About this Calculator

This calculator was designed to give you a ballpark estimate of the cost to build your own storage shed. There are many variables to consider in order to get an exact cost: size, construction material, type of foundation, number of windows, number and type of doors, pitch of roof, roofing material, etc. The point of this calculator is not to give you a cost to the penny, but rather to allow you to choose whether to build a shed, buy a shed kit, or buy a pre-built shed. You can lookup the cost of shed kits and finished sheds online.

The Cost to Build Your Own Shed

Building a storage shed will prove much cheaper if you construct it on your own rather than pay a premium to a builder to do the work on your behalf.  Though your time is certainly worth money, there is a certain feeling of pride and self-satisfaction from building something as significant as a shed in a DIY manner.  DIY is short for “Do it Yourself.”  Once you are done with this DIY project, you will have saved hundreds or even thousands of dollars and feel especially satisfied with your self-made storage shed.

Crunching the Numbers

In general, it will likely cost a couple thousand dollars to build a shed.  However, if you would like an especially small shed made with minimal material, there is a chance you can build it on your own for under $1,000 or possibly even under $800.  On the upper end of the spectrum is a large and lavish shed likely to cost upwards of $5,000 or more.  However, the cost to build a shed typically falls somewhere in between these extremes.

The Cost of the Wood Frame

Most DIY shed builders opt for a wood frame.  This frame is quite popular as it is extremely durable.  Even if you are not an experienced carpenter, you can build your own storage shed frame without significant impediment.  However, building a wood frame will take some time, especially if the shed you have in mind is particularly large.  Furthermore, you will need more tools that would be necessary if you relied on a plastic or metal shed kit to construct this diminutive structure. 

In general, the average cost per square foot of a wood frame for a DIY shed is between $17 and $40.  Though this might seem a bit costly, it will prove cheaper than paying a concrete contractor $1,000 or more to pour a slab for the shed.  In comparison, a wood foundation is likely to cost a couple hundred dollars.  Furthermore, an added benefit of using wood is it is comparably easy to build with even if the ground slopes or is difficult to access.

Ways to Save Money on Your DIY Storage Shed

Be sure to take some time to ensure the dimensions of your DIY shed will make the most efficient use of the wood you purchase.  Consider using oriented strand board (OSB) siding for the shed as opposed to plywood or solid wood.  Siding panels comprised of OSB are also beneficial in that they are primed prior to sale, ultimately saving you money as well as time and effort.  Such panels are structural so there is no need to add an extra layer of sheathing below the siding.  All in all, this approach has the potential to cost $500 less than siding comprised of cedar plywood.

The Cost of the Door

Another creative way to save money on your DIY storage shed is to opt for an inexpensive custom door.  There is no sense paying for a pre-hung shed door that has the potential to cost in excess of $1,000 when the materials for a custom door will cost $150 or less.  Though a custom door might not prove as weather resistant as a pre-hung door, it will get the job done.  Furthermore, plenty of custom shed doors have an aesthetic similar to that of a customized wood door yet cost significantly less.

The Shed’s Trim and Windows

There is no sense spending for solid wood trim when comparably cheap composite trim is available.  Opt for composite trim and you will save between $100 and $200.  There is no need to worry about any potential defects or knots when you take the composite route.  Furthermore, composite trim is primed ahead of time and ready to be painted.  This trim really does hold paint that much longer and better than top-notch wood trim.

Finally, you can reduce the cost to build a shed by minding the windows.  Why pay an egregiously large sum of money for those fancy looking windows when you can spend considerably less for arch-top windows?  While some windows have the potential to cost upwards of $400, arch-top windows typically cost $50 to $70.  In fact, you can build your own arch-top windows with basic materials available at the local lumberyard or home improvement center.

Wooden storage sheds and wood shed buildings are an excellent investment for homeowners looking to add a reliable, attractive and long-term storage unit to their backyard. Shop today at Sheds.com.

The Total Cost of a DIY Shed

Above all, the shed size and material ultimately dictate its total cost.  Sheds made of wood typically cost between $800 and $3,000.  Metal sheds resist decay and rot yet are not as aesthetically pleasing.  Opt for a metal shed and it will likely cost $500 to $2,000.  Vinyl sheds are comparably expensive, typically falling in the range of $800 to $5,000.  Vinyl is quite strong, proving resistant to rust, cracking and denting.

