Choosing Between Wooden, Plastic and Metal Sheds
When it comes to purchasing a storage shed for your home, there’s a lot to consider. From size and price (think anywhere from $300 to several thousand) to material and style, a shed is an investment that you will have for the long term. We recommend taking your time and doing some research so you can make an educated decision. Be sure to also keep in mind the location, appearance and the purpose (housing the lawnmower and snow blower, holding garden tools, storing pool equipment, etc.) you want your shed to serve.
“Wooden, plastic or metal?” is one of the most common questions we see from customers looking to add some backyard storage space. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons associated with each material.
Many people find wooden storage sheds to be the most aesthetically pleasing, versatile and customizable, especially if they want to match their home. The pricing of wooden sheds varies significantly because there are several siding choices.
The first option is T-111 or texture 111 siding, which is a textured plywood that features vertical grooves. This siding is very sturdy. It requires painting or staining just as your house would, say every five to seven years. T-111 is the most economical of the wood siding choices.
Next up we have cedar siding and cedar shakes or shingles. These are popular choices with homeowners — especially with those whose houses are made with cedar shakes — partially because of style, and partially because cedar is naturally resistant to rotting and insect damage. Cedar siding and cedar shakes may be stained to match the color of the home. This material may also be purposely allowed to age and weather to a gray color. You will pay more for either of these than you would with T-111 siding. Cedar shakes come in as the most expensive siding option, especially if used for the roof, too.
Board and batten, or barn-style siding, and log siding are two more options. These are very specific looks that may compliment the overall feel of your property. Both of these siding types require maintenance in the form of staining and/or sealing, again, as you would with a home. Board and batten and log siding are comparable to cedar shakes, price-wise.
The last option here is vinyl siding. Vinyl is the second most popular siding, as it is virtually maintenance-free, although not as popular a choice as T-111 or cedar shakes. It’s the most expensive next to cedar shakes, but the advantages are longevity and convenience. Vinyl is made to last, and usually it offers much variety in terms of color selection. Similar to the vinyl siding found on many homes, a storage shed with vinyl siding is relatively maintenance-free.
A couple of other things to consider about wooden storage sheds: They are heavy and substantial enough for you to forgo an anchor system, and most are sold with a floor. Installation prices for wooden sheds vary and are typically several hundred dollars. Wooden sheds are sometimes sold in kits, with some large sizes available, but assembly will require time, tools and carpentry skill.
Metal is the cheapest option when it comes to storage shed materials. These units are generally on the smaller side, with peak roof heights of about 8 feet or less. They are relatively low-maintenance and low fuss, with few accessories, such as window boxes, offered.
One factor that affects the quality of this type of shed is the type of metal (steel vs. galvanized aluminum) and the thickness. These sheds are usually light in comparison to wooden or plastic ones, and they do need to be anchored down. We recommend bolting the shed to a cement slab. Also, be sure to look for a shed that is powder-coated to protect against rust.
Heavy winds and significant snowfall are also threats to these structures, which may collapse during extreme weather. Another thing to think about is where you will place your metal shed; a dent from a baseball or from a fallen branch will be difficult to repair.
The cost of a plastic or resin shed is in the same ballpark as a metal shed, but perhaps a bit more expensive. These sheds are typically DIY installation. Because they are often used for smaller items — such as rakes, soil, shovels, bicycles or even beach chairs — rather than large pieces of equipment, metal storage sheds are offered in limited sizes and styles.
Just like metal sheds, plastic sheds face the same weather-related risks, and they do need to be anchored down. Again, bolting the shed to a concrete slab works.
These sheds are popular for their durability and ease of installation, but often times the look of a plastic or resin shed is considered less than that of a wooden shed.
We hope this information has been helpful. Feel free to check out our other blogs for more information on the shed purchasing process, and leave your questions below!