• Jeremy Horning

How Long Do Sheds Last - Life Expectancy for Different Types of Sheds

Updated: 6 days ago

People tend to buy a shed because they’ve got a variety of things they need to store right away. they might be looking for However, it should also be considered an investment which means you should also be concerned that it will last a long time.


A common question asked by many people considering buying a shed is, “How long do sheds last?”


The actual answer can depend on several things, such as the quality of the shed’s construction, the type of material used, for example, if it's a wood storage shed, and whether the shed is regularly maintained and repaired when necessary.


In this post, you’ll find out all you need to know about the lifespan of a shed and what steps you can take to ensure its life is a long and useful one.


How Long Does a Shed Last?

It’s difficult to give an exact figure for how long sheds last because many factors can affect its lifespan. However, in general terms, you can expect the following, for the most common types of shed material:

  • Wooden sheds such as those used for wood storage: Between 20 and 25 years

  • Vinyl sheds: Between 25 and 30+ years

  • Resin or plastic sheds: Between 5 and 7 years

  • Metal sheds: Less than 5 years

These figures are merely ballpark figures. Next, let’s look at some of the things that can impact the lifespan of your shed.


What are the Factors That Influence the Lifespan of a Shed?


Whatever type of shed you purchase, there are several things that can increase the lifespan of your shed.


Quality Workmanship

Any shed is only as good as the workmanship that has gone into building it. The first step in purchasing a shed that’s going to last is finding the right shed-building team.


Ideally, you want to look for a builder that’s got a good reputation, both in terms of shed style, type and construction. You also need to make sure they use the highest quality materials, even if you only need it for wood storage.


Check whether there is a portfolio of work you can look at and maybe ask around your neighborhood, friends, family, and colleagues to see if anyone can recommend a competent shed builder.


Something else to look for is a workmanship warranty that will cover any issues that might arise following the installation of your shed.

Urban Sheds is a reputable company that takes pride in designing a quality shed and ensuring an expert builder is available to make your dream come to life.


Following the design process, using its free, unique 3D shed modeling software, you’re connected with a local builder who will be able to build your high quality shed onsite. The builders follow Urban Sheds structural guidelines, use high quality materials and each outdoor shed comes with a 30 year structural warranty.


Position it Correctly


You might not realize that positioning is everything when it comes to the lifespan of your shed. More than aesthetics should be considered when deciding where your shed should be located.


As well as finding a place where the shed looks good, you should also place it where it protected and less vulnerable to the ravages of heavy rains and high winds.

If you live in an area that experiences heavy snowfall, you should place your wooden sheds where they're not going to take on extra snowfall from surrounding vegetation and trees.


Strength of the Frame

Storage sheds that are well built should last for more than a few years. Many are designed and built to last for decades. Whichever type of storage sheds you use, don’t look at it as merely a temporary structure because it should be so much more than that.


A sturdy frame is a vital component of storage sheds that is going to be standing for more than a few years. The best base for your storage sheds longevity is one that’s made using concrete blocks. Any floor joists should be pressure-treated so that they are decay- and pest-resistant.


Correct Sealant


Water doesn’t have to be the enemy if you’ve opted for a wooden shed. What is the enemy, however, is water exposure that’s prolonged.


The key to making wooden sheds last the test of time is to use the proper sealant. Extreme outdoor elements can be a massive test for a portable buildings durability because wood expands and contracts when it absorbs moisture.

If wooden sheds are sealed correctly, it will act as protection from the worst the weather can throw at it.


When your wooden shed is first installed, the weather might be sunshine and rainbows, but the aim should be for your shed to withstand all the elements, including subzero temperatures and torrential rain.


Paint Finish

Paint can be another way of protecting your shed from the elements and keep it in tip-top shape. Depending on where your shed is positioned, you may need to repaint it from time to time.

For sheds that are exposed to direct sunlight, be prepared to get out the paint every 10 years. Sheds that are in the shade and therefore protected from direct sunlight, might not need repainting so frequently.

Painting and repainting is one of the most effective ways to help your shed last longer. Don’t forget to use high-quality paint as well, because that will make a significant difference.

Timely Repairs


If you notice there’s a problem with your shed, don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. However large or small the problem, time will be of the essence. Most shed issues won’t take a lot to fix, however, the longer you leave it, the worse it will get.

Regularly inspect your shed for signs of damage and act promptly if there’s anything that concerns you. It’s likely the problem won’t be catastrophic, unless you fail to take action.

Regular Maintenance


A shed requires regular maintenance if you want it to give you decades of enjoyment. Performing regular, simple maintenance is far more affordable and less time-consuming that repairing a broken or damaged shed. All it takes is a spare few minutes once a week. Consider adding the following to your shed maintenance schedule:

  • Clean the interior and exterior walls

  • Quickly examine for warping or cracks

  • Trim the grass around the edge of your shed

  • Remove anything that’s leaning up against your shed

  • Look for signs of critters and any other unwelcome guests


What is the Shed Life Expectancy Based on Building Material?

