Shed Building on A Budget

Storage sheds can be used to store off-season items, but it can also give a home more space without actually adding rooms on to the house.


Let’s face facts; the longer time we spend at a place, the more junk we acquire. Since houses don’t tend to grow on their own, storage sheds often come into play to make up for the room. These days we don’t have to spend unnecessary time going through boxes of stuff to give away or have a garage sale because people build storage sheds.

Whether or not your home is bursting with stuff you may or may not need, you can get shed plans and build your own. Storage sheds can be used to store off-season items, but it can also give a home more space without actually adding rooms on to the house.

Building storage sheds on a budget is possible, as long as you don’t mind being a bit creative!

Start by looking for free shed plans


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You shouldn’t break the bank to get a solid set of shed plans when you can find free plans online. Building a storage shed can be a fun new adventure, plus something exciting you can do with your pals or your family. Being able to build a storage shed without blowing your budget, while also making it visually pleasing and sturdy is an adventure on its own!

Get a building permit if you need one

The biggest mistake new builders make is attempting to build a shed without a permit. They feel that it is their property and therefore they have the right to build onto it, but let me tell you that is wholly untrue. Most jurisdictions require that you apply for a permit with the local building inspector’s office before you start building. This is a small formality but it will require you to list the size the structure will be, but if you don’t get the permit trouble will follow.

Building without a permit can lead to huge fines and worse, you might have to take down the structure and start building all over again.

Consider renting tools instead of buying


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If this is your first storage shed you probably don’t have most of the essential tools required to get the job done. Exercise caution when you decide how to acquire power tools because nothing will ruin your momentum faster than stopping because you don’t have the tools needed to cut your lumber. Last minute power tool purchases tend to be more expensive because you don’t have time to comparison shop.

Once you have figured out what tools are required to build storage sheds, you can make a list of what you need. You’ll save money if you go to a big name home improvement store because they offer tool rental services. You can pay by the hour or by the day, so you can save even more by strategic planning.

Save money by using scrap materials


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If you are one of the lucky few for whom money is no object, congratulations. But for most of us, building storage sheds will require a bit of scrimping and saving and this is where scrap materials will be a gift. You can start with sale and clearance items for things like screws, window boxes, and other shed necessities. But when it comes to materials you might want to hit up scrap yards.

You can find scrap materials for all types of storage sheds. You’ll find that construction companies have tons of discarded lumber that have never been used at a discounted price. Be sure to factor this into your budget, including tools required to cut and clean up the discarded lumber.

Or if you plan to build eco-friendly storage sheds you can hit up scrap yards for plastic and metal alternative materials. You might decide to make a shed out of plastic bottles, tires or scrap metal, and if you do a scrap yard will be a great source of raw materials. Finding alternative materials is a great way to build storage sheds on a budget.

Think about reusing plastic


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Many people who find themselves in need of storage sheds look to plastic rather than wood because it is a much lower maintenance material. It is easy to clean and it doesn’t require regular painting and other maintenance against the elements.

If you want to use recycled materials to build your storage shed, plastic bottles provide the perfect material that is pretty much in endless supply. You can wait until your family uses enough bottles to build your shed, have neighborhood kids bring them to you each week or head over to your local recycling facility and stock up on materials.

What’s interesting is that you can use clear bottles for additional sunlight in your storage shed, or mix up the color for a unique structure with the potential for plenty of daytime lighting.

Recycled wood is a perfect idea too


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If you have your heart set on a cute little wooden storage shed you don’t have to spend a ton of money at your local home improvement store; you can also use the good pieces from a recently discarded fence or head over to a construction site looking for “imperfect” planks. You might even be able to find leftovers and scraps at home improvement stores for a discounted price.

Using recycled wood to build storage sheds means you have to be extra careful about your materials. Wood can look good when it isn’t, so touch and smell your materials before purchasing them. Rotting wood is not ideal for any type of structure!

Give a second chance for discarded windows


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Most storage sheds require at least one window. Even if you only store items you’ll have to dig through the rubble one-handed while holding on to a flashlight or have a way for a bit of light to filter through naturally. The good news is that you can use a variety of discarded windows for your own storage sheds.

You can secure plain window panes for your shed, or go a little more exotic by using windshields, stained glass or even plastic sheets.

Decorate your shed with cafeteria trays


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If you’ve ever visited a school, hospital or government complex then you know just how sturdy those cafeteria trays can be. Whether you choose metal or plastic, these trays are flat and straight so you can easily gauge how much you’ll need for your storage sheds. You can go for a great silver storage shed that looks like a tricked-out Airstream or for the whimsical colorful route with rotating color walls and roof.

Check with the cafeteria workers to find out what they do with discarded trays and see how you can get your hands on a few.

Think outside the box and expose your creativity


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If you’re willing to think outside the box there are a variety of materials you can use for your shed from car tires to vehicle doors and even school lockers or old boat parts! Of course, you’ll need to have more than a little creativity and a knack for building with unorthodox materials.

Building storage sheds from recycled materials is a fun, smart and inexpensive way to store your stuff! The key to using these materials is to get more than you think you’ll need. Measuring car tires isn’t as exact as measuring planks of wood so in this instance having more than you need is better. Mix and match your materials for a unique look, while still being functional!

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