Choosing a Plastic vs Wood Shed
If you’re looking at buying a shed for your home, one of the first decisions you need to make is also one of the hardest, and that’s whether you should choose a wooden or plastic shed. To help you make the right choice for your storage needs as well as your budget and aesthetic preferences, our custom shed builders are breaking down the pros and cons of both wood and plastic sheds.
The Pros and Cons of Plastic Sheds
Plastic sheds, also known as resin sheds, are made from common, inexpensive polymers – usually either polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE). They’re easy to manufacture, making them popular options at home improvement stores, but are they the right option for your home?
The Benefits of a Plastic Shed
The main benefit of choosing a plastic shed is its cost. They are generally very inexpensive while providing the square footage you need. Additional benefits include:
- Cost: Plastic sheds are typically small and much cheaper in price than sheds constructed of other materials.
- Lightweight: If you need to move, you can empty the shed and take it with you, so this is a good option for people who are renting but need extra storage.
- Smaller sizes: In addition to the standard 10 x 10 size and above, plastic sheds are also available in small “lean-to” styles and bike sheds if you need a more compact solution.
- Maintenance Free: Plastic sheds have UV treatments, so they don’t require painting over time, nor do they need roofing replacement or patching for any kind of damage.
- Pest-resistant: Termites and other pests aren’t attracted to resin sheds, so you don’t need to worry about them causing damage to the structure.
- Mold and rot-resistant: PVC and high-density polyethylene sheds are both resistant to mold and moisture don’t break down or rot the plastic.
- Weather-resistant: Rain, heat, and cold temperatures don’t cause damage, even when exposed for years at a time.
The Disadvantages of Plastic Sheds
While the lack of maintenance and smaller sizes may be attractive features, let’s look at the disadvantages of choosing a plastic shed.
- HOA guidelines: HOAs have strict guidelines for the kind of structures allowed on the properties, and often, plastic sheds are not approved.
- Lack of customization: If you want a shed with shelving, windows, loft space, or other features, you most likely won’t find that in a plastic shed. Even installing your own shelves is nearly impossible to do without damaging the structure.
- Lack of stability: These lightweight structures are easy to move, but that also means that severe weather and heavy storms could knock your shed over and damage your belongings.
- Prone to staining: If you keep oil or other chemicals in your shed, you need to be very careful plastic sheds are prone to staining.
The Pros and Cons of Wooden Sheds
Wooden sheds are typically framed in either pine or spruce and then the exterior is sheathed in either OSB or “All-in-one” sheathing and exterior panels such as T1-11, LP Smartside, and others. Typically, if OSB sheathing is used, there will be a second exterior of vinyl siding or fiber cement sidings such as James Hardie or LP Lap siding. The quality of the materials, coupled with the construction of the shed, plays an essential role in the longevity and durability of the structure.
The Benefits of a Wooden Shed
The leading reason homeowners choose wood over plastic sheds is for size and ability to customize. Wooden sheds are typically larger than plastic sheds and can be customized in near-limitless ways from having shelving, workbenches, and pegboard installed for improved functionality to adding beauty through window flower boxes, porches, french doors, and shutters. Wood sheds can also be constructed to match your home more closely than plastic sheds can.
Additional benefits include:
- HOA-friendly: The customization allows homeowners to get a shed that not only meets their needs, it can also adhere to HOA rules and regulations, the most common of which is the requirement to match the materials used on your home.
- Easy to repair: This is like maintaining your home. If something needs replacing, it is easier than fixing damage to a piece of plastic.
- Multiple uses: Because of the ability to build larger and customize more, wood sheds can be used for workshops, garden sheds, she sheds, man-caves, hobby houses, yoga or workout studios, and more.
The Disadvantages of a Wooden Shed
The greatest drawback to having a wooden shed is the cost. Wooden sheds are generally more expensive than plastic, though it’s important to know that in this case, you truly get what you pay for.
It’s also important to work with a company that uses high-quality materials to improve the durability of the shed. Otherwise, you may be facing these drawbacks:
- Mold: Untreated wood is susceptible to moisture damage, including mold growth that can ruin items you’re storing, and eventually rot the structure.
- Pests: Termites and carpenter ants can chew through untreated wood quickly, destroying the wooden shed or doing expensive damage.
- Fire: All wooden sheds are flammable.
Choosing the Best Material for Your Shed
If you’re debating between wooden or resin sheds, consider your lifestyle. Renters may choose a plastic shed as they’re portable and smaller, whereas homeowners may want something more permanent and large enough to store furniture, bikes, motorcycles, lawn equipment, and even seasonal decorations.
When it comes to choosing a wooden shed, it’s important to choose a shed builder who is dedicated to only using top-tier materials. At Shed Depot in North Carolina, we offer three types of wooden shed siding to ensure the durability and longevity of your structure.
- LP Smartside: Made from Aspen wood, this siding is treated with zinc borate to prevent fungal decay, rot, and pest damage. It also includes a 5/50 year warranty.
- Vinyl siding: This siding requires minimal maintenance and resists fade, denting, cracking, and other damage. This option tends to be popular for homeowners in HOAs.
- Hardie fiber cement: Fiber cement is an incredibly durable material used in residential home construction, but we also build sheds with it. Engineered to resist water, mold, pests, fire, and harsh conditions, wooden sheds with this siding can hold up to the elements for decades.
Design a Custom Wooden Shed with Our 3D Builder Today
If you need a customized storage solution that will give you the space and features you need, Shed Depot can help. We build, deliver, and install custom sheds across North Carolina, from Charlotte to Wilmington. Get started with our 3D Shed Design Tool to design your wooden shed from the ground up, choosing siding, paint, windows, and more, or for more information, give us a call at [phone] or fill out the form below to get started.