Buying Guide

Wooden vs Metal vs Plastic Sheds - Which Material Is Better?

plastic shed vs metal shed vs wooden shed

What does having the right shed do for your yard? Well, not only do you get somewhere to store your tools and yard furniture, but also something that uplifts the aesthetics of your outdoor space. The question is, what's the best shed material? That's the subject of this article as we compare wooden vs metal vs plastic sheds to see which comes out on top.

So, come with us now as we look at the pros and cons of each of the types of sheds available on the market to give you a clearer idea of the wisest choice. We start with a material that's becoming more popular every year in the shed world - plastic.

The Pros & Cons of Plastic Sheds

patiowell kick-it 8x12 plastic storage shed standing in backyard

Sheds have existed for hundreds of years, but those made from plastic only started being manufactured at the end of the 20th century. When we say plastic (a.k.a resin), we mean a particular type - high-density polyethylene HDPE (blow-molded) and polypropylene (extrusion-molded). You’ll also find some lower-quality options on the market made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE), Polycarbonate (PC) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC).

Today, we are focusing only on high-quality resin plastic sheds, which are also what Patiowell sells.

The question is, are plastic sheds any good? Let's examine their pros and cons.

The Pros of Plastic (Resin) Sheds

Why are resin products a compelling choice in the wood vs metal vs plastic sheds debate? How about these game-changing advantages?

  • Exceptional Durability - Not only are resin sheds able to retain their looks for the long term, but they’re also extremely resistant to impacts. Take a look at the 8’ x 10’ Kick It Shed from Patiowell. It can't be easily dented, and it's impervious to harsh weather conditions and UV rays from the sun. Buy one, and you'll enjoy its benefits for years.
  • Low Maintenance - Keeping a plastic shed looking its best requires little effort, apart from an occasional clean with water and a mild detergent. Unlike wooden sheds, no treatment or painting is needed, regardless of local conditions.
  • Easy to Put Together - Plastic is also one of the best shed material options when it comes to installing it in your home, too. Only basic tools are needed, and you don't have to be overly experienced in DIY to get the job done yourself.
  • They’re Weather Resistant - Plastic also wins out in the wood v metal vs plastic sheds race in terms of weather resistance. Unlike metal (that can rust in certain circumstances) and wood, plastic will stand up to whatever weather is thrown at it with consummate ease.

The Cons of Plastic Sheds

As with any product available on the free market, plastic sheds aren't perfect in every way. Here's a couple of their limitations.

  • They Can't Easily Be Customized - Plastic sheds aren't designed to be painted like wooden options, meaning you don't have the same freedom to customize the product to your needs. However, many, like the 4’ x 6’ Fit-it  plastic shed, come in neutral tones that complement a wide array of color schemes.

When looking at vinyl vs resin shed options, the benefits and drawbacks are largely the same, so whichever of the two you choose, the experience is broadly similar. Next, we look at another popular option with customers - the metal shed.

Plastic Shed Recap: Pros- Low maintenance, low cost, extremely durable, easy to install. Cons: Can heat up but can't be customized.

The Pros & Cons of Metal Sheds

10x10 metal storage shed staning in a cozy backyard

Next, we run the rule over a shed option that's also become very popular in recent times. Again, it's driven by an array of advantages for homeowners.

  • Great Durability - Just like plastic, metal sheds are built to last. Take a moment to look at this spacious 10’ x 12’ shed that’s made from high-quality galvanized steel. Its construction makes it able to resist weather and impact damage, and there are no issues with warping, rotting or insect infestation.
  • Improved Security - While plastic and wooden sheds can offer a degree of security, metal sheds excel in this area, making it more difficult for thieves to get their hands on your valuables.
  • Fire Resistance In certain states, wildfires can be a big problem, but metal sheds are non-combustible, meaning what's inside can stay safe. Not something you can say for plastic or wooden products.
  • Minimal Maintenance - As with HDPE sheds, metal sheds require very little maintenance and need just water and mild detergent to clean. You just have to make sure everything's dry after you've finished to prevent rust.
  • Budget-Friendly - Metal sheds are often quite a bit cheaper than wooden options, making them a good budget-friendly option.

The Cons of Metal Sheds

So, what are the downsides of owning a metal shed? As we said earlier, there's no such thing as a 100% perfect shed, so here are a few points to consider.

