Costs Of Building A Farm Shed

5 Hidden Costs Of Building A Farm Shed

When you are building a farm shed, it is important to be aware of any potentially “hidden” or less obvious project costs. 

No one wants to be caught short or unexpectedly out of pocket. 

To make sure you are not put in this position, there are several things you can do. 

First and foremost, make sure you know all the costs for the project up front, in the quoting stage, rather than when the project is underway. This also helps with accurate project budgeting and is helpful when comparing quotes. 

So, what are some hidden costs you should be looking out for?

In this article we talk about five project costs you may not be aware of. 

Plus, we look at ways to make sure you are not taken by surprise by any extra costs when building a farm shed. 

Costs Of Building A Farm Shed

5 Hidden Costs Of Building A Farm Shed

Here are five key costs to be aware of for your farm shed project. 

1. Council Permits

Council permits can seem like an unnecessary expense or an expensive piece of paper, however, in states like Victoria, council permits are a requirement for nearly all farm shed builds. As a result, council permits are an additional cost to your project.

So, will your new shed require a permit?

As we have already mentioned, in Victoria, the majority of farm shed builds require permits. These include building permits, and in some cases planning permits as well.

You should also be aware that failing to get the required permits for your farm shed project is an expensive predicament! There are significant fines in place, not just for you but also for the registered builder on the project.

In the video below, Jason explains the permit requirements and the application process.

And, how much can you expect to pay for the permits for your shed?

The cost of farm shed permits depends on a few factors. And they do vary between shed projects and shire councils, so we will just provide an average cost. 

The average cost of permits for farm sheds built by Action Steel in 2021 was $2,600.00.

To give you an idea of how council permit prices vary, permits for a large complex project such as a shearing shed could cost up to $6,000. Permits for a small hay shed may cost around $2,000

For a better idea of council permit costs, watch the video below, and read our article – How Much Do Farm Shed Permits Cost?

2. Design, Size & Structure

There are several potentially hidden costs associated with the design and structure of your shed.

Firstly, not all sheds are created equal. 

Our UB column and web truss shed design will cost significantly more than a c-section purlin shed design. This is because our shed structure is six times stronger than a purlin shed design! 

While a purlin shed will cost less to start with, they are not renowned for their longevity. There are plenty of horror stories of purlin sheds twisting, buckling or blowing away so it would pay to keep this in mind when comparing quotes. Make sure you are comparing ‘apples with apples!’

Secondly, some shed spans are less cost-effective than others.

Our range of standard shed spans have been designed specifically for the agricultural industry. These include 15 metres, 18 metres, 21 metres and 24 metres, right through to 60 metres clear span. 

If you opt for a span size outside of this range, you can expect to pay more. This is because a new jig will need to be set up to accommodate this span. So, where practical we recommend choosing a standard span. 

Thirdly, the bigger your shed is, the more likely it is to incur additional costs. 

One example of this is the fire design requirements that need to be met for sheds like workshops or large-scale hay sheds. If your shed needs to meet these requirements, there will be additional costs. For example, fire design plans and drawings, water tanks and tank fittings and installation.

To learn more about fire design requirements and your shed classification, watch the video below. Or read our article – What Are The Fire Design Requirements For Farm Sheds In Victoria? 

If you have any questions about the fire design for your shed, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Finally, the other aspect to consider is the orientation of your shed. 

Choose the wrong orientation for your shed and you’ll likely end up paying more for your shed. This is because, for some orientations, such as west facing, our engineers will have to increase material size. As a result, the cost of the shed will increase.

Opening a shed to the east is by far the most common and recommended choice. You can learn more in our article – Which Way Should My Shed Face?

3. Corrosion Protection

A hidden cost to factor in when building a farm shed is the protective coating for the steel. 

Coatings such as hot-dip galvanising, pre-galvanising and paint are all intended to protect the steel on your shed from corrosion and rust. These corrosion protection options all vary in their effectiveness though – and therefore they also vary in price. 

Hot-dip galvanising is the most effective way to protect your steel. It is also considered to be the most expensive way to protect steel and will increase the price of your shed. Having said that, while hot dip galvanising has the highest initial cost, alternative coatings like paint and pre-galv generally cost more in the long term.

The long-term cost versus the short-term cost is not immediately obvious, so take the time to weigh up your options. What may seem like to most cost-effective shed now, may cost you additional money in the future in repairs and maintenance – or even a replacement shed!

Wondering if it is worth paying more for a hot dip galvanised shed? Hot dip galvanising has the highest initial cost BUT alternative steel coatings like paint and pre-galv can cost you more in the long term.

For more information on corrosion protection, and why we recommended choosing a hot dip galvanised shed frame, check out these articles:

4. Quote Inclusions & Exclusions

We have already mentioned that is important to factor in product differences such as the shed structure. It is also important to have a good look at what a shed quote could exclude, which may result in further project costs.

The key exclusions or inclusions to check on your quote include:

  • Concrete costs
  • Delivery costs
  • Erection costs
  • GST

This is arguably the most important step as not all shed companies will include these items in their quote. Or they may only include it in the fine print. It pays to check this. It will also help you accurately compare quotes and budget for your shed project.

5. Site Preparation 

The site preparation for a shed project is the client’s responsibility and is typically not included in a shed quote. 

Good site pad preparation is essential for a shed project. And if you don’t have the time or machinery to do this yourself, this will add to your overall shed project cost.

But remember, not preparing your shed pad properly could cost you more in the long run with drainage issues or delays!

shed site prep

Watch the video below from Ben, which outlines our top 10 tips for the ideal shed pad.

Site conditions such having rocky ground, fall over the site and overhead powerlines can also contribute to extra costs. For example, if there is a lot of rock on the site additional footing concrete can be required.

Generally, overhead powerlines and fall over the site can be factored in during the quoting stage so you aren’t sprung with any extra costs later in the project.

Now that we have a good understanding of the hidden costs of building a shed, let’s look at ways to avoid these. 

How To Avoid Hidden Costs On Your Project

There are a number of steps that you can take to ensure there are no hidden costs in your shed project. 

These include choosing the right shed design, checking the quote for any costs that have been excluded and preparing your shed site properly. 

Choosing a quality shed over a cheaper shed also helps avoid many of these hidden costs. We recommend factoring in the short-term cost of a shed versus the long-term cost of a shed.

And, if you have any questions or queries about what is or isn’t included in your quote – just ask! Our building consultants are always more than happy to explain the costings and talk you through your quote.

Attention to detail in the planning and quoting stages also helps avoid extra costs. This is why we are available to visit your shed site to measure up your shed. This ensures our quotes are accurate and that they factor in any important details that may otherwise be missed. 

These are just some of the ways we can help you avoid extra costs when building a farm shed. We hope you have found this article on hidden farm shed costs helpful!

Our vision is to be the most trusted farm shed company, so you can rely on us to provide clear, itemized costing for your project. For an obligation-free shed quote, simply ‘request a quote’ – or give us a call!

Useful Articles

These articles might also be relevant to your project planning:

For more articles like these, shed price guides and other resources, check out our Learning Hub

Share this article!

Like this article?

Here’s a few more that might interest you.