A 12×16 garden shed is ideal for indoor overflow storage, a home for your lawn equipment, a potting shed, a home office, and so much more! It is an extension of your home, and most people either have or will find a shed extremely useful in solving their lack of space or storage challenges.
The good news is, despite popular belief, an outdoor building will not break the bank. Here’s how you can save money on a 12×16 garden shed.
The End Goal
As you go through the process, it is crucial to understand that ultimately you want a cost-effective structure that will also stand the test of time. This means going the cheapest route is not always best. If you have to replace it in the very near future, you will end up spending just as much, if not more, as you would have if you had gone with a more expensive yet durable option in the first place.
That being said, with a bit of creativity and planning, you can save megabucks on your outdoor structure!
Build It Yourself!
Constructing the shed yourself, possibly with the help of a few good friends, is the one decision that will save you the most money from the start. You eliminate labor costs which can be as much as the materials themselves. Not sure about your construction skills?
That’s okay! A comprehensive set of 12×16 garden shed plans will clearly define:
- The materials needed
- The tools needed
They will walk you through every step of the process, complete with illustrations, and are loaded with resources.
Once you have your shed plans, it is time to focus on saving money during the build.
Choose a Cost-Effective Foundation
Before you begin building your actual shed, you will need to decide the type of foundation it will sit on. Foregoing a foundation is not a wise decision because the structure will be more susceptible to rot and will deteriorate much quicker when in direct contact with the ground.
You have several options, including a concrete slab or footing. However, the use of concrete can be costly. The most cost-effective option is to build a skid foundation. Using pressure-treated skids can not only save you a chunk of change but are durable and resistant to insect infestation, rot, and decay.
Bonus Tip: Before laying your skid foundation, it is worth investing in a little site preparation. Level the area and install crushed gravel as a base layer for the skids to sit on top of. This provides adequate drainage for water and will lengthen the life of your foundation.
The cost of materials can add up in a hurry. Think about every step of your build and cut costs where you can without cutting corners.
The most cost-effective option for framing out your new shed is pressure-treated lumber. Yes, there are cheaper options on the market. However, when you look at both durability and cost, pressure-treated is your best bet! Otherwise, you may end up reframing the structure sooner than anticipated and spend even more money.
When pricing out lumber, contact lumberyards for the best price and ask if they may be willing to work out a discount for a bulk order. You never know; someone may have discounted lumber due to a flaw that will not affect your shed’s structural integrity (e.g., a cosmetic flaw that prevents them from being able to sell it to retailers).
A standard three-tab asphalt shingle roof will offer the protection you need at a cost-effective price. There are roofs such as metal that offer a longer life span, but the price reflects this. Unless you have a specific need for a higher-priced roofing option, a traditional roof will get the job done.
A Wood-Based Siding
When it comes to the siding of your 12×16 garden shed, you have many options. Some of these can get expensive very quickly. The most wallet-friendly option is a wood-based siding such as T1-11. This type of siding comes in a plywood and OSB form, with the plywood being slightly more expensive. It is durable, easy to install, and best of all, you can paint it any color you want. It is important to note that the OSB version of T1-11 cannot be stained; it must be painted.
There’s Nothing Wrong with Used
If you can get your hands on materials that are used but in good or near-perfect shape, then you will save some serious dough. Windows, doors, and lights are the items you stand the best chance of finding for an incredible deal. However, you may luck out and find discounted lumber as well.
Buying in Bulk is Cheaper
Whenever possible, try to buy in bulk. Many companies offer a discount to customers who make a large purchase from them.
The Shed of Your Dreams Without the Cost
You will be surprised by all the different ways you can save money when building your 12×16 garden shed. Taking your time and being thoughtful and meticulous about every step of the process will help minimize costs and ensure your outdoor shed is one that you will enjoy for many years to come!