How Much Does It Cost To Build a 12×16 Shed?

Sheds are still common and being used for various purposes. They vary in sizes and designs which also contribute to price differences. There are many factors considered to determine how much it costs to build a 12×16 shed. The cost of building a shed depends on the size of the shed, quality of the material used and whether the shed was prebuilt or you build on your own. Generally the larger the size of the shed the higher the cost of building the shed. This is due to increased quantity of materials required to build the shed and the longer the time it takes the higher the labor cost attached to it. Sheds built from low quality materials usually cost less than sheds made from good quality materials.

Table of Contents

Prebuilt Vs. Build Yourself Sheds

Sometimes people may prefer to buy prebuilt sheds than building a new one. This also has an impact on the prize of the shed. Generally prebuilt sheds costs less than custom built sheds. This is not only because of material and labor cost but the time and risk to build and complete the shed. The labor cost alone for building a custom shed is typically around $40 to $100 per hour and it would take multiple days to complete the shed. The overall cost of that shed will be around 20% more than buying a prebuilt shed.

Shed Size

The cost of building a shed is much dependent on the size of the shed to be built. Like mentioned before, sheds that are large in size usually cost more than smaller sheds. This is due to more materials and labor needed when building larger size sheds. The cost of building a shed ranges from $20 to $75 per square foot. Typically 12×16 sheds costs around $3840 to $33600 while smaller sheds like 6×6 sheds costs around $760 to $6650. If you opt for larger sizes, the prize may even go up to $4800 to $42000. It is important to always factor size when deciding to build a shed as it contributes significantly to the prize of the shed. Larger sheds also come with increased cost of utilities like electrical and plumbing.

Quality and Type of Material Used

The cost of building a shed is also dependent on the quality and type of materials used. Different materials attract different value depending on material properties, duration and resistance to harsh conditions. The cheapest material to make a shed is metal. Metal sheds have a long service life as compared to wood sheds and typically cost around $500 to $7,000. Metal sheds are not easily affected by weather or pests like sheds made from wood. If you want to build a shed using wood, expect the cost to be a bit high ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 for the same size shed. The most expensive sheds are made from bricks or stone costing around $30000. This is largely due to the long service life or durability and fire resistant properties of these materials that drive the cost high. It is important to always do a cost benefit analysis for all the available material for shed building.

Other Factors

There are other factors that have to be considered when determining the cost of building a shed. These include the land and permits requirement for each location. On a land that is in a well prepared state the cost of land preparation may not be high as compared to new sites that requires huge land preparation. Land preparation costs ranges from $1 to $10 per square foot depending on the amount of work to be done. In worst cases the land preparation would require an investment in excavators or backhoe loaders to clear and level ground. This is can add a significant amount to the cost ranging from $4000 to $12000. Site planning is a very important part of shed building planning process. This helps to uncover underlying costs which may have an impact on the overall cost. Another cost element comes from electrical and plumbing installations. This can add a significant amount to the overall cost of shed building.

How To Maintain A Shed

After building of a shed, proper maintenance is key to ensure long life. If not well cared for and maintained, a shed can be affected by weather conditions and harsh environment leading to premature failure. The cost of rebuilding or renovating a worn out shed may be significant and below are cost effective ways of maintaining your shed.

  • Check leaks, holes and cracks on your shed once every year and get these fixed. Small cracks, holes and leaks if unattended for a long time may lead to structure fail which will be costly to repair. Leaks may allow water to enter your shed further causing damage to structure and property inside.
  • Always make sure your shed is not attacked by pests. Regularly cut short all grass around your shed and keep any other items like wood away from your shed. This will create a habitat for pests which may be a danger to your shed and property within your shed. Also regularly check around your shed for signs of algae or fungus in the inside and clean them off to prevent your shed from rotting.
  • Regularly inspect your door and hinges. They should not make noises when opening or closing. Always spray hinges with lubricants to minimize wear and eliminate noise.
  • Treat your wood with wood preservers on a yearly basis. Wood is prone to attack by pests as well and compromise your shed strength. Regular treatment will keep the shed free from pests and increase life service of your shed.

There are a lot of things that one may do to keep his shed in a proper condition depending on the type of your shed.


There are many factors that influence the cost of building a shed. Careful analysis of these factor may help one make an informed decision on the type of shed to build.