Shed Shopping 101

A shed in a backyard with patio furniture and lights.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
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Outdoor sheds come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from traditional metal framed storage units to gorgeous wood getaways and workshops. Although finding the right kind of shed can be a confusing process, knowing where to start is a key step in finding the perfect shed for your home. Here is a quick guide to everything you should know about shed shopping.

Types of Shed Building Materials

A modern garden shed with a turquoise door.

There are three basic types of shed materials on the market: wood, vinyl, and metal. Wood is easily the most attractive and there are companies that make wood materials that are resistant to rot and moisture-related issues. This includes LP® SmartSide® with LP’s proprietary SmartGuard® technology, which protects against termites while preventing rot and fungal decay. With water-resistant waxes and a resin-saturated overlay, LP SmartSide makes wood an attractive choice without worrying about its durability.

Vinyl is another popular choice for several different kinds of shed because it is relatively maintenance-free. The downside to vinyl, however, is that it can be less aesthetically appealing, and it is susceptible to mold growth and dirt accumulation. Metal sheds are also an option, but steel and aluminum have a tendency to rust and these units are not nearly as visually appealing as their wood counterparts.

Price Considerations

Your budget will play a big part in what type of shed you select. Although some shoppers are quick to jump on a good deal, a high-quality shed is usually within the range of the smallest of budgets. And paying a little extra for more durable materials might go a long way in the overall performance of the shed, keeping money in your pocket over the long run.

Why Do You Need a Shed?

A garden shed with a lawnmower sitting next to a green door.

The size will be a big factor in determining what kind of shed you need to buy. When considering the right size, think about how it will be used. If you only need an outbuilding to store a few tools and equipment, then you can probably get away with a smaller shed.

But make sure you measure before buying. You don't want to buy a shed only to discover it won’t fit your lawnmower. If you plan on using the shed as a workplace, you should also think about things like floor space and air circulation, especially if you live in a variable climate.

For warm conditions, LP® ProStruct® Roof Sheathing with SilverTech® comes equipped with a radiant barrier that helps keep the inside of the shed cool and bright. This material is also resistant to peeling and flaking, which means less maintenance over time.

Design Factors

A shed with double red doors.

Design is often an underrated factor when choosing a shed, but it is significant nonetheless. The shed is basically an extension of your home and should blend in nicely with its surroundings. With that in mind, you should select a shed that complements your home and is made from similar materials.

The shed doesn’t have to be an exact match, but it should feature similar style elements and tone. You should also consider what the shed looks like inside, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time indoors. LP® SmartSide® Panel with SmartFinish® panels are a great option for getting a durable and attractive appearance inside as well as out.

Where to Buy

Finding a shed dealer or builder is another important factor in purchasing a shed. For the most part, you want to physically examine a shed before you decide it’s the perfect fit. There are many shed retailers that can assist you in finding the perfect shed, but make sure you shop around before you make a final decision.


Lastly, you should never purchase a shed without a proper warranty. Once you narrow down your search, find out which shed manufacturers offer extended warranties on their structures and what those warranties cover. LP SmartSide products carry a 5/50-year warranty, offering peace of mind to shed manufacturers using these products to build.