Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

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StevieG72
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Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by StevieG72 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:59 pm

Where is the best place to get a backyard shed?

Wood or plastic? The Lifetime plastic sheds seem like a good option.

Looking fo something for around $1,000. Can instal it myself.

The plastic seems to be more durable with less maintenance.

Wooden shed with shingles will need paint, could suffer from moisture & insect damage etc.
Last edited by StevieG72 on Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tamales
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or "plastic"?

Post by Tamales » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:30 pm

What size? Do you have (or plan to get) a slab for it?
I had a 6'x12' wood shed that lasted about 15 years, replaced with a galvanized painted steel shed (I believe the paint is baked on the panels, and comes in a limited range of colors) since the wood shed began deteriorating around 10 years. The steel shed is framed with galvanized steel studs, and was around $1500 installed, if I recall (it was built on a pre-existing slab). You can get lower prices if you are willing to go with thinner gauge steel panels. Windows and fancy doors add to the cost. Custom dimensions (e.g. if you have to stay below fence top due to HOA rules) adds to cost.

I don't think I'd go with plastic unless it's pretty small, maybe 3'x4' max or so. Search for steel sheds and your zip code and you'll probably find a few places that you can either order from or will deliver and build it.
Last edited by Tamales on Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or "plastic"?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:38 pm

$1000 can buy a lot of 2x4's and plywood siding and OSB and roofing shingles. Post and pier construction. Concrete pier/base blocks. If you want to DIY from scratch. Otherwise, steel.

perl
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or "plastic"?

Post by perl » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:48 pm

We just got a plastic shed at Costco.

123
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or "plastic"?

Post by 123 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:53 pm

You might need to consider your climate and the installation location for the shed. In Arizona or Southern California the intense summer sun can cause some plastics left outdoors to get brittle after a few years.
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Watty
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or "plastic"?

Post by Watty » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:06 pm

I put up a plastic shed a few years ago. Assembling it was harder than it looks because if you don't get the foundation exactly level nothing lines up to lock in place. Metal sheds have the same issue but you can sometimes drill an extra hole in the metal if you need to. Either way pay a lot of attention to the foundation and remember to check to see what else you need to buy for the foundation. With wood you can adjust things for an unlevel foundation a lot easier.

The plastic shed is under our deck which is was a problem when we were assembling it since the roof panels needed to be tilted way up to be put into place and there was not enough clearance to tilt them up like they should have been tilted.

Plastic sheds are usually not very secure if that is a concern.

I don't think that there is clear best choice.

Tamales
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or "plastic"?

Post by Tamales » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:29 pm

Consider the location too. If it has to be in the path of drainage during heavy rains and you pour a slab, put deco drain strips in the slab.

2comma
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or "plastic"?

Post by 2comma » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:45 am

What a timely question (for me at least)!

I've been looking at my 15-20 year old metal shed and it's rusting roof and thinking about going with plastic next time. I suspect that a plastic shed would probably last about that long but I haven't done my research on that yet.

I'm guessing if you want to go for longevity a wood shed with a shingle roof would win. The pre-built ones are pretty expensive but most people seem to think the wooden sheds look the best. Of course wood will require some maintenance in the form or painting and re-roofing. I could build one myself but suspect it would be 25% or so more than a metal or plastic shed plus the time to design, acquire materials and actually build it but in the long run it would only need to be maintained rather than be replaced.
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TLC1957
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or "plastic"?

Post by TLC1957 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:13 am

2comma wrote:What a timely question (for me at least)!

I've been looking at my 15-20 year old metal shed and it's rusting roof and thinking about going with plastic next time. I suspect that a plastic shed would probably last about that long but I haven't done my research on that yet.

I'm guessing if you want to go for longevity a wood shed with a shingle roof would win. The pre-built ones are pretty expensive but most people seem to think the wooden sheds look the best. Of course wood will require some maintenance in the form or painting and re-roofing. I could build one myself but suspect it would be 25% or so more than a metal or plastic shed plus the time to design, acquire materials and actually build it but in the long run it would only need to be maintained rather than be replaced.
I had a wood shed 12'x 24' where the walls started to rot the bottom 2' so I covered the entire shed with vinyl siding, looked brand new. If your metal shed is structurally OK why not cover with siding and a new metal roof? I purchased the siding on sale from HomeDepot and a 10" sliding saw from Harbor Freight. It was a fun project now I am a siding expert....LOL.

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stickman731
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or "plastic"?

Post by stickman731 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:46 am

I would vote for wood. I helped a friend assemble a plastic one about 8 years ago - it was not as easy as implied - at times very frustrating and blood pressure raising - we are both handy and we had a good foundation. Three years ago his locking mechanism broke and it took months to find a replacement.

For me I had a prefab 10' x 12' wood shed installed ~15 years ago. I had it positioned on a cinder block base about 4 inches off the ground. No structural or other issues in the 15 years. I did need to build a small ramp to roll out the lawn mower and have painted it once to match new vinyl siding installed on the house.

