Build a Shed from Scratch or Kit

Here are some tips to help you decide which way to build a shed;  From scratch or from a kit

If you plan to build a garden shed from scratch, it’s not that difficult and it can be lots of fun.
It involves finding a set of plans, selecting and buying the materials, and then measuring,cutting  and fastening the pieces together to form a building.  Well, it’s not quite that simple, but still quite easy if you follow a good set of plans.

Some people might find it easier to simply purchase a shed kit, which comes with all the plans and pieces ready to put together. There are a number of different designs and sizes available in steel,vinyl, and wood.  Some are quite easy to assemble and others may require more skills.

How to decide which way to go means doing quite a bit of research. That’s what I did when I build my garden shed from scratch over ten years ago.  It replaced a small rusty, thirty rear old steel shed.  Vinyl or plastic sheds were just coming on the market at the turn of the century and I almost bought one, but then decided to build a wooden shed from scratch.  Being in a city, I thought it just looked better, and the cost was about the same.

After looking at a number of wooden sheds on display that were build from kits, I thought they looked rather cheaply made, and some after being outside for several years had sagging roof sheeting between rafters. Therefore, I wanted to select my own materials and build a stronger shed. So I opted to draw up my own plan and build a garden shed from scratch.

Here are some of the pro’s and con’s of building a garden shed from scratch vs.from a kit.

From Kits; The pro’s

1. It can be easy to build.  The detailed instructions and all the materials come with the kit
to make assembling easy and efficient.  If you don’t have the time to do the job yourself and
have to pay someone else to build it for you, the kits can be an overall cost saving.

2. The shed kits can be erected quickly because most of the materials are cut or made to size so that all the pieces fit together accurately. The vinyl and steel sheds come with interlocking side and roof panels making the job quite simple.

3. In recent years many new and interesting designs have become available to choose from.  Some of the vinyl sheds come with clear panels to make skylights and windows. Most of the vinyl sheds actually look quite attractive.

The con’s;

1. The wooden shed kits often use lower cost materials and wider stud and rafter spacing than what you would find in a set of blueprints from most shed plans, and therefore may not look as well build.

2. With shed kits you have little choice of materials used. This is probably good enough for
many sheds. But if the garden shed is close to your house or in an up-scale neighbourhood,  You may want to use better materials and a more attractive looking shed.

From scratch;  The pro’s;

1. This can be the cheapest way to build, particularly, if you build it yourself.  You can be very selective over the choice of materials and even buy some good used studs at a fraction of the cost if available. It is also easier to make slight design changes if building from scratch.

2. There are a huge variety of plans available on the internet that can be downloaded as a
bundle to your computer and may have between one and two hundred different shed plans to choose from. You can browse over the different plans, select your favourite one, print out the instructions and blueprints, and get to work.

The con’s;

1. It will take a little longer to build the shed, but if you have the time, it’s well worth it.

2. A few more skills may be required, but with a little effort and ingenuity you should have
very little difficulty.  If you are deciding whether to build a garden shed from scratch or kit, it be a great advantage to buy and download the bundle of shed and woodworking plans available from several sources on the internet.  It can give you a wide range of ideas during the planning stage, even if your final choice is a shed kit.

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  1. Pingback: Is Building a Garden Shed on Your List? | Shed Plans and Woodworking Projects

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