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Where to start with shed build ?

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  1. #1
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    Default Where to start with shed build ?

    Hi guys,

    I've been scouring these forums for a few years reading up on the great advice regarding things from tiling to concrete to plastering! It's an amazing resource and I'm extremely grateful to have found this place! Finally registered as I couldn't find info on something after searching all over the internet.

    I'm planning on building a large shed/garage in the backyard approximately 14M x 13M x 3.6M. Prefer a 120mm slab as I will be installing a 4 post hoist for car storage.

    I've been doing some research online on where to start regarding this and have read that I need to contact a town planner, a draftsperson, the council, an engineer, a shed company, a surveyor, an architect etc etc etc. I've contacted the council and they were very vague with who I was meant to contact and reminded me that I need a building permit AND a planning permit. This is Knox council in Melbourne.

    I've contacted a few shed companies and they all pretty much say "it depends on X and Y". So I'm currently quite overwhelmed and don't want to unnecessarily throw money around.

    The only quote so far is from Aussie Made Garage & Barns to the tune of $52,000 which includes slab/kit and installation. Doesn't include anything else like soil removal, concrete pump etc.

    So my question is; who do I speak to first ? And what kind of things should I pay extra attention to ?

    Here is something that I did in my spare time as I'm working from home thanks to covid:


    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Built a few big sheds and some things to consider. Looking at that size, guessing the shed is ~20k, construction 7k and slab ~25k...plus extras such as pump, soil etc

    1. Do a Dial Before You Dig inquiry
    -https://www.1100.com.au to check what assets are registered in the area. It may not show any.
    -Look at your title for easements - your title should show them or - https://www.land.vic.gov.au/property-and-parcel-search or https://www.landata.vic.gov.au/
    -Do you know where your storm water drainage, sewer, power, water is on your property or their connection points

    2. Council
    Have a chat with a planner from the council to gauge if there is likely to be any issues with what your proposing - size of shed, height, colors, location on the block.
    -Are there any easements on your block as there will be conditions as to what you can do or not do
    -If there are easements, are they empty easement with no assets? Is so, then you will need a permit off the easement owner
    -Ask them how long does the town planning process take....expect a minimum of 12 weeks....could be more. If you were in the Yarra Ranges, its definitely more!!
    -Find out what the minimium set back from the boundary fences are. Sometimes your can get closer then the setbacks if you have a document signed by your neighbors that they dont object.
    -See if they can provide you with a a verbal estimate on how long this process is likely to take and what sort of info they are after in the submission. You can do this yourself or go through a private building surveyor that you will use for your building permit.
    -What are the permit costs

    This will guide you in the next steps and potentially save wasting time quoting on a size that the council could knock back at town planning stage. You will need town planning permit from the council before a building permit from a private building surveyor

    3. Building Surveyor.
    -Have a chat on the fees and if part of the service is to get a town planning permit. Sometimes it can be easier through the building surveyor....depending on the council and who you get at the council.
    -Ask is there any limitation as an owner builder, what are the requirements, does $$ for the project play a part in whats possible? This may guide you into your approach of footings (and infill slab after sign off or a pre-made slab to construct on

    4. Soil survey - get one

    5. Shed Quotes
    Based on the above info to guide you into whats possible in terms of size etc, get a few quotes:
    - shed kit
    - Shed construction (through the shed company and usually they like to do it as an owner builder)
    - Shed construction through another company
    - What size footings is required
    Confirm if the shed construction is via:
    - post foundations (hole in the ground filled with concrete...and will be a specific size based on your location and soil type - ask whats the likely required size but you may need a soil test to determine what it is )
    - or can be constructed on a pre made slab

    Confirm what you want in the shed - size, height, post span (4m or 6m), pitched and what degree or flat, roof insulation - the blankets are best, roof perspex sheeting (skylights - cream is best for light and heat management),
    Delivery - is access available to the back yard or front yard and then manually cart to the back yard.

