Whatever you prefer to call them — storage sheds, garden sheds, she sheds or backyard man caves — there's good money to be made in building these small, often portable structures. Sheds come in a huge variety of sizes and designs, and once you start researching designs online, you'll find that they range from plastic boxes that are not much bigger than a refrigerator to large, beautiful structures that can also double as a guest house.
This is a great part-time or full-time business for anyone who likes to build things or for those who don't want to be cooped up in an office all day.
Designing and Building Sheds
Have you ever dreamed of becoming an architect? Designing and building sheds is a great way to engage all of your creative energies while creating something useful and profitable at the same time. You could design basic sheds or sheds that look like Victorian houses with windows and gingerbread trim, for example.
You'll need space in which to work, of course, in order to build your prototypes. Then, you can build sheds and send them to customers and sell the plans and materials so homeowners can build their own sheds. Sheds don't have to be made of lumber. PVC is a popular option, but if you want to build these sheds, you will need to invest in plastic extrusion machinery and will likely need a small manufacturing plant to do so.
Selling Storage Sheds
If you don't have the time or inclination to build your own sheds, you can always become a dealer. Research a few companies that make sheds and inquire about selling their sheds on their behalf. Depending on your arrangement, you may be able to have the manufacturer drop ship the sheds to your customer, or you may have to buy them yourself before selling them. In 2019, there aren't any shed franchising opportunities available in the United States.
Just selling sheds could be a good option if you live near a new housing development or if you have inspired a few dozen homeowners to all get storage sheds immediately. If you have identified a ready market or have contacts with retailers, becoming a storage shed distributor could be something to consider as well. Becoming a distributor could be ideal if you have identified a new company or a company that isn't yet selling its sheds in your region.
Installing Sheds for Homeowners
Between building storage sheds yourself and just selling other companies' sheds, there is a middle option in installing sheds for homeowners who have bought their own sheds. This can be a good option if you want to start your business part time and don't yet know if you want to build sheds yourself.
This requires only basic construction knowledge and the ability to follow plans and instructions included with the materials or kits. To get started with this business model, you'll need to intercept homeowners around the same time that they make their purchases. Contact local garden supply outlets and hardware stores with sheds for sale to let them know your services are available.
Getting Your Shed Business Started
As you are just starting out, a sole proprietorship or an LLC should be all you need to get your business going. Examine the state and local government requirements for registering your business for sales tax and licensing. Liability insurance should be a priority, and if you are building or installing sheds, you may need to be bonded.
If you're building or installing storage sheds, you'll need some basic tools, like a drill, saw, hammer and screwdrivers. For large sheds, you may need to lay a concrete foundation. Building permits aren't usually required for storage sheds.
A website will be important for letting people know how to contact you as well as for showing them the sheds you have to offer. Introduce yourself to landscapers, construction companies and local businesses that sell garden and lawn supplies and bring plenty of business cards.
- Once your business is established, consider branching out and selling children's playhouses as well.
A published author, David Weedmark has advised businesses on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years and used to teach computer science at Algonquin College. He is currently the owner of Mad Hat Labs, a web design and media consultancy business. David has written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines and websites including American Express, Samsung, Re/Max and the New York Times' About.com.