Cheapest Way To Build a Shed (For The Frugal DIY)
A shed is a great way to add extra storage space to your property. You may also use the building to minimize clutter in your property and maximize safety by storing dangerous chemicals or tools out of reach of children and pets.
A shed can significantly boost your home’s value with all these benefits. Experts believe you can increase your home’s asking price by up to $18,000 by adding a well-built shed in the correct location.
What’s the Cheapest Way To Build a Shed?
The ultimate goal is to put together a durable yet cost-effective shed just like the Amish. In addition, your shed should offer numerous storage possibilities without being an eyesore.
You’ll want to be able to keep the elements out and your belongings protected while not spending a fortune on building materials or paying for professional installation services. So, the cheapest way to build a shed is to do it yourself.
Here are some tips on building a cheap shed by yourself. This way, you can forego the high costs of purchasing and installing a shed.
Cost estimators suggest that the average cost to hire a professional to install a shed is about $2,000. This price can increase if you add electricity or other special features to your shed.
On the other hand, the average cost of materials for a DIY project is about $1,500. So, by doing it yourself, you can save on installation costs. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you built it yourself.
Read More: Cost Of Building A Shed Vs Buying
10 Steps To Build a Cheap Shed Yourself
If you’re handy with tools and you have some experience with carpentry, then you’re in luck. Building your shed is possible and can be a fun weekend project.
This guide will get you started by putting together tips on building a cheap shed yourself.
By following the steps below, you can make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.
1. Look Online for Cheap or Free Shed Building Plans
Building a cheap shed means taking advantage of every opportunity to save money. So, the first step is to look online for free or cheap shed plans.
There are numerous websites and online marketplaces where you can find shed plans at a fraction of the cost of purchasing them from a store. Some companies even offer free shed plans to generate interest in their products. You can find some great deals this way.
Another option is to purchase used or surplus lumber from construction sites or home improvement stores. This lumber is generally cheaper than what you would find at a regular retail store.
For example, if you want a 12-foot by 16-foot shed, you could find plans online for as little as $100. However, the cost of materials would be extra. If you’re lucky, you can find used lumber for free. Check classified ads or ask around at construction sites to see if anyone has any leftover lumber they’re willing to give away.
Read More: Best Cheap Shed
2. Inventory Your Tools
Once you have your plans, it’s time to take stock of the tools and materials you’ll need for the project. This step will give you a better idea of what you need to buy and how much it will cost. In general, you’ll need the following items:
- A tape measure
- A level
- A hammer
- A drill
- Nails or screws
- A saw (circular, jigsaw, or hand saw)
- OSB (oriented strand board) or particle board
- 2x4s or other lumber for framing
Depending on the specific shed you want to build, you may also need additional items. For example, if you’re planning on adding electricity to your shed, you’ll also need to purchase electrical supplies.
In the same way, suppose you want to add windows to your shed. In that case, you’ll need to buy glass and frames for the windows. The good news is that many of these items can get purchased at your local home improvement store.
But don’t start your project before you have all the necessary supplies. Otherwise, you may have to stop in the middle and wait for more materials, which can add extra time and costs to the project.
3. Start With the Foundation
The foundation is the most critical part of the shed. It needs to be level and stable to ensure that the rest of the structure is safe and secure.
One cheap way to create a foundation is by using concrete blocks. Concrete blocks are readily available at most home improvement stores and are relatively inexpensive. Plus, they’re easy to use and don’t require any special skills or knowledge.
You may also need concrete footing, depending on the size and weight of your shed. Concrete footing adds support and stability to the foundation, which is especially important for larger or heavier sheds.
Another budget-friendly foundation option is deck blocks, which have concrete with a hole in the middle. Deck blocks support decks, but you can use them for sheds.
Skids are another cheap way to create a foundation for your shed. Skids are essentially small beams of wood that you place underneath the shed. This idea helps to distribute the weight evenly and keeps the shed level and stable.
If you opt for skids, go for 4×4 pressure-treated lumber for the best results. Pressure-treated lumber can resist rot and decay, so it’s a good choice for outdoor projects like sheds.
4. Framing the Floor
After you’ve decided on a foundation, it’s time to start framing the shed’s floor base. The floor is one of the essential parts of the shed because it needs to be solid and sturdy enough to support the rest of the structure.
One cheap way to frame a floor is by using 2x4s or other lumber. First, cut the lumber into pieces the same length as the width of your shed. Then, nail or screw the boards together to create a makeshift floor.
For the floor, you can also use plywood or OSB (oriented strand board). Just cut the plywood or OSB into pieces the same size as your shed and then nail or screw them together.
You can add cross-bracing if you want to make the floor extra sturdy. To do this, cut additional boards that are the same length as the width of your shed. Then, nail or screw the boards at an angle across the floor joists (the horizontal boards that make up the frame).
5. Framing the Walls
The walls aren’t just for looks – they also play an essential role in supporting the roof. That’s why it’s important to frame them correctly.
The quality of the walls will determine how well the shed holds up over time. So it’s worth taking the time to do them right.
One cheap way to frame walls is by using 2x4s or other lumber. Just like with the floor, cut the lumber into pieces the same length as the width of your shed. Then, nail or screw the boards together to create a frame for the walls.
Another option is to use plywood or OSB (oriented strand board). Cut the plywood or OSB into pieces the same size as your shed and then nail or screw them together.
6. Framing the Roof
Among the affordable roof framing options are the 2×4 truss. You can make your truss using 2x4s and some metal plates or brackets. To do this, cut the 2x4s into pieces that are the same length as the width of your shed. Then, nail or screw the boards together to create a frame for the roof.