    6. Obtain Permit
    Submit required doco's to council/building surveyor for permits

    7. Footings or slab
    What size footing or slab is required?
    Do you need a machine in to dig the footings or prepare the site to construct the form work for the slab?
    - even if its a post project sign off infill slab...do the site prep before the shed construction as it will make it far easier when boxing up, crushed rock base, plastic and reo is layed.
    Will you do any of this prep work yourself or bring in a contractor/trady?
    Depending on what option you take, it can be cheaper to organise the machine to dig to foundations with the shed constructors...depends on your contacts.
    Once you've got the required permits, the foundation hole or slab prep/boxing will need inspecting by the building surveyor prior to pouring the concrete.

    8. Concrete
    Is there access for the truck, will it be barrowed in or will you need a pump....factor in the extra $ into your project
    If its for post holes, easy to work out how much concrete is required https://sunstatecement.com.au/our-pr...le-calculator/ or slab https://sunstatecement.com.au/our-pr...le-calculator/
    - concrete varies a LOT in price $180 to $280 with the cheaper end obviously provided to concretors. When working out rough cost, if you use $230 as a ball park figure (or get a quote at you local concrete supplier company, include the footings and slab volumes, if it has truck access or will be pumped as the longer they stay on site there are additional "time" charges)
    - If your doing a slab as part of the permit, will you be doing the formwork, crushed rock compacted with a wacker packer and leveled out, plastic underlay, F72 or F82 reo sheets, tie wire, 25/40mm or 50/65mm bar chairs or simply hiring your concretor to do the work? Note: to do it properly, its harder then you think if you've never do it before
    - Make sure the concretor doing the slab use bar chairs (plastic stands the reo mesh sits on). Some will say "oh, we just simply lift it up with a notch in the shovel after the concrete is poured and does the same thing". Your spending ~25k on a slab if they are too lazy to put the mesh on a $100 worth of bar chairs @ 800mm apart or dont like walking on mesh raised to the correct height prior to the pour, walk away to the next concretor. The mesh needs to sit in the middle, no closer than 40mm from the top or bottom surface to ensure your getting the max strength of the reo. Been caught out once with that BS and never again, concrete cracked and opened up due to the reo not placed where it should have been.....it was 5mm off the ground!
    - If its an infill slab after construction, an optional to consider is to paint the side walls in a bitium paint to stopp the walls rusting out over time with the reaction of the concrete against the colorbond or zinc. Paint it to approx 20mm above the finished level
    - The advantages of an infill slab is it seals it up from vermin entering in from the sides but there are other ways to do the same if constructing on a preformed slab.
    - if you know where your car hoist is going, you could put an extra sheet of reo....but not required.
    - to save on concrete, if your thinking of just thicker for the car hoist, you could simply do this area with a 1m buffer at 125mm (5") and the rest at 100mm (4"). Do the volume calcs to see what you would save in concrete. The difference between a 100mm and 125mm slab is only ~4 cubes (18m3 to 22.75m3...if the slab is prepared right + 1m3 allowance.

    9. Shed leadin's
    Do you need to put any conduit leadins for a future connection prior to a slab pour? eg: electricial conduit for power, conduit for ethernet cable (internet), water
    or will these be done after job is finished....much neater if done with the slab pour as it doesnt have to go up the outside of the shed ie: its hidden from outside view, easier if do prior to slab pour and you can put all 3 just in case.

    10. Plumbing.
    Where is your storm water from the roof going to be drained to? Is it easy to tap into this point, is it down hill, how many downpipes are required (note the shed companies typically only do 1 downpipe which is never enough. From memory the standard is 1 every 12 meters. If it were me, I'd be having 1 each end for a shed this size to cope with extreme downpours and minimise water sitting in the gutter, taking the dirt and eventually requiring the gutter to be cleaned out sooner.
    Quote for plumbing costs?
    Its likely to be a condition of your permit and final sign off to have the plumbing all connected and plumbing certificate.

