What is the Best Siding For My Shed: Vinyl, Metal or Wood?

There are so many choices when you go to purchase a shed! Size, style, colors, roof, siding, and accessories. And it not just about looks, either. There’s durability, maintenance, and costs to think about.

Perhaps you’ve read our posts about choosing a shed type and roofing material. But what about siding? Are all woods created equally? Will wood rot? Will metal rust?  Read on to answer all these questions and more.

There are 4 common types of siding for sheds: wood, vinyl, engineered wood, and metal. Each has it’s own advantages and disadvantages, so here’s a rundown of them. Hopefully it gives you a handle on what is the right choice for you.

WOOD SIDING

Wood Shed Siding

Our Rating for Wood Siding:

Overall Rating
★★★

Durability:
★★★

Ease of Maintenance:
★★

Environmental Footprint
★★★

Price:
$$$

Pros

There’s a rustic charm about wood. It’s natural and environmentally friendly. And it can be varnished or stained to bring out its character. Or painted a brand new color each time you want a shed-character “makeover.”

Cons

Of course the flip side is that you not only get to refinish your shed from time to time—you must do so, or the wood will rot much more quickly. Ideally, wood should be recoated every 3 to 5 years. And it’s not just rot you have to be wary of. It’s mold and fungi and insects. Also,since wood is less abundant than in the past, due to poor sustainability practices, it’s more expensive than other types of siding.

That’s why, in spite of it’s natural beauty, we’ve chosen not to offer wood as a siding option for our sheds.

VINYL SIDING

Vinyl Shed Siding

Our Rating for Vinyl Siding:

Overall Rating
★★★

Durability:
★★★

Ease of Maintenance:
★★★★

Environmental Footprint

Price:

$$$

Pros

You want something tough that will last a long, long time? Vinyl fits the bill. And it comes in a huge variety of colors. Not only that, but the color permeates the product, instead of just sitting on the surface. So if the material gets scratched, you’ll hardly notice it. Depending on the grade of vinyl you choose, it can be more pricey, but could also come with a long-term or lifetime warranty, which adds value as well.

Cons

Do be cautious about the grade you get, however. Some brands are extremely cheap. And there’s actually a fair amount of variation within brands. So you really have to know your stuff on this. A real downside of vinyl is it’s chemical footprint—both in the off-gassing of toxins in manufacturing and due to the fact that it’s not biodegradable. So, yes, it will last a long time on your shed, but it will also last interminably in landfills. Lastly, appearance could be an issue. You can’t get as realistic a wood look with vinyl as with some other products. And the paint can’t be retouched if it fades.

While we don’t offer vinyl at this time, we do see it as a viable choice and could add it to our list of options in the future.

ENGINEERED WOOD SIDING

Smart LP Siding for Your Shed

Our Rating for Engineered Wood Siding:

Overall Rating
★★★★★

Durability:
★★★★★

Ease of Maintenance:
★★★★★

Environmental Footprint
★★★★★

Price:

$$$

Pros

Engineered Wood is the best of both worlds. It uses real wood fibers and treats them with low-VOC resins. The real wood is natural, easy to work with, and also sustainable, as it’s taken from the runt trees or other trees that need to be cleared out for better forest growth.

The resin makes the wood impervious to insects (including termites) and also makes it moisture-resistant. Also, the brand of engineered wood we use (LP Smartside) is treated with zinc borate to help resist molds and fungal decay, they call this their “SmartGaurd®” process.

It can be given a very real wood look, and can be painted almost any color. Unlike Vinyl siding it the color can be changed anytime by simply repainting the siding and unlike wood, it’s not porous and does not require yearly paint application to protect it. It’s also a very strong material that doesn’t chip easily and stands up to impact.

Engineered wood, and in particular LP SmartSide®, is the most durable, moisture-resistant, long-lasting wood-based siding you can choose.

Cons

The primary cons of the LP SmartSide siding come with the initial installation. Additional care must be taken to ensure that the siding is installed correctly to protect the materials beneath it. Because of the composite nature of the siding it can also create additional wear on things like saw blades when cutting it. Thankfully, we take care of all of this for you so you only experience the end result of a beautiful, long-lasting exterior that will be the envy of your friends and neighbors as they stand by and watch in dismay as their “big box store” sheds begin to fade and deteriorate after a few months to a year.

Our exterior siding is 50 year LP SmartSide® Panel, and its superior moisture-resistance has allowed it to hold up even in the tropical climate of Hawaii for 18+ years.

One objection to engineered wood is that it hasn’t been around long enough to prove itself. The LP SmartSide® siding has been tested in the Jungles of Hawaii since 1996 where their average rainfall is over 170” annually and they have a High Formosan Termite Population. They also have an ideal environment for fungal decay. In that 20 years there has not been any compromise to the structural soundness of the LP SmartSide® product. When choosing an engineered wood siding, it is a good idea to go with an engineered wood that has a multi-decade warranty. The 50 year warranty on LP SmartSide Panel siding speaks for itself.

The type of coating put on the siding can greatly affect the longevity of the siding as well. Our siding is coated either with Haley Paint’s Wilderness Urethane or with Valspar Duramax paint. Both products are designed to withstand the elements for many years. (Our recommendation is the Wilderness Urethane, as this gives you the most natural wood look and requires virtually no maintenance).

LP SmartSide siding will give you a powerful bang for your buck! It is truly unrivaled in its durability and maintenance. And costs are quite competitive as well.

METAL SIDING

Metal Shed Siding

Our Rating for Metal Siding:

Overall Rating
★★★★★

Durability:
★★★★

Ease of Maintenance:
★★★★★

Environmental Footprint
★★★

Price:

$$

Pros

Metal siding is extremely durable. Yes, it can be dented or scratched if you run into it with your lawn mower or hit a baseball into it. But it’s not fragile. It’s fire resistant. It’s impervious to mold, fungus, and insects. And it stands up to all kinds of weather conditions—snow, sleet, ice, rain, and wind. It can be cleaned with a garden hose quite easily. It’s very environmentally friendly. And it’s available in a variety of colors. The metal used in our sheds is a 29 gauge custom formed metal with a permanent paint finish which is resistant to rust and corrosion. It is applied to a wood frame to create a strong and durable structure.

Cons

Just as with vinyl, you can’t very well change the color. Some shed builders use a low-quality paint process on their metal which is prone to peeling. Also, metal offers the least insulation of all the siding types. Typically, metal shed construction is much lighter, relying on the metal itself to give the structure strength. So while this creates the appearance of metal being less expensive, it’s actually a lower quality of construction.

By | 2018-06-12T08:25:31+00:00 June 12th, 2018|Blogs|0 Comments

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