• Jeremy Horning

Different Shed Building Materials and How to Choose the Best One

Sheds come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. They are also made from a variety of materials. But which one is the best? When it comes to buying the perfect shed, you’ve got to start with the right material, before you worry about windows, the roof, where the door goes, and what extras you might want.

With so many different shed-building materials to choose from, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. Don’t worry! This post will set out all the information you need when you're choosing the best material for shed.

Wooden sheds, plastic sheds, and metal sheds are the most common. However, there are plenty more as you’re about to discover.

Why Quality Shed Building Material is Essential?


Consider your garden shed as an investment and you’ll appreciate why the building material you use is so important. It could add value to your property, so choose wisely.

There’s every chance that you might want to sell your home at some point in the future. This is something to keep in the back of your mind when making any outdoor addition or renovation. If you invest in a beautiful shed that’s made using a good quality material it will add value to your property.

Your choice of shed building material impacts the value and quality of the structure and ultimately effects your property’s value.


Not all shed building materials are equal when it comes to quality. Some are cheap options that might be quick and inexpensive in the short term. However, choosing these could lead to a wealth of costly problems further down the road.

For example, moisture damage, termites, and rotting can be issues for low-quality wooden sheds.


Different storage shed building materials require different levels of maintenance. Some more than others. There are shed materials that require regular and high levels of maintenance, while others require less maintenance or nothing at all.


We all look at things in different ways and while one person might consider their wooden shed beautiful, another might think it looks a little tired and uncared for. However, most people will agree that peeling paint and a warped wood shed is not pleasant to look at.

Take the painting properties of the building material into consideration. Plywood, for example, has a rough surface that doesn’t let paint soak in.

Therefore, you need to think about how you’re going to coat your storage shed when choosing the best material.


Some shed building materials are more durable than others. Ideally, you want to invest in a shed material that will stand the test of time and whatever mother nature throws at it.

All the above are significant factors to take into account. Whichever material you choose for your garden shed will affect you not only financially, but personally as well.

What are the Different Shed Building Materials?


Wooden sheds are the most traditional type of shed you can buy. You can customize your wood shed in many different ways, depending on your preferences. For example, you can paint your wood shed to match its surroundings or your house.

The average price of a wooden shed is around $2,880

Pros of Wooden Sheds

  • Aesthetically appealing

  • It's a natural material

  • Easily customizable

  • Wooden sheds are strong and durable

Cons of Wooden Sheds

  • Poor quality wooden sheds are prone to rotting

  • Wooden sheds are often more expensive


Metal sheds can be made using steel or galvanized aluminum. Steel is the stronger of the two materials, however, it is more likely to corrode. Aluminum tends to be weaker, so you may have problems with impact damage, but it is corrosion resistant.

Metal sheds are popular for novice shed owners because they are low in price. There also tend to be fewer shape and size options. You can find metal sheds in a range of colors or you can paint the metal yourself. However, you’ll need to repaint the shed frequently if you want it to stay looking good.

The average price of a metal shed is around $815.

Pros of Metal Sheds

  • Metal sheds are extremely durable

  • Insect and rot resistant

  • Metal sheds tend not to be too expensive

Cons of Metal Sheds

  • Metal siding is not easy to customize

  • Not the most beautiful to look at

  • They can get very hot in direct sunlight

  • Rusting and leaks can be a problem

Vinyl (Plastic)

Plastic sheds are very popular with homeowners. A plastic shed is lightweight to move around and very easy to assemble. In addition, you’ll spend less time maintaining your vinyl shed than other materials.

While a plastic shed is not quite as attractive as a wooden shed, it is less prone to rot or insect damage. Unlike a metal shed, a vinyl shed is not going to rust.

The average price of a vinyl shed is between $400 and $5,000

Pros of Vinyl Sheds

  • Vinyl sheds are insect, rust, and rot resistant

  • Vinyl sheds require little maintenance

  • You can move a vinyl shed with little effort

Cons of Vinyl Sheds

  • Vinyl sheds are not easily customizable

  • They tend not to be too attractive

LP Smartside

LP Smartside is an engineered wood that is made using a mixture of various kinds of wood and fibers. It looks just like real wood and has an attractive natural wood look, but is far more durable.

The average price of an LP Smartside shed is around $9,000.

Pros of LP Smartside Sheds

  • Resistant to termite damage, fungal decay, and deterioration

  • LP Smartside is an extremely durable material

  • Attractive natural wood-like appearance

  • Easy to use and environmentally friendly

  • Almost maintenance free

Cons of LP Smartside Sheds

  • You may have moisture issues if your LP Smartside is not installed properly


Resin sheds are often called vinyl sheds, plastic sheds, or high-density polyethylene sheds. Resin is the newest type of material and quickly becoming very popular.

The plastic material used makes the sheds very light, but strong and durable. They are also maintenance-free, UV-protected, and stain resistant.

The average price of a resin shed is around $800.

Pros of Resin Sheds

  • Resin sheds are extremely durable

  • They come in a wide range of colors and decorative finishes

  • Accessories such as windows, shelving, peg strips, skylights, and lighting are easy additions

  • Resin shed kits are easy and quick to assemble

  • Less expensive than most other materials, apart from metal

Cons of Resin