A shed or workshop can add a lot of extra space and workroom to your garden. And, brick is one of the sturdiest, longest-lasting, and most low-maintenance materials you can choose. Brick outbuildings are attractive, low-maintenance, cool in the summer, and sturdy enough to withstand any storm. But, they’re also one of the most expensive shed options – and you’ll almost certainly have to go bespoke. That will mean spending extra over a wood shed kit or similar.
In fact, the average cost of building a brick shed in the UK is about £6,000. That can drop as low as £1,000 or go to over £12,000 depending on the size and features of your shed. But, on average, plan to spend £6,000 including fittings, brickwork, roofing, and running electric to your outbuilding.
What Is A Brick Shed?
A brick shed is any small outbuilding constructed in your garden. Sheds are useful for storage, animal shelter, and workshops. Increasingly, they’re also used as home offices. In addition, sheds can feature anywhere from one to four walls, may or may not have windows, and may or may not have a foundation or footings.
Your shed can be a:
- Storage area
- Potting shed/Greenhouse
With a brick shed, you’re always best off using a concrete slab as a foundation. Why? The foundation will be more stable, ensuring that your brick is unlikely to collapse. You can also use firmly packed dirt footings, but you may have to bury the first few rows of your brick if you do so. Consult with your contractor when making this decision.
How Much Do Brick Sheds Cost?*
A brick building can vary quite a bit in cost depending on size and complexity. However, the brick itself is fairly predictable in cost. Differentiators will often be labour, foundation/footings, glazing, doors, and electric work.
So, if you look at the standard costs for a 2.5 x 2.5 metre brick shed, they’ll look something like this:
|Hourly Rate||£10- £50||£536- £2,910|
|Pouring Slab||3-5||£30- £250|
|Electric Work||2-3||£236- £430|
|Building Regulation Approval for Notifiable Work||£0- £640|
|Roofing||£425 – £750|
If you were to change that to a brick shed with a glass roof or conservatory roof to be used as a greenhouse, you’d see costs more like:
|Hourly Rate||£10- £50||£300- £2,500|
|Pouring Slab||3-5||£30- £250|
|Fitting Roof||2-4||£20- £200|
|Building Regulation Approval for Notifiable Work||£0- £640|
|Glazing||£1,500 – £1750|
*Please note, these costs were based on price averages at the time of writing in April 2023. Actual rates are subject to change and may be different at the time of reading.
5 Brick Building Price Factors
The two most important factors in the cost of building a brick shed are labour and materials costs. All other factors will eventually come down to those two factors.
1. Cost of Labour
In most cases, you can expect to spend about 35-40 hours of labour building a brick shed – with more if you want a good foundation or have to spend extra time preparing the footings.
For example, if you have a flat piece of ground in your garden that needs minimal work, preparing the foundation area may take a few hours. If you have a rough and rocky bit of ground, it may take more than a day.
- Excavating foundation – 3-12 hours
- Pouring Slab – 3-5 hours
- Bricklaying – 24-40 hours
- Fittings (Electric, Water) – 4-6 hours
- Roofing – 2-4 hours
In each case, you can expect that you’ll pay the standard labour rate of about £150 per day, per labourer. If you want electric work, you’ll pay a minimum of £150 for their visit as part of their call-out rate. Because you can expect to spend 40-60 hours building a shed, your budget for labour should be £750- £1,200.
In addition, some bricklayers actually quote per 1,000 bricks or per day. This means you might have a day rate of £150 per day. You might also have a rate of “1,000 bricks for £1,500 including bricks and labour”.
Brick is durable, beautiful, and easy to maintain. But, it’s not cheap. You’ll also have to consider electrical fittings, plumbing, flooring, roofing, and doors and windows. All of these can contribute to costs considerably.
Brickwork – If you’re using standard UK metric bricks for your shed, you’ll need 120 bricks per square metre of double brick wall. If you’re going for a standard shed of 2.5×2.5×2.5 metres, you’ll need roughly 1,510 bricks for the project. And, bricks start out at about £2 each but can go as high as £7 depending on what you choose. So, the minimum cost for your bricks is £3,000 and the maximum is £10,500 – although it’s unlikely you’d ever want to spend that.
Mortar – Mortar is a tiny part of the cost of brickwork. You can expect to pay £25- £200 for the full project depending on what you use and the size of the bricks.
