How do you choose between a wood, metal or plastic shed for garden storage? Each has a number of advantages and disadvantages. Most people show a preference for either a wooden shed or a metal shed, with very few people opting for a plastic shed. Whichever selection you make, it might simply be a choice of which looks best in your current garden setting.
Can a plastic shed offer the best of both worlds?
People that prefer wooden sheds often make their selection because they believe that metal sheds will eventually rust and collapse. Metal shed owners suggest that wooden sheds require a lot of maintenance and will eventually take in water, rot and collapse.
Plastic sheds are simple to install, will hardly require any maintenance, but their colour will fade over time from the sun’s rays and the dirt and grime carried through the air by the rain. Nevertheless, most traditional gardeners still avoid having a plastic shed in their garden.
Why choose a wooden shed?
You can go online and order a wooden shed to be delivered to your home in kit form. With a little help from a friend, you can install a wooden shed in less than a day, provided you have already assembled a raised foundation area to keep pooling water from causing damp problems. The base can be made simply by placing a few level concrete slabs around the corners and sides where your wooden shed will sit.
With a few simple tools, the shed panels can be put together and the roof attached and covered with a water resistant felt. If the wood has been pressure treated, by pumping chemicals deep into the wood, you won’t need to paint or stain the shed for a few years. However, if it has only received an initial damp proofing for storage, you can improve the long-term safety of your shed by applying a waterproof covering, followed by an annual retreatment.
Why some people prefer metal sheds
The steel building cost is very reasonable when you use a prefab kit, and they certainly require less time and effort to construct. A metal shed will take longer to put together because it will arrive in many more pieces than a wooden shed. Assembly of the panels and the roof will almost certainly require two people. Using a powered screwdriver will save a lot of hard work installing hundreds of screws and nuts and bolts around every joint.
Where a panel receives a bang or a dent, causing the outside maintenance treatment to break or split, the damage will have to be repaired quickly to prevent rust from taking hold.
They all do the same job
All sheds can be used as storage facilities for garden equipment and gardening tools. It is easier to attach shelving to a wooden shed, while plastic and metal sheds have prearranged footings for hanging shelving in particular places.
Metal sheds can be more secure because they are more difficult for burglars to break into, but wooden sheds can be equally secure if the best locks are used.
In the end, it comes down to individual choice. Wooden sheds always look as though they belong in a garden, but a metal shed can be more secure. You wouldn’t want to be the owner of a plastic shed if there was a fire, but your long-term maintenance costs will be lower if you take this option.
Jen Byiers writes for Gardens Galore Edinburgh, the perfect place to get landscape gardening advice.