Did you know that 10% of the U.S population fancy the idea of living in their sheds? These buildings have always been popular to add utility to a property, but the trend of living and working on microscale has increased the popularity of building sheds. Building a shed can increase your indoor storage or workspace considerably. Even a small shed can add a couple of hundred square feet of additional space. And for most purposes, climate control isn’t necessary.
The average cost to build a shed per square is between $15 and $150 per square foot, depending on the style and level of finishes. A simple shed for storage typically costs between $17 and $24 per square foot. A high-end shed that will become a dwelling or workspace will cost much more, between $90 and $150 per square foot.
- Cost to Build a Shed Per Square Foot
- Wood vs. Steel Shed Construction Cost
- Material Cost to Build a Shed
- Labor Cost to Build a Shed
- Farm Shed Prices
- How to DIY a Storage Shed
- Buying vs. Building a Storage Shed
- How Much Does it Cost to Build a She Shed?
- How Much Does It Cost to Build a Playhouse Shed?
- How Much Does It Cost to Build Different Types of Sheds
- Cost to Build a Shed by Material
- How to Choose a Builder
- The Bottom Line
Cost to Build a Shed Per Square Foot
A shed costs somewhere between $15 and $150 per square foot. That is a lot of variation because there is the term shed can mean many different things. To the average homeowner in a residential neighborhood, a shed is a small outbuilding used to store lawn and garden equipment.
To a farmer, a shed might be a larger metal building used to store tractors or a three-sided structure used to provide shelter for livestock. And yet, for others, a shed might be a workspace with varying degrees of finishes for function and comfort. The building materials, size, and finishes will factor into the total price to build a shed per square foot.
|Average Cost to Build a Simple Shed (Shell)|
|20x20 Shed Price||$1,500||$4,000|
|Cost to Build a 10x10 Shed||$800||$3,000|
|Cost to Build a 8x8 Shed||$500||$2,500|
|Cost to Build a 12x24 Shed||$1,200||$5,000|
Wood vs. Steel Shed Construction Cost
The best material for a shed depends on where you live and what you will use the shed for. In 2021, lumber prices are high, so many builders and homeowners will be looking for alternative building materials.
Stick-Built (Wood) Shed Costs
A wood shed is typically made from a combination of framing lumber and oriented strand board (OSB). The most economical framing lumber is 2×4 yellow pine. The average price of one 2×4 board in an 8’ length (most common) is $5.17. The average shed uses between 30 – 55 pieces of 2×4 lumber, for an average framing cost between $155 – $284.
One 4×8 section of OSB is currently selling for $52 (due to high demand in 2021). The average small shed uses between 10 and 16 boards. That is an additional material cost between $520 and $832.
Other materials might include nails, screws, wood filler, paint, and shingles. Overall, the average cost to build a wood shed in 2021 is between $1,000 and $1,500.
Metal Shed Costs
A prefab steel shed kit can sometimes be a more economical option. For example, the cost to build a small metal shed (approximately 8 foot by 10 foot) is $845 using a shed kit. These prefabricated metal buildings cost between $5.50 and $6.00 per square foot to build.
Steel-frame buildings are another option if you are looking to build a larger shed. These buildings offer more durability and fire resistance compared to traditional stick-built sheds. If you are looking to build a finished shed, the average costs of building a steel-frame building are between $7.50 and $8.50 per square foot.
It costs between $3.50 and $6.00 per square foot to pour a concrete slab for a metal or steel shed. If you want to insulate and finish your steel shed, additional framing and insulation costs are between $3.50 and $4.00 per square foot. The total price to build will be between $16 and $20 per square foot.
Material Cost to Build a Shed
The most common type of garden shed is a simple 12×12 wood shed. This type of shed is constructed from pretreated lumber, plywood, paint, concrete, shingles, siding, and gravel. Let’s take a look at what these materials cost.
Pre Treated 2×4 framing lumber used to build a frame for the shed walls are about $5.17 each. 2×6 pretreated boards for floor joists in 12-foot lengths are $19.53 each. A 4×8 sheet of ⅜ inch thick plywood for sheathing the walls and floors is about $50.88 per panel.