When all is said and done, your DIY storage shed cost is likely to fall in the range of $1,000 to $5,000.  However, if you implement the cost-savings measures detailed above, you might end up spending less than the lower end of this range.  The bottom line is you will spend significantly less building the storage shed in a DIY manner rather than paying a professional to do the work on your behalf. 

Storage Shed Options: DIY vs Kit vs Buy

storage shed reviews

Are you running out of storage space in your garage? If you have the room in your yard, then a backyard storage shed is the perfect solution to your storage needs. You may have many outdoor toys, bicycles or gardening and lawn care supplies that just don’t fit in the garage anymore. Your family is growing and so is your need to store more stuff. You need a storage shed but you’re just not sure how to get one. Building a shed yourself would be the cheapest option, but requires a lot of work and time. (Calculate the cost to make a DIY shed at the top of this page.) You can buy a shed kit, which reduces the amount of work and time to construct. Or you can buy a shed pre-built and have it delivered and setup on your property.

Top Storage Shed Brands

  • Rubbermaid
  • Tuffshed
  • Lifetime Sheds
  • Arrow Sheds
Storage ShedCostReview
Tuff Shed$1935 (8'x10')TUFF SHED buildings are manufactured and installed locally, with domestically produced materials. Tuff Shed reviews.
Rubbermaid Big Max$548 (7'x3')Has durable floors and molded-in grooves. Assembly is quick and easy with the interlocking panels. Rubbermaid Shed reviews.
Heartland Stratford (Lowes)$898 (8'x12')Engineered wood siding is primed and ready to paint. Features strong 2x3 frame construction
Arrow$485 (8'x10')Leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of steel storage sheds delivered in kit form. Arrow Shed reviews.
Lifetime$1268 (8'x10')Made from powder-coated steel and double-wall high density polyethylene. Lifetime Shed reviews.

There are many other things to consider then the brand when you are choosing a backyard shed. Your local weather conditions will have a lot to do with what you choose. If you live in a state where hurricanes are possible, durability will be important. If you live in a state such as Arizona, the heat will play a big part on how your shed stands up to the sun exposure.

Next you will need to decide on the size of the shed you will need. Figure out exactly what it is that you will be storing out in the shed. Check with your city to see what the codes and ordinances are for sheds. There may be restrictions on the size you can put up. Some cities require the shed be a certain distance from your property line. Depending on your city ordinances and the size of the shed, you may need to take the plans for the shed in for approval. It also may be necessary to have the shed inspected once it is finished.

Once your size is decided and you have approval from the city, you can decide on where to build it. Find a location in your yard that will allow you easy access to the storage shed. You want to be able to move in and out of it easily with the equipment you will store in it. The area should also be clear of trees and shrubs and the land will need to be flat. So, depending on the spot you choose will depend on how much work you will need to do to prepare the foundation and the area for the shed.

Now that you have narrowed down the brands, and your size and style is chosen, check the company’s websites to find the dealer closest to you. Check the circulars in your local newspaper to check to see if the shed you are interested in purchasing is on sale. When you go to the store to purchase the shed, take the time to talk to the sales person and ask any questions that are still unanswered. There is always the possibility that the sales person will show you something completely different then you had picked out, and that it will actually work out better for you. So keep an open mind when you visit the store.

Remember, once you purchase your shed, you will need to take it home, assemble it and secure it to its foundation. The salesman should be able to provide valuable information to you as far as assembly. And while you are at the store, make sure you purchase any tools you will need to assemble the shed. Keep in mind that if you don’t have a big enough vehicle to transport the new shed, you will need to borrow a truck or rent one.

Once your shed is home, it’s time to begin the assembly. Make sure you read the instructions completely before you begin to assemble the shed. If you have any questions, the manufacturer’s website will also have valuable information on assembling the shed.

By installing a backyard storage shed, you will not only be solving your storage problems, you will be adding value to your home. The better value the shed is, the more value that is added to your home. Keep this in mind when you choose your backyard storage shed.