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Is it Easy to Build Your Own Shed?

If you’re looking for a shed to keep those valuable things locked away safely without cluttering up the garage. Maybe your on a budget and want to build your own shed.

The answer is yes, if you have some experience with working with the basic tools and good at following directions. Most sheds come with instructions and with the many kits you can have a shed in a couple weekends.

Building Your Own Shed

There are many advantages to building your own shed. It will almost certainly cost less than buying one. You also have more options to plan and build just the kind of shed you need, with the type of doors and windows you want and your own placement.

You can put in shelving that will organize your smaller tools and weed killer without blocking easy access for the larger items. There’s no need to draw out blueprints – many websites offer plans and instructions for building a shed yourself.

Depending on the size, it may only take a few days, less if you have help. Some of the smaller shed kits can be assembled in one day. If you’re a complete beginner you can read my article Is Building a Shed Something a Beginner Should Try?

Is it Cheaper to Build Your Own Shed?

It is almost always cheaper to build your own shed, but it depends on several factors. You probably have a hammer and screwdrivers around, but you’ll need other tools, such as a circular saw, table saw and other tools.

If you don’t already have them, the purchases will add a few hundred dollars to the cost of the shed. In addition, if you start from scratch with just instructions rather than buying a kit, you’ll have to replace any lumber you don’t cut correctly. While anyone can make mistakes, if you are new to construction, you’ll be more likely to make mistakes and add to the cost.

The other consideration is a foundation. While a shed can be placed right on the ground, you’ll need to make sure the ground is level first and use some kind of waterproofing to prevent moisture problems such as mold and rot.

Using concrete blocks, pea gravel and some 4x4s will give you a good foundation and allow airflow under your shed, keeping moisture at bay. The pea gravel is also handy in making sure your shed is level and can be added to or subtracted if more leveling is needed later on.

Is it Hard to Build a Shed by Yourself?

While it’s certainly easier to build a shed if you have several people, it’s not really hard to build one yourself. You’ll need to plan how you intend to handle tasks that usually involve helpers, such as putting up the framing walls and raising the roofing frames.

While they might not be too heavy for you to handle, you’ll need some method to keep them in place while you start nailing them in. Having help for parts of the project will make it go more quickly.

If you don’t have experience in roof framing and finishing, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have some help for the roofing portion of the project. Whatever type and slope you plan for the roof, at least you’d have somebody to keep the ladder steady. If you do slip off there is somebody right there to help you. If you ever considered a metal shed check out my article Is a Metal Storage Shed a Good Option?

Is a Shed kit Easier to Build?

Shed kits are much easier to work with than building from scratch, especially for people with little construction experience. Instead of looking at a pile of lumber and suddenly feeling a bit of the “what now” panic, the kits help you go through the whole process step by step.

With each piece of lumber having been cut to the proper size, there’s no chance of cutting mistakes or something not fitting correctly. The kits come with a list of tools you’ll need for that kit. Building with a kit also cuts down on the construction time.

Shed kits can be a little more expensive than building one from scratch from instructions, but they can also save money in the long run. Having all the lumber pre-cut to size will eliminate having to replace miss-cut lumber.

Another advantage is that kit companies often offer some customization opportunities in their kits, so you’re more likely to get just the shed you want, or at least get close. Even though the kits are designed to eliminate guesswork, if you do get stuck or have a question, the kit companies have customer service representatives to help you.

What Tools Do You Need to Build a Shed?

Opinions vary, but the basics include a hammer, circular or jigsaw, ladder, cordless drill, caulking gun, framing square, screwdriver, measuring tape, stakes, line and level. If you are building it from scratch you’ll also need sawhorses for cutting your lumber. Other tools you may want to consider are a chalk line, nail gun and router.

If your shed plans include metal for the roof or siding you’ll also need heavy gloves to handle the metal sheets, a wrench for the bolts, level, pry bar, pliers, pipe and crescent wrenches, hacksaw and perhaps a rivet gun.

You’ll also need some other things, such as eye and ear protection, sufficient extension cords for any electric tools, a place to put scraps, and tarps to protect your materials in case of a sudden rainstorm. The more you have on hand before you start, the less time you’ll waste running back and forth getting things you missed.

Other Considerations

The location of your proposed shed is vital. Of course, you want it to be easily accessible, but you should avoid placing it under tall trees or utility lines, or in places where rainwater tends to run. Having it in a more open area instead of around plantings will limit moisture problems. The more level the ground is already the less work you’ll have to do to level the foundation.

Before starting, you’ll want to contact any city or other authorities to see if you need a building permit for your shed. Since the smaller sizes may not require a permit, you’ll want to decide on the size before seeking the permit. There may also be limitations on where you can locate your shed, especially in an HOA or other residential area. If your not sure about permits you can read my article Do You Require a Building Permit For a Storage Shed?


Building your own shed will bring you a sense of accomplishment every time you see it. If you’re considering a shed, you really are limiting yourself if you don’t look into building your own. Good luck and thanks for reading.

Recommended Resources

In this area I will go over the best resources that I have found that you will find very helpful:

Here are my favorite eBooks for beginners as well as those of you who have a lot more experience with home projects.

I know how disappointing it can be to finally find some plans online only to find out after that theirs a lot of essential information missing making these resources useless and a waste of your time!

First is “Ryan’s Shed Plans”… Provides 1,000’s of shed plans, so there’s something for everyone with detailed cross sections and very easy to follow instructions. What I really like is the material and cutting lists which means you know how much material to get.

And if you act soon, you can also get some free books: Advanced Woodworking Tips, List of suppliers to get your materials even cheaper and for you woodworking types you also get 400 free wooding plans. Definitely worth every penny… Check it out here and get your free 8×12 plan just for looking.

Second is “Ted’s Woodworking” … You get thousands of woodworking plans and they come with step-by-step instructions, material and cutting lists, very detailed plans, something for beginners as well as the professional woodworker.

You’ll also get woodworking guides and a detailed book on how to start a woodworking business and how to sell your woodworking projects for profit. See for yourself all the projects you can do and start making impressive pieces right away. Check it out here.

Third is the “Ultimate Small Shop” … This guide walks you thru everything you need to get a small workshop set-up on a budget. Goes into detail what you need to set-up, organizing your space and laying out your work areas, tools list, safety and so much more. Covers everything you need to have a complete shop.

You also get some Free bonus: The workshop cheat list, shows you where to get cheap supplies and tools. You also get a lifetime subscription to the deal alert service and so much more, see it for yourself here.