Plastic vs. Metal vs. Wooden Sheds: Picking The Best Backyard Shed For You

Whether you need to store your stuff, contain small lawn equipment, or create an outdoor workshop, it’s tough to choose the right shed! Budget, overall property value, durability, level of commitment to maintenance, price, and use of shed should all be taken into account. With that in mind, we’ve created this guide to help you choose your best shed.

This guide will help you understand the pros and cons of the three most popular materials for sheds: plastic, metal, and wooden. To be clear, we are not speaking of siding options, but of the frame of the shed. A plastic shed is 100% plastic, while the metal shed mentioned here is a shed that is comprised of sheets of metal that are bolted together. A wooden shed will have a wooden frame, even though it might be sided with wood, vinyl, or metal. We’ve included a helpful star rating for three key shed features, plus a price guide.

PLASTIC SHEDS

Building a plastic shed in the backyard.We are speaking of 100% plastic sheds—not wooden frames with vinyl siding—in this blog post. They are easy to put together and budget-priced, but they are not long-lasting or sturdy. 

Pros

Plastic sheds are easy to set up and do not require painting or staining. High-quality plastic sheds are resistant to moisture and insects. They are one of the most affordable options, even at the higher end of the spectrum. Since they are manufactured as kits, there are commonly attractive visuals built into the shed, such as accent colors or window shutters.

Cons

They will not stand up to the durability of a wooden shed, which will, if built properly, last for a lifetime. A plastic shed is more of a disposable short-term solution. They do not make good workshops, lacking the insulating and breathable qualities of other materials. If you’ve ever worn a poly sweater or shirt, you get the idea. And though they are initially affordable, they have a shorter lifespan and will eventually need to be replaced, leaving their overall affordability in question. Another drawback is that plastic sheds are manufactured in mass quantities, removing all possibility of customization.

Our Rating for Plastic Sheds:

OVERALL RATING
★★★
DURABILITY:
★★★
EASE OF MAINTENANCE:
★★★★★
GOOD TO WORK IN:
★★
PRICE:
$$$

 

METAL SHEDS

Metal sheds in the backyard.A shed that is entirely metal is one that is comprised of thin sheets of metal that are bolted together. This is different from a shed with a solid wooden frame and metal siding and roofing. All metal sheds are the least durable and most vulnerable to strong winds, heavy snowfalls, and dings to their flimsy metal frames.

Pros

There are many appealing advantages of metal sheds. Metal sheds are termite proof and offer superior resistance to bugs, mold, mildew, and other fungal growth. They are also more fire-resistant. Like plastic sheds, they are sanding-free, painting-free, and mostly maintenance-free. Also like plastic sheds, they are more affordable than wooden sheds.

Cons

Metal sheds are thin sheets of metal that are bolted together, which does not make for a durable frame. Metal sheds can be prone to denting and bending, and their lighter frame is more vulnerable in a windstorm. Snow and debris pile-up can cause a metal roof to collapse. Metal sheds also rust over the course of the years, making their “maintenance-free” metal siding a little less appealing to a homeowner. Typically, metal sheds are sold as kits, requiring hours of your time assembling the structure with countless screws and bolts.

Our Rating for Metal Sheds:

OVERALL RATING
★★
DURABILITY:
★★
EASE OF MAINTENANCE:
★★★★
GOOD TO WORK IN:
★★
PRICE:
$$

WOODEN SHEDS

Wooden storage sheds, pros and cons.Durable, visually appealing, and naturally insulating, a wooden shed offers many benefits and, properly built, will last for a lifetime. It is also the most expensive shed initially, with long-term savings.

Pros

The most traditional and timeless shed is the classic wooden shed. If you want a visually appealing structure that is going to blend in well to your yard and with your home, a wooden shed is your best option. It is by far the most durable and long-lasting shed, as a properly built and maintained wooden shed can last for a lifetime. Unlike the plastic or metal sheds, which come as kits, a wooden shed can be customized to meet your exact needs.

Properly built wooden sheds withstand the most wind, wear, and weight.

You can paint or stain your shed to match or complement your house. Many people choose the investment of a wooden shed, knowing it will improve their property’s appeal and value.

An advantage that many people don’t think of when choosing a shed is the insulating properties wood already has (not to mention the fact that it can be insulated additionally, as can its cousin the metal shed). If you’re going to be working in your shed for any length of time, a wooden shed will have the most naturally regulated temperature.

At The Shed Builders, we have a large selection of wooden sheds for you to pick from. From the most basic but solid storage shed, to garages and partially finished cabin shells, you can pick the size and type that suits you. Every shed is built with 16” o/c pressure treated 2×4 floor joists, with double joists every 4 feet. The wall studs are 16” o/c 2×4 studs, with a double stud every 4 feet. The roof trusses are either 16” o/c or 24” o/c depending on the size of the shed, with 7/16″ OSB. Siding is durable, water-resistant LP SmartSide® siding. Roofing is 25-year 3-tab asphalt, 30-year architectural asphalt, or 40-year, 29-gauge metal roofing.

Cons

Price. Wooden sheds have the most initial expense, as the purchase price is typically higher than a plastic or metal shed. And you would want to restain or repaint the exterior about as often as you would your home. The maintenance needed, however, extends the life of your wood shed by so much that if you want a long-lasting structure, it’s worth it. Over the life of the shed, the price is actually lower than repeatedly replacing a plastic shed. It all depends on how long you want your shed.

Wooden sheds have the reputation of being the least resistant to mold, mildew, and termite damage. However, our sheds use pressure-treated lumber as the default option on exposed areas, and you can choose the siding you want on a wooden shed. Metal, vinyl, and wooden siding all have their advantages.

At The Shed Builders, you can choose both metal and wood. Our wooden siding is a stress-free engineered siding that is made from wood and looks like wood, but outperforms wood on many levels. This siding, LP SmartSide®, has withstood the rainforests of Hawaii for 18+ years. If you purchase a wooden shed from The Shed Builders, you can be sure that your shed is built to last—and headache-free.

Our Rating for Wooden Sheds:

OVERALL RATING
★★★★★
DURABILITY:
★★★★★
EASE OF MAINTENANCE:
★★★
GOOD TO WORK IN:
★★★★★
PRICE:
$$$$

 

So there you have it. Metal sheds are probably the most flimsy, with plastic being a close second. A solid wooden frame is the best choice if durability and longevity are concerns, while plastic and metal sheds are usually chosen with temporary use and budget in mind. Wooden sheds also make the best work structures.

By | 2018-06-12T08:22:44+00:00 June 12th, 2018|Blogs|0 Comments

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