Outdoor Sheds DIY: Is It for You?

Outdoor Sheds Do It Yourself

Many potential shed buyers have asked the question, “Should I build an outdoor shed for myself”? The reasons for wanting to “do it yourself” are varied but usually include trying to save some money and wanting the life experience. While these may be good reasons, there are also other factors that may make the DIY method less appealing. We will now take some time to explore the pros of cons of building a wood storage shed or portable cabin yourself.

One benefit of choosing to build your own outdoor shed is that it can provide an opportunity to work together with friends and family. Building a shed together can result in more than a storage building at the end of the day; it can also result in stronger relationships and valuable shared memories. In an age of virtual relationships, physically working together and sharing a common end goal can set the stage for deepening relationships and creating lasting bonds of friendship.

A negative factor is that many of us don’t have a lot of extra time on our hands. Building a quality outdoor shed is usually more than a one day project for inexperienced hands. Will taking on another large project only make you feel more exhausted? Are there other things you should be doing that will make you feel more invigorated?

Many people assume that building a shed themselves will save them money. In most cases this is correct but the amount of money that is saved is often less than expected. One reason for this is that shed manufacturers can buy materials in large quantities, meaning that they have access to materials at a lower cost than the “do it yourself” shed builder.

When attempting to calculate the cost in order to compare with portable buildings prices, remember that the final cost is usually pushed higher than expected by the “little things”. Materials such as door hardware, corner trim, and fasteners often seem insignificant but when combined can contribute significantly to the overall cost of a project. And don't forget to figure in the cost of building a shed base. Before you get started with your project it would be wise to get an all inclusive quote from a builder to see what a completed building would cost. Our blog posts on modular garage prices and garage space for rent may also be helpful if your thinking about building a garage.

Also important to remember is that all materials will need to be delivered to the building site. Is your vehicle capable of handling large pieces of lumber? You may need to travel to several different suppliers to find the materials that you need. This all takes time and fuel and adds to the overall cost of the project. And large, unwieldy pieces of lumber can damage a vehicle that wasn’t designed to carry such things.

And while we’re still on the subject of cost, it has been said that “time is money”. For the sake of comparison, let’s say that a 10x12 shed requires 10 hours of skilled labor to complete. The average inexperienced shed builder (who doesn’t have the advantage of specialty tools and an efficient production setup) would probably require 40 hours to complete the same project. That includes time spent purchasing materials, cleaning up, etc. That means that the cost of labor would be 4 times higher for a “do it yourself” mini barn than one that is delivered ready to go.

By now we can see that the savings acquired through DIY may be rather insignificant. Add that to an increase in the risk of construction flaws in the final product due to inexperience and DIY suddenly becomes less appealing.

But before you just throw the notion to build a shed or pre built cabin for yourself out the door remember that a small number of construction savvy homeowners may still be better off going that direction. If you:

  • value relationships more than money and you feel that working together with someone may be a good way to build a relationship
  • want the satisfaction of a job well done at the end of the day
  • want to add a very personal touch to your shed
  • just enjoy getting out and working with your hands
  • have some extra time on your hands

then a DIY shed building project may be a good fit for you!

And if you get stuck and decide to scrap the project, remember that the experts at Gold Star Buildings are standing by, ready to fill in where your expertise ends!

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