Constructing or purchasing a garden shed is often an exciting prospect for many homeowners in the UK. A shed is not only a useful storage space but can also be used as a workshop, office, or even a cosy retreat. However, one of the most important questions homeowners face is whether it's more cost-effective to build a shed from scratch or buy a pre-made one. In this blog post, we'll explore the factors that can influence your decision, some helpful tips and insights, and whether a self-build or store-bought shed will be the better choice for you.

Understanding the Cost Components of a Shed

When considering whether to build or buy a shed, it's essential to understand the main cost components involved in either option. These include:

Material Costs

Whether you decide to build or buy, the materials used for your shed will play a significant role in the overall cost. Typical shed materials include timber, metal and plastic. Each material has its advantages and drawbacks, affecting the cost and durability of the shed. For instance, wooden sheds are typically more expensive than metal or plastic sheds but offer better insulation and natural aesthetic appeal.

Labour Costs

Building a shed from scratch typically involves more labour than assembling a pre-made one. Depending on the complexity and size of your shed, you may need to hire additional help, adding to the overall cost. However, if you're a DIY enthusiast, you could save on labour costs by building the shed yourself.

Planning Permission & Associated Costs

Before starting any construction project in the UK, it's crucial to check if you require planning permission. While most sheds are considered "permitted development" and don't require permission, there are exceptions, especially if the shed will be large or positioned close to a boundary. It's essential to research the specific requirements for your area, as fees for planning applications can add to the cost of building a shed.

2. DIY Shed: Pros and Cons

So, what are the benefits and drawbacks of building your own shed? Let's look at some of the factors that may influence your decision.

Advantages of a DIY Shed

  • Cost savings: Building your shed may result in substantial savings if you have access to affordable, quality materials and are willing to put in the labour. Moreover, designing and constructing your own shed allows you to make informed decisions about material quality and, ultimately, control the cost.
  • Customisation and flexibility: As the builder and designer, you have complete control over the size, design and features of your shed, tailoring it to suit your specific needs and preferences.
  • Feeling of accomplishment: There is a sense of satisfaction and pride that comes with completing a hands-on building project. Constructing your shed can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Disadvantages of a DIY Shed

  • Time commitment: Completing a DIY shed project requires dedication and time, often taking longer to finish than expected. Balancing the project with other commitments can sometimes be challenging.
  • Construction mistakes: Constructing your shed can be complicated, and mistakes in the building process can lead to increased costs and potential structural issues.
  • Limited warranties: DIY sheds typically offer limited warranties compared to pre-manufactured options, leaving you with less recourse should anything go wrong.