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Cost To Build A Barn, Shed or Playhouse

Even if you are happy with your current home, you might be curious about building a separate outbuilding on your property. This building could give you the space you need to store extra household items, or you could use it to create a play area for the kids. An outbuilding can even serve as a barn where animals reside during colder winter months. Whatever your need, the costs of an outbuilding will almost certainly be a factor. If you want to build a barn shed or playhouse, use this guide for a clearer picture on associated expenses.

National Build a Barn, Shed or Playhouse Costs

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by ImproveNet members.

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Average reported cost

based on 295 cost profiles


Minimum cost


Maximum cost

Most homeowners spent between:




National Build a Barn, Shed or Playhouse Costs
Average reported cost $2,844
Number of Cost Profiles 295 cost profiles
Minimum reported cost $300
Maximum reported cost $5,900
Most homeowners spent between: $2,126 to $3,503

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Prep Work: Permits and Site Preparation

Before you can begin constructing a barn, a shed or even a playhouse on your property, you will need to get a permit for the build. Details of this can be obtained through a homeowner's association, if you have one, or simply your county's building department. The cost of a permit varies depending on the square footage of your intended project, but small outbuildings can be permitted for as little as $100. Plus, you will need to prepare the site, particularly if it is not on flat ground. Professional grading for a small lot generally comes in around $770.

Concrete Pad

The next step, if you want a sturdy structure that is also safe, involves pouring a concrete slab for the base. If the project is small, this can be tackled as a DIY task, but it is almost always better to hire a professional. The cost of installing a concrete pad will be somewhere between $1,702 and $1,877 for 500 square feet.

Building the Structure

Of course, the cost of actually building the outbuilding will be a big expense that can vary substantially depending on a number of factors. Having electricity and plumbing, for example, will drastically raise the cost. Otherwise, many homeowners can expect to pay between $2,352 and $3,665 to construct the average outbuilding. As you might imagine, larger barns will have a higher cost than smaller sheds.

There is no question that adding a barn, a shed or even a playhouse can increase the resale value of your home, and the investment will also give you much-needed storage space.

Last updated on May 5, 2016

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