    11. Post build extras
    - electrical work - likely to need a sub board for a hard wired setup of lighting, powerpoints, is it single phase or 3 phase (which will partially dictate the conduit leadin size - 65mm for 3 phase or 25mm/32mm for single phase depending on size of wire required to run. If not sure, best to use 32mm (I'm assuming the shed is close to your house given you on a town block.
    - Water tank
    - Future solar
    - Water to a sink, man cave, minibar, kitchenette
    - lining walls or partially lining walls for tool boards - 12mm/15mm ply sheets or yellow tongue flooring. Use 10mm packers when hanging so moisture over time doesnt destroy the bottoms and just screw straight to the metal wall battens
    - Work bench's

  3. #3
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    Residential design codes for your state will give you the required setbacks. Reading and understanding them will save you a lot of time and make the planning officer more likely to help you.
    For example the zoning of my block limited me to below 100m2 for a shed.

    Bart has covered it quite well.
    The process I followed was.
    Obtain block title records from WA landgate to locate services etc.
    Soil survey.
    Quotes from shed companies.
    Touched base with a council planning officer with some basic outlines of what I wanted.
    Selected one shed quote and got certified construction plan with the wind rating, required footings etc from them.
    Submit to council all of above for approval with a modified copy of the block survey showing location and setbacks for shed.
    Waited 3 months for approval.

    While it can be an undertaking I put the shed up myself and saved at least 50% of what an installed one would have cost me.

  4. #4
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    Wow! Thankyou so much for the detailed response' guys! Gives me a great base to start off.

    I will update this thread with the whole process as I go so it can help anyone else that's potentially looking to do the same thing.

    Thanks again. What an amazing community!

  5. #5
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    Yes working out where your hoist is going first is a good start.
    Installed a 2 post hoist at the shop in its own dedicated space next to existing shed. Yours being a 4 - would assume there is less force being transmitted into the slab per post, but at the same time dont be shy on the concrete/ mesh front.

    Keeping in mind mine is a 2 post unit. 150mm slab with a shallow trench dug into the ground into a H pattern- so between the posts and fanning out under where the jack supports sit with a vehicle hoisted up. F72 mesh in slab. Remember there can be a fair bit of weight above ones head (long wheel base 4wd here at times).

    Not one of those jobs where you want to skimp.

    Good luck with it.
    When I die, bury me in the hardware store

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jatt View Post
    Yes working out where your hoist is going first is a good start.
    Installed a 2 post hoist at the shop in its own dedicated space next to existing shed. Yours being a 4 - would assume there is less force being transmitted into the slab per post, but at the same time dont be shy on the concrete/ mesh front.

    Keeping in mind mine is a 2 post unit. 150mm slab with a shallow trench dug into the ground into a H pattern- so between the posts and fanning out under where the jack supports sit with a vehicle hoisted up. F72 mesh in slab. Remember there can be a fair bit of weight above ones head (long wheel base 4wd here at times).

    Not one of those jobs where you want to skimp.

    Good luck with it.
    Definitely! Appreciate the response mate! Just waiting for a response from the council regarding guidelines and all that jazz. They seem to take forever haha.

    Cheers!

  7. #7
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    Default Where to start with shed build ? [PART 2]

    Continuing from this thread: https://www.renovateforum.com/f83/wh...-build-129772/

    It didn't let me post in their is it was over 365 days old.

    Long time no update! Unfortunately covid got in the way of my plans regarding the shed build so it kept sizzling away on the back burner.

    Since posting I have done the following:

    Shed design: Adjusted shed dimensions 12M x 12M x 3M. My original dimensions would have required a lot more unnecessary headache from the council because of boundary concerns so I just opted to go a bit smaller to not have to deal with that.


    shed-dimensions.jpg

    Soil test: unfortunately the backyard was classified as a 'P' class site. I did think this would be the case as the ground is very hard in warmer months and extremely spongy/soggy in the colder months.
    soil-test.png



    Site survey: A total fall of 200mm over 12 meters

    Shed slab: Due to the soil classification, got an engineer to design the foundation which came up with the following:

    site-prep.jpg


    PF1 refers to footings for the hoists.