Choose the right shed and it will give you years of service. However, if you spend money on a shed that’s substandard it will fall apart quicker than you’d expect. One of the primary factors, when it comes to shed life expectancy, is the material that’s used in the construction.

Let’s compare some of the most common shed construction materials.

How Long Do Vinyl Sheds Last?


You can expect a vinyl shed to last for decades to come. With the right care and maintenance, it can last upward of 30 years. Vinyl sheds are popular because they require the least amount of maintenance and provide the maximum lifespan.


How Long Do Plastic Sheds Last?


A plastic shed will typically last between 5 and 7 years. Plastic doesn't suffer problems such as rot or rust, however, they are prone to cracking because the plastic structure expands and contracts in the sun.


Do Sheds Made Using Plastic Rot?


A plastic shed will not rot like a wooden shed. Neither will it rust like a metal shed. However, cracks can appear as the plastic degrades over time and because of the weather.

Do Sheds Made From Plastic Get Damp?


Plastic is prone to expansion and contraction under the heat of the sun. This can cause cracking and this is where water can get in.


How Long Do Metal Sheds Last?


Sheds made using metal tend to be made using iron or steel, both of which are susceptible to rust. After a few seasons out in the rain, rust will start appearing. A metal shed can typically last less than 5 years.


How Long Do Wooden Storage Sheds Last?


A wood shed is almost as durable as a vinyl shed and can last between 20 to 25 years. In addition, with careful maintenance, they could last even longer.


How Long Does a Pressure Treated Shed Last?


A pressure-treated wood shed can last up to 40 years. The benefit of pressure-treated wood is that it’s more weatherproof than untreated timber, is less likely to warp, resistant to vermin, and is essentially maintenance-free.

How to Properly Maintain Your Shed to Make it Last Longer?

Just like your home, a shed requires regular maintenance, whether it’s a shed you use for wood storage, made from vinyl siding, natural wood, or one of the many portable buildings that are available. You should take our time to perform the right shed maintenance if you want it to last longer. It should also mean you won’t face costly repair bills further down the line.

Here is a list of some of the things you need to include in your shed maintenance schedule:

  • Check for cracks, breaks, and leaks and fix them as soon as possible. Being proactive should reduce the number of serious issues. Remember to include the roof, doors, windows, floor, corners, and foundation in your checks.

  • Clean your shed regularly to prevent pests from damaging your shed.

  • Spray hinges and handles regularly to ensure they work efficiently.

  • Lubricate any hinges and make sure they are firmly in place as this will ensure your shed is more secure.

  • Preserve shelving and workbenches.

  • Check that all tools and equipment in your wooden storage shed work properly.

  • Clean and sanitize the floor to improve the quality of your shed and its durability.

  • Wash the exterior regularly to remove stains and prevent mildew from growing.

  • Remove any excess debris and vegetation as these can lead to your shed rotting. Removing the vegetation will improve the airflow around your shed and reduce the risk of mold and mildew forming.

  • Inspecting the roof is essential. Not only will it help to preserve the good look and structure of your shed. It is also important if you want your investment to stay in good shape. If there is moss on the roof, make sure you remove it.

  • Check for mold, mildew, and rust and treatment immediately if found.

  • Make sure the windows are intact.

  • Apply wood stain and repaint siding if necessary.

  • Inspect the foundations as these directly impact how long your shed will last.

Signs You Need to Repair Your Shed


There are some things you need to be looking for if you want to increase the lifespan of your shed. Timely shed repairs can save a fortune in the long run, keep your belongings safe, and mean you won’t need to go to the expense of buying a new shed.

Simple shed repairs you can fix yourself include:

  • Replacing door trim that is damaged, broken, or rotten

  • Replacing loose or missing roof shingles

  • Swapping out windows because cracks have appeared

  • Treating mould patches that have appeared

Conclusion


Now you know the answer to that age-old question, “How long do sheds last?” you’re better informed and more able to ensure your own shed lasts as long as it possibly can.


Just to finish, let’s remind you that the material your shed is made from plays a significant role in how long the shed lasts and how much use and enjoyment you’ll get out of it.

Just as important is who builds your shed, so don’t forget to get in touch when you need a new storage shed for your outdoor space.


FAQs


What type of shed lasts the longest?


Vinyl sheds tend to be more durable than plastic, wooden, or metal sheds. They don’t crack easily and are generally more weatherproof. They can also withstand extremes of temperature better.


What lasts longer? A wooden or metal shed?


Wooden sheds can last up to 25 years, whereas a metal shed could only last 5 years.


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