One box of shingles to cover a 33 square foot roof section is approximately $23. T1-11 rough plywood siding is about $50 per 4×8 section. Professional gravel shed site preparation costs between $4.50 and $8.50 per square foot. That is a total cost between $648 and $1224.
Labor Cost to Build a Shed
The cost of materials is only half of the cost of building a shed. Prefabricated building kits can help reduce material costs. The other half of the cost in labor to build the shed. If you are able to handle the construction yourself, your labor cost will be minimal. However, if you need help, carpentry labor costs between $35 and $80 per hour.
Farm Shed Prices
Agricultural sheds tend to be much larger than residential garden sheds. These buildings serve a variety of purposes, from storing tractors to housing animals. Metal and steel are the most popular building material choices for farm sheds for both cost-efficiency and fire safety. A 30×36 metal farm shed starts around $20,000 to build. A simple utility shed that provides a roof with open sides starts at $14,000 to build. Adding finishes like a concrete floor, electrical, insulation, and plumbing can drive the cost to build up.
How to DIY a Storage Shed
Building a shed means different things to different people. For some people, building a shed means hiring a professional builder. For others, it means a chance to exercise some carpentry skills. A storage shed can be a simple design with four walls, a door, and a roof. Or it can be an elaborate and detailed design complete with shutters and trims.
Building a storage shed yourself can cut the cost in half. If you are putting in the elbow grease, you will only have to pay for the cost of materials. The cost of materials to build a DIY shed can be estimated between $10 and $15 per square foot. When you add labor to a shed build, the cost increases considerably from $17 to $24 per square foot to build.
Buying vs. Building a Storage Shed
Is it cheaper to buy a storage shed or build one? The answer depends on what you are looking for. In almost all cases, a prefabricated or prebuilt shed will be cheaper than doing it yourself when comparing similar sizes and styles of a shed. However, if you are simply looking to build a shed for the lowest possible, a simple DIY shed build will be your best bet.
Prebuilt sheds come in wood, metal, or vinyl construction. A simple 8×10 shed that comes prebuilt from a box store includes a flat fee for the purchase of the building, plus the cost for site prep and delivery and set up fee. If you have the equipment to haul the shed yourself, you can save on some of the associated costs.
|Prebuilt Shed Costs|
|10x12 shed cost||$2750||$569||$1799|
|10x20 shed cost||$5600||$1648||N/A|
|4x6 shed cost||$1500||$349||$535|
A woodshed is more expensive to build compared to a metal shed or a resin shed. However, proper planning and quality craftsmanship can help a woodshed last a lifetime. Some additional considerations that can help prolong the life of a wood shed include:
- Placement of the shed on a solid foundation of gravel, pavers, or cement.
- Build with pretreated lumber to resist rotting.
- Choose a site for the shed that receives plenty of sunlight.
- Paint the wood with water repellent sealers for outdoor use.
Delivery charges for prebuilt sheds vary by retailer and distance. Expect to pay between $50 and $150 for delivery and an additional $250 – $500 for installation. Site prep costs between $4 and $8 per square foot for gravel and between $4 and $10 per square foot for concrete.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a She Shed?
A she shed (or he shed) is a fun new trend where people are transforming small sheds into inhabitable spaces where they can enjoy hobbies, socialize with friends, or read a book with a glass of wine away from the hustle and bustle of the main house.
Material and labor costs to build a she shed tend to run higher than other types of sheds because of the sophisticated styling and upscale furnishings. A low-end she shed can be built for around $1500. A mid-range she-shed can be built for between $5,000 and $8,000. And a high-end she shed can cost upwards of $30,000.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Playhouse Shed?
Another use for a traditional shed structure is a playhouse. Of course, special considerations should be taken to ensure safety, like removing doors. A playhouse doesn’t need to be very big; in fact, the most common size is 5 foot by 5 foot. Large playhouses are typically 8 foot by 10 foot.
A playhouse requires minimal finishes, and because it is an outdoor play structure and not enclosed storage space, it will require fewer materials (lower cost) to build. A simple playhouse can be built for $1,000 to $1,500.
