The Pros and Cons of a Plastic Shed
Set and Forget with Plastic...
Every part of a plastic shed is designed for a purpose. Take for example the traditional outside look, it is no mistake it is to keep the HOA or council happy. The included plastic floor allows easy cleaning, and the windows and light colored interior keeps the shed from being dark and dingy.
Even the plastic is designed and specifically chosen. The plastic that sheds are built from is different to shopping bag plastic or drink bottle plastic. It is a high density, quite hard and also UV resistant plastic specifically designed for outdoor use.
For these reasons, plastic is becoming quite popular with home owners. It's a specifically designed solution to meet your needs.
But even though they are custom made for the job, we weren't sure if they were the best sheds... so we made this list of pros and cons. Enjoy.
|Plastic is water and weatherproof||Extreme temperatures|
|Looks great||Assembly can be tricky|
|Plastic sheds are easy to assemble||Customizing can be expensive or impossible|
|Value for money||Restricted size|
|Well made with good design|
The PROS of a Plastic Shed:
1. Maintenance Free
No rot, no rust, no problems! Plastic sheds biggest selling point is that they don’t require much maintenance, if at all. You never have to paint, sand or treat them for pests. They are also easy to clean with soapy water and a brush, or a pressure washer
If you build a wooden or metal shed for your backyard, there is no end to the amount of maintenance you are committing yourself to. Both wood and metal must be kept painted and properly sealed to keep the weather at bay
With Wood, if you don't keep a fresh coat of paint and where necessary new shingles in place, the wood will rot and the metal will rust. Certainly not what you want when you build a garden shed where you be storing your valuable items
Plastic, on the other hand, does not rust, rot, or suffer any other ill effects of the weather. In fact, beyond the occasional rinse down with your garden hose, most plastic sheds require absolutely no maintenance whatsoever. You can keep using them year after year with no worries
2. Long Life
Plastic sheds are made to stand the test of time. Many owners speak of how their sheds have been around for years and still look good. Water does not affect the plastic like other materials so in areas with a lot of water, plastic sheds can outlast their competitors.
Shed manufacturers are also getting better at making the resin which now does not fade easily. The plastic on a good shed is also quite thick, which insulates your items from the weather outside.
The good manufacturers will guarantee their sheds for long periods (10 years), to give you piece of mind
3. Plastic is Water and Weatherproof
By its very nature, plastic is impermeable, this means that plastic is the perfect medium to keep out the rains, snow, and ice.
Thus a plastic shed may be the perfect way to keep everything you place inside it perfectly dry, no matter what the weather outside might be doing. While early plastic sheds were susceptible to extremes in climate, some would become brittle and crack when exposed to freezing temperatures or sag under extreme heat
And although it's still not 100% resistant to harsh weather, today's plastic sheds are made with newer materials that are much more resistant to extremes in climate
4. Looks Great
Plastic sheds look great. Shed manufacturers tend to make them look like they are from a storybook, some with shutters and imitation slate roofs. They are neat and suit every yard. Some reviewers believe that the shed improves their whole properties appearance
5. Plastic Sheds Are Easy to Assemble
Unless you are a contractor or have extensive construction experience, you may find building a wood shed to be beyond your skills. Even if you do have the skills needed to build a wooden or metal shed from scratch, you may find building one can take more hours than you have to spare.
Plastic sheds, on the other hand, come in no more than a few pieces that are very easy to put together. While most require some type of screw or fastener to assemble, many newer ones, especially in the 8 x 6 size simply snap together. Most newer 8 x 6 plastic sheds can be put together in no more than a few hours at best, some can be built in less than an hour
6. Value for Money
Plastic sheds are priced well, especially the larger ones. They give a lot of storage for the dollars spent. And although they do need a good foundation, they come with a floor which metal and wood sheds typically don’t. This will save you some money.
7. Well-made with Good Design
A lot of effort goes into producing a plastic shed and that means the design is thought out. The shape of the sheds along with their usability is very good.
The design features can include windows, reinforced floors, good looking door handles with integrated locks, high pitched roofs, and imitation siding so your shed fits in with its surroundings.
The CONS of a Plastic Shed:
One of the biggest concerns most people express about using a plastic shed in their backyard concerns how they are supposed to secure it and keep everything safe inside. The average shed is fully lockable as they include a hasp made just for a padlock
However, when you are looking at the various brands of plastic sheds, you need to pay close attention to the amount of force it is likely to take for someone to break the lock off or force the door open
One more thing you may want to consider is how much replacement parts or repairs are going to cost if someone does break into your shed
- Look for sheds that are reinforced with steel, and have steel locking mechanisms. Many of the sheds do.
While plastic sheds are designed to offer plenty of protection against rain, ice, and snow, they do suffer from poor wind protection.
By its very nature, plastic is quite lightweight, making it quite easy for your plastic shed to be blown over. More importantly, if your shed is one that has been snapped together, the wind may not only knock your shed over but also break it apart.
Plastic sheds that have been properly designed are strong enough to resist the effects of the wind and should also be firmly anchored to the ground for added protection
- Look for plastic sheds that have steel reinforced walls and roofs
3. Extreme temperatures
Plastic sheds do not like extreme temperatures. At the very least in the direct heat they become quite hot, but at worst the heat can buckle the panels, leaving gaps for rain and pests to enter.
In the extreme cold, the plastic can contract which will leave gaps for any snow or water to get in the shed too. Manufacturers are getting better with this, although some reviewers are still having issues.
- Under heat the plastic will conform to the shape around it, so it must be installed correctly. Also, when placing the shed, keep it out of extreme weather such as direct sun in heat waves.
4. Assembly can be tricky
Putting a plastic shed together can be tricky if all the parts don’t line up. If it’s not installed properly, the doors can be lopsided or won’t close properly.
- Plastic sheds must be installed on a flat, level foundation. There is typically no forgiveness in doors and joints, so a small bump or incline can throw your shed out quite a bit. If the shed isn’t installed properly, it can throw everything else out.
- Use WD40 or dish soap on the bottom of the walls over the piece that has to click in. It will make it much easier.
- Plastic heats up so if you leave it in the sun as you construct it, some parts might not fit due to their expansion.
- If left in the heat, the plastic will expand easily. If you are building the shed, leave the pieces in the shade until you need them. Once together, the shed will be strong and sturdy.
- The shed must be well fastened if you expect Windy conditions.
5. Customizing can be expensive or impossible
Yes you can customize a plastic shed, but it's not straight forward. You have two options, buy the 'official' extras sold by the manufacturer - which tend to be expensive, or make your own out of some plywood.
If you end up making your own, double check where you are fixing has enough support to hold what you want.
- Look for existing cavities and places for shelves
- Search for your shed on Amazon or your local hardware store to find their storage range. Even if you don't plan on using their equipment it can be a good place to generate ideas
6. Restricted size
Most people buy a plastic shed because it is convenient and affordable, on top of this, the average 8 x 6 plastic shed is perfect for gardens that lack the space for any other type of shed
While it might seem as though this size of plastic shed offers the perfect solution, you have to consider whether or not this type of shed is truly going to offer you enough storage space for all of your gear
Bear in mind that most plastic sheds are not made to bolt shelving to the walls. If anything, you may have enough room to add floor standing shelves, which will, of course, take up valuable floor space
- The largest plastic shed I have seen is 15x8 foot. If your thinking of going larger than this, then try a wood or metal shed