An outdoor storage shed is a valuable addition to any property, particularly for gardeners with limited indoor space. A wide variety of materials exist to build an outdoor storage shed but wood, metal and vinyl remain the most common.
Wooden sheds are a popular option for homeowners as they are regarded as the most visually appealing. The natural finish of wooden sheds usually blends well within a garden-environment and can also be brightly painted to make for a stylish feature. As well as being flexible in terms of design and size, wooden sheds are also stronger than some vinyl sheds making them ideal for areas where unpredictable weather is frequent.
Installation is not as easy as with vinyl sheds but kits usually include attractive features such as window boxes. A wooden shed is also an environmentally-friendly option as timber is non-synthetic and almost always sourced from sustainable forests. Although strong, it is vital that wooden sheds are properly maintained. Wood is not only susceptible to warping but also needs to be protected from mold and mildew.
The risk of fire and termites also exists although preventative methods are available to reduce this such as stains and preservatives. Those with wooden sheds are also advised not to store plant matter or debris near the walls or roof and should consider regularly re-staining or varnishing their shed to maintain its visual appeal.
If you're concerned about fire or a potential insect invasion then a metal shed could be the option for you. Metal sheds tend to look less natural than wooden sheds but make it much harder for insects or weather to damage what's inside. Aluminum is often used to build metal sheds as its lightness and flexibility make it easy to work with.
In terms of installation, metal sheds can be ideal for those with an uneven floor as they come with built-in foundations. In the long-term, metal sheds are also a more economical choice as you will save money on treatments and stains although as a one-off cost they can be more expensive than both wooden and vinyl sheds.
Metal sheds also have some distinct disadvantages, the most obvious of which is their tendency to rust. Using a very lightweight metal to build the shed can also result in denting and be damaged by strong winds. In terms of durability, a metal shed is a good option but not one to go for if style and design is an important factor.
A vinyl shed is rarely a treat to look at but nevertheless can be a practical, low-maintenance option for those unfazed by appearances. Although they can be expensive, a vinyl shed is weatherproof and can be left untreated although giving it a wash-down every few months is recommended.
Vinyl sheds won’t be damaged by rot, mould or mildew and can be built with fire-resistant material. In terms of installation, they tend to be quick and easy to put up and require.