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DIY building a shed vs buying it pre-manufactured

Posted by Eric Splitt on

She Shed. Man Cave. Junk Closet. Office. So many names and uses for the space. Whether you use it as a potting shed or a pot shed, there's no doubt that having a shed is pretty awesome, and if you have the land available it's certainly worth considering the possibilities.

A shed is a great investment for any type of homeowner. For DIYers and handymen, it is an opportunity to save money on labor during projects. Sheds can also be used as storage areas for tools, equipment, and other items that don’t have a place in your home or office. If you own many seasonal items like a snowblower, garden tools, or patio furniture, sheds provide the perfect solution to store them until they are needed. Homeowners find that having a shed provides much-needed storage space elsewhere on their property especially when the weather isn't suitable.

There are many types of sheds. Some people choose to purchase a pre-manufactured shed or hire a crew to assemble one onsite. But DIY building a shed is not as hard as you think. In fact, it can be very easy and cost-efficient if you follow some simple tips. There are tons of different shed plans out there that will help get your project off the ground. Not to mention all of the amazing tools available to assist with building any structure. If you’re on the fence about getting started, building a shed vs buying, let's first weigh your shed options and then pinpoint your next step to get this project on its way.


Buying a pre-built shed

Pre-manufactured sheds can cost up to $150 per square foot and range anywhere from $2000 to $8000 depending on the size and may still require some work on your part. There are many companies out there that will sell you a shed, including places like The Home Depot. People go this route for many reasons including time, resources, and skills. Some valid reasons for sure and maybe the right choice for some people. If money is not an issue for you and you don't care to get your hands dirty, then certainly look at places like Tuff-Shed or hire a professional shed builder to do it for you. The average cost of a professionally built shed is around $8,000.

A huge benefit of paying all this money is the option to get a warranty. If you buy a pre-manufactured shed and find an issue with the workmanship, they'll either repair or replace your entire shed for free. Building your own? Any defects are on you to correct!

Building your own shed can be time consuming and exhausting. You have to prepare the site, buy the necessary materials, and then construct it yourself or with a team of helpers. If DIY is not in your DNA and you don't have the time to tackel a shed project, consider buying a pre-built shed instead! (that's not the spirit we have here at Neater Nest but we want you to have ALL the information first.)

You Don't Need Special Tools or Skills

If you are a new homeowner, then you may not have access to all the tools needed to construct your own shed. The good news is that pre-built sheds typically come with installation services. All you'll need is a flat foundation for them to install it on!

With a pre-built shed, you don’t need to know how to frame a roof or use a power saw. Even if it does require assembly, you will only need a basic set of tools that just about everyone has around the house like a hammer and screwdriver.


You'll have to pull out your wallet if you don't want to lift a finger

The prices for a pre-built shed vary considerably. If you want a quality shed that will last a lifetime then you will have to pony up quite a bit of cash. But if all you need is something quick and easy, there are plenty of cheaper options available, including some great pre-fab sheds that are a quick and easy DIY.



Hire someone to DIY it for you

So you want something more custom? Something that's not pre-fab cookie cutter? You can hire a contractor to build you a custom shed. Sometimes for the same price as the pre-fab ones.

One money-saving tip that many people overlook when hiring a professional shed builder is they give up too much control over the design. And if they are too picky about the look of the shed it can cost them extra in design fees. A simple way around that is to purchase a set of professional shed plans to give to your contractor.

At the end of this article, we have a link to over 12,000 shed plans of all shapes, sizes, and designs. You can find the perfect shed for your property and give a comprehensive plan to your contractor along with a material list. Be sure to get some type of discount for design fees because these plans are guaranteed to benefit the builder and will save them time and money. Which they should pass along to you as the customer.

If you want to take this strategy a step further, closer to DIY, you can play the role of the GC (general contractor). Simply go find a good carpenter and give the plans to them. It includes a full set of materials needed for the project that anyone can walk into The Home Depot and walk out with everything needed. Your job will be to deliver the material, hire any other sub-contractors needed and make sure they all follow the plans. This saves you some money by not having to pay for a GC to be the middle man.

