When selecting and constructing a shed, you are faced with several choices. One of the most important in determining your shed’s lifespan is the material it is made of. Whether you decide to build it from scratch yourself, pick up a prefabricated shed from a local home improvement big-box retailer, or you want to design and customize the shed with the help of our team here at Barnyard Utility Buildings, you have a handful of materials to consider. But which is the right material for you? Here is what is the best material for a storage shed.
Wood is a classic look. While there are other build materials out there designed to replicate the overall aesthetic of wood, simply put, there is nothing else like it. And while wood is beautiful, you need to perform so many steps in general upkeep to maintain the woodshed and prevent deterioration.
Wood needs to be restrained frequently. Typically, this needs to be done annually, although there might be some exceptions. This is another task you’ll have to do every year and an additional expense. While you can change the paint color easier than any other material, the overall upkeep and time it takes to maintain it might not be worth it for you.
Additionally, wood is easier to chew away at for critters. Mice and other pests can gnaw away at wood and sneak into the shed more easily than composites or metals. Plus, if you are not using the shed during the colder months, you may not even realize rodents have built nests within the shed until springtime.
In short, the only time you should go with wood is if you attempt to match a particular aesthetic look with the rest of your home. Outside of this, it is almost always better to go with another material.
There are only a handful of pre-designed shed options at your disposal. You can go to a home improvement store, and they will have a couple, but you don’t have much input of your own onto the sheds. And if you want to do more with the shed than store tools, you’ll be out of luck. The sheds are likely aluminum and a particular color, so you can’t change this either.
If you were to purchase design plans and then buy the material on your own, you could save money this way, but you won’t be guaranteed the home improvement store will have everything you need to build the shed. Additionally, you will still need to conform to the design. What happens if you want a very specific shed design? Maybe you want a particular window placement or insulation or electrical outlets? These kinds of features are difficult to add with a store-bought shed, but with a professional service provider, all of this can be handled for you.
Composite will give you a look similar to wood. This is great when you want to achieve something close to wood but don’t want to deal with the headache of wood upkeep.
Composite building material will provide you with an excellent construction design and let you skip the annual paint jobs. Of course, the paint color is one issue you’ll need to deal with. You can’t change the color of your composite shed once selected, so you better make sure it is exactly what you want. If you decide you want to change the color of your composite shed, you will have more than a few headaches to deal with. Outside of this, it is the only downside of selecting composite. So if you want that wood look but don’t want to deal with wood, composite is the way to go.
If you are interested in a metal shed, you will opt for either aluminum or steel. Aluminum is an affordable, lightweight build material that also can be constructed faster than wood or composite. This is because metals are installed in larger sheets instead of smaller pieces.
The overall look and design of aluminum have come a long way in recent years. Some even have patterns to give you more of a wood plank look, although nobody will be confusing the aluminum shed for a wood one.
Unlike composite, you can paint aluminum again. It does require a special kind of paint, but it leaves you the possibility of changing the paint color of the shed, should you ever want to.
Aluminum is incredibly durable. However, if the metal is ever dented (perhaps a tree branch falls on it or you’re letting your kid mow the lawn with the driving mower and they accidentally bump into the shed), you will either need to leave the dent as-is or you’ll need to replace the panel. Aluminum will almost never pull back out to its original shape without leaving a mark.
Steel is an excellent build material. It is stronger than aluminum, and it is just as durable. However, it is also easier to repair, so if your shed does sustain some kind of a dent, you can probably repair it without being forced to replace the entire panel. Much like aluminum, you can also repaint it and change the color. For many, steel might be the best material to utilize when building a storage shed. However, it does come down to a personal preference and the overall visual aesthetic of the shed. For some, there’s nothing like wood. For others, steel sheds will always reign supreme.
When it comes to designing a shed specifically for your personal needs and the needs of your property, cookie-cutter and out-of-the-box shed designs will not give you the kind of complete design with you in mind. Some may not even be up to code, depending on your community or the HOA you are a part of.
Instead of limiting yourself to the ready-made options or attempting to build it on your own without the expertise, tools, or knowledge, it is best to partner with our staff here at Barnyard Utility Buildings. Here we will work with you to design the ultimate shed from the ground up. Whether you want it to hold tools or be designed as an outdoor patio bar, a private yoga studio, or something else, we will work with you in designing the shed. We will also suggest the best materials to use outside and inside the shed. So, if you’re ready to start building your shed, now is the time to give our staff here at Barnyard Utility Buildings a call.