Buying Guide

Is It Cheaper to Buy or Build a Shed?

buying a shed vs building a shed

It is generally cheaper to build a shed yourself than to buy a pre-built one, but this depends on your skills, time, and the materials you choose. If you have basic carpentry skills, the necessary tools, and enough time, building a shed can save you money.

However, buying a pre-built shed can be more convenient and quicker. This option is ideal if you lack the skills or time for a DIY project.

In this blog, we’ll explore whether it is cheaper to buy or build a shed, examining the costs, benefits, and potential drawbacks of both options to help you decide which is best for you.

Buying a Shed vs Building a Shed: Cost Comparison

To assess whether it's cheaper to build a shed or buy one, we need to break down the factors that affect the cost. Here are the common expenses you might run into:


Buying Shed

Building a Shed


Included in the purchase price

$800 - $5,000+


Easy and efficient DIY due to all materials being provided to you

$500 - $2,000 (if hiring help)

Free (if DIY)


Not required

$200 - $1,000 (If you don’t own tools)


Limited customization

Full customization


May be included

$500 - $500


May be extra

$300 - $1,500


Quick delivery and setup

Several days to weeks

Total Cost Range

$1,500 - $5,000

$2,000 - $10,000+

  • Materials: The price of the shed you buy includes the cost of the materials. Building something yourself means buying individual parts, which might cost a lot depending on the kind and quality.
  • Labor: Free or inexpensive installation is sometimes included with pre-made sheds. Although hiring assistance for complicated jobs might add up, DIY builders can save money on labor.
  • Tools: You don't need tools to purchase a pre-made shed, but you’ll certainly need a set of them if you decide to opt to build your own shed.
  • Design: Prefabricated sheds offer limited customization, while building allows for complete design control.
  • Permits: Some suppliers incorporate the cost of permits in the purchase of the shed. Permits are usually obtained and paid for individually for do-it-yourself builders.
  • Foundation: Purchasing a pre-made shed could lead to additional costs for a proper foundation, which is essential for both choices.
  • Time: Depending on your talents and availability, buying a shed is usually quicker than building one, which can take quite a bit of time.

As we can observe from the comparison above, the answer to whether it's cheaper to build a shed or buy one isn't as straightforward. It really is dependent upon you and your preference and situation.

Factors Affecting The Cost

The cost of building a new shed is affected by a lot of factors. These factors must be carefully assessed and considered when you are deciding whether to build or even buy a shed based on your current circumstances.

Do you need a big shed for storage, a modern shed office, or a functioning workshop? To further determine whether it's cheaper to build a shed or buy one depending on your needs, consider the following:

  • Size: Larger sheds tend to cost more whether the shed is built or purchased. Making your own is, however, likely more affordable for larger quantities.
  • Materials: Material choice has a significant impact on cost. Pre-made metal and plastic sheds can be cheaper; and if you have the skills, you can often make wooden sheds less expensive.
  • Customization: Rather than attempting to tweak a ready-made decision, it can be cheaper to DIY your own shed or employ a builder if you want a fully bespoke shed.
  • Location: Labor and materials costs and whether you can find ready-made sheds vary by geography.
  • DIY skills: In case you are handy and have the tools, building your very own shed will help you save a lot of labor.
  • Time value: Give your time a little consideration. If you have time to buy, a prefabricated shed could prove more "cost-effective" in the long run.
  • Durability: A well-constructed custom shed may outlast a less expensive pre-made one, offering more for its price

Buying a Shed vs Building a Shed: Advantages and Disadvantages

When you are carefully deciding whether it's cheaper to build a shed or buy one, it's important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option. Buying a shed means quick and easy installation, predictable costs, and often a warranty.

It is a good option for people without particular skills or tools. However, premade sheds typically have few customization options and may be made of lower-quality materials. They also generally cost more per square foot, particularly for smaller sizes.

Conversely, constructing a shed offers greater flexibility and potential for better construction. It can be cheaper for larger sheds and gives the sense of achievement of a DIY job done right. However, constructing a shed is time-consuming, requires specialized knowledge and equipment, and can come at a surprising cost.

Plus, a self-built shed may not have the warranty that many ready-made options offer. When buying a shed you need professional design and engineering. Manufacturers who sell sheds specifically have improved their designs to maximize space utilization and durability.

In these sheds–shelving and workbenches may already be built-in, which makes it more simple to add more later. These generic designs, meanwhile, might not suit your tastes in terms of style or functionality.

If you have a design in mind, you can customize a shed to your heart's content by building your own. Everything can be arranged to your liking, including the overall size and the positioning of the windows and doors. This flexibility is especially useful if you need a multipurpose shed or have unique storage needs. Additionally, you have control over the resources, which could result in a stronger shed.

Time is another crucial factor to think of. Buying a shed is typically very simple: you choose a type, place an order, and the shed will be ready in days or weeks. Building a shed from scratch, however, may take several weeks or even months depending on your skills and availability. This longer timeline can be an issue if you require storage space right now.

Lastly, consider the long-term effects of the shed. In fact, a custom-built shed might fetch you more money on your property than a standard pre-built one. But if you're moving soon, a pre-built shed may be easier to dismantle and move. This choice should balance your storage needs with your long-term property goals.

Should You Buy or Build a Shed?

After knowing the advantages and disadvantages, you might still be unsure if it is cheaper to construct a shed yourself or purchase one for your requirements. In the end, it boils down to what you value most and need in your specific circumstance.

Buy a shed if you urgently need one, lack the time or skills to do it yourself,  or just want a hassle-free, fully insured solution. But building a shed might be better if you want a specifically designed build, have the equipment and DIY skills to make it happen, and have the time to do it.

But keep in mind that, at times, the least expensive option isn't always the best one. Besides price, look at long-term value, durability, and how well the shed will serve your needs. Also, consider how this could affect your home value. A well-built, attractive shed can boost the value of your home–while an inadequate or poorly fitted one can actually work against it.

Consider also the materials you'll use. Pre-built sheds often come in preconfigured materials such as plastic or metal that may not suit your aesthetic taste or climate. Building your own lets you choose materials to match your home and the weather where you live. However, finding those materials yourself can be time-consuming and potentially more costly.

Last but not least, check local building codes and homeowners association rules. Some jurisdictions have very specific rules governing the size, location, and appearance of sheds. Compliance is important whether you buy or build–and it could be simpler to navigate these requirements with a custom-built solution.

Want To Buy a New Shed?

If you've concluded that purchasing a prefabricated shed is the best course of action for you, have a look at the premium options offered by Patiowell. You may discover a shed that suits your needs and budget thanks to the large selection of styles, sizes, and materials available.

See Patiowell's website for a range of durable and stylish sheds. Patiowell can provide you with a huge workshop or a tiny storage unit, depending on your needs. You may also purchase with confidence knowing that you're receiving a fantastic value for your money thanks to their outstanding customer service and range of warranty options.

Take action today and find the perfect shed for your home at Patiowell! Remember, whether you choose to buy or build, the most important thing is finding a shed that meets your needs and enhances your property. Happy shed hunting!

Buy the Most Affordable Sheds on Patiowell

Diana Mason

Hi there! I’m Diana Mason, the chief editor of Patiowell brand. With over 15 years of diving deep into the world of outdoor furniture, I’ve developed a keen eye for what makes outdoor spaces truly special. I love sharing tips and inspiration to help you create your perfect backyard retreat. Our blog is a reflection of my passion and expertise, featuring only the best pieces that I personally vouch for. Thanks for stopping by—I can't wait to help you transform your outdoor living space!

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