Roofing – Most roofing options average £85- £150 per square metre. In the case of the ‘standard” brick shed size, that’s £425- £750 in materials for the roof. Of course, if you go for a conservatory roof, that can go up to £350 per square metre, or well over £1,750 for the full project.
Doors/Windows – Doors and windows normally cost £100+ each. However, doors can cost over £600. Decide what you want and price it before putting together the costing for the project.
Fittings – Electrical and plumbing work must be done by a Certified Competent Person and normally you must notify Building Control. However, rates for materials are normally about £100- £250 depending on what you want.
In general, rates can be as high as you want them to be. However, minimums will stay about the same across most projects.
The larger your shed, the more it will cost. However, the larger your shed, the less you’ll pay per square metre. That cost reduction mostly applies to the cost of labour. However, you might also be able to get discounts by purchasing larger amounts of building materials at once. For example, you can sometimes get Class B engineering bricks for as little as £650 per 1,000, providing you buy enough of them at once.
Roofing also tends to get significantly cheaper as you scale up – as a slightly larger roof only costs slightly more to build and not much additional labour.
Fittings like electric and plumbing may be important for your shed. For example, if you’re putting in a brick kennel, you might want water in the shed. That’s also true if you’re using the shed for a garden. In most cases, fitting electric and water will cost £500- £4,000.
This depends on:
- Distance from the connection point to the shed
- Amount of digging required
- Whether you’re creating a new circuit for the electric to the shed
- Building control costs
For example, in many areas, building control notification is as low as £175. In others, it’s as high as £690. On average, you’ll pay £150 for the first hour of your Certified Competent Person’s visit to do the electric or water. Afterwards, you’ll pay £30- £55 per hour, with an average of 3 hours to do the installation.
5. Building Control
If you have to notify building control, it will add an average of £200 to the cost of your project. However, in most cases, you won’t have to notify building control of a shed, unless you live in a listed building, build in sight of a public road or path, or have a building that is over 2.5 metres in height. Or, if you’re installing electric. In this case, rates run from £170-£690.
A brick outbuilding should take about two weeks to finish from project start to project completion. However, that does not include the time for the initial quote, drawing up specs, or designing the building. Planning, building permissions (if required), and design work should be completed ahead of time. In most cases, you’ll want at least 6 weeks for planning permissions.
- Foundation Levelling – 2-6 hours. If you have a construction firm with small machinery to come level the site, it will go quickly, but it may cost more. If you use shovels and do it yourself, expect to spend 6+ hours on the job.
- Foundation Slab – You’ll normally spend 1-2 hours laying out the framework and another hour pouring the slab. From there, you’ll have to let it cure enough to build on it – which will be 2-7 days depending on weather and type of concrete.
- Framing – Your builders may want to construct a frame to support the brick while it dries. In this case, that should be 2-4 hours.
- Brickwork – Bricklayers typically work in teams of 1 or 2 and will take 34-40 hours to lay a small outbuilding. However, it may be as fast as 2 days, as many bricklayers work at about 1,000 bricks per day.
- Roofing – Most roofing should go up in 3-4 hours – but after the brick mortar has set enough to support the weight
- Electrical Work – Electrical work can be completed at the same time as the roofing – in about 3 hours.
In most cases, you’ll spend two weeks from the point of levelling the foundation, and a week or less from the point of the slab curing enough to build on.
Can I Build A Brick Shed Myself?
There’s no reason why you can’t build a brick shed yourself. However, that will change if you intend to build higher than 2.5 metres, if the shed takes up more than 50% of the garden, if you’re building in view of a public path or road, or if you’re building over 5 metres if the building is further than 5 metres from your house. In these cases, you’ll need planning permission, which will mean having the work completed by a Certified Competent Person.
Otherwise, bricklaying is relatively simple and you can practise with a low garden wall or another small project before you get started. You’ll also typically want to have the foundation laid professionally. Otherwise, there are plenty of guides on the internet.
However, if you do the work yourself, you’ll typically have to notify building control on your own – which may incur the same fee as notifying building control of work like electrical work.
Planning Permission And Building Regulations
You can build outbuildings without planning permission in most cases. However, there are exceptions.