The one other issue I had was right after year 1 winter - a groundhog made a home underneath it. I had a Have-A-Heart trap and relocated him - the next morning I looked out the window and saw that I had another - Iittle did I know I had a family of 4. All caught and relocated them. I sealed around the bottom with a heavy gauge wire mess and had not any more visitors.

np81
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or "plastic"?

Post by np81 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:24 am

Do you have raccoons in your area? I ask, because they tend to chew on plastic sheds. I have a small plastic shed in my backyard that has a number of small holes in the roof from where they chew, though it's not too bad. I did wind up drilling drainage holes into the bottom of the roof to allow water to escape. I love my shed, and likely would still choose it over a wood shed, but it's one thing to consider that you may not think about until you're finished building it... like me.

carolinaman
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or "plastic"?

Post by carolinaman » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:04 am

I recommend a wooden shed. It will cost more but can be relatively maintenance free if properly constructed. My son built my 16x12 shed on piers and used vinyl siding (no painting) for exterior walls. It looks good and is really solid. It cost about $3k for materials and labor but a smaller version, i.e. 8x10, should be a lot less costly.

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Re: Backyard shed, wood or "plastic"?

Post by jebmke » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:12 am

We have an older wooden shed (rough-sawn siding). 10 years ago we had some roof repairs done, pressure washed the entire shed and then used oil-based stain on the siding. We kept applying stain until the wood wouldn't take it anymore. IMO the key to using a good oil-based stain/treatment whether it is siding or flooring is getting good penetration into the wood. That means repeated applications even though the wood appears to be stained. It has lasted well in a hot, humid environment (near a marsh). I keep the trees near the shed clipped back so it gets sun everyday and good air flow to keep it drying out.
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StevieG72
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by StevieG72 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:33 am

Thanks for the suggestuons.

I am looking at an 8' x 10'. Current metal shed is VERY unsightly. No foundation in place.

Anyone have a plastic shed for many years? While I think a wood shed is better looking, I was thinking a plastic one may last longer & require no maintenance.

I do like the siding idea, or paint to match siding. It seems to add a nice touch to the property to have the shed match the home.
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lthenderson
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:36 am

Plastic sheds get bleached and brittle in the sun and after awhile, start falling apart. I like having a wood/shingle shed where periodic maintenance can preserve it forever. My parents still store their lawnmower in a shed my grandfather built 70 years ago.

Rupert
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by Rupert » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:35 am

lthenderson wrote:Plastic sheds get bleached and brittle in the sun and after awhile, start falling apart. I like having a wood/shingle shed where periodic maintenance can preserve it forever. My parents still store their lawnmower in a shed my grandfather built 70 years ago.
+1. You can't fix a plastic shed. When it cracks (and it eventually will), you have to throw it in a landfill. A wood shed, properly built and maintained, can last nearly forever. I put a new coat of paint on mine every 5 years or so, and that's about it.

np81
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by np81 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:39 am

Rupert wrote:You can't fix a plastic shed. When it cracks (and it eventually will), you have to throw it in a landfill.
Point of clarification - this is 100% incorrect. You can easily fix cracks and holes in plastic sheds with epoxies and plastic welds. I've done it before, and the repairs hold up well.

Rupert
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by Rupert » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:41 am

np81 wrote:
Rupert wrote:You can't fix a plastic shed. When it cracks (and it eventually will), you have to throw it in a landfill.
Point of clarification - this is 100% incorrect. You can easily fix cracks and holes in plastic sheds with epoxies and plastic welds. I've done it before, and the repairs hold up well.
What about when the whole thing gets brittle after being left out in the sun for 10 years to the point that you can put your fist through it? I've seen it happen in my climate.

np81
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by np81 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:45 am

Rupert wrote:
np81 wrote:
Rupert wrote:You can't fix a plastic shed. When it cracks (and it eventually will), you have to throw it in a landfill.
Point of clarification - this is 100% incorrect. You can easily fix cracks and holes in plastic sheds with epoxies and plastic welds. I've done it before, and the repairs hold up well.
What about when the whole thing gets brittle after being left out in the sun for 10 years to the point that you can put your fist through it? I've seen it happen in my climate.
I can say the same for some wooden sheds, as well. Not all are made the same, especially with today's materials. My neighbor's plastic shed, which is a nicer quality than mine, is about 10 years old and still looks brand new.

hicabob
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by hicabob » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:11 am

Some plastics last very well under UV some fall apart after a few months. I'm not a "plastics guy" but when I bought my 5000 gallon water tank, which gets full bore California sun, the salesman said the cross-linked polyethylene tank would last a few hundred years. It still looks good as new 12 years later. When it comes to sheds though I vote for wood. Looks like a real building, can be painted to match the house and should last as long as the house.

Jimmie
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by Jimmie » Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:12 am

If you go with a wood shed, whether you build it or sub it out, you may be required by your city to have a building permit.

Be sure to check this out sooner rather than later because a neighbor may contact City Hall.

Also be sure to check out your homeowners' association rules if you have one, regardless of whether plastic or wood.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:29 am

Get wood. Even the Lifetime version is "lifetime of the plastic", which is ~5 years. How do I know? We had such a shed on our property when we moved in and the roof was very brittle and had many cracks.

