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Which Shed Material is Best for You
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Building an outdoor storage shed can be an easy way to add much needed storage space. However, determining what type of shed to build can be a difficult and confusing decision. We've listed the pros and cons of each type of material to help you find which shed is best for you.
A wooden shed is the most traditional type of shed and can be completely customized to create a very specific size or shape. They can be painted any color to match your house or surroundings, and they can easily be dressed up with unique features like cupolas or window flower boxes. They can also easily be customized inside, as well. Multiple shelves and cabinets can be hung from the walls and the overhead loft areas to provide extra storage area. However, unless you finish the inside of a wooden shed with actual walls and a ceiling, the interior will have an "unfinished" appearance with exposed wooden beams and braces which make it more difficult to clean and can more easily attract unwanted bugs.
Wooden shed kits are more expensive than resin or metal shed kits of a comparable size. And, while wood is a very strong material, it is also very vulnerable. Harsh weather, water, and insects can wreak havoc on wooden sheds causing them to rot and deteriorate. The paint finish on wooden sheds will also peel and fade over time which will require repainting and other maintenance.
Depending on where you shop and what manufacturer you are considering, resin sheds may also be called plastic sheds, vinyl sheds, or high-density polyethylene sheds. (Lifetime sheds are made of high-density polyethylene.) Resin sheds are the newest type of sheds on the market and are quickly becoming the most popular choice of shed for several reasons.
Resin sheds are made of a high quality plastic material that makes the sheds lighter, yet stronger and more durable than wooden sheds. For ultimate strength and durability, some manufacturers like Lifetime also use integrated steel supports and a double-wall - versus just a single-wall-resin panel construction.
Resin sheds are basically maintenance free; they are stain-resistant and UV-protected so they will not crack, fade, rot, or rust, and they never need painting or staining like wood or metal sheds.
Resin sheds kits are available in a variety of sizes and some manufacturers, including Lifetime, offer expansion kits to customize the shed to even more size options. Resin sheds are by far the easiest type of sheds to build. These kits are very quick and easy to assemble with less tools, less time, and less "carpentry knowledge" needed than with a wooden shed. Resin shed kits are less expensive than their wooden shed kit counterparts, but more expensive than metal shed kits.
While resin sheds are extremely strong, they cannot bear as much weight hanging from the walls as a wooden shed. However, some resin models do include an overhead loft area which allows you to your store more items in the same footprint.
Resin sheds are very attractive and decorative with their neutral colors and simulated wood-textured panels, but they cannot be painted or shingled to perfectly match your house. However, they do allow for easy additions of upgraded accessory options like skylights, windows, lighting, shelving, and peg strips with no additional wiring, cutting, or drilling needed. And, they have a clean finished interior with the plastic wall and floor panels.
A metal shed can be made of either steel or galvanized aluminum. Metal sheds have been available for many years and are a common first-time shed purchase because they are the least expensive shed kit option. However, they are not as strong as resin or wooden sheds. Therefore, if your shed will be built in a stormy area, you may want to consider purchasing an anchoring kit to ensure it stays in place. Metal sheds are also very susceptible to denting and rusting, especially on the frequently used door area.
In general, metal shed kits are not designed to be as attractive as wooden or resin sheds and are available in fewer size and shape options. Metal sheds do come in a variety of colors and can be painted but they require frequent repainting to maintain a fresh look. If you plan to purchase a metal shed, keep in mind the type of foundation you have to build your shed on since a lot of metal shed kits do not include a floor of any type. If gravel is your foundation, a metal shed may not be ideal for storage of items other than lawn equipment.
Finally, assembling a metal shed kit can be very complicated. And, because of the nature of metal, customizing or accessorizing the interior of a metal shed is extremely difficult.
After hearing all of this, if the thought of trying to build a shed is still overwhelming, you can actually purchase a pre-built shed and have it delivered to your lot. Or, check with your local home improvement store to see if they offer installation services in your area. For more tips to consider before buying a shed, read our article "5 Things to Know Before Buying a Shed."
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