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Building your Dream Shed | To Buy or DIY?

Published: 07/12/2022

Tiger Corner Shed

If you’ve ever thought about owning a shed, perhaps you’ve considered building your own: hammer in one hand, timber in the other, ready to take on the world and build a shed from scratch. While it’s almost certainly going to be an experience you won’t forget, we can’t guarantee that you’ll remember it fondly or even that you’ll have a fully functional shed by the time you’ve finished!

Is it Cheaper to Build My Own Shed?

The short answer is probably yes financially, but there are several factors and conditions that can seriously bump up that price tag. Fortunately, we’re here to break down the pros and cons of building your own shed versus buying one, to help make the best decision for you, your family, and your garden.

The price of timber has risen sharply in the last few years due to a combination of unprecedented demand and global supply issues. This means that whilst building your own shed will probably save you money, it’s almost certainly not going to be as much as you might think.

More importantly, time is money!  Designing, project managing and the physical act of building your own shed is very demanding.  Even if you are an experienced DIYer you may find the overall task daunting, fiddly and extremely time consuming.  The less experienced you are, the harder it will be and the longer it will take you.

Like most things, the more you look at how a shed is constructed, the more you realise that it’s not just a big wooden box with a window and door. Don’t be disheartened though; one advantage of building your own shed is that you can design it to exactly the specifications you’re after.

 Tiger Apex Garden Shed Custom Made with Dark Wood Stain

 Shiplap Apex Shed | Custom Made Shed | TigerFlex | Tiger Sheds

Tiger Shiplap Pent Windowless Shed painted in green

 TigerFlex Shiplap Pent Windowless Shed | Tiger Sheds | Tiger Sheds

So, if the very thought of sourcing all the components and designing and building your own shed fills you with complete dread, there is an innovative range of pre-built modular TıgerFlex® Sheds where you can choose from various design configurations to make sure that the shed's layout meets your exact needs.  When ordering a TıgerFlex® shed, such as the TigerFlex Shiplap Apex Shed, you are in control of the final layout and get to choose where you want to put your   walls, windows and doors. It’s a simple, but innovative and effective way to create your own shed design.

If you’re still fixed on the idea of having your own bespoke designed shed but want this without the hassle of sourcing all the components and the long, hard job of designing and building it yourself, there is another solution…

Tiger Bespoke Sheds

With expertise in shed design and construction, Tiger can offer a bespoke shed design and build service.  This means you can still have the creative input on your final shed design and size but without the hassle!  The Tiger Team loves to create specially designed plans for customers and then handcraft them to order.

Do I Need Planning Permission to Build a Shed?

Permitted development includes garden buildings if they meet certain stipulations regarding size, placement, and location. 

In the UK there are some general guidelines which you must adhere to for your garden building to be classified as a permitted garden building without the need for official planning permission.   Here are the general rules but for more detailed information check out our dedicated ‘How Big Can I Build My Shed Without Planning Permission?’ blog.

  • Near your property boundary – to ensure your shed is considered a permitted development the overall height must not exceed 2.5 metres from the existing ground level.
  • Away from your property boundary – your garden building can be a bit higher in this case and you can install a single storey shed with a maximum total height of 4 metres for a dual pitched roof or 3 metres tall for a pent roof shed. 

Illustration – Apex Roof


Tiger Apex Roof Illustration

Illustration: Pent Roof

Tiger Pent Roof Illustration

  • External building size – as a rule if your building is less than 15 square metres you don’t usually require planning permission unless you are going to sleep in it.   In addition, it must be no more than 50% of the total surface area of the land around your house.

It is important to understand that each local authority guidelines may differ, so it is important to check the government's planning portal for relevant information on your project before you start.

What Tools Do I need to Build a Shed?

Your old hammer and a couple of rusty screwdrivers just aren’t going to cut it. What’s more, you’ll need to purchase or hire your equipment before buying any timber, which can already make building your own shed considerably more expensive than you might think.

Here’s a list of essential tools, you will need:

  • A hammer
  • Hand saw
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Spirit level
  • Tape measure
  • Pencils
  • Sharp knife
  • Wooden stakes, twine, or chalk to mark out the site
  • Framing square
  • Chisel
  • Sandpaper
  • Safety equipment – googles, ear defenders, mask
  • Step ladders

 The size and specifications of your self-built shed will affect how much of these materials you’ll need but you're likely to need all the following in some capacity:

  • Concrete for footings and/or full concrete foundation
  • Ground frame timber
  • Shed floor insulation kit
  • Floorboards
  • Wall frame timber
  • Wall insulation and sealant
  • Roof frame timber
  • Exterior cladding
  • Roofing system and felt
  • Doors, windows and window sealant and beading
  • Paints or preservatives
  • Shed security


Tiger SuperFoil Shed Insulation Kit

SuperFoil Shed Insulation Kit | Tiger Sheds


Tiger Sheds Wood Preserver


Tiger Sheds Preserver | Tiger Sheds


Tiger 60mm Disc Padlock, Hasp & Staple for Garden Shed

60mm Disc Padlock, Hasp & Staple | Tiger Sheds

Make sure you have both the means of transporting these materials safely and adequate space to store them securely as they can take up an incredible amount of room.

Top Tip: Measure twice, cut once. If you’re not used to working with tools and timber, you’re increasingly likely to make a mistake or, even worse, hurt yourself. Mistakes often mean costly trips back to the timber yard and an accident can mean a trip to hospital – both things that you want to avoid.

Should I Build or Buy a Shed?

A very good question indeed!  

A pre-built wooden garden shed can cost anywhere from as little as £300 up to £6,000+ depending on the overall footprint and specification such as cladding type, frame thickness, timber thickness and quality, roof and floor design and door and glazing options.

If you want to compare the costs of buying a ready-made shed versus material costs to build one yourself, then look at this handy wooden shed building estimator.

Cost To Build A Shed: 2022 Installation Price Estimates UK (tradesmencosts.co.uk)

You’ve probably realised that the convenience of buying a shed is offset somewhat by the costs involved. However, unlike self-built sheds, it’s not just the raw materials you’re purchasing. If anything, you’re saving money on all the tools you don’t need to buy or hire!

Buying a shed from a trusted supplier is a fantastic option if you don’t have access to or experience with power tools, and especially if you don’t have the luxury of time on your hands to put everything together. 

The chances are you’ll be picking from a range of pre-designed sheds instead, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your choice is limited. Here at Tiger Sheds, we have a huge variety of sizes, materials, and styles on offer.

More importantly perhaps, you’re saving yourself precious time that you can spend enjoying your spare time, rather than frantically trying to nail it all together in the pouring rain.

If you have any doubts at all about building a shed from scratch, it is a much better idea to consider buying a shed instead. At Tiger Sheds, we can help you choose the right material, size and style for your shed, whether you’re after a small tool store or want to transform your garden with an elegant summer house

We’re here for the long haul too; with Tiger you receive our competition-beating 20 year guarantee, over 100 years of shed making expertise and an extensive collection of high-quality garden buildings.

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