What is the Cost to Build a Storage Shed?

cost to build a storage shedOne way to increase your home’s value is to build a shed. Besides, it also gives you additional storage space. Not only can you build one to your specifications and needs, but should you ever sell your home, the cost of the shed can be recovered. But what is the cost to build a storage shed? Let’s look at some important factors.

What to consider when building a shed

There are a few things to consider when you want to build a shed, such as:

  • Determine if you can build a shed on your property as some towns do not allow you to have an extra structure on your property.
  • Be very sure of the size of your intended shed, what you plan to store there and whether you want to have it insulated and electrically fitted.

How much does it cost to build a shed?

Depending on the size and style of a conventional wooden shed, the price will be calculated. For instance, if you want a plain vanilla wooden shed with walls measuring 8 feet, it will cost you between $35 and $45 per square foot. This will give you a door, a couple of windows, a ramp and a roof. If you also choose to have extra windows, a barn door, a particular kind of roof and finished interiors, you should be prepared to pay about $70 per square foot.

Of course, since these are the rates for a smaller sized shed, if you’re looking for a 12 x 16 shed cost, you’ll have to shell out considerably more.

A custom or prefabricated storage shed is usually 10 feet x 12 feet. It can be constructed as a DIY project if you have some knowledge of carpentry and the required skills, or you can hand it over to a professional. If you’re going to electrify it, all the more you should hand it over to an electrician.

Read related article here: How to build a lean-to shed?

Storage shed kits

Wood isn’t the only material that you can use to make your shed, you can consider buying a kit too. Kits contain everything pre-cut and all you need to do is to assemble them. Any homeowner can put this kit together. You can choose to have a kit in wood, plastic, metal, vinyl or PVC.

These sheds, however, aren’t as long-lasting as traditional wood sheds, but they save you money. If you buy a kit, you should pay between $500 and $1000. These kits can limit you in size, not being more than 8 feet x 8 feet. If a professional assembles this for you, you will have to pay between $300 and $750.

Common shed size, materials and costs

The cost to build a storage shed comprises several parameters. Usually, sheds are built with a concrete slab for the flooring and a size of 10 feet x 12 feet, measuring up to an area of 120 square feet. This is the size of a prefabricated shed, but you can have one customized to your needs. It’s common to have a door and lock, though high-end sheds come with shelves, hooks and other extras that help to organize tools and equipment.

Shed materials

Materials used to make a shed are:

  • Vinyl: Recently made sheds use vinyl for their strength and durability, their high rot, insect and rust-resistance and ability to withstand rough weather and heavy snowfall without cracking or denting. They cost about $800 to $5,000.
  • Metal: Steel or aluminium are usually chosen to make metal sheds since they are resistant to decay, rot and insects. These sheds come in the same dimensions as those of traditional wood sheds, so the costs to build them are also similar. In some cases they are cheaper. They are less labour-intensive than wood and are low in maintenance. They cost on average $300 to $2,000.
  • Wood: Usually, homeowners use wood as material for their sheds. Not only do they look attractive, but they also lend themselves to a wide variety of styles which makes finding an appropriate layout very easy. If you need to have a customized wood shed, it can be easier to customize than metal, so you can add shelves, windows and skylights very easily. These sheds range in price between $600 and $3,000.

Shed costs

As mentioned above, the cost of building a shed doesn’t involve only the materials but also the hiring costs of an electrician to wire the shed at approximately $50 to $100 per hour. To hire a carpenter for demolition, construction and other related activities would set you back by about $30-$100 per hour.

Cost breakdown

Foundation floor, walls and roofing, electrical and carpentry:

Cost breakdown: These are the costs you should expect to pay:

Concrete foundation and floor: If your flooring is six inches deep and has an area of 11’x13′, concrete per cubic yard would cost an average of $75 and the cost of this job would be $832.

Walls and roofing: Using good quality, pressure-treated lumber, including lumber posts, rafters, beams and joists, the cost would be an average of $6.50 per square foot. The cost of building the roof would average between $12 and $15 for a 16 feet x 2 feet area. These expenses do not include labour charges.

Electrical and carpentry: Licensed professionals might price their work on a per item basis or charge on square footage.

Siding: OSB siding costs ranges between $2 and $4 per square foot.

Door: A simple door costs about $140.

Windows: Each window costs between $60 and $400.

Composite Trim: This is charged at $2.50 to $5 per square foot.

Tools, etc: To build the shed, you will need a range of tools such as an air compressor, jigsaw, air hose, sawhorses, brad nail gun, circular saw, hammer, chalk line, clamps, drill, hearing and eye protection. If you were to buy these, you would pay about $1,000 to $2,000. Or, you could rent them for a few hundred dollars per week.

The total: On an average, the cost of building a shed hovers between $800 and $4,000, depending on various factors, such as the materials you use that could range from $300 to $5,000 and whether you choose to hire a pro or DIY.

Other price factors to include would be whether you need to add electricity to the shed (cost: $50 – $100) and labor fees for a contractor (~$200). Though these would jack up your costs, you still need to add some more money to your budget in case your expenses increase midway.

Hiring a pro vs. DIY

If you have some carpentry or electrical skills, your costs for this project would be minimal, else you will need to hire a professional to build this shed for you. For electricity connections to the shed, you will need to hire an electrician, who will charge about $50 to $100 per hour. Carpenters and handymen could either charge on an hourly basis or job-wise, so your costs to them may be about $185 to the carpenter and $626 to the handyman on average.

Shed construction tips

To get your DIY shed up and running smoothly, prepare before time and know what you want and where you want to build it. Here are some more tips for shed construction:

  • Get your permits quickly: Don’t wait too long to get your permits. If you don’t get a specific permit, your local government could ask you to demolish it or even fine you.
  • Choose a dry location: Ensure that you’ve chosen the right spot for your shed. It should be dry so that water doesn’t seep into it and destroy it.
  • Prepare the ground: Make the area bare of weeds and grass before you lay the foundation.
  • Use a detailed plan: Find a detailed plan with full instructions that can help you finish your shed project on time.
  • Is there good air circulation? Your shed should have good air circulation, so build the lowest wood level of your shed about six inches off the ground.
  • Expose your shed to wind and light: By leaving three feet of space all around the shed, your shed will have enough exposure to sun and wind. This will keep moisture at bay and prevent any mildew infestations.
  • Your floor frame should be robust and weather-resistant: No matter what you might do, periodically your floor frame will get wet. Besides, you’ll also be walking on it, so use pressure-treated lumber about two inches thick for your floor frame and for the floor deck, use ¾-inch exterior-grade plywood.
  • Protect your roof with trusses: To make sure your roof won’t leak, it’s best to go with trusses. Build these on your shed deck and then raise them when your walls are ready. Install each truss over a stud and then put the shingling on without much trouble.


Though it seems quite easy to build a small shed, yet there are many parameters and need for perfection for constructing it. Now that you know the cost to build a storage shed, take it up as a DIY project only if you are confident of doing your best.

Author: John Clax

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