  • Rust & Corrosion - In an ideal world, the zinc coating of galvanised steel prevents rust However, corrosion can still occur if the zinc coating becomes damaged in any way or if you happen to live in a coastal area. The increase in salinity of the air can damage the coating more quickly and lead to problems.
  • Extreme Temperatures - Sheds made from metal tend to get really hot in the summer and super cold in the winter. This can be an issue if you're storing solvents and chemicals inside or for any electronic equipment, such as power tools.
  • Condensation Issues Another issue for metal sheds is condensation, which can be created when there's a big temperature difference inside and out. When choosing between metal vs resin shed products, it can be a deciding factor.
  • Harder to Install vs Plastic Sheds - Metal sheds can be much harder to install than plastic sheds, as they have more screws to contend with.

Metal Shed Recap: Pros- Low maintenance, cheaper than wood, extremely durable, secure and fire resistant. Cons: Susceptible to extreme temperatures, condensation and rust.

The Pros & Cons of Wooden Sheds

One of the most common types of sheds found across the world are those made of wood. This is for a number of reasons, such as the sheer number of designs and sizes there are available. Let's take a look at some more of the benefits they offer.

The Pros of Wooden Sheds

There are a number of reasons why some people continue to choose traditional wooden sheds, and they break down in the following way.

  • Visually appealing - It's hard to argue against the look of a wooden shed, particularly after it's been treated with a good-quality stain. It also lends your yard a nice, natural and rustic feel.
  • Wood is Easily Paintable - Customization is an easy task when you have a little DIY ability, meaning you can choose any hue that suits your home. Your ability to change its color is almost limitless.
  • Wooden Sheds Are Durable - A well-made wooden shed should last 10-15 years, even if you live in a wet or humid climate. They're also robust enough to stand up to high winds and other types of bad weather.

The Cons of Wooden Sheds

It's not all plain sailing when buying a wooden shed, as there are a few negative aspects that you'll need to contend with.

  • Wooden Sheds Often Cost More - Compared to resin (plastic) and metal sheds, wooden sheds tend to cost quite a bit more. If you're looking for the most cost-effective option, you need to choose a different material.
  • They Require Upkeep - Unlike their metal and plastic counterparts, wooden sheds need some maintenance to stay looking their best. Wood is more likely than other materials to split and can be affected by pests or rot, which is why preservatives need to be applied.
  • Comparatively Complicated to Install - Getting a wooden shed installed can be tricky when you're a novice, meaning that it might involve the extra expense of getting a professional to do it for you.

Wooden Shed Recap: Pros- Visually appealing & customisable. Cons - Higher maintenance and cost and complex to install.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can metal sheds be noisy during rain or hailstorms?

A - Yes, metal sheds can be noisier than other materials during rain or hail, but this can be reduced by adding insulation to the roof or walls to dampen the sound. Also, some metal shed designs offer noise-reducing features.

Q2: How easy are plastic sheds to assemble?

A - Plastic sheds are particularly easy to assemble, requiring minimal tools and effort. They often come with pre-cut, pre-drilled parts and detailed instructions, making them a convenient choice, even for people with no DIY experience.

Q3: How do I prevent rust on a metal shed?

A - Generally speaking, a metal shed's galvanized exterior means you won't have to worry about rust. However, if the coating gets scratched, oxidization may occur. The good news is that you can easily touch up these scratches with a rust-resistant sealant.

Q4: Are plastic sheds environmentally friendly?

Actually, yes, they are. Many are made from recycled materials and their long lifespan means you're much less likely to have to buy a replacement in the following years.

Choosing a Shed That Ticks All the Right Boxes

The wooden vs metal vs plastic sheds conversation is an interesting one. While wooden sheds can be costly and hard to install, they do have their merits. However, if you're budget-conscious and you prefer a hardwearing, durable option, you'll likely be choosing between a metal or a plastic shed for your yard. The best shed material depends on you!

If you'd like to see what a high-quality range of metal and plastic sheds looks like, visit us today at Patiowell, where you'll also our selection of find deck boxes and more. Alternatively, if you need some support in making your purchase, don't hesitate to get in touch with us by entering your details into our contact form, and we'll get back to you without delay.

Diana Mason

Hi there! I’m Diana Mason, the chief editor of Patiowell brand. With over 15 years of diving deep into the world of outdoor furniture, I’ve developed a keen eye for what makes outdoor spaces truly special. I love sharing tips and inspiration to help you create your perfect backyard retreat. Our blog is a reflection of my passion and expertise, featuring only the best pieces that I personally vouch for. Thanks for stopping by—I can't wait to help you transform your outdoor living space!

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