Using professional she shed plans is a great way to get a fabulous DIY shed, often at a much lower cost than getting one custom made and shipped to your house. Plans are both inspiring and practical, offering a free or low cost way to really get you on your way. We keep adding to our list as we find the best ones, pointing out our favorite features and why they are worth the cost.
(Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure page for more info.)
Updated July 17, 2023
She sheds can be built many different ways and one of the most popular is doing it yourself using a set of plans.
Building a shed using professional plans is a great way to get the shed you want and also to have more control over your budget. If you are skilled as a builder (or know someone who is) then you can save a great deal in labor costs.
Many shed plans are free and are downloaded as a pdf. They include a brief description of the finished shed and its features, a list of materials and tools needed and then a step-by-step rundown of how the shed should be constructed. You should know that she shed plans are not the same thing as she shed kits. With a kit, you get most of the materials you need to build the shed as well as the instructions. With she shed plans, you get detailed renderings, space plan, materials and tools list, cut list and building tips … but no materials. Kits are in the thousands of dollars while plans are typically under $100.
Best Practices for She Shed Plans
Most shed plans have a surprising amount of detail, even those that do not cost anything. You will get useful information about materials, cut lists and the building process. While you are free to customize the design, keep in mind that any alterations you make are going to change things like frame measurements, quantity of materials and of course, how it all fits together.
Some plans will provide you with useful information about the best type of foundation to prepare. However, they may not include it in the materials list or in the how-to. That part is up to you to so ask a good cement layer or skilled handyman for help.
Our advice is to find the plans that get as close to your vision as possible, and then stick to it. You can create lots of custom touches after the building is complete. Think of your shed as the cake, and the decorative and architectural detail as the frosting. The cake should be sturdy and baked with just the right ingredients. The frosting provides color and flavor.
If you plan to have a contractor build the shed from your plans, make sure she or he reviews them or at least sees the images of the finished shed before you purchase. Contractors are trained to see possibilities and pitfalls that you may not; they will need to be comfortable with and confident of your vision.
Cute Schoolhouse-style shed by Family Handyman (free)
Featuring a wealth of charming details unusual in a set of free plans, this shed is made for storage but can easily be used as a she shed. We love the curved roof edges, porch columns and carriage house-style doors. Details for building this one are found on FH’s website.
Modern shed by Shedplans ($17.99)
The sleek, slim profile of this 12 x 6 shed will fit perfectly into a smaller backyard. We love the front wall of glass that lets in so much light; on fine days let the fresh air in by opening the double French doors. Why it’s worth the price: According to Shedplans, the plans you get are written by experts but very easy to follow even for someone without any professional building experience. Also included is a complete list of materials required. This handsome shed is ideal for a small home office, storage or for gardeners. Etsy Lean-to She Shed plans.
Farmhouse-style shed by Architectural Designs ($300)
Featuring board-and-batten siding, a dormer, large back porch and high-pitched gable, this 14 x 16 is truly more than a shed. There is a loft space upstairs that is roomy enough for a sitting or sleeping room. It’s featured as a great way to expand space for a family and the plans include floor, foundation and electrical configurations. Why it’s worth the price: This is a fully articulated small cottage that will provide all the comforts of home; these plans will help facilitate the permitting process. Get the ” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener sponsored nofollow”>plans.
Versatile Garden Shed by BuildBlueprint ($12.95)
From its size (10 x 12) to its shape (high-pitched gable roof) to its sturdy, clean aesthetic, it’s no wonder the Garden Shed shown here is one of Etsy’s bestsellers. The plans are comprehensive and include a 49-page pdf with 2D elevations, 3D diagrams, a materials and cut list, step-by-step build instructions and handy tips. (Etsy Garden Shed 10 x 12 plans)
The Studio 14 x 12 by Holmes Floorplans ($19)
This is some serious space for a serious studio. Very elegant design is spacious and fits a built-in workspace spacious enough for two. With 168 square feet this is just one of the many possibilities for usage. Gable is high enough to accommodate a loft. Plans include a 24 x 36 architectural plan/schematic design. Other files include floorplans, elevations, window schedule and cross sections. Digital DWG files are customizable using AutoCAD of 2013 or beyond. (The Studio on Etsy plans)
Easy classic gable shed by Construct 101 (free)
Want something that gets back to basics? Here’s a well-designed 10 x 10 shed with a traditional gable pitch and two entryways. WIth an aura of an old barn, this rustic structure is easy to build and just waiting for your personal embellishments, like iron trellises, a big wreath and an outdoor seating area. Get the plans.
Old-meets-new greenhouse design by Mireland Builds ($30)
Pot and putter to your heart’s content in this classic greenhouse design, which will look like it’s been in your back yard all along. The shed measures 9 x 12, which will fit in most standard back yards, and features a soaring roof covered in vinyl (or polycarbonate) panels for maximum light. Why it’s worth the price: We love the way the plans are divided into chapters and also that the design encourages you to integrate restored vintage windows into your greenhouse. They look great and could save you money. (Etsy Greenhouse/she shed building plans)
Simply adorable woman-designed greenhouse ($29.99)
We stumbled on Sara’s small 8 x 5 greenhouse, which she designed herself during the pandemic months and it was love at first sight. The best news for some of you out there with big dreams but not a lot of money to spare: This greenhouse cost Sara about $700 to build. Using standard materials and lots of polycarbonate paneling (used on both the roof and the upper walls) helped keep costs low. You can swap in windows if you want. Why it’s worth the price: This design looks more expensive than it is and the plans provide actual photos of this shed being built, along with step-by-step instructions and tips. Get the plans here.
Cabin-Style Shed by MegaPlansDIY ($8.50)
Looking for something with the feeling of a cabin in the woods? This one fills the bill. Make it with true cedar planks or use paint-grade wood to give it a swash of color. (We think a sunny yellow or deep gray would look great.) We like the board-and-batten siding and metal roof. The dual gables and front entry pergola give it lots of character. Why it’s worth the price: This is a very low investment for a she shed that’s high on design elements. (Etsy Cabin Shed building plans)
Chic shed design by True North Plans ($129)
A true showstopper of a shed created by Summerwood Products, this shed is also available as plans by True North Plans so you can build it yourself. Featuring a striking hipped roof and storybook arched doorway, the Melbourne is a significant asset for any well-landscaped yard. Even more, you have a 10 x 10 room well lit by tall windows in front and on the sides. Why it’s worth the price: You have the option of purchasing the arched door, windows and even the copper finial along with the plans. This retains the charming nature of this shed while still controlling costs. Get the plans.