Have you decided to build a garden shed yourself? That's a great thing to do but you need to plan it well. Many people start full of enthusiasm but soon give up because they lack planning and experience. Building a shed is not hard at all, you just need to estimate your skills well before rushing into the actual work.
Based on your experience in do-it-yourself projects – wood or metal working, slicing, snapping, cutting out and reading sketches – you have two options: to buy ready plans and construct your shed from scratch using them as a guide or to buy a shed kit. Which is better for you? Consider the following criteria:
Advantages of using shed kits
Building your shed from a kit is easy. With a good kit an averagely complex shed can be built together in just a day or two. It's really not a rocket science.
It's also fool proof. When you have all the parts cut out and sliced you just can not go wrong. Yes, you can probably put some parts at the wrong places (but you do not read the instructions) but it's very easy to realize the mistake and fix it.
Another advantage is that the kits are serially manufactured. Each kit has been sold, built, tested, fixed and proven itself many times. Often you can research online for the kit model you plan to buy and find opinions of people who have used it to build their sheds.
Disadvantages of using shed kits
The shed kits are not cheap. The price of the more complex quality kits extends several thousand dollars per piece.
As every physical product, the shed kits have a logistics problem. If you want to buy the kit from your local store, they'll probably have too few models in place and you'll have to wait for delivery. If you purchase online, you'll have to pay for shipping and wait again.
Building a shed from a kit limits your creativity. You can not change the plan, you can not change the material, sometimes you can not even change the paint. That's fine for some people, but if you are a real do-it-yourself fan you may want more freedom.
Advantages of building from scratch or with plans only
You can buy downloadable shed plans only for $ 5 to $ 30. If you want to buy printed plans (from local store near you) it may probably cost you up to $ 50. The materials add to the figures but it's almost sure that you'll build a shed cheaper this way rather than purchasing a kit.
The shed plans that are sold online can be downloaded instantly or at the worst case you'll have to wait a few hours until the seller sends them by mail. It's much faster than waiting a couple of weeks for your kit to arrive.
Working with plans gives you more freedom. The plans of course contain exact instructions and measurements, but if you are knowledgeable you could easily make improvements and customizations to them before you start cutting. You can even choose the most preferred material yourself.
Disadvantages of building from scratch
Of course building a shed yourself, by using only a shed plan, is much harder. You need to have good skills and experience in doing things yourself.
It also takes longer to do it this way. Some complex sheds may take more than a week of hard work to get them done well.
Finally, there are many better opportunities to do the things wrong and waste materials. If you confuse the measurements you can waste an entire wall or floor from your shed.
There is no better or worse option, it all depends on your preferences and goals. If you are die-hard do-it-yourself fan or are very short in money you'll probably want to build with plans only. If you just want to have a shed done at reasonable price, then a kit is what you need.