Last Updated Sep 14, 2018 · Written by Rob Schneider
Should you DIY that garden shed you're planning on building? That will depend on the complexity of the shed. A simple shed can be a DIY home improvement project, but sheds today are often used as offices, workshops or places to relax in. A shed that's built for living and working may not be a DIY project.
In the past, a garden shed was used primarily for storing tools. It didn't have windows and may not have been attractive.
Today, the definition of a garden shed has changed. It is an outdoor structure, but it can be anything from a workshop to a home office or simply a place to relax. A garden shed can be anything you want it to be and be as large or complex as you need it to be.
A garden shed can be small or large and painted any colour that suits your garden and temperament. It can be an escape or can serve a purpose.
So should you DIY that garden shed? It will depend on the purpose you want it to serve. A simple garden shed can be a DIY project, but if you need plumbing, electricity, insulation and other things you would have in your home, it might not be a good DIY project.
If you're not too handy with tools, a kit shed might be a good DIY project. Kits are built to size and can be put together using simple tools. They are delivered cut to size and you just have to follow the directions. You may need to pour a slab or put it on posts, but if you measure carefully, those jobs aren't hard to do.
Kit sheds can be made of timber, aluminium or other materials. They come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations and some kit shed builders will even let you choose optional extras for a shed. The extras may include windows, a smaller entry door or even a wider roof to make a patio outside the shed.
A basic shed like this can be a DIY project and can easily be built simply by following the directions given. A kit shed can look great, too. If you choose an aluminium shed, you can mix the colours to create an eye-catching shed. If you choose a timber shed, you can seal it, stain it or paint it and have a shed that will fit perfectly into your backyard and not deter from the landscaping.
If you need electricity in a kit shed, it will have to be installed by an electrician. If you need plumbing, you will need to hire a plumber. These will be extra costs and you should contact them before you build the shed. The electrician may want you to install the interior walls after they have wired the electricity and a plumber may need to rough in the pipes before you start building the shed. Electricians and plumbers can help you prevent mistakes by telling you what you need to know before you start the job.
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As mentioned above, a garden shed today can be anything you want it to be. It can even be a home extension if you need an extra bedroom or a living room in a quiet location. A garden shed can be a great home extension and may cost less than an extension attached to your home.
If you add a home extension to your home, walls will have to be knocked out and the cladding should match the cladding of your home. A larger garden shed can have different cladding and a different roof because it's not attached to the home.Kit sheds can be customised, but only build a kit shed as a DIY project if it's not too large or complex to build. Windows can be added and you can buy insulation for a kit shed, too. Insulation is fairly easy to install and can be installed in the walls and above the ceiling. Insulation will keep the shed cooler and if you have electricity, you may only need a fan to keep you cool during the summer and a small heater will keep you warm in the winter months.
If you want a larger or more elaborate shed, you may need professional help. This is especially true if you're building it from scratch. You will need to hire a builder to help you and may find a good local builder who is retired, but keeps their building licence for smaller jobs.
Why will you need professional help when building a shed from scratch? For one thing, you may not know how to build the framework. You can look online for framework designs, but a professional builder has built hundreds of homes out of timber framework and knows exactly what to do.
The framework will include a space for a door and spaces for windows. It will include a roof framework and everything that's needed for cladding and a roof. A professional builder can make the job go faster and you can rely on them for their expert help. They can build a shed that is as elaborate as you want it to be and better yet, you can work for them and it won't cost any money. You will need to pay them and for materials, but even an elaborate shed will cost less than a home extension and might serve you better, especially if you're building an office or living space.You may also want professional help if you're building a large shed on a rural property. You can't do all the work yourself because of the size of the project and the need for support structures. Building a large shed is definitely not a one person job and you may need to hire a builder and perhaps a builder's apprentice to help you with the job.
When you're building a shed, think about the complexity of the project and its size. A small shed can be a DIY project, but a complex or large shed should not be a DIY project. You will need help with these jobs and a professional builder can be the perfect choice for help with your shed.
A small shed may not need council permission, but ask your local council to be sure. A larger and more expensive shed will probably require you to submit plans to council for their approval. A good drafter can make plans and your builder can help you go through the council permission process smoothly. You can DIY a small shed easily, but get help for a larger or more complex shed. It may cost more, but you will know the job has been done right and remember: a shed is less expensive than a home extension, so it might be a better idea to build a shed than a home extension.