DIY Shed Cost: Step-by-Step Guide

DIY Shed Cost: Step-by-Step Guide

The average cost of building a shed is on the rise in 2021, thanks to the increasing cost of lumber and other building materials. The impact of a global pandemic that forced closures and disrupted supply chains continues to impact building prices. The average cost to build a shed is currently around $5,650, with projects ranging from $500 to as much as $30,000.

Shed’s come in all shapes and sizes, providing additional covered storage garden tools or converted studio spaces. Most sheds are stick-built with 2x4 lumber and Oriented Strand Board (OSB). However, many other materials like vinyl, resin, and metal can also make a good shed.

Cost to Build a Shed Per Square Foot

Shed’s come in various sizes, and the cost to build will be relative to the materials and size of the shed. A very small garden shed is typically four feet by seven feet (28 square feet), and a larger shed might be twelve feet by sixteen feet (192 square feet).

The average shed cost per square foot is $15 - $150 per square foot, depending on the fluctuating cost of building materials. Storage shed costs tend to vary the most, with some models featuring interior shelving, insulation, and electrical wiring.

4 foot x 7 foot
$100 - $1000 USD
8 foot x 10 foot
$300 - $3000 USD
10 foot x 12 foot
$500 - $1000 USD
12 foot x 16 foot
$2,500 - $15,000 USD+

Related: Subdivision Development: A Complete Guide

What is the Cheapest Way to Build a Shed?

With a variety of building materials available, there are many economical choices to build a shed. If you can build a shed yourself, you will be saving the labor and installation of a professional build which is a significant expense.

Is it Cheaper to Build Your Own Shed?

Yes, it is cheaper to DIY build your shed because you are not paying for a mark-up on materials, labor, or installation fees. Most contractors charge a minimum call fee of $90 per project, plus hourly labor ranging from $50 - $100 per hour, plus up to a 30% mark-up on materials.

Is it Cheaper to Buy a Shed Kit or Build from Scratch?

It is hard to make a generalized comparison. There are variations in the quality of construction and material choices from one shed to the next. Generally speaking, a prefab shed kit will be cheaper to build than a similar style shed built from scratch. However, the quality of construction may be better if you build it from scratch. And with better quality comes a longer life span and less maintenance.

My Site Plan offers non-credentialed site plans drafted by highly experienced CAD designers. Get your next building project off to the right start. Find out more today.

How to Build a DIY Shed

building plan


If you have marginal confidence in your craftsmanship skills and putting together a sturdy building is a project you can tackle — you can save a lot of money on the cost of building a shed. Incorporate some reclaimed materials, and you can save even more! Here is what you need to get the job done:

Building Permits

Local regulations imposed by cities, counties, or homeowner’s associations will vary by property. However, generally most sheds (at least 100 to 120 square feet in size) require a building permit. This could include a requirement for site drawings and limitations on the size and height that you can build. Building permits for sheds average between $50 - $145. Plus the cost of site plans if needed.

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Shed Building Styles

Sheds are small buildings used primarily for shelter for animals or things. Garden sheds are the most popular building type in residential neighborhoods. However, the same building principles apply to small workshops and run-ins for livestock.

Common building styles include:

  • A-Frame 
  • Gambrel Style (Barn)
  • Craftsman
  • Saltbox
  • Flat Roof Storage
  • Modern Studio
  • Three-Sided Lean-To

Shed Plans

Before you begin building, you will need to choose the style of the shed and buy plans that contain the specifications to complete the build. Buying shed plans should be relatively inexpensive, with most options ranging between $12 - $30. 

Shed Materials

framing lumber


Traditionally, most sheds are built from wood. A solid 2x4 frame made from pretreated lumber is covered with OSB to create walls. The roof can be shingled, and the floor is made from larger boards like 2x6 boards for the joists and pressure-treated plywood for the walking surface. 

The average cost to build a woodshed is $5,650, with individual project costs ranging from $500 - $30,000. By comparison, the average price to build a metal shed is around $800, and the average cost to build a resin shed kit is $700 - $900. Shed’s that cost upwards of $30,000+ often use specialty building materials like high-quality brick and specialty wood posts.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Design Build

Shed Base

The structure isn’t the only expense involved when building a shed. You will also need a good foundation. How do you prepare the ground for a shed? The most common site prep is an even eight-inch base of gravel. This helps keep the shed on a level footing, so it doesn’t sink into softer ground. The average cost is $4.50 to $8.50 per square foot. A concrete pad is another option for shed placement. A 10x12 foot slab that is four inches thick will cost around $1200 to pour.

The Bottom Line on DIY Storage Shed Costs

The price to build a shed can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. The size and material choice are the biggest factors affecting building costs. When making an apples-to-apples comparison of the same size and style of sheds, it is almost always cheaper to build a DIY shed compared to hiring a contractor. In most cases, prefab sheds are even cheaper than building a DIY shed due to the efficiency of mass production. And the cheapest DIY shed options of all are repurposed materials like shipping containers.

My Site Plan is a veteran-owned business with twenty years of experience drafting custom site plans. We can provide non-certified plans for your next DIY shed building project. Request a quote today.

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  • Ryan Crownholm