With many of us spending even more time at home, having more space is a luxury we all daydream about. Luckily, you can easily turn this aspiration into reality.
One way to achieve this is to build your own shed. Whether you're the family handyman or completely new to construction, a do-it-yourself project such as a shed building can be intimidating. But if you have unused space in your property and are looking to have an additional workspace, building a shed from scratch could be a good idea.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to build a shed, we want to answer common questions regarding your very own office shed.
Is it cheaper to build your own shed or buy one?
So you've decided to build your own office shed. One of the first things to consider is cost. Is it cheaper to build or buy your own shed? How much does it cost to build an office shed?
In general, yes, building your own shed is less expensive. However, there are other factors to think about. Do you have the required power tools? Are you the family handyman (i.e. are you willing to invest the time for the building process?) There are several factors that might make building your own shed even more expensive than buying one like:
- As a novice, it’s likely that you’ll waste more materials from making mistakes that a trained contractor wouldn’t.
- The quality of a professionally-built shed will endure longer than building your own. This might save you money in the long run.
- Buying your own power tools is expensive. Trained contractors already have high-quality ones.
- There is the opportunity cost of your time.
The cost of a 10x10 shed versus a 12x12 one
A quick estimate between the two costs reveals that a 100 square foot would cost around $2,300 while a 144 square foot one would be around $3,000. You might find the price differential irrelevant if you're looking for more space.
What are the steps to building my own office shed?
We've come up with easy-to-follow instructions and listed all the requirements and materials you need to build your own office shed - perfect for promoting productivity while working at home.
1 - Measure the Dimensions and Clear the Space
The first task would be to level the ground and measure the perimeter on which you would want to build your shed. This process is crucial in preparing your area for a solid foundation.
2 - Prepare and Collect The Essential Supplies and Materials
The essential tools for building a shed are quite standard for any family handyman. These include necessary items such as drills, hammers, and saws. If you are missing a power tool, this might be a great excuse to purchase one as it can be used for other DIY projects.
3 - Draft up a Shed Plan
A shed plan can help you feel confident about building your shed. Whether you're looking to build a storage shed, or an office shed, there are many free shed plans available online to fit your aesthetic and style.
4 - Have a Materials List
Having a list of all the required materials can ease the build process by keeping your workspace organized. Also, knowing what exactly you need beforehand can help save you a trip to the store.
5 - Building the Foundation
A sturdy shed requires a sturdy foundation. According to building shed expert Joseph Truini, sheds need to be supported by an on-grade foundation that is at a perfect level. Concrete blocks or timbers known as skids should be able to support the floor frame.
6 - Building A Strong Floor Frame
After providing your shed with a strong foundation, it's now time to build the floor frame. This includes floor joists as well as perimeter band joists. Typically, the material for the floor is at least 3/4 in plywood. Doubling up a half-inch plywood can likewise suffice.
7 - Assemble the Walls
Use chalk lines to guide the installation of your walls. After framing your walls with 2x4 studs, screw the walls to the plywood floor.
8 - Build Your Door Frames
There are typically two types of doors used for a storage shed - sliding or hinged. Build the frames and clamp them together to make a door that is about 1 to 1-1/2" thick.
9 - Install the Windows
Mark and cut the windows, using plexiglass framed with plywood to create windows for your storage shed.
10 - Simplify the Roof
Assembling the roof can be tricky. However, making sure that roof sections are well made can simplify the process. After assembling rafters and ceiling joists into the roof trusses, you should be able to set it on top of the walls easily.
5 More Tips, Tricks, and Techniques to Building a High-Quality Shed
Beyond these steps, here are five more tips to help you with building your shed.
1 - Seek advice and support from professionals
Do you have a contractor friend who is an expert in building? If so, take advantage of their knowledge and expertise to help you with your first ever shed build.
2 - Keep Your Build Organized
An organized work area will make your life easier. Here are some tools to help you keep your build organized. Having a workbench is essential in having space where you can do manual work.
3 - Take Your Time
Building a shed doesn't need to take a lot of time. But, allotting enough hours or weekends to the project is important in building a high-quality shed. In the end, doing the job right the first time is a lot easier than trying to fix mistakes caused by rushing.
4 - Use Good Quality Materials
A shed is only as good as the materials it's built with. Choosing good and reputable brands can cost you time, energy, and effort in the long run. Durability is likewise of top priority when building a shed that is open to the different changes in weather.
5 - Make Sure You Want You Like Building
This might be obvious advice, but if you're considering this type of project, you have to like it. Building a shed requires time, effort, and commitment. If you know it's not for you, consider buying a prefabricated one instead.
5 Reasons Why it’s better to get a Prefab
Now that we've covered the steps to build a shed, you might find that you prefer a prefabricated one. After all, this type of DIY project is not for everyone.
If you're struggling to decide which option is for you, here are some reasons why a prefabricated studio might be a better fit for your needs.
1 - Prefabricated Office Can Save On Time and Labor
One advantage of buying a prefabricated studio - it's already built! Buying a prefabricated studio needs a lot less preparation unlike the alternative, which might take a lot of weeks.
You also have to consider the value of your time. Buying a prefabricated studio can definitely save you a lot of work and time, which you might opt to use relaxing.
2 - A Professionally Built Shed Is Irreplaceable
If this is the first time you're doing this kind of project, the learning curve might be steep. On the other hand, professionals have extensive expertise in sheds and prefabrication.
As such, you can skip all the stress of figuring out where to put the doors or which materials to use. A professional design is not only better to look at, but it's also better to live in!
3 - Cut Down on Construction Waste
You don't need to be a tree-hugger to make this a consideration. As with any new endeavor, novices tend to use more supplies and materials than professionals. Beyond being good to the environment, buying a pre-built shed would cut down on waste. And cutting down waste means cutting down costs.
4 - No Surprises on Prefabricated Backyard Sheds
If you don't know much about construction, then this project might be very unpredictable and stressful. Unlike building your own, buying a prefabricated shed means that you know what you're getting.
Since it comes at a fixed price, there are no surprises from errors on-site, no mistakes, no contractors, and no need to supervise a team of people (if you're not doing it solo).
5 - Office Shed Is Not Habitable
The biggest difference between constructing and buying your own shed is livability. Simply put, most DIY sheds are for storage instead of dwelling.
Since the price of a shed is $20k plus cheaper than a prefab office studio, you might wonder why a prefab studio is so much more expensive. The answer is that the shed isn't habitable. This means that there is no insulation, no electricity, and no air-conditioning units.
Insulating a shed, retrofitting it with electricity, and even furnishing it with an ACU can quickly ramp up the costs. As such, in this regard, buying a shed would be a much better idea than building one.
While building your own office shed is great, you can do so much more with a prefabricated office model. From relaxing in a quiet she shed, being productive in a backyard office, to even living in a primary home, prefab studios are a great alternative and have many advantages than starting from scratch with your own shed. Check out our collections to find one that suits your needs.