The Tiny house Blog

Why Is Shed So Expensive?

Updated on:
December 12, 2023
tiny house shed

Photo by Tom Byrom on Unsplash

Shed construction is a considerable investment for your tiny house that goes beyond the surface. While it may seem simple outdoor structures, they are housing plenty of hidden costs within their walls. The eventual price depends on various factors, such as construction materials and labor costs. Often, your choice in these areas significantly contributes to the final price you're dealing with.

This article aims to dissect these costs and give a better understanding of the price behind the shed you are investing in. Read on to understand the intricacies regarding construction expenses and why it can indeed be pretty costly.

Construction Materials

The cost of building materials can make up a significant portion of your expenses. Commonly, wood is the primary material used, thus affecting the expenses of this type of construction. However, the price of wood varies widely depending on its quality, source, and market demand.

Moreover, additional materials such as nails, screws, roof shingles, and other hardware also add up. Considering the vast range of hardware available in the market, the choices made regarding these aspects can significantly influence the cost.

Shed Size Impact on Price

The laws of economics apply to building, too as size goes up, so does the cost. A larger one demands more materials and more labor hours hence driving up the costs associated with its construction. However, bigger does not always mean costlier in the long run, as you'll discover in later sections.

Size isn't just about the area it covers; it's also about the height. Taller ones require more materials, require a stronger foundation and may also call for specific permit costs.

Custom vs. Pre Made

Custom designs are typically higher in cost as compared to pre-made ones. Bought off the rack, pre-made costs are relatively cheaper as they are mass produced which reduces manufacturing costs. A custom, on the other hand, involves craftsmanship, allowing you to choose styles, sizes, custom features translating to additional costs.

tiny house shed construction
Photo by Aubrey Odom on Unsplash

Aspects of Pricing

Quality of Woods

Quality is a factor that you can never compromise on. High quality wood not only lasts longer but is also more resistant to weather elements, insects, and fungus. However, high quality wood is expensive and hence affects the total expenses.

In a nutshell, considering the quality of wood implies a commitment to a higher initial investment, promising longevity and durability taking care of your maintenance costs in the long run.

The Added Costs of Maintaining Temperature

If you plan on using it throughout the year in your tiny house, insulation is critical. Insulated ones not only provide protection against weather fluctuations but also significantly reduce associated maintenance costs.

However, the upfront insulation costs can seem pretty steep. The type of insulation you choose whether spray foam, fiberglass, or reflective insulation also has an influence on the overall cost.

Foundation Costs

The foundation is the priority when it comes to ensuring its stability, longevity and preventing water damages. However, building a durable foundation can significantly add up to your installation services' expenses.

The cost can vary based on what type of foundation you opt for whether it's a wooden foundation, a concrete slab, concrete blocks, or gravel. Further, the ground's condition may influence the type and cost of the foundation that needs to be built.

Permits and Their Effect on Pricing

To build a new one, you may need to get a permit in some regions. The cost of a permit is something a lot of people forget to account for when budgeting but it can cause unexpected surprises in the total price.

These permits often carry a fee depending on the size, location, and local regulations of the area you live in. Furthermore, your location can also influence the material costs, labor costs, and even the need for insulation, thus impacting location factors.

Additional Costs

Custom Designs and their Costs

A customer oriented market offers endless customization options. Everything, from doors, windows, the color of the paint, to interiors, can be customized. You can add partition walls, shelves, a loft, or a playhouse for your kids!

However, each addition calls for additional materials, more labor, increased time, and precise craftsmanship. Each of these factors adds up to the final cost of a custom design.

Roofing Costs

Numerous options can be chosen for roofing. High quality shingles, metal roofing, or cedar shakes can offer an aesthetically pleasing roof that lasts longer. However, the type of roofing material chosen can swing the building cost significantly.

Furthermore, the roof design– whether gable, saltbox, or gambrel, also factors in on the cost. Understandably, more complex designs involve more craftsmanship and detailed labor and more materials, thus being more expensive.

Interior Finishing

Most people tend to overlook the interior, but it can be a significant contributor to your pricing. Interior finishing can range from basic plywood to drywall, from standard flooring to finished hardwood; there are many ways you can design it.

Moreover, if you decide to set up utilities such as electricity or water supply, it would further add to the cost. Thus, the choice of interior finishing and utilities has a significant role in determining the final cost.

Market Factors

Market Demand and its Consequences

The demand and supply mechanics of the market also play a role in the pricing. For instance, a surge in demand can potentially increase the price of raw materials.

On the other hand, a mass produced, popular pre-made design will have lower costs due to the economy of scale. Also, as new players venture into the building industry, they may offer competitive prices to penetrate the markets, thus impacting the overall prices.

Outdoor Structure Costs

To provide perspective on understanding the pricing, let's compare it with other outdoor structures. For instance, a basic outdoor pergola or a gazebo can also range in the thousands, depending upon the size, material, and customisations.

In comparison, given the functionality and utility it provides, they may not seem as extravagant when considered objectively.

The Hidden Factor in Storage Costs

If you are purchasing a pre-made shed or a DIY kit, remember to factor in the freight charges. Shipping and delivery charges can sometimes surprise you with their impact on the total cost, especially for the oversized structures that need specialist equipment for safe transport.

Resale Value

When taking costs into account, remember to think about the possible resale value. A well maintained and high quality shed can add significant value to your property. Consider it an investment, not just an expenditure!

This way, you balance out the high initial costs against enhanced resale potential, thus finding economical sense in the upscale pricing of sheds.

tiny house shed window
Photo by From Marwool on Unsplash

Other Hidden Costs

The Lifetime Costs

The overall cost isn't simply the sum of its construction or purchase cost. The lifespan of your shed, or its longevity, also counts. A cheaper option with a shorter lifespan might end up costing more than a well built one that lasts longer and requires lesser maintenance.

Further, investing in a warranty can thus be a wise choice that protects against wear and tear and unexpected repair costs, ensuring its longevity.

Customization Options and their Impact on Cost

Everyone's needs can be different, and hence, the customization options chosen, inevitably sway the cost. They reflect individual choices and convenience needs relative to the planned usage, and therefore, depending on the unique requirements and personal tastes, these customization options can substantially dictate the final price.

Choosing a Professional Build

While DIY might save you some money initially, opting for professional building services ensures quality outcomes and potentially better durability. Hiring a professional team might add to the cost, but they would take care of everything from foundation to installation services, ensuring a robust and long lasting shed.

Building or buying a basic garden can be a more affordable alternative if you are starting off your gardening hobby or need additional outdoor storage. Sizes, construction materials, and customization also influence their prices, but compared to full scale ones, they can be pockets friendly.


As you might have realized by now, several factors can make sheds in your tiny home pretty expensive. From building materials to size, from design customizations to professional costs, each influences the final price in unique ways.

The decision, in the end, boils down to what you're looking for. If you need a simple storage space for your gardening tools, no frills, basic ones should suffice. But if you're looking for a dedicated workspace, recreational spot or guest house, a better outfitted, costlier build might become a necessity.

So, go on, make your choices, and remember a shed is not just an expense, it's an investment!

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