    Hatched Edge Beam is 1150mm away from the sewer branch.

    Total costs so far:

    Shed kit: $19,179 (only a deposit has been placed so far until the slab is done)
    Included in the shed kit:
    Delivery
    Taurean Series A "Domestic PR1ME" 3300x2450 roller door
    2x skylight panels which haven't been positioned yet on the drawings
    Engineering for slab (which didn't suit a P class soil, so unnecessary in this case)
    Engineering design for the kit

    I will be installing any PA doors/windows myself as I've seen them go for peanuts on marketplace.

    Structural engineering design for 'P' class site: $500

    Site survey: $2000

    Soil report: $600

    Owner builder permit cost: $105 [permit was received in approximately 3 weeks from application to the VBA]

    What's left to do:

    Building Permit: Will be in the vicinity of $2000


    Excavation: No idea!

    Removal of soil: No Idea!

    Concrete: No idea! I've estimated roughly 47 cubic meters of concrete for the footings + slab. I might be off with my calculations so I will be making another post in the concrete section of the forum to see if I'm going about it correctly. The hard part is finding a concreter that isn't going to gouge me. Seems they are in very high demand at the moment with the way the building industry is going.

    Installation: Spoke with a few mates that work in metal fabrication and will putting the shed up ourselves over a few weekends. Some of the quotes I got from shed companies were out of this world (think $18K - $23K just for erecting the shed!!).



    I hope this can help others that might have to deal with 'P' class sites and getting a shed done in 2022 onwards. It seems to be a much more expensive exercise!

    I'd like to thank the contributors once again for all your help so far! It has helped tremendously.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tickelz View Post
    Continuing from this thread: https://www.renovateforum.com/f83/wh...-build-129772/

    It didn't let me post in their is it was over 365 days old.
    All fixed!

  9. #9
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    586 days since I started this thread, and the slab is done!

    As is usual, everything went over budget due to requiring such deep beams for something as straight forward as a shed. It seems the cost of concrete/steel/labour rises every other week.

    Step 1: get packing sand ready
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/12q2...usp=share_link

    Step 2: mark out and excevate
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/15RQ...usp=share_link

    Deepened beam near easement:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sad...usp=share_link

    Step 3: make sand beds
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xx9...usp=share_link
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TIM...usp=share_link

    Step 4: Watch some of your beams collapse due to Melbourne weather
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pfA...usp=share_link

    Step 5: install overpriced plastic
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Nk9...usp=share_link
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cb7...usp=share_link

    Step 6: place 1248kg's of steel
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1puh...usp=share_link
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/13de...usp=share_link

    Step 7: pump 50 cubes of concrete
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/13de...usp=share_link
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ILI...usp=share_link
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Wge...usp=share_link

    Currently up to step 8 which is remove equal amounts of dirt This weather definitely isn't playing ball!

    Shed kit will be delivered early December so hopefully I can get the dirt out by then!

    Things I have learnt:

    Geotech's are a waste of money. Poking 2 holes in the backyard with a post digger and making a 'report' with a disclaimer that none of what they say is accurate makes no sense to me.

    You can change an engineers mind and alter a design if you can think of a better solution. No blinding was used and instead I made a cage to run a continuous length of bottom mesh. When I contacted the engineer to alter this, he said "first of all, I would like to ask why the beams are so deep for a shed ?" ....... This is the same guy that drew this design, lol. I drew up a different design to which he printed, used a highlighter and circled my design, and said "this is applicable and to code".

    I read through all of AS 2870 and AS3600 aswell as parts of the NCC regarding termite risk management. I ended up getting my building permit altered as to not require termite management as its a steel box on a pad of concrete.

    With all the excavation and mud everywhere, it made me realise that I want to run a lot of agi pipe in the backyard to minimise ponding of water. That will be a project for later though.

  10. #10
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    And where is the kitchen and bedrooms?

