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Shed Building FAQ

Q: Do I need a permit to build a DIY shed?
A: In most locations, you do not need a permit to build a shed that’s less than 100 square feet (10’x10′) in area. For larger sheds, it’s always best to check with your local government to see if you need a permit or check this page.

Q: How will it cost to build my own shed?
A: It depends on the cost of living in your area, but our most recent research found that the average cost of materials is $22.85 per square foot. That means an 8’x10’ shed would cost about $1,828 (10′ x 10′ = 100 sq. ft. x $22.85 = $1,828).

Q: How long will it take to build my own shed?
A: It depends on how big the shed is and how much help you have. Our general rule of thumb is that it takes about 3 to 4 days to build an average 8’x10′ shed from start to finish. 

Q: Do I need expensive tools or heavy equipment?
A: No! You can build your own shed with a typical miter and table saw. You’ll also need basic hand tools, including a drill or cordless screw gun, a standard 7-1/4″ circular saw, and common garden tools for preparing the foundation. 

Q: Can I move my shed to another location in the future?
A: Yes — but you’ll need to install a new foundation first. Our all-wooden sheds are quite heavy, so you may need interior bracing, heavy-duty straps and a small crane or front-end loader to safely lift your shed onto a trailer for the move. Because your shed will add value to your property, it may be more cost-effective to include it in the sale and build a new one for your future property — which you’ll already know how to do!

Q: Can I install electricity in my garden shed?
A: Yes! You can run underground electrical wire in PVC pipe from your home’s main breaker box to your shed. You can also use a gas-powered generator for temporary power if you prefer.

Q: Will building a shed raise my property taxes?
A: Probably. In many states, the type of floor determines whether your shed is considered an “addition” or an “improvement.” In general, a shed with a wooden floor will raise your taxes only slightly during your next assessment.

Q: How secure will my storage shed be?
A: Very! Our plans call for pressure-treated framing and wood siding on the exterior walls. The doors are hung with heavy-duty hinges and locking hardware, so it’s quite difficult to break into. If you live in an area where heavy foot traffic or crime is a concern, a windowless design will provide even more protection.

Q: What size storage shed do I need?
A: To figure out the right size shed for your needs, take an inventory of all the items you wish to store. Start with large objects like a riding mower and calculate their footprints. For example, a 6-foot long mower with a 48-inch mower deck will require 24 square feet of floorspace. Factor in wall shelves or standing closets you plan to add, plus how much room you’ll need for tools and sporting equipment. Once you have an estimate, choose the next size up so you have room to grow.

Q: What’s the difference between your free and premium shed plans?
A: Free plans are a great place to start to learn about what goes into building a shed, and they’ll be enough for experienced builders to use as a guideline. Premium plans provide extensive detail, including a full materials list and all the tools required to build the shed. They also name each piece and give highly detailed information and directions to help first-time DIYers.

Q: What are the advantages of a lean-to shed?
A: Lean-to sheds require less roofing material and time to build. This can add up to significant savings of hundreds of dollars — not to mention the time you save on trying to figure out complex cuts on the roof rafters. All told, it’s a great choice for beginners.  

Q: Do I need a drainage system with a lean-to shed?
A: You don’t necessarily need a drainage system with a lean-to roof design, since most rainwater will run off away from the door. However, if you live in an area with plenty of rain and/or plan to use your shed regularly, a drainage system will significantly add to your comfort.