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The Real Cost Of A Cheap Backyard Shed

Updated: Mar 18

Getting a shed, workshop, or any other type of backyard structure can be a daunting task for some, especially if they have never done it before. While researching, you will find many different kinds of sheds at various price points. They also serve many other purposes. Whether it is a kit, a fully finished structure complete with insulation and climate control, or something in between, there are endless possibilities in getting your structure done.


To some, on paper at least, going with the cheaper or less expensive option might sound like the right choice, especially if you are willing to put in some work yourself. Let us explore some of the actual costs associated with a purchase like this and why the “cheap” route might end up costing you more in the long run.

Going a cheap route plus finishing it out yourself

If you want something like a backyard office, mancave, she shed or other lifestyle structure, you’ll want it finished out more than likely. To get something finished out, you have a few options, buying something already done and not having to lift a finger, or buying a shed as a shell and doing the work yourself.


If you opt to try and do it yourself, it may seem like a cost-effective way to get the structure you want. While this is true in most cases in the short run over the long run, it could cost a lot more in terms of time and money spent. Buying a shed unfinished and then finishing it out does come with a few challenges.

  1. Doors – let’s say you want a different door than the one your shed came with. To accomplish this, you buy the one you want and attempt to fit that door in the same spot the old door was framed out for. This is difficult because it is complicated to get a proper seal since initially, it was not framed out for that door and dimensions.

  2. Adding windows – If the storage shed you bought didn’t come with windows, and you opted to put them in yourself, you would be presented with several factors to consider. While the window off the shelf is less of an investment upfront, when you consider the other materials you would have to buy, like siding for the trim and caulking, it ends up being more. 

  3. Insulation – While it is possible to insulate the walls of a shell after you purchase it, it’s not an option in most cases on the floor, which is the most critical if your concern is keeping your shed at a suitable temperature and moisture out. 

  4. Materials and waste – planning to finish out your shed will come with a list of materials needed, which again might seem like a good option cost-wise, but it is tough to plan exactly how much you will need. This can lead to buying more than initially planned and possibly waste. 

  5. Warranties – If buying a shed then finishing it out yourself, that in almost all cases will void any warranty you got when you purchased the building. This means whether it’s a few weeks or a few years down the road, you will be responsible for the cost and labor of fixing anything that might go wrong with your outdoor shed or office. 

Opting for a smaller size building to save a few bucks

There is no need to pretend that the costs of a structure will seem like the most important thing to someone when first looking for a backyard shed or structure. One of the leading factors that drive price is the size of the building. It might seem like a good idea if budget becomes a problem to get the smallest footprint building that you think will accomplish what you need. While this certainly can be achieved in some cases, you can run out of room quickly if you are using the shed for storage.


The same goes for converting it to an art studio or workshop. The more tools/materials you acquire, the more space you may find you need. Adding on to an existing shed or workshop is very difficult, costly, and doesn’t always come out how someone might of envisioned. That is why it is critical and can be a better return on investment in the long run if you listen to an expert and go with the size that will accommodate everything you’re looking to accomplish.


Quality, Craftsmanship, and Warranties

When thinking about which route you want to take when getting a storage shed, backyard studio, workshop, or other structure, you really should think about it as an investment, not a purchase. What that means is no matter what your upfront costs end up being, over the next 20 years, that structure should provide you with more value than you initially paid for. When you’re talking about what you got in return for what you bought, several factors can be looked at.

  1. Quality – Using quality materials like investing in high-grade lumber, shingles, and any other materials involved in constructing the shed is critical in providing a quality, long-term lifestyle structure. 

  2. Craftsmanship – While it is crucial to have top-quality materials, having the passion and skill to provide a consistent quality is just as important. The company you choose to partner with for your structure should have the same passion for your project as you do and the ability to make your vision come to life with expert craftsmanship.

  3. Warranty – If a company can pair high-quality materials with expert craftsmanship, their warranty should show that. You will typically see shed warranties in the 3-10 year range with all sorts of qualifiers to get the warranty honored. Ulrich believes in our product, which is evident with warranties starting at 10 years and going to 20 years. And being in business for over 30 years, we will be around to honor that warranty for many years to come. 

Slowing down and getting it right.

The most essential factor in getting long-term value is getting it right the first time. Ulrich does not believe in a cookie-cutter approach to getting you the solution you want and deserve. Whether it is a storage shed, workshop, or any other lifestyle structure, we want to take the time, get your needs, dreams, and wants and make it fit in a budget that makes sense.


We believe in discovering your actual needs and bringing your lifestyle home. Our goal is honestly not just to make you happy the day you make your purchase but to continue that happiness for many, many years after. While it may seem like a good idea to save a few dollars upfront opting for something that is not the perfect solution will cause pain and more of an investment in both time and money in the long run.


Contact us if you’re ready to start the process today. 

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