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    A few of the concrete truck operators did ask this

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    Quote Originally Posted by tickelz View Post
    A few of the concrete truck operators did ask this
    Its huge.

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    I went back and looked at the original posts and your shed in 3.6m high and that would be at the apex so you wont have much to play with with a hoist when you add the height of the vehicle and the height of the person.

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    Forgot to mention that the height of the shed was increased and revised. The final design is 4 meters at the eaves and 5058 at the peak. The original design would have been fine since the hoists are purely for storage and our cars are quite low (<1200 in height).

    Possibly able to put a cheeky mezzanine in later on, would have to check over the engineering to see if it's even possible, but thats for another time if it's even possible!

    EDIT: This was another mistake I made with my initial design. It cost about $200 for the revision but I'm glad I noticed it later on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tickelz View Post
    Forgot to mention that the height of the shed was increased and revised. The final design is 4 meters at the eaves and 5058 at the peak. The original design would have been fine since the hoists are purely for storage and our cars are quite low (<1200 in height).
    At that height a 4wd would fit.

    A friend of mine who has a large farm installed a hoist on an old concrete base that would not have readymix and it is OK, yours is probably over engineered but with all the concreted you are using another couple of meters would be neither here not there.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tickelz View Post
    586 days since I started this thread, and the slab is done!

    As is usual, everything went over budget due to requiring such deep beams for something as straight forward as a shed. It seems the cost of concrete/steel/labour rises every other week.
    ...Yes I think reo steel mesh has doubled since my last post in early 2021.

    Hard to know which way to go at the time (with hindsight) but you may have saved a ship load on engineering, concrete and excavations by simply at design stage having holes for each poles filled with concrete as you "engineered" footings. You could have got in a machine to auger your post holes (500 to 700 diameter x 9 to 1200 deep..depending what "engineering" says), fill with concrete and wack in stirrups to bolt the shed post to. You could then just do an infill slab after the shed is up (un-engineered) 125mm thick, 32 MPA with F82 steel. Probably would have used 1/2 the concrete and still perfect for a shed.

    Thats the process I followed for a 18x12x4.2 high at the gutter shed...saving all the BS of an engineered slab which is still perfect 10 years later . The only thing that required inspection (civils) was the holes just prior to filling with concrete and the erected shed. After that, you can basically do what you want!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bros View Post
    At that height a 4wd would fit.

    A friend of mine who has a large farm installed a hoist on an old concrete base that would not have readymix and it is OK, yours is probably over engineered but with all the concreted you are using another couple of meters would be neither here not there.
    A few mates have mentioned the same thing saying they have hoists on even 100mm thick concrete and has been lifting plenty of vehicles for the past 15+ years haha. I guess you only find out once if the concrete was enough or not!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bart1080 View Post
    ...Yes I think reo steel mesh has doubled since my last post in early 2021.

    Hard to know which way to go at the time (with hindsight) but you may have saved a ship load on engineering, concrete and excavations by simply at design stage having holes for each poles filled with concrete as you "engineered" footings. You could have got in a machine to auger your post holes (500 to 700 diameter x 9 to 1200 deep..depending what "engineering" says), fill with concrete and wack in stirrups to bolt the shed post to. You could then just do an infill slab after the shed is up (un-engineered) 125mm thick, 32 MPA with F82 steel. Probably would have used 1/2 the concrete and still perfect for a shed.

    Thats the process I followed for a 18x12x4.2 high at the gutter shed...saving all the BS of an engineered slab which is still perfect 10 years later . The only thing that required inspection (civils) was the holes just prior to filling with concrete and the erected shed. After that, you can basically do what you want!!
    I actually did have a conversation about this with the engineer, he mentioned 2600 deep holes @ 900 diameter and still needed a strip beam near the easement. I don't know if he just flung this off the top of his head but I was at the point of just wanting to get it done and not piss farting around so I just bit the bullet. If I were to do this all over again I would just design the slab myself with the AS guidelines and get an engineer to rubber stamp it or to just copy and paste it. The knowledge I have gained from all of this is invaluable! Your first post was also invaluable in getting me started.

