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Cheapest Way to Build a Shed

Building a shed on your own plot of land can open some exciting opportunities ahead for you!

Imagine the space you could finally have for all your garden equipment, building tools, food and water supplies, and all of those old items you can never seem to find a place for in the house.

If you can afford to do this on your property, we definitely encourage you to make a shed!

However, we understand that most of you won’t want to spend all your hard-earned money on this, so you’ll need some help.

This awesome guide will show you how to build a shed the cheapest way possible, without compromising too much on quality and choosing materials suitable for your purposes.

Follow our tips and build yourself an awesome, cheap shed!

Important note: Make sure that you can build a shed on your property, and it does not violate the building codes of your town.

This could potentially save you hundreds in the long run, so always be aware of the rules and regulations around your land.

DIY and creativity are your best helpers

For those of you with limited experience, it can be very daunting to start a project so big as building a shed – especially the DIY way! However, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out how easy it can be.

Here are some of our top initial tips, to help you build your shed the cheapest way.

Tip 1: Use the internet for advice

The goal of this article is to show you the cheapest way to build your shed, without necessarily recommending exact plans.

There’s a huge amount of plans out there though and some really good videos on YouTube, which we’d encourage you to check out.

Tip 2: Recycled goods are great for you and the environment!

Most of the materials for your shed can be bought new, but with some parts of the storage, you can use a little creativity to cheapen out the overall costs.

For example, you can look for doors, locks, and windows on eBay, local flea market, or garage sales: people usually sell them to just get rid of them.

Tip 3: Find your tools the budget way

The above also applies to all the tools you will need in this process. Always buy pre-owned tools or rent them if it is an option in your area.

These tools can be very expensive, and the vast majority of them will be useful in the future. So, if you want to invest money in them, don’t buy new. Also, why not team up with your neighbours and share the costs?

Tip 4: Create a detailed plan of your future shed

This tip is very obvious, but it is one of the most important pieces of advice we can give.

If you have a good, detailed plan, you can calculate the exact amount of materials you need to make your shed — therefore saving your money and precious time!

You would be amazed at the amount of people who do not thoroughly plan.

Tip 5: Go crazy in the sales

If you plan to build a shed in the near future, but you are not in a rush, plan your purchases around the sales time.

You can find a lot of materials, tools, and other items, normally really expensive, become a lot cheaper during sales. With a little planning, the shed will be twice or three times cheaper than usual!

Tip 6: Choose the right timings

You may think that the best time to start building your shed is whenever you ready.

Yes, this is partly true, but the season does matter. Most constructors and professionals consider spring as the best season for starting your shed project.

It is the most predictable time – it is not too cold or hot, and the rain will not affect your building processes like extensive heat or sudden snow would do, causing all kinds of complications!

Here you save your time, the most valuable thing in this world.

Tip7: Outsource when necessary

Of course, if you need some professional help with putting in electricity (if you need it in your storage) for instance, you can and should use a professional service.

The professional can be expensive, but any mistakes in this field can be even more costly in the long run.

Supplies you will need

Preparation is a key thing in every process. It can make your actual shed building path better and easier. In addition to this, you are saving a lot of time and money if you have everything prepared before the work starts.


Simple things like a hammer, varying nails, speed square, screwdriver, tape measure, and a cordless power drill with various types of bits (if you use one with a cord, make sure you have a good and long extension cord) are essential in this process.

Depending on the materials you choose, you should have a circular saw or sawhorses on hand too.

Also, prepare some brushes, roller brushes, buckets, and a stepladder to have them at hand when required.

Safety stuff

Prepare your work clothes, a couple of pairs of gloves, safety glasses, hard hats and hearing protection. Safety must come first!


Based on your building plan, create a list of paints, furniture polishes, wood preservatives, etc. to know how much money you need to spend on them.

It is also a good place to make budget cuts, so, in this case, you should remove chemicals first from your shed plan.

Deciding on the right material for your siding

Okay, so we have a solid list of items so far. It is now time to decide which is your shed’s main material. Do you want it to be a cute and small wooden storage shed, a quick and durable plastic one, or is metal your prime choice?

Shed of plastic is fantastic 

The most expensive one is a vinyl or plastic shed: it is very costly if you want to build a shed on a budget, but you may consider it a good option if you live in a harsh climate area.

