless drill is convenient for working in different areas of the project site.
  • Framing Nailer: Speeds up the process of framing by quickly driving nails into the wood. An air compressor may be required to power the framing nailer.
  • Safety Glasses: To protect your eyes from sawdust and flying debris during cutting and drilling.
  • Framing or Speed Square: Helps ensure accurate and square cuts when framing walls and other components.
  • Air Compressor: Powers pneumatic tools such as the framing nailer. Ensure it’s compatible with the tools you plan to use.
  • First Aid Kit: Essential for minor injuries that may occur during construction.
  • Safety Equipment: Includes gloves, ear protection, and dust masks to protect yourself during construction.
  • Wood Glue: Used for bonding wood components together for added strength and stability.
  • Wood Chisels and Clamps: Useful for fine-tuning joints and securing pieces during assembly.
  • Screws, Nails, and Screwdriver: Fasteners for securing components together. A screwdriver may be needed for manual screwdriving tasks.
  • Wooden Stakes, Measuring Tape, and Hammer: Used for layout and marking of the shed site and for securing components during assembly.

Typical Costs When Building A Shed

The typical cost of building a shed can vary depending on several factors. Generally, you can expect to budget around $17 to $24 per square foot of space, with larger sheds costing more due to increased materials and labor. 

Foundation options, such as concrete blocks and runners or a concrete slab, can range from $75 per cubic yard upwards. The choice of siding material, including metal, vinyl, or wood, will also impact the overall cost, with metal sheds typically ranging from $300 to $2,000, vinyl sheds from $800 to $5,000, and wood sheds from $600 to $3,000. 

Additionally, the type of roof material, such as asphalt shingles or metal, and including windows, which can range from $60 to $400 per piece, will contribute to the final cost. Overall, the typical price range for building a shed falls between $800 and $6,000. Still, actual costs may vary based on factors such as location, labor rates, and any additional features or customization.

Read also: How to Build a Chicken Coop from a Shed in 2023

brown shed in the farm

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Shed

Advantages of Buying A Shed


Purchasing a shed is convenient and time-saving compared to building one from scratch. You can choose from different pre-designed options and have the shed delivered and installed relatively quickly.

Professional Installation

When you buy a shed, it typically comes with professional installation services. This ensures that the shed is properly assembled and installed according to manufacturer specifications, saving you the hassle of DIY construction.

Quality Assurance

Most sheds available for purchase are manufactured using high-quality materials and construction techniques. By buying from reputable manufacturers or retailers, you can expect a durable and well-built shed that will withstand the elements and last for years.

Customization Options

While pre-built sheds come in standard designs and sizes, many manufacturers offer customization options to meet your specific needs and preferences. You can choose features such as size, style, siding material, roof type, and additional accessories to customize your shed.

Warranty Coverage

Purchasing a shed from a reputable manufacturer often comes with warranty coverage, providing peace of mind against defects in materials or workmanship. This warranty may depend on the manufacturer and product, so be sure to review the terms and conditions.

Reduced Time and Labor

Buying a shed eliminates the need for extensive planning, sourcing materials, and construction labor associated with building a shed from scratch. This can save you time and effort.

Disadvantages of Buying a Shed

Limited Customization

While pre-built sheds offer some customization options, they may not fully meet your specific requirements or design preferences. You may be limited in terms of size, style, and features compared to building a custom shed.

Higher Upfront Cost

Purchasing a pre-built shed typically involves a higher upfront cost compared to building one yourself. You’re paying for the convenience of professional installation and the quality assurance of a manufactured product.

Delivery and Installation Constraints

Depending on the size and design of the shed, there may be limitations or challenges associated with delivery and installation. Access to your property, site preparation requirements, and scheduling availability may impact the installation process.

Quality Variability

Not all pre-built sheds are created equal, and quality can vary among different manufacturers and retailers. Researching and choosing a reputable supplier is essential to ensure you’re getting a well-built shed that meets your expectations.