Bottom line, whether you are buying a pre-fabricated shed delivered to your site or you are having someone custom build a shed for you, it's going to be expensive and there is no way around it. For those of you who are adventurous, creative, and handy, you can easily DIY a shed for way less money. Let's look at the pros and cons as well as a killer resource to get you on your way to owning that new storage shed.



DIY building a storage shed 

If you want a storage shed that is custom-made to fit your space and with the features you really need, consider building it yourself. It's not difficult as long as you have an idea of what you're doing. And that's very easy knowledge to gain through resources like the ones in this article. If you are intimidated by the thought of DIY, you should consider resin or plastic sheds. If you haven't checked out my blog post about the tool shed I built last year with my kids, this was a quick and easy solution. How to free up space in the garage with prefab sheds.

Before you go too far, you need to look into whether you need a permit or not. Some jurisdictions require a building permit and have rules you must follow before adding a structure to your property.

Tools of the Trade

If you want to get the full DIY experience and build your shed out of wood you will need some basic tools to get started. Here's a quick list of what you might need.

  1. Hearing and eye protection
  2. Tape measure
  3. Level
  4. Speed square
  5. Circular saw
  6. Cordless drill
  7. Drill bits
  8. Hammer and nails
  9. Sawhorses
  10. Clamps
  11. Stepladder
  12. Caulking gun

Optional tools that make the building process easier include:

  1. Air compressor
  2. Air hose
  3. Brad nail gun
  4. Jigsaw or Multi-Tool
  5. Tin snips
  6. Router
  7. Pocket hole jig

The One Thing You Must Have To Build A Shed Right

Good Plans. You must have a good set of plans. I'm not talking about the various Free Shed Plans you see on many websites. The ones they trick you into downloading so they can SPAM you with more email offers. They are not proven. Yes, maybe they are good enough for a professional contractor to build off of. But the average DIY homeowner needs a proven set of plans guaranteed to hold their hand step by step.

Luckily we have done the deep digging on this for you and have a link below to over 12,000 awesome plans to help you build the shed of your dreams. These plans are for professional quality sheds but written for beginners making them the perfect DIY to get your hands dirty. If you can follow LEGO instructions, you can follow these plans.


Pros and cons of DIY building a storage shed

Save 40%-60% on labor costs Takes 3-5 days of your time
Save on materials because they are not marked up You need the right tools
Get exactly what you want to fit your space You could get injured
Sense of accomplishment You need basic skills and using tools effectively


Cost Comparision

DIY Building an 8x10 shed, would cost about $900 vs buying a prebuilt shed over $3000.

DIY Building a 12x20 shed, would cost about $1500 vs buying a prebuilt shed over $5000.


Build something from the ground up and have a sense of accomplishment!

Working with your hands is such a satisfying feeling. There's nothing like it. Building something from the ground up and having a sense of accomplishment is so rewarding, you'll want to do it again and again!

Imagine how good you will feel when you build your own shed in just days. You can create any size shed that fits your needs exactly without having to pay someone else for their time or expertise.

Get started building your dream shed today!


Plans on how to build a shed from scratch

If you're feeling inspired, now is a great time to build a storage shed. Sheds are an affordable and reliable way to store your tools, equipment, vehicles, or anything else that needs protection from the elements.

I'll be honest, building a storage shed from scratch is not as easy as it looks. There are many factors to consider and if you don't have the right set of plans, things could turn out to be more difficult than expected.

That's why we've searched far and wide to find the best comprehensive plans out there. They offer high-quality step-by-step plans that will help you build an attractive and affordable shed in your backyard or elsewhere on your property, depending on how big you want it to be!

This collection of shed plans includes everything from small sheds to large ones with different features such as windows, porches, etc...You can choose whichever one fits your needs best! You'll also find useful tips for building each type of plan so that your project turns out even better than expected!

Complete with a full materials list you can actually take to the hardware store and get everything you will need in 1 trip. If you follow these step-by-step plans for building your own storage shed, designed to fit your space and with the features you really need, you can create an amazing structure that will last a lifetime.


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