It is a solid shed capable of withstanding long rains, heavy snowstorms, and heatwaves.

Almighty wood

Wooden sheds are a happy medium between plastic and metal. They are more eco-friendly, and you will feel comfortable in a wooden hut, despite the weather (it will not be too muggy or too chilly in there).

However, wood can be costly, so you might want to consider using a few tricks to reduce the shed’s overall cost.

Firstly, look for lumber yards in your area and try to ask about the cheapest options you can get.

Private lumber yards usually have better quality and they can be flexible in the price if you are buying a significant amount of wood. Spend a little time digging, and you will find the best option for you!

Also, there’s a secret option: you can build your shed entirely from pallets!

They are usually very cheap, and some companies, supermarkets, or storages throw perfectly normal pallets into the trash.

If you’re able to find some pallets, you can build a great little storage unit for all your goodies for free or with very cheaply indeed.

Just find some plywood or wooden boards for the roof, walls, and floor, and voila! The most affordable and cheapest way to build a shed.

If the wood is your choice for the shed, you should think about the walls’ exterior. You can leave it as is and have that cool rustic shed, but we recommend you paint it or cover the walls with a wood preservative.

It will help to increase the durability of your shed long term and consequently save money correcting the shed further down the road.

Full-metal shed

The last option is metal. Building a metal shed is an easy and very budget-friendly way of building a shed.

You can pay just a couple of hundreds of dollars to get all the materials you need. They’re also really easy to assemble. The downsides are that this kind of shed can be very vulnerable to heavy precipitations and high winds.

Let’s start with a foundation

It is very important to prepare an excellent foundation for your future shed. A good concrete slab will provide the needed support for your building and will increase the longevity of the shed drastically.

It is an essential part of any successful shed, so if you want to invest more in certain parts of the shed, this should be it!

The cheapest way to make a good foundation for your shed is to use skids. They are cheap, have good durability, and can be reinstalled when needed.

It is also handy that the skid foundation is very light, so if your shed should be moved anywhere else, you can do it in no time at all.

Choosing skids for your foundation can not only save you a lot of money, but it also will be a lot easier than making a standard concrete foundation.

What to put inside your shed

It is not only about the walls, roof, or foundation. The main point of building a shed is to put something in there, right?

Therefore, planning your budget to accomodate for shelves, cabinets, wall hooks, coat racks, and everything else that you need to put in your shed should be at the top of your list.

Wall hooks, coat racks, shelves and cabinets

You can buy these very cheaply in a hardware store, whereas shelves and cabinets can be a little harder to obtain at such low cost.

For these parts of your shed, we recommend you to buy ones in a thrift store, eBay, or in a garage sale. You can purchase cabinets in excellent condition for a couple of bucks and paint them to make them look better.

Another great way to make decent shelves is to use ordinary wooden boards and screw them with grommets to the wall!

It is an easy and very convenient way to use all the spare wood you have and not break the bank with your shelving. You can make them a little bit appealing to the eye by painting them, but it is up to you.

A couple of words about the roof

Just like with the walls of your shed, the success of your roof will depend on the materials you choose for it.

It can be just a plastic piece attached to your walls if you are building the plastic shed or a metal sheet if you’re going for a full-metal storage unit.

However, in most cases, you will need some structure to keep your roof in place, so you’ll need to obtain slats and rafters to make a roof frame.

As for the roof itself, you can use plyboard, wooden boards, slate, or roof shingles if you need a waterproof roof.

You even can disassemble wooden pallets and make a roof out of the boards from it. Of course, your decisions on all of these options depends on your personal requirements from the shed.


Building a shed is a wonderful adventure you can do in the comfort of your backyard and often produces a surprisingly stunning result on a first attempt!

Now, you are fully equipped with the knowledge you need to start building your shed in the cheapest way possible, so choose a plan, get out there and make it happen!

About Tom Bell

Hi - I'm Tom, the owner and founder of TheSurvivalSpirit.com! I'm a passionate outdoors enthusiast and am dedicated to bringing you the hottest online survival advice.  


The Survival Spirit is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me to invest in this website and keep producing great content!

About The Survival Spirit

TheSurvivalSpirit.com is run by survival enthusiast, Tom Bell! This website features all of the latest hints and tips on survival, prepping and the great outdoors.

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