The design of your shed roof will also determine the average cost of building a shed. A gable roof is the most common type and is relatively easy to assemble. However, this roof type uses more lumber than single-slant roofs or lean-to roofs – making it more expensive.
On the other hand, a single-slant roof is cheaper to build because it uses less lumber. However, this roof type isn’t as strong as a gable roof and can be more susceptible to damage in high winds.
A lean-to roof is the cheapest type of shed roof to build. This roof type uses the least amount of lumber and is relatively easy to assemble. However, lean-to roofs are not as strong as gable or single-slant roofs and can be more susceptible to damage in high winds. So, when framing your roof, use quality lumber rated for outdoor use.
7. Siding the Shed
Like the walls, the quality of the shed’s siding will affect its ability to withstand the elements. That’s why it’s essential to use a good-quality material for your shed’s siding.
One cheap option for shed siding is LP SmartSide Panel. This type of siding comes from oriented strand board (OSB) covered with a layer of fiber composite material. It’s easy to install and is one of the most popular shed-siding materials on the market.
Another cheap option for shed siding is T1-11 plywood. This type of plywood is made from wood pieces glued together and then covered with a resin layer. It’s easy to work with and is very durable.
You may also use shingle siding or lap siding, which are more expensive than the two options mentioned above. However, these materials are very durable and will last for many years.
Read More: Best Siding For Shed
8. Roof Shingles
Your shed isn’t complete until you’ve finished your roof. The roof protects the shed from the elements and keeps everything inside dry and protected. Additionally, the roof protects the walls from wind and snow – two of the most common causes of damage to sheds.
One of the cheapest shed roofing materials is a three-tab asphalt shingle. This shingle is easy to install and is one of the market’s most popular shed roofing materials.
As such, while you want to save on costs, you should maintain the quality of the shed roof. Therefore, look for a high-quality material that can withstand the elements and last for years. Metal roofs are a good option because they’re durable and long-lasting but quite expensive.
For quality enhancement, install tar paper before installing the shingles. This step will help prevent leaks by providing an extra layer of protection.
There are two types of roof shingles: organic and inorganic. Organic shingles usually consist of paper or fiberglass, while inorganic shingles primarily come from asphalt.
Organic shingles are cheaper than inorganic shingles but are not as durable. Inorganic shingles are more expensive, but they’re much more durable and will last longer. When choosing roof shingles, select a good-quality product rated for outdoor use.
9. Install the Windows
A shed needs ample ventilation to prevent moisture buildup inside the structure. That’s why it’s important to install windows in your shed.
The number and size of the windows will depend on your shed size. For a small shed, you may only need one window. For a more oversized shed, you may need two or three windows.
When installing the windows, make sure to use a good-quality window rated for outdoor use. For instance, you may use a vinyl window or a double-pane window.
You may minimize the number of windows opening; instead, use solar or electric vents to improve air circulation inside the shed. Solar vents are powered by the sun and will open when the sun shines on them. Electric vents draw power from batteries or a solar panel and will open when you turn on the switch.
10. Install the Doors
The door is one of the most critical parts of your shed. It must be durable and weather-resistant to protect your shed’s contents from the elements.
There are two types of doors that you may use for your shed: a sliding door or a hinged door. Sliding doors are cheaper than hinged doors, but they’re less durable. Hinged doors are more expensive, but they’re much more durable and will last longer.
But ensure that whichever material you choose for your shed doors must be properly installed to keep the shed weather-resistant. Also, remember to install a good-quality lock on the door to keep your belongings safe.
Read More: How Much Does It Cost To Build A Shed House?
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about the cheapest way to build a shed:
Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to this question. It all depends on your specific circumstances.
It may be cheaper if you have the time and skills to build your shed. The reason is that you will not have to pay for labor costs.
On the other hand, if you need more time or the skills to build your shed, it may be cheaper to buy a ready-made one. The reason is that you will not have to spend any time or money on materials.
Also, you may need to rent or borrow some tools if you don’t own them. Therefore, weigh all the factors before deciding whether buying or building your shed is cheaper.
A range of factors determines the cost of building your shed. For instance, the size of your shed will affect the number of materials you need. If you choose a large shed, you will need more materials, and the cost will be higher.
Similarly, the type of material you choose will also affect the cost. For example, the cost will be lower if you choose a cheaper material like plywood. However, if you choose a more expensive material like cedar, the price will be higher.
Other factors that may affect the cost include the type of roofing, windows, and doors you choose. But, again, it all depends on your specific circumstances.
Cost of building materials
A significant cost of building a shed is usually the price of the materials. The cost of the materials will depend on the size and type of shed you want to construct. The complexity of the design will also affect the cost of the materials.
For example, a simple shed made of plywood will be much cheaper than a fancy shed made of cedar. Similarly, a small shed will be more affordable than a large shed.
To get an idea of the cost of materials, create a cost sheet with an estimate of the amount of each type of material you will need. Then, research the prices of these materials at your local hardware store. That will give you a good idea of the cost of building your shed.
There is no definitive answer to the question of the cheapest way to build an outdoor shed. It all depends on your specific circumstances.
However, there are some general tips that you can follow to save money. For instance, you can look for discounts on materials, buy used materials, or build your shed during the off-season.
You can also save money by doing most of the work yourself. If you aren’t sure how to build a shed, many resources are available online and in libraries that can help you.
By following these tips, you can be sure to find the cheapest way to build a shed that meets your needs.