Limited Control Over Construction

When you buy a shed, you’re relying on the manufacturer or retailer to handle the construction process. This means you have less control over the quality of materials, craftsmanship, and installation compared to building the shed yourself.

Assembly Required

While professional installation is often included with the purchase of a shed, some assembly may still be required on your part. This may involve tasks such as anchoring the shed to the ground or applying sealant to joints and seams.

General Costs When Buying A Shed

When buying a shed, the general costs typically include the base price of the shed itself, which can vary depending on size, material, and design. 

For example, a standard 8ft by 10ft shed may cost around $1300 on average. In addition to the base price, you may need to budget for labor if you choose to hire a contractor for installation, with rates ranging from $50 to $100 per hour. Delivery costs should also be considered, especially if the manufacturer does not offer free delivery, as sheds can be heavy and require specialized transportation. 

Depending on the supplier, customization options such as design modifications or additional features may incur extra costs. It’s important to factor in all these expenses to ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of the total cost when buying a shed.

white shed

Comparing Building vs Buying a Shed


  • Building: Building your own shed requires a significant time investment. Tasks such as leveling the ground, measuring dimensions, and customization can take considerable effort.
  • Buying: When you buy a shed, you simply wait for the transport company or delivery team to bring and install it, saving you time and effort.

Building Materials:

  • Building: You have the flexibility to choose and change the building materials as you progress with the construction of your shed.
  • Buying: Pre-built sheds come with predetermined materials that cannot be easily changed after purchase.


  • Building: Building your shed from scratch allows you to customize your shed according to your preferences.
  • Buying: When you buy a shed, you’re limited to the available sizes and designs offered by the manufacturer.

Construction Quality and Longevity:

  • Building: By selecting materials yourself, you can ensure higher construction quality and potentially longer-lasting durability.
  • Buying: The quality of materials used in pre-built sheds may vary, and longevity may not be as guaranteed as with a custom-built shed.

Electricity and Plumbing:

  • Building: If building your shed, you’ll need to arrange for plumbing and electrical work separately, adding to the complexity and cost.
  • Buying: Pre-built sheds often come with plumbing and electrical installations already taken care of by the shed company, providing convenience but potentially increasing the overall cost.

Customization & Design:

  • Building: Building your shed offers unlimited creative control, allowing you to design and customize it to your exact specifications.
  • Buying: Pre-built sheds typically offer fewer customization options, as they come with pre-existing designs that you select from.


  • Building: Building your shed yourself can be cheaper overall, as you don’t have to pay for labor costs.
  • Buying: While buying a shed may involve higher upfront costs, it eliminates the need for labor and may offer convenience in terms of delivery and installation.

Ready to embark on your shed-building journey? Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or just starting out, we’ve got you covered! Explore our extensive collection of shed designs, ranging from traditional to modern styles, and find the perfect fit for your backyard oasis

So, Is It Cheaper To Build A Shed or Buy One?

Whether it’s cheaper to buy or build a shed depends on several factors, including your budget, time availability, and desired level of customization. 

Generally, building a shed yourself can be more cost-effective in terms of materials, as you can potentially save on labor costs. By sourcing materials and constructing the shed independently, you have greater control over expenses and can tailor the project to meet your budget constraints. 

However, building a shed requires a significant time investment and may entail additional costs for tools, equipment, and professional services like plumbing and electrical work. 

On the other hand, buying a pre-built shed offers convenience and saves time, but it often comes with higher upfront costs due to labor and manufacturing expenses. While both options have their merits, carefully weigh the financial implications, time commitment, and customization options to determine which best suits your needs and circumstances.

Amelia Quinn

Living a self-sufficient lifestyle and raising chickens has been my passion since childhood. Over the years, I've realized this dream and gained valuable hands-on experience. Today, I am committed to empowering beginners and dreamers alike, help them navigate their own journey towards self-sufficiency and poultry farming.

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