Sheds that are canvas, polyethylene or have a fabric cover we have called fabric sheds. They are more like tents, as they have a frame, and a cloth like lining.
The technologies involved in fabric covers are well developed. You can buy them with anti-fungal agents, UV resistance, even ‘anti-aging’.
But for us, they are not in the same category as wood, metal or even plastic. They are different and serve a different purpose.
But if they do suit your needs, then they are a quick and inexpensive solution. And to make it easier to make an informed decision, we have listed the PROS and CONS of fabric sheds.
|The Cheapest Shed||Fabric Will Eventually Tear|
|Easiest Assembly||Weakest Shed Material|
|No Need for a Foundation||Can Get Wet Inside|
|Great Temporary Solution||Makes Noise in the Wind|
|Good for Camping||No Real Security|
Fabric sheds are popular because they are the cheapest solution per square foot. They provide shelter and will cover your things for the best price.
If its something easy to put up then fabric is a great choice. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to put up a fabric shed and it can typically be done with one person.
Because they basically are storage tents, fabric sheds get fixed down just like camping tents do. With pegs, augers and string. This means they can go pretty much anywhere without any hassle. Even on a concrete slab they can be weighed down with bricks and other heavy items.
Because they are easy to assemble, they are a great temporary solution. They don’t leave marks and they fold up small enough to fit in the trunk of your car. This makes them portable and great for a quick fix.
All of the above reasons make fabric sheds good for camping. If its your motorbike, or ATV that you want to protect when you’re not using it, a fabric shed will do the trick. And it’s easy to disassemble and take home when you’re done.
Because it moves in the wind and is not rigid, the lining will eventually tear. Some homeowners say they can get about 5 years out of their fabric shed, but it could be less depending on the weather and conditions it is exposed to.
Fabric sheds don’t deal with abuse of any kind. Such as knocks or bumps. They can stretch and tear if your not careful.
Fabric sheds don’t typically come with a built in floor. This is an issue in areas prone to heavy rain. It will mean that the ground inside the shed will get wet. This really limits fabric sheds because you can only really put things that are okay outside in them. Like your motorbike or riding mower.
It’s not well known but if you have a fabric shed and its windy, the shed can be a little noisey. It is especially bad when the shed sits outside your bedroom window.
Fabric sheds have zips on them to open and close them. No room for a padlock there. But they can also be cut open with a sharp knife. At least if someone is going to break into a metal or wooden shed they would need to make some noise. If security is an issue, then we suggest stay away from fabric.
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|
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
We do love wood sheds. The rustic and classic look enhances any backyard, and adds value to any home.
We can't put our finger on it exactly, but there is something special about wood. Maybe its because wood is a natural product and every piece isn't perfect. Or maybe its the character of wood, with every piece being different.
Either way, we believe that wood is a great material for building sheds… But in order to be fair, we have put together this pros and cons of wood sheds list…
|Traditional Shed Material||Wood has Imperfections|
|Wood is a Great Insulator||Requires some Maintenance|
|Appearance is Up to You||Wood is Prone to Pests and Rot|
|Create a Custom Size||Assembly Time|
|Very Strong and Solid|
Using lumber is the traditional way to build a shed. Wood sheds have been around for a long time, and is still heavily used as a shed building material because of its looks, strength and versatility. It's also a renewable resource, and environmentally friendly, if that stuff floats your boat.
If you plan on spending much time in your shed, its better off being a wood shed. Lumber is a great insulator meaning that it resists the outside temperatures, leaving the inside of the shed more pleasant than a metal, fabric or plastic one.
Want your shed the same color as your house? No problems. Being able to choose how your shed looks is great, especially if your HOA has certain rules on colors.
Wood sheds are also relatively easy to work on, so if you want to put a window in later, or extend your shed you can do it. You can customize a wood shed this way, where you can't with other types of sheds.
Just like the appearance the shed size is also up to you. This works well if you need a shed to fit a particular space, or you need to put something in particular in it. You can build a wooden shed to fit in all circumstances.
Wood is heavy, and when a shed is put together it can be quite heavy and solid. The frame is strong and takes the weight, but the sidings provide the lateral strength which really stiffens up the walls of the shed. This means that in strong winds, it isn't going anywhere.
Movement is caused by the moisture going into and coming out of the wood. This can lead to warping, twisting and bowing which, in the most extreme cases can leave timber unusable.
Wood sheds require the most maintenance out of all of the shed materials. They need to be finished (painted or varnished) every so often, and parts replaced when they rot, break, or move to the point where they don't fit anymore.
Lumber is a natural product and can attract pests such as termites but also rot. Rot happens when water is stagnant and pools around uncovered timber.
Building a shed out of wood is the longest route to building a shed. Simply because you are doing everything yourself.
Like wood sheds, metal sheds have sat in many yards for years.
Maybe unfairly they have developed a reputation for being the cheaper option. And although they still are great value, recently they have had a face-lift or two.
Nowadays, the coatings and build quality are better than ever (generally). And metal sheds are seeing a resurgence in popularity, and not only in peoples yards.
Metal sheds are particularly popular with shed manufacturers, and metal is the choice material for large warehouses. But just because it is popular, does that make it a good material for the shed in your yard?
To answer that question we have put together a list of the pros and cons of metal sheds, so you can make up your own mind. Enjoy.
|Great value for money||Tough to modify|
|Long lasting (if installed properly)||Prone to rust and corrosion|
|Little maintenance required||Feel a little flimsy compared to others|
|Resists extreme temperatures||Appearance|
|Easy to Assemble|
|Small metal sheds are light enough to be moved|
Metal is a cheap shed material available, which makes it a popular choice with home owners worldwide.
Being metal though it does have its strengths. It will not rot, or be affected by the heat, excess sunlight or cold temperatures. This allows you to place a metal shed in fully exposed areas of your yard.
Metal is not used on its own much these days. It is coated in vinyl and or galvanized to make it long lasting. You can expect your metal shed to look good for 10+ years straight out of the box.
Metal sheds do not require painting, or sanding or pest control like wooden sheds do. The only maintenance issues are typically with rust and corrosion, which don’t require much action.
Metal is strong in the heat or cold which means it wont distort or warp under different conditions. Metal sheds can also be reinforced against strong winds, (typically an added extra.)
Metal sheds all come in pre-cut and pre-drilled kits, making instillation relatively easy. Although not all instructions are created equal, the assembly of metal sheds is doable for even occasional
If you are thinking of moving, or you are renting then a small metal shed can do the job. They are cheap and can be moved in the bed of a pickup quite easily.
Modifying a metal shed is not a DIYer’s job. It can require some serious tools such as welders, sheet folders and angle grinders. Because of this putting a window in a shed can be too hard for the average home owner, and either gets put in the too hard basket, or involves replacing the whole shed.
Although metal sheds are durable and are getting better at being long lasting, they are still susceptible to rust and corrosion. Rust looks terrible, it eats away at metal like a cancer and it’s inevitable when you have a shed exposed to the elements like most are.
Metal sheds selling point is usually the price. This focus on price can lead us to buy sheds because we can afford them, not because of their quality. Flimsyness is usually due to a thin gauge metal sheet being used to line the shed.
Metal sheds look clean but aren't the nicest looking sheds. To combat this, metal shed manufacturers are now lining the outside of their sheds with PVC or Vinyl coating which does enhance the appearance.