Wooden, Metal and Plastic sheds

Buying a shed, with all the options, layouts, shapes and sizes available can be a daunting prospect, but it is normally straight forward if you have plently of diagrams, pictures and informative text to guide you along. But the choice of what it should be constructed from is often overlooked and can make it hard for you to make an informed decision.
There are three choices: plastic, metal and wood. When choosing materials for constructing a shed you must consider cost, suitability, durabilitystrength and appearance.

Metal Sheds
Most metals are extracted from their ores using a chemical reaction. Metals are rarely used in their pure form, and are usually mixed with other metals to improve their properties. This is called an alloy. Majority of metal sheds will be aluminium.

Plastic Sheds
Can either be pure plastic or plastic coated.

Wooden Sheds
Here on Beast Sheds we have chosen wood to build all our sheds, and for good reasons…

Strength & Durability
If a material withstands wear and tear, the weather and corrosion it is durable (long lasting). It usually is noticed by a change in appearance when it starts to wear out. Corrosion is the main area affecting durability and can often be overlooked which can have serious effects on metallic sheds whose durability can be affected by rust. Ultra violet light can affect materials, particularly plastics which can become very brittle with the effects of the sun. In general though, plastics are less likely to corrode than most materials but strength is not usually associated with plastics.

Sustainable
Perhaps it’s an obvious point but worth bringing to mind that wood is a completely natural material. And as long as it has the FSC certificate (organisation supported by NGOs including WWF, Greenpeace and the Woodland Trust http://www.fsc.org/) then it is also a sustainable product, making it better to use for the enviroment than other materials.

Stability
Materials which are stable resist changes in size and shape, which can often be caused by weather, particularly wet or dry conditions. Wood tends to warp and twist if it gets too wet or dry. This won’t be a problem with proper wood treatment to waterproof it. Plastic tends to bend and stay bent if it is subject to constant force. This stretching due to force is called ‘creep’.

Apperance
Perhaps a personal opinion, but a wooden shed is much more eye catching than plastic or metal, it sits quietly within its natural outdoor environment, whereas metallic and plastic sheds reflect the sun and become rather noisy when it rains!

DIY Customisation
A wooden building allows customisation even when constructed. Most people have some wood working tools & supplies in their possession, such as wood drills, screws and spare bits of wood laying around. These can all easily be used on a wooden shed to improve and customise it – such as a shelf or overhang / lean-to for storing large timber planks etc.

Update 06/03/12:

Problems with self build plastic sheds
I’ve read a few customer reviews that highlight common issues with B&Q plastic sheds

1 reviewer:

The main problem is the doors, they don’t line up and shut properly. I’ve dismantle some of it to try rectify it but still no luck. I will make the doors shut but not sure how yet. Only thing I can think of is to drill new holes and move the hinges, but I’m not 100% on this.

Another reviewer:

bought this shed ,and the holes are pre drilled so when erected the doors arent level ,couldnt close them,the locks didnt align together

See the reviews here

A straight talking fellow, 'The Beast' has worked with the shed industry for over 5 years, but has been around serious wooden buildings all his life. Born and bred in England, he was raised into a long line of big shed builders. His father constructed a shed with 2 floors, it was so large, passers by thought it was a church! His grand father was a carpenter, and passed his infectious love of wood and quality workmanship onto the man you read about today.