By Gene and Katie Hamilton
For an economical solution to storing a hodgepodge of lawn and garden tools and kid's play equipment, you can't beat a steel storage shed. Granted, a steel shed isn't going to win a beauty contest, but its usefulness will conquer the clutter of a backyard in disarray and provide storage space for out-of-season lawn furniture.
Steel sheds are sold at home and lawn and garden centers as well as online. The units are designed for do-it-yourself construction and made of pre-cut parts with all fastening hardware included. The walls, roof and door parts are designed for on-location assembly, but the number of parts and hardware fasteners can be intimidating. Spend time studying the assembly instructions so you understand how it goes together and in what order.
You can buy a 6-by-8-foot steel shed and have it assembled by a handyman for $875. But you can build it yourself for $745, the cost of the shed, floor kit, plywood and anchors, and pocket a 15 percent saving. Have someone on hand to help holding the parts and putting them in position, and wear work gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges during assembly. The only tool needed is a screwdriver because the fasteners are screws, nuts and bolts.
The wall, roof and door parts are rust-resistant galvanized steel with a baked enamel finish. Swing-open, factory-assembled, core-backed doors are pre-hinged and include a key-locking handle.
Check with your local building department to find out if a permit or a concrete floor is required. If that's the case, add an additional $35 for a concrete anchor kit plus the cost of a concrete slab.
Don't want to do this job yourself? To find a landscape contractor who has the skills and tools to do it right, click
Home Advisor, a free referral services that matches homeowners with local prescreened contractors.
Enjoy Your Garden has this advice about Choosing a Metal Shed.
The average price to build a metal yard shed noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Cost updated 2018
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.