Is A Prefab Shed Cheaper Than A Building?

Is A Prefab Shed Cheaper Than A Building?

The idea of having a shed and finally owning a shed has a wide gap in between. How well you fill the gap will determine how well you have executed the plan of owning a shed. One block of that gap is to decide whether you should go for a prefab shed or build one. 

In monetary terms, a prefab shed is quite more expensive than a building. On average, a prefab shed costs 40% more than building a shed. A prefab shed saves you time and money but takes away your creative control to design and execute the shed as you wanted. 

If you are a tad bit confused about what route you should go for concerning shed, keep reading this article to learn whether cheaper is better or not. 

Is A Prefab Shed Cheaper Than a Building?

Generally, building a shed is cheaper than a prefab shed. Of course, there are lots of hassle and lengthy procedures to primarily build a shed from scratch. The cost will significantly reduce if you own the power tools and can build the shed by yourself without any help from workers. 

A prefab shed certainly saves time and effort. You don’t have to worry about individual costs. All you need to do is select the design, choose the material, and have them delivered. You can either attach the components yourself or ask for help. 

Since the company selling prefab sheds is doing almost everything for you, you need to pay them a lot more than building by yourself. However, this doesn’t always have to be right. If you build the shed with very expensive material or the labor charge is very high, the scenario can be turned upside down. 

Cost Comparison: Buying Vs Building 

Why a prefab shed is more expensive when all you need to purchase is the components of the shed only? Whereas in an on-site building, you need to purchase each and every item separately and need to hire professionals to prepare and attach them. Let’s break down and compare both of the costs that affect the overall budget.  

Is A Prefab Shed Cheaper Than A Building?

1. Cost Of Materials 

The material for the shed doesn’t have any uniformity or universality. You can opt for any construction material for your shed as per your choice. The cost of the material is the primary expanse of the whole budget for a shed. If you want a cheaper material the overall budget will be cheaper as well. 

Let’s talk about one of the most expensive core materials for a shed. A wooden shed is quite common and pricier than vinyl and plastic. For a wooden shed built on-site from scratch, you will need wall framing, a wooden door, floor joists, a plywood flat roof, and plywood siding. 

Depending on the size of the shed, the total cost of the material of a wooden shed will be around $600. Including the labor and delivery and other costs, it may rise to $1,500. What for the prefab shed? 

A prefab shed material comes as a kit and costs around $1,780. Although the kit includes every item necessary such as rafters, wall cladding, and wall framing but doesn’t include a delivery charge or installation cost. Even the material cost of a prefab shed is bigger than the overall cost of an on-site built shed. 

2. Labor Costs 

Labor costs will depend on the local laws, how many workers you hire, and their charges and policies. If you are handy with construction work and don’t require another helping hand, your labor cost will plummet to zero. Although considering your valuable time, the cost of the time should be adjusted by you. 

If you hire a professional to build a shed from scratch, the labor cost will be around $400 or $500. If you provide all the power tools their charges should drop too. However, the actual charge of labor will depend on the overall square foot dimension of the shed. 

When you buy a pre-built shed, you can even either contact the vendor about installing it at your home or hire individual installers. Depending on the providers, this service can cost you from $100 to $250.

For a prefab shed, it is better you take the professional service route, as the pre-built shed comes in different components and only the professionals know about their way of attaching and creating the shed. 

3. Delivery Costs 

It may seem quite insignificant, but conveyance charges can be a sore spot on your budget for a shed. When you build a shed, you can purchase all the required materials from any local shop relating to construction and fixture and immediately take them will you in your truck. 

Whereas, when you buy a shed, you can’t immediately take the shed and install it on the spot. You need to make a payment and the vendor, for a delivery charge, will deliver the shed in components for you. Normally, these sorts of charges can be around $300. 

4. Fixing Kits, Planning, and Others 

When you build your own shed, you are in charge of the final design and execution. So, there is basically no cost for design and planning for building a shed on-spot. Whereas a prefab shed needs a thorough design and planning. 

As the shed will be prepared off-site, away from the spot, there must be accuracy in every inch of that design. There are some free shed planners that offer shed designs free of cost, but their details and dedication are limited. 

If you want a proper design concerning your own location and idea, such planning can cost you $300. Either the vendor company will design and create it, or you can hire an individual planner who can create a design for you as you wish, and the vendor will create it as per the design. 

Does Pricier Mean Better? 

A prefab shed is comparatively more expensive and costly than building on-site. But does it mean it is better than the built shed? Each of the sheds has pros and cons of its own and you can’t really draw a conclusion on what’s the best. Rather we need to find out which one suits you the best. 

Let’s do a comparative analysis and see which type of shed is best for you. 

1. Lifespan 

At the race of life expectancy, the built-on-site sheds win with the highest strake. A well-made shed can last for generations, almost 80 years. With proper care and maintenance, these sheds can be handed over to the next generations.

Prefab shed, on the contrary, doesn’t look that promising compared to the other kind. Most vendors offer 20 years of lifespan for the prefab sheds. Due to the fast construction and easy application, durability and lifespan are often ignored in prefab sheds. If your want of a shed is transient and momentary, it is better to settle for a prefab shed. 

Is A Prefab Shed Cheaper Than A Building?

2. Warranty 

When you build a shed on spot, there is no warranty for the structure. Vendors may provide a warranty for particular components, but the overall structure doesn’t fall under the category of any warranty.

Since the shed on-site is manually built, it is absurd to fetch any warranty for this. On the other hand, a prefab shed has a warranty of around 10 years. If the shed faces any issues, you can retrieve the warranty agreement and mend the issue for free. 

3. Time Cost

Time is a valuable asset that nobody acknowledges. But you should. Ask yourself. How immediate your need for a shed is? Because building a shed can cost you two weeks, even more, if the material is wood. But, a prefab shed can be delivered and installed within six hours. 

4. Maintenance 

Overall maintenance is a huge issue for a shed. Since it is located outside the home and surrounding nature, both types of shed require proper maintenance. However, a prefab shed is low-maintenance compared to the other one. A built shed can be prone to pests and molds if the material is not premium. 

Should You Buy Or Build A Shed For The Office? 

If your primary idea of the shed is to use it as an office, you should set for the prefab one. They are a bit pricier but also have a lot of perks. As you want to use that as an office, you don’t want to spend too much time and money on maintaining the shed. 

Also, they are easily detachable. So, when you retire and don’t want a shed anymore, you can easily collapse the structure and resell it. However, make sure that the shed is capable to serve your purpose wholly. 

Final Words 

 In the world of sheds, you should not focus only on what costs less. Rather, you must consider whether that particular shed will serve your purpose right or not. If you are a bit foggy about the costs and budget of a shed, I implore you to read How Much Does It Cost To Turn A Shed Into An Office? this article. 

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