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Old 10-25-2011, 07:51 AM   #1
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Storage Shed - Buy or Build


I have been looking at Lowe's wood storage sheds. Now, admittedly, they are kind of pricey, but I would imagine they would go up pretty fast. So I am weighing buying a "prefab" or buying the materials and building myself.

If you bought a prefab, what has your opinion been? Would you do it again or build from scratch? If you've built from scratch (looking to build a 10x12 or so on this end), was it a nightmare?

I have reasonable carpentry skills and a book with some plans.

Kind of general, I know, but looking for generalized feedback!

Thanks.

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Old 10-25-2011, 08:29 AM   #2
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Storage Shed - Buy or Build


Whether it's a nightmare to build your own will depend a lot on the design you choose. A shed roof is pretty simle to make. It gets more intricate with gable and gambrel setups.
It's a pretty straight forward project. Just be aware of any setback rules in your area as well as taxable concerns based on the build. Some locales, like mine, require a permit.

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Old 10-25-2011, 12:07 PM   #3
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I have always looked at it like this, whatever money I save by doing it myself I spend on tools I need(want), that's what I tell my wife.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:45 PM   #4
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The only "prefab" shed I'd buy is the "forever shed" or whatever they call it. Basically it's a fancy term for plastic and the reason is that when I move I can take it down in an hour and bring it with me.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:56 PM   #5
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I guess it depends on your needs and your comfort level with building. A pre-fab shed will travel with you to your next house more easily than a home-made one.

I had kind of an unusual space to put extra storage along my house (and on top of the wider part of my driveway), so building my own was pretty much the only way to go.

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Old 10-25-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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Jack,nice job!
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:14 PM   #7
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I have always looked at it like this, whatever money I save by doing it myself I spend on tools I need(want), that's what I tell my wife.
Ain't that the truth, lol!
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:22 PM   #8
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Build it yourself. You can probably double your square footage for the same price. Also my theory is, never build a shed to the minimal size you can live with, cause it's never enough. Added another 25% at least you'll thank yourself later.

I'm not a professional., But I did stay at Holiday Inn Express last night.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:41 AM   #9
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I had zero carpentry skills and tools, so I bought the prefab "stratford" model 12x8 from Lowes. For me the biggest challenge was digging/leveling the footings for winter frost heave. Other than having two 7 yr olds hold up the long wall while I drilled it in (I used screws rather than the provided nails) I did the whole thing myself. ( small woman).

So far its gone through a winter and lots of high wind storms and it has held up well and looks great. I'd do it again
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:28 AM   #10
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I say build it from scratch. I did my own build with supplies purchased at home depot, a couple new and a couple borrowed tools. 12'x10' and 14' tall with a gable roof. This thing is SOLID.

I spent about $1500 after you factor in the tools I bought (two new saws, some blades, a level, etc.) and the exterior trim work I did to make it look nice.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougp23 View Post
I have been looking at Lowe's wood storage sheds. Now, admittedly, they are kind of pricey, but I would imagine they would go up pretty fast. So I am weighing buying a "prefab" or buying the materials and building myself.

If you bought a prefab, what has your opinion been? Would you do it again or build from scratch? If you've built from scratch (looking to build a 10x12 or so on this end), was it a nightmare?

I have reasonable carpentry skills and a book with some plans.

Kind of general, I know, but looking for generalized feedback!

Thanks.
I built an 8x12 from scratch a couple years ago. Put it on a concrete slab that was under a 20x50 Carriage House that had long-since gone bye-bye.

I have a total of about $850 in the shed, and would build from scratch again before I'd buy a pre-fab. My reasons are:
1. I would have had to take down part of my fence to bring a pre-built one in.
2. I built what I wanted, which included a 3' overhand on one side, under which I stack wood.
3. I used better materials than are used in most pre-fabbed sheds. For instance, I used 7/16th sheeting UNDER the siding, rather than using the siding as the sheeting. I also used higher-end shake-type shingles.


This is a picture of the shed, before I put the doors on. I'm satisfied.

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Old 10-28-2011, 03:56 PM   #12
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Storage Shed - Buy or Build


That's a sweet shed! What type of door did you put in? Rollup?
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:33 PM   #13
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That's a sweet shed! What type of door did you put in? Rollup?
Thanks!

I bought a used 6x6 steel garage door, got it about 90% installed, and admitted that there simply wouldn't be enough clearance without cutting into rafters. So I pulled it out, sold it, and installed regular swing-out doors. I wish I had a picture of it with the doors on, but I don't.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:13 PM   #14
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if you have some basic framing skills you should build it from scratch. i did a price comparison between the kits at home depot and building from scratch 3 years ago when i built my tool shed. it was about $400 cheaper to frame and roof my shed thats 10x10 plus 3 x stronger than the 8x10 shed kit at hd or any similar big box.

the big box kits are normally just 2x3 that are 24 " o.c , i went 2x4 16" o.c

the only thing that made the final price more expensive was the fact i used cedar shingles for the siding compared to vinyl
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:52 PM   #15
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I bought a 10x14 pre-fab that was built by the Amish in PA and delivered to my lot after I prepared the site for it to sit upon. The pavers and wall blocks show in the photo were extras left over from a patio I had built several years ago. The shed cost, including the garage door, was about $3,000 which I thought was reasonable since it's very well built. Studs and rafters are on 16" centers and floor joists are pressure treated and on 12" center. I had originally balked at the idea of a wooden floor, but it would have been very hard to get a transit-mix truck to the site where I put it, and I thought mixing that much concrete would be too much for this 79 year old.
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Last edited by LarryF; 11-01-2011 at 08:55 PM.
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