Many commercial playhouses are built from prefab plastic. The colors fade, and the materials warp in the sunlight. Dollar for dollar, building a wood playhouse adapted from a small shed is a better investment with a longer lifespan.
How Much Does It Cost to Build Different Types of Sheds
There is a different style of shed for every aesthetic. And the costs to build a shed vary depending on the cost of the materials.
Modern Shed Costs
A modern shed is designed to match a specific aesthetic. People who are interested in building a modern shed will invest more money into materials and finishes than people who are interested in building a plain shed or purchasing a prebuilt shed. The average modern shed costs about $25 per square foot to build.
Storage Shed Costs
A storage shed typically has some additional built-in features to help keep stuff organized. These features will add to the material and labor costs compared to building a garden shed. The average cost of building a storage shed is between $17 and $24 per square foot.
Garden Shed Costs
Garden sheds are the most common type of shed and typically the most simple. These sheds are typically used to store mowers, trimmers, and other lawn and garden equipment. A garden shed typically costs about $15 per square foot to build.
Cost to Build a Shed by Material
Size is only one factor that determines the cost of building a shed. The material is another factor that has a big influence on the price of building a shed. Let’s look at the impact that building materials have on the cost of building a shed.
Brick Shed Costs
Brick is a durable, self-insulating material that matches a high-end building aesthetic. People who live in all brick homes may choose to build a brick shed to match the design of their homes.
The average cost to build a brick shed is $50 to $150 per square foot, with the total price tag ranging between $3,500 and $30,000. The labor to build a brick shed is also more costly. Builders for traditional wood construction are easier to find, but brick requires a specialized trade worker.
Wood Shed Costs
Wood is the most common type of shed to build. The building materials are durable, and wood is one of the easiest materials to work with. The average cost to build a wood shed varies between $3,000 and $1,200 per shed. Wood sheds require some maintenance over the years. You can expect to spend between $500 and $1,300 to maintain a wood shed when repairs are needed.
Metal Shed Costs
Metal sheds are inexpensive and sturdy. Unlike wood, these sheds are not prone to rotting. Metal sheds tend to come in prefab kits with lightweight materials that are easy to install. However, due to their lightweight, they are more likely to be damaged in strong storms. The average cost of a metal shed ranges between $500 and $7,000 with larger agricultural sheds starting at $20,000.
Vinyl Shed Costs
Vinyl sheds can be an attractive and cost-effective option. These sheds come in prebuilt and prefab kits and cost as little as $200 or as much as $5,000, depending on the size and quality of the shed. One downside to a vinyl shed is the overall durability of the shed. These low-cost sheds hold up well for several years, but the plastics are prone to sun fade and deterioration, so wood and metal are both still a better choice for long-term use.
How to Choose a Builder
If you are looking to have a shed built on your property and you don’t want to tackle the project yourself, you may be wondering how to go about finding and choosing a builder for your project. Here are some considerations:
- Experience and Skill
- Licenses and Insurance
- Additional Services (clearing land, site prep, etc.)
You can start your search for the right builder at your local hardware store. While you are pricing out materials and choosing finishes, you can ask for referrals on local carpenters. Pick a few names from the contractor board and get some estimates. Of course, you are looking at the price, but you also want to ask a few questions to interview your potential candidates.
A carpenter with a proven skill that can show you a portfolio of completed work or provide references is important. Inexperience isn’t a deal-breaker, but most consumers want reasonable assurance that the carpenter they hire will provide quality craftsmanship.
Also, keep in mind that the construction industry tends to draw a lot of hustlers, so make sure that you ask for proof of licenses and insurance for anyone you will be paying to perform work. Some builders have the skills and equipment to help with the whole job from start to finish, and others will provide assembly only. Either way is fine, but make sure that you know what you are paying for when you hire a builder.
The Bottom Line
Sheds come in all different sizes. The cost to build a shed depends on size, material, type, and the type of labor used to build the structure. Choosing between a kit, a professional build, or a DIY project depends on personal preference. In general, the average cost to build a shed falls somewhere between $17 and $24 per square foot.