Metal vs Wood Shed: Making The Informed Choice
You want to protect your lawnmower, outdoor furniture, and holiday decorations from the elements, but you also don’t want to take up all the space in your garage. The best solution is to get an outdoor storage building, but should you choose a metal shed vs wood? We’re looking at which materials are best for both functionality and aesthetics to help you make the right choice.
The Pros and Cons of Metal Sheds
Made from galvanized steel with a baked-on finish, metal sheds have been the most common option for homeowners for decades. However, with the growing popularity of other materials, particularly wood sheds, let’s look at the pros and cons of steel buildings to see if you should consider a classic metal shed for your home.
The Benefits of a Metal Shed
The leading benefit of having a metal shed installed in your yard is the cost as they are often significantly less expensive to buy than wooden sheds. Additionally, the ongoing costs of maintenance are very low because there is very little maintenance, especially for the first few years of ownership.
Additional benefits include:
- Cost: Metal sheds are typically less expensive than their wooden counterparts.
- Sustainability: Steel can be recycled almost infinitely, without the material breaking down or degrading, so it’s a good choice for the environment. Plus, fewer materials are involved in the fabrication of a metal shed.
- Pest-resistant: Termites, carpenter bees, carpenter ants, and other wood-boring pests steer clear of steel sheds.
- Fungus and Mold-Resistant: Mold, fungus, and other rot won’t affect metal sheds.
- Fire-Resistant: Metal structures don’t burn or catch fire, though it’s important to still take care when storing any fire hazards in your shed.
The Disadvantages of Metal Sheds
While they’re less expensive and resistant to mold, rot, and other damaging elements, this shed material does have challenges and drawbacks. The main disadvantage is that metal sheds are prone to rust over time. This is a particular challenge in North Carolina when continued exposure to high humidity and regular thunderstorms expose the metal to enough moisture to cause unsightly rust that is difficult to remove or repair.
Additional disadvantages to metal sheds include:
- HOAs: If you live in an HOA, they may not allow you to have a metal shed on your property.
- Aesthetics: Metal sheds are utilitarian. They are good for storage space, but they generally aren’t very attractive.
- Minimal customization: If you want to turn a shed into a workshop or improve how you store items with shelving or loft space, that’s almost impossible to do with a metal shed.
- Difficult to repair: If rust or leaks occur with your shed, or the paint starts to fade, crack, or chip, repairs are challenging, if not impossible.
- Noisy: Rain on a metal roof may seem like a soothing sound, but heavy rain can be incredibly noisy when it strikes the sheet metal. If your shed will be installed near a bedroom window or where people are gathering, it’s an essential factor to consider.
The Pros and Cons of Wooden Sheds
Wooden sheds are not all made the same, so it’s important to choose a shed company with a good reputation, that makes you feel comfortable when answering your questions and has great warranties. Typically, wood sheds are framed in either pine or spruce, sheathed in OSB covered with Vinyl, Lap, or Fiber cement, or sheathed in an “All-In-One” type siding such as T1-11 and LP Smartside. Always choose a shed company that guarantees their work and uses the best quality materials to ensure longevity.
The Benefits of a Wood Shed
Wooden sheds are rapidly growing in popularity, and it’s not surprising why. The number one benefit to choosing wood vs metal is that wood sheds are more customizable. Many people are choosing to upgrade and finish wooden sheds to use them for home offices, workshops, man caves, and more. It’s possible to add a loft for additional storage space, install worktables, bike racks, pegboard, and shelving, and have different doors installed depending on your needs.
Additional benefits of a wooden shed include:
- Aesthetically pleasing: In addition to the functional customization we listed above, wooden sheds can have windows, porches, flower boxes, and other attractive features, plus they are built in a variety of styles.
- HOA-friendly: Wooden sheds can be customized in a way to more easily meet strict HOA guidelines.
- Easy to repair: If a storm takes off a few shingles or damage occurs to the wood, it’s generally very easy to do repairs.
- Easy to paint: Traditional exterior paint is used on wooden sheds, so if the paint does fade or peel over time, adding a fresh coat doesn’t require a great deal of effort.
- Long-lasting: While the original wooden sheds were prone to rot, mold, and pests, today’s sheds are treated to be much more durable, weather-resistant, and able to withstand extreme temperatures.
The Disadvantages of Wood Sheds
If you’re considering a wooden shed for your home, the greatest disadvantage is cost. Wood sheds are generally more expensive than metal, though many people believe it is a worthwhile investment in order to get the customization options and ensure it passes HOA guidelines.
If you don’t choose a company that uses top-tier materials, additional challenges include:
- Mold: Untreated wood is prone to growing mold spores which can damage or ruin items kept in the storage shed.
- Pests: Termites, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees can all damage untreated wood and destroy a structure in a matter of weeks.
- Fire: Unlike metal, wooden sheds can be destroyed by fire along with the contents inside.
What Material Is Best for Sheds?
When it comes to choosing a metal shed vs wood, you want a shed that has the storage and functionality you need and an attractive appearance that will stand up to severe weather, pests, and harsh heat and humidity. While metal sheds do have benefits, we find that high-quality, treated wood gets the best results. At Shed Depot, we offer three types of wooden shed siding to protect your structure:
- LP Smartside: This Aspen wood siding is treated with zinc borate to protect against fungal decay, rot, and pest damage and includes a 5/50 year warranty.
- Vinyl siding: This is a minimal maintenance option that resists fade, denting, cracking, and other damage to maintain its appearance and protect the interior.
- Hardie fiber cement: This incredibly durable material is used in residential home construction, and it’s also available for our sheds. Engineered to resist water, mold, pests, fire, and harsh conditions, this shed can hold up for decades.
Contact Shed Depot Today for a Custom Shed in North Carolina
For a durable, long-lasting wooden shed that adds beauty and value to your property as well as necessary storage, rely on Shed Deport. Check out our 3D Shed Design Tool to get the exact new shed you need at a price you can afford, or to learn more about our customization options and materials, call (919) 776-0206 or complete the short form below to get started today.