I built a wood shed based on this Costco deal, it goes on sale for $1k shipped about once a year:
https://www.costco.com/Everton-8'-x-12' ... 07973.html

I also upgraded parts of it at an additional cost of $500, also it does not come with paint or roofing. Built it myself. Mine looks just like this except it's red:

Image

westie
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by westie » Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:40 am

Amish built my shed (12X16) wood) in 1993, I sold the home in 2015 and it still looked great. Painted it once.

jdb
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by jdb » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:11 pm

Been there, done that, got a large plastic storage shed from Home Depot, did not last through first mini hurricane in South Florida. Still not sure where some of the siding ended up. Got a redwood storage shed kit online from Oregon, dug postholes on corners with heavy duty pressure treated wood posts in concrete. Not going to be blown way by anything less than a full hurricane, and even then the corners going to be there. So recommend wood for sure. Good luck.

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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by pshonore » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:46 pm

Here's a 12 X 18 shed I built with green lumber from a local sawmill nine years ago. Post and Beam construction sitting on 6x6 PT skids with PT floor joist and sills and a good size loft for storage. Total cost about $2500. ($500 for PT stuff, $1500 for beams, siding, roof, etc, and $500 for hardware, nails, screws and shingles)
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SimonJester
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by SimonJester » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:28 am

Ive had both plastic and now have a wood shed.

The plastic shed eventually loosened up at various places as it aged and warped a bit. It had many hollow places in the plastic panels where wasps would build their nests, which was a pain to get to and destroy. It was not 100% waterproof after some time but close enough for a lawn mower and garden tools.
It never needed painting but the panels did fade in color over time.

One problem is when the door hinges break (which are plastic as well), you then have a fun time epoxying them back together.

I replaced it with a wood shed and I am much happier. I used a kit from Lowes which was cheap but if I had to do it over I would just buy the lumber and build it myself. The kit was 2x3" where I would have used 2x4s if purchased lumber.
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likegarden
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by likegarden » Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:12 am

You have to maintain a wood shed! I once bought a house which had a free standing wood shed. It was used to house a horse I was told. It looked like it was never painted, and I had to fix the raised wooden floor and other parts and paint it. Right next to it they had a pile of horse manure, which rotted adjoining wood, but was great for my garden.

BanditKing
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by BanditKing » Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:04 am

If aesthetics isn't an issue, a 20' steel cargo container makes for a GREAT "shed". I used one as storage on some wooded camping land I used to own.

Cost about $1500 including delivery. Had a couple minor dents from its previous travels, but not enough to matter. It's weather proof, rodent proof, secure as heck. Doesn't look very pretty though.

Just need four cinder blocks as a "foundation".

pshonore
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by pshonore » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:18 am

BanditKing wrote:If aesthetics isn't an issue, a 20' steel cargo container makes for a GREAT "shed". I used one as storage on some wooded camping land I used to own.

Cost about $1500 including delivery. Had a couple minor dents from its previous travels, but not enough to matter. It's weather proof, rodent proof, secure as heck. Doesn't look very pretty though.

Just need four cinder blocks as a "foundation".
I'm curious - are those containers ventilated? If not, is there quite a heat buildup in warm weather if the door is not opened regularly? How about condensation in the winter?

Riverstwo
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by Riverstwo » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:32 am

Go with wood, mine has lasted 33 years. Keep bottom off the ground. Mine is on ciderblocks and it won't rot. I paint it about every 7 years, not a big deal. Can change colors to keep up with the she-shed fashion or the man cave ideas. Plastic warps with sun and doors won't close right. Been doing a lot of research recently.

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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:48 am

Depends on where it (geographically and within your yard) and how long you want it to last. If you won't live there 5 years from now and don't want to put in a lot of effort (and don't live in the desert), get a decent plastic one and set aside 2-4 hours to build it right. You should have some sort of foundation - wood or concrete or pavers - but how "good" the foundation is should depend on how long you want the thing to last. and whoever buys in 5 years probably won't care about your shed. That's the approach I took, and 3 years into a Rubbermaid shed and all is well (i store mostly outdoor tools and gardening supplies).

If you want to live there forever, and you want one of those forever sheds, then get a proper wood one built (diy if you know what you're doing, farm it out if you don't) and think of maintenance on it just like it were part of your house.

Just my $0.02.
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BanditKing
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Re: Backyard shed, wood or plastic?

Post by BanditKing » Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:22 pm

pshonore wrote:I'm curious - are those containers ventilated? If not, is there quite a heat buildup in warm weather if the door is not opened regularly? How about condensation in the winter?
They have a little ventilation in them, but not a lot. Things will get warm/humid in them, so you don't want anything in it that can't handle the heat and natural humidity. I doubt condensation would be a big problem.

Mostly I use it to store a few rubbermaid tubs of papers and other things that weren't temp sensitive, lawn mower, tools, campfire stuff, some stacked firewoodm etc. IMHO, it is really no different than a wooden or plastic shed, just a lot more sturdy, secure, weatherproof and rodent proof.

I made sure to get one that was painted a bright color (a light beige) so that it reflected a lot more light - kept the internal temps down a LOT.

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