The article below covers everything you could possibly want to know about building a shed, including costs, examples, building permits, square metre costs, mistakes to avoid and what to look for when finding an appropriate builder.
The article covers domestic sheds, storage sheds, hay sheds, car garages, carports, grain sheds, stable barns, equestrian structures, indoor riding arenas, aircraft hangars, office complexes, warehouses, factories and any other kind of shed, for that matter!
Different Kinds of Sheds & Their Average Costs
All of the below costs are in Australian dollars and they include the cost of installation. They do not include the cost of internal fit-outs, plumbing, electricity etc.
The average cost to build a hay shed is $58,234 based on 369 quotes.
A typical size at that cost would be a 30 metre x 12 metre hay shed.
Indoor Riding Arena Covers
Our average cost for an indoor horse riding arena cover is $153,864 based on 373 quotes.
At this cost, a typical size is a 61m x 21m riding arena cover.
Livestock Yard Covers
The average cost to build a yard cover is $128,599 based on 151 quotes. This includes quotes for saleyards over 10,000m2.
For private yard covers, the average cost drops to $44,080 from 132 quotes.
A typical livestock cover at this cost would be 24 metres x 18 metres.
On average, a workshop costs $82,964 based off 141 quotes. This average includes industrial-sized warehouses that include office complexes.
However, if you’re looking for a backyard workshop (like a mancave), you’re looking at less: the average cost is $33,109. At this cost, a typical size is 12m x 8m.
The average aircraft hangar costs $123,011 based on 57 different quotes.
An approximate size at this cost would be a 16m x 21m hangar capable of holding multiple planes or helicopters.
The average cost to build an industrial warehouse is $166,336 based on 284 different quotes of past jobs. A typical size at this price would be a 35 x 30 x 6.5.
However average prices vary significantly for warehouse buildings depending on the size. Smaller warehouses can cost as little as $10,000, whilst larger warehouses can cost as much as $400,000.
The average costing to build a factory is $209,659 based on 68 different quotes of past jobs. An approximate size for a factory of this price would be 76 x 25 x 6m.
Smaller factories usually cost from $10,000 – $45,000. However larger factories are commercial sized jobs and are more expensive usually ranging from $80,000 to $400,000.
The average cost to build a shearing shed is $59,714. An average size shearing shed would be 24 x 11 x 5. This price is based on 42 amount of different quotes.
The price of a shearing shed ranges from $15,000 up to $150,000 depending on its size.
On average, a carport costs $11,288 to build, based off 227 quotes. At this price, a typical size would be 12 x 8 x 3m.
Small carports can cost between $3,000 – $5,000, while larger carports can cost up to $18,000.
What are they and will I need one?
Building permits are documents that approve the construction of your shed and are issued by your local council.
If your shed is over 10 square metres, then you will require a building permit. Anything over a 3 x 3 metre shed will require a permit.
You will also require a building permit if your shed matches any of these conditions:
- The height of the shed is over 2.4 metres.
- The shed is closer to the boundary than 90cm.
- The shed is attached to an existing building or is an extension to an existing shed.
How Much Do They Cost?
Unfortunately, councils do charge a fee for a building process – they usually cost around $900.
Who Sorts Out The Building Permit?
You can do this yourself as the owner of the property. If you’re going through a shed building company, they should offer to do it on your behalf to save you doing the paperwork.
What are they and will I need one?
A planning permit is paperwork issued by your council that gives permission for you to proceed with development of your land. This happens before the building permit stage.
Many sheds will not require a planning permit – the only way to know is to contact your council.
Generally, there are four conditions that mean you will need a planning permit:
- Your property is smaller than three hundred square metres.
- Your property has a special zoning.
- You plan on building on a property that has no dwelling/house.
- There is an overlay on your property (a council document recording the environment around the property).
The Building Process
For custom engineered designs (anything larger than a backyard shed), there is an 8 step process.
This 9 step process includes the manufacture of all material components in our Kyneton factory. Below is a complete list of steps in the process:
Step 1: Consultation – We meet with you do discuss your basic ideas, and sketches or plans you have developed, and any considerations that need to be taken into account.
Step 2: Site survey and inspection – We visit your site to address any issues and to inform our draftsmen when they design the building. We take into account drainage, wind tunnels, weather etc.
Step 3: Design & Planning – Your shed is designed and a model and drawings are created.
Step 4: Building Permits – Your shed designs are submitted to your local council for approval.
Step 5: Engineering – Your shed designs are sent to our engineer, who ensures that the planned shed can withhold any load, wind levels or other stresses.
Step 6: Fabrication – Steel is ordered in to our factory and is welded together to create the components required to build your shed.
Step 7: Galvanising – Your shed components are sent off to be galvanised – which means they are coated in zinc and protected from rust and weathering.
Step 8: Construction – Your shed goes up! We get a team of our trusted erectors to put the shed up on site.