You need planning permission if:
- The outbuilding covers more than 50% of the garden area
- Your planned building is more than 2.5 metres, including roof, if it is within 2 metres of the property boundary
- The building is more than 4 metres with a sloped roof (3 metres with a flat roof) at any distance from the property boundary
- A finished building project beyond any wall of the house and/or is visible to a footpath or public road
- The building is larger than 10 cubic metres
- Planned floor area exceeds 15 square metres
- If the building will support a sleeping area
- Your home is a listed building or a conservation area
- There is a planning condition attached to the home
You’ll also have to think about notifying your local council of the building. For example, if your builder is part of the competent persons scheme, they should do the notification for you and you won’t have to worry about anything. If the builder is not or if you do the work yourself, you’ll have to notify the council yourself.
Finally, if you’re installing electrical work or plumbing that falls under Part P of the Building Regulations, you’ll have to file notice. This will cost £170-£640. However, your engineer may include that notice under their taxes.
Types Of Bricks
In most cases, you can choose from a wide range of bricks, each with their own properties and costs. However, in many cases, differences between each are minimal.
The “standard” brick is a machine-cast brick that’s suitable for almost all work. It will be the brick that most people choose when looking for a shed. However, you can also choose:
Hand formed bricks are made to measure and poured into a mould and baked. These are in-demand for aesthetic purposes, because they can match older brickwork on your property. However, they’re also extremely expensive and may run over £4 each.
Engineering bricks are required for any weight supporting brickwork, such as foundations. In addition, some bricklayers prefer to use engineering bricks at the base of buildings and around doorposts. You can discuss your needs with your bricklayer. Engineering bricks typically cost around £2 or less each if you purchase them by the 1,000.
Clay-facing bricks feature a facing on one side of the brick, typically intended to add visual appeal. These bricks cost more and may run over £7 each. However, they can allow you to create a visually distinctive shed, with different colours and patterns to choose from.
Breeze blocks can be as small as bricks. These feature holes to allow air to move through – making them a good option for a shed that is also being used as a seating area. However, they are not suitable for keeping a space dry.
Types Of Roofs For Your Brick Outhouse
Roofing is an important part of any outbuilding. You’ll normally choose a wood frame for the roof, over which you can put any of a larger number of materials.
- Galvanised steel – Durable and low maintenance and starts from £11 per square metre
- Tin Sheets – Cheaper than steel but less durable, normally starts from £8 per square metre
- Bitumen roofing felt – Cheap, waterproof, and durable but requires an under-roof. However, prices start from £2 per square metre
- EPDM Membrane/Rubber – Highly waterproof but requires an under-roof such as metal or wood. Costs from £8 per square metre.
- Wood – Wood boards are beautiful but require consistent maintenance. Costs from £25 per square metre
- Glass – Typically starts from £300 per square metre
- Shingles – Durable and classic, but cost from £40 per square metre
In every case, you’ll want a wood subframe for your roof. You may also lay multiplex over that. From there, you can add your final roofing material and waterproofing agents.
Brick Structure Benefits
There are plenty of reasons to choose brick for your storage building. However, brick isn’t always the right choice, so you’ll want to compare all of your options before making a decision.
- Maintenance – Brick is low maintenance, especially compared to wood.
- Longevity – Brick is rated for 100+ years, making it one of the most durable building materials you can choose.
- Repair – If some of your bricks are damaged, you can replace them without tearing out the whole wall.
- Insulative – Brick is a good insulator meaning your shed will stay cool in summer and warm in winter.
Many people also choose to work with brick because it adds more to the value of a home than a similar wooden outbuilding.
If you’re hiring a bricklayer to put in your brick shed, it’s important to ensure they’re qualified, competent, and priced according to your budget.
- Are they a Registered Competent Person? Do they have a registration number?
- What is their quote for the project? Does the quote include materials?
- Is there a workmanship guarantee?
- Is liability and workers’ compensation included?
- Do they cover all of your project needs? E.g., foundation, bricklaying, roofing? Or just one?
- Can they give you a quote with project expectations outlined in writing?
- Are they available in a timeline that meets your needs?
- Do they handle Notifications for you?
- Is the company reviewed online?
- Do they have photos of their existing work?
In most cases, you can get and compare quotes from building contractors. This will also give you the chance to talk to the individual people doing the work – so you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you’d like to work with them.
If you want to fit your garden with a brick shed or storage area, you can expect costs to average around £6,000. However, that rate can go up or down depending on the size of the building, the cost of labour, fittings, and even what kind of brick you choose. The best option is to get a quote from at least three local bricklayers, compare those, and choose the best one.
If you’re ready to get started, fill out the form at the top of the page to get brick building quotes today.