The estimated cost to build a new shed on your property can range from $17 to $24 per square foot for new shed construction, or from $1,500 to $15,000 for a completed project. Costs can vary based on whether you get original construction or purchase a prefab kit and hire a pro to build it for you.
Adding a shed is one way to expand a residential or commercial space. It’s a small home improvement project that can make a huge difference in how it feels to work and relax in your yard. Imagine having all your garden tools easily accessible in a small metal shed near the garden, or all the bicycles that clutter up your garage tucked into a large storage shed in the yard.
While many homeowners have basic carpentry skills for small DIY projects, even a basic wood shed or simple lean-to starts getting complicated. Use this guide to help determine whether you should build a new shed or use a kit, and learn how to calculate your project costs.
What’s in this cost guide?
Backyard shed options
Sheds have traditionally been used to store items such as gardening tools, lawn mowing equipment, other tools, or bikes and outdoor toys, as well as for use as auxiliary home storage space. A small wood shed in the backyard or a large shed strategically placed on the property can be a very helpful outdoor storage space for all those belongings that don’t belong, or fit, in the garage or inside the house.
You can also build a shed to use as a workshop or private backyard office. Sheds can have wood, steel, aluminum or vinyl siding. A shed can be a simple bare wood structure, or it can have electrical wiring and plumbing so it feels like a tiny house. Added windows provide natural light, and drywall and insulation keep out the cold. A shed addition can even be designed to match the style of a house for a cohesive look.
How to calculate the cost of building a shed
Like many construction projects, the cost of shed construction is usually calculated by the square foot. Contractors calculate the labor costs and building materials needed, plus their business overhead and other factors such as travel, to determine the cost per square foot of the project. That figure is then multiplied by the square feet laid out in the shed plans to come up with the total cost.
It’s helpful to have an idea of the basic design and shed material you’re imagining when you ask for cost estimates. A variety of factors affect the amount and type of labor needed and the type of materials required. Special features like a custom door installation or gambrel roof (with two slopes on each side) will also affect your cost.
Here are some examples of how GFC Restoration in Charlotte, North Carolina, breaks down costs per square foot:
- New shed construction: $17 – $24 per square foot. Variables include the following:
- Type of foundation: Stacked blocks, concrete footers, or a slab
- Number of windows or doors
- Electrical wiring
- Type of siding: Wood, vinyl or metal
- Type of venting: Individual wall vents or continuous soffit vents
- Type of roof structure: Gable or barn-style, done in shingles or metal
- Slope of the yard: Yards with a greater slope require more leveling and foundation work, adding to the cost
- An 8-foot by 12-foot shed cost $2,050: $1,150 for materials and $900 for labor. The project consisted of:
- A wood-framed shed on 4x4 runners laid on top of stacked block
- Siding and roofing with galvalume metal panels
- Soffit vents, one window, and one door
- Finely finished commercial-style gray trim
- 12-foot by 28-foot shed cost $8,200: $3,500 for materials and $4,700 for labor. The project consisted of:
- A wood-framed shed on concrete footers with a 2x8 floor system
- Wood siding and barn-style shingle roof to match the adjacent home, plus a lean-to with a metal roof attached to the back
- An electrical system to supply power to a refrigerator, lights, power receptacles and a window AC unit
- Two windows, a metal entry door on one end, and double-hinged barn doors on the other end
- Blue paint with white trim to look like a tiny house from the front
Here’s another project example of a shed built by Nathan Laurenson of Renovations Your Way in Slidell, Louisiana:
- A 15-foot by 30-foot shed: $15,000, including labor and materials. The project was built by four builders working for nine full days and consisted of:
- A two-story shed built on a concrete slab behind a double duplex building
- Washroom on the ground floor, attic space on the second floor
- HardiePlank siding
- Plumbing and electric
- Two doors and four windows
Should I consider prefab shed kit assembly?
Some homeowners prefer to buy a prefabricated shed kit instead of constructing a custom shed. These shed kits contain everything needed to put the shed together, including the roof, siding and framing.
In these cases, costs depend on the cost of the kit and the cost of labor for assembling the kit when you hire a pro. GFC Restoration shares an example of a shed built from a kit:
- An 8-foot by 10-foot shed built from a kit cost $2,900: $1,400 for the shed kit, $250 for additional shingles and hinges, and $1,250 for labor. The project consisted of:
- Wood frame shed built on 4x4 runners on a stacked-block foundation
- Wood siding and a single-sloped shingled roof
- One transom window over double-hinged barn doors on the front
- Gray paint with white trim; doors painted to match the trim
How to hire a pro
If you need a pro to either build you a new shed or help you assemble a shed kit, take these steps:
Step 1: Compare nearby pros online.
Look up top pros in your area to see what your options are. You might decide to work with a general contractor or a construction company, depending on the ratings you see.
Step 2: Look at past photos and reviews.
Spend some time reading the reviews for the top pros in your area. Look for signs that indicate the pros you're seriously considering are professional, they show up on time, they work quickly and their shed construction prices are fair.
You should also look at photos of sheds the pros have built in the past. If you can't find photos on the pros' profiles or in the customer reviews, ask the pro to send you photos so you can get a sense of their quality of work.
Step 3: Ask for free estimates.
Before you hire a pro, you need to know how much building a shed is going to cost you. Ask the pros to send you free estimates and quotes. But in order for them to do this, you need to give them as much information about your project as possible, including the size of the shed, the material you want and how quickly you need it built.
After you've gathered quotes from three to five different pros, choose the one that fits your budget but still has a solid reputation and good quality of work.