Step 9: Hand over – The job is finalised and the shed is yours!
Your Shed’s Distance From The Boundary
How far are you legally required to build your shed from the boundary? It depends on the size and usage of your shed.
Domestic (or ‘backyard’) sheds need to at least 15 centimetres from the boundary. However, if they are over 3.6 metres high, then they need to be 1 metre from the boundary. The distance increases at the height of the shed increases.
Farm or agricultural sheds need to be 5 metres from the boundary unless there is a road nearby. These sheds also need to be 20m from any road, and 100 metres from any highway.
Industrial sheds may have stricter limitations and will depend on your council.
Mistakes To Avoid When Building A Shed
There are common problems that occur if you go into a shed project without proper prior knowledge. These are the things to avoid:
- Getting your engineering done separately.
It won’t work out cheaper to have your engineering or designs done by a third party (ie. a company that is not affiliated with the company building your shed). Usually, it makes it more difficult for the shed builder to proceed with the plans and it means that they can’t use their knowledge to find cost saving efficiencies.
The most cost effective way to build is to find a reliable builder and stick with them through the process. If you still want to have engineering done separately, communicate this to your shed builder so they can communicate with your engineer and ensure you’re getting the best possible solutions.
2. Going for price over quality.
There are times when it makes sense to go for the cheaper option. If you have a very, very small shed that you won’t spend much time inside, then it may be worthwhile.
Price premiums usually go into the structural steel of the shed (cheap sheds use c section frames, expensive sheds use full RHS steel). This means they’re protected against heavy weather, they shake and move less, they weather better and they’re more pleasant to be inside.
If you’re looking to make an investment in your property, think about how the shed will be ten years from now.
3. Overlooking the foundation.
When planning and costing a shed, you need to remember that the site needs to be prepared. It should be levelled and crushed rock should be laid.
Before you do anything, of course, decide on a shed builder you trust, then ask them how they need the site to be prepared. They will be able to give site-specific advice.
4. Violating building codes.
Councils are unforgiving when their regulations are violated, particularly when it comes to building. Always make sure you’ve contacted and know exactly what they require from you before you proceed with building a shed.
5. Attempting to DIY a large shed.
Doing it yourself can work with small sheds. In fact, if you own a farm, you might have the machinery, tools and time to safely and securely erect a larger shed.
But usually, your first attempt won’t match the decades of experience that established shed builders bring with them.
Know what you are getting into before you decide to DIY anything larger than a garden shed and make sure you have the equipment to do it properly and safely.
Hear about previous clients and their experience building sheds, from small winery sheds to huge grain sheds.
Transcript: “I’m Owen Latta from Eastern Peake Wineries. We’ve got this new extension that we’ve done just behind us here. Central Steel Build were very good the way they went about it. They were fantastic the way they said ‘Well, this is the size you can go with so you’re not spending too much extra on things you don’t need.’ Easy to work with and the quality of the steel that was used was right on.”
Transcript: “I’m Mark Brisbane, a dairy farmer at Dhurringile, near Shepparton. It’s very strong. It went up in 2 and a half days. It’s very easy and very enjoyable – cows actually want to come into the dairy.”
Transcript: “I’m Jim Riordan from Riordan group in Geelong, Victoria. Right from the outset, from the designs to the planning, through to construction, the results have been fantastic. The professionalism in the way this has been handled has been first class. The sheds will be here for a long time & they suit our bulk requirements.”
Building A Liveable Shed or Shed Home
Sheds can be built to a Class 1a standard – this means that they can be inhabited as a livable building.
The average cost of a habitable dwelling frame is $64,699, based off 39 quotes.
Building a steel-framed home is usually an aesthetic choice or a choice that intends to protect the structure of the building against bushfires.
There are three things to keep in mind when building this kind of shed:
- There are a number of criteria that you’ll need to meet as you plan and build your structure to allow it to be inhabited. A good shed builder will know all of these requirements and can work through them with you during the design stage.
2. The cost average mentioned above is the cost for the engineering, fabrication and erection of the frame only. Internal finishing and details that will complete your home and make it liveable are not included.
3. It might not be cheaper than wood. Many people contact shed companies expecting it to be a cheaper alternative to traditional home building. This usually is not the case. A steel frame may be more expensive, but also offers a stronger, fire resistant home.
Cost Per Square Metre
The cost per square metre of a shed comes down to the complexity, size and style of the shed. This figure varies widely from project to project, but below we outline rough guides.
These prices are estimates, and final quotes might fall outside these ranges.
Domestic Sheds: $230 – $320 per square metre.
Farm Sheds: $60 – $115 per square metre.
Equestrian: $85 – $140 per square metre.
Commercial: $125 – $235 per square metre.
Industrial: $100 – $180 per square metre.
Custom: $185 – $460 per square metre.
Educational: $90 – $150 per square metre.
Aviation: $180 – $290 per square metre.