    The only thing that went different to what people have said was the building permit took about a total of 7 days to get approved, then the revision took about 3 days to get approved. It cost more than council but after hearing all the horror stories of councils dragging their feet, I think it was money well spent.

    18x12! Now that's a shed!

    As for the reo, I purchased it about 3-4 months before the slab went down and looking at the prices now, it seems I saved about 30% since August alone!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tickelz View Post
    I actually did have a conversation about this with the engineer, he mentioned 2600 deep holes @ 900 diameter and still needed a strip beam near the easement.
    Wow, seriously. Its just a light shed, not a 4-story house Without knowing your site, these engineers sure know how to massively over-engineer (butt covering exercise) and the strip beam, what on earth would that do with holes full of concrete that size. I thought mine was over kill at 750 x 1500 deep on an exposed windy site

    Great win with the council approvals within those time frames.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart1080 View Post
    Wow, seriously. Its just a light shed, not a 4-story house Without knowing your site, these engineers sure know how to massively over-engineer (butt covering exercise) and the strip beam, what on earth would that do with holes full of concrete that size. I thought mine was over kill at 750 x 1500 deep on an exposed windy site

    Great win with the council approvals within those time frames.

    Tell me about it mate... Anyone can over-engineer something

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    Holey dooley that is one over-engineered concrete slab. How much did that cost all up if you don't mind me asking?
    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey66 View Post
    Holey dooley that is one over-engineered concrete slab. How much did that cost all up if you don't mind me asking?
    Total cost for the slab was around 30k, $16k of that just being the concrete and steel

  22. #22
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    tickelz. Please use this site's image uploader for your pics, not a hosting site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tickelz View Post
    Total cost for the slab was around 30k, $16k of that just being the concrete and steel
    OMG !!!! I've never seen nor heard of a shed build where the concrete slab cost one and a half times the cost of the shed kit.
    Regarding the installation cost of the shed, there used to be a general rule where the labour to erect a shed was roughly one third of the price of the kit. Even with the ridiculous rise in steel prices, the labour price seems to have raised by a much larger margin. A mate got a quote not long ago and the labour for a $20,000 shed was $19,500 !!
    Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey66 View Post
    OMG !!!! I've never seen nor heard of a shed build where the concrete slab cost one and a half times the cost of the shed kit.
    Regarding the installation cost of the shed, there used to be a general rule where the labour to erect a shed was roughly one third of the price of the kit. Even with the ridiculous rise in steel prices, the labour price seems to have raised by a much larger ,margin. A mate got a quote not long ago and the labour for a $20,000 shed was $19,500 !!

    Yeah mate the labour prices are insane at the moment. Especially in Victoria, I think it's one of the highest in the world.

    The quote I got to erect the shed was more than the shed itself! If I were to get a builder to do the whole thing it would've been over $100k, easy.

    On the plus side, I learnt a lot. I managed the whole thing start to finish. If I were to do it again, I'd grab a couple of mates and DIY (would just pay an excavator to dig and do everything else myself).

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey66 View Post
    A mate got a quote not long ago and the labour for a $20,000 shed was $19,500 !!
    Yes, found the sheds I wanted 2 years ago has doubled in cost...just for materials.

    So rather than continue to feed and support what could only be described as looting the consumer, pulling out of that market approaching it in a different manner for a back paddock shed. - 2 shipping containers and I'II build a roof over it and back wall for >70% less than a shed kit.

    These things have tripled to $6k at the start of the year but as more shipping containers are building up in surplus, the prices have halved and are starting to come down further to hopefully pre COVID levels of close to $2k a 20' container.

    The 2nd smaller shed near the house will have to wait that's ready to go on a slab I built 2 years ago at some future point when either the prices moderate or I build it from scratch.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart1080 View Post
    - 2 shipping containers and I'II build a roof over it and back wall for >70% less than a shed kit.
    They really don't sit to well in a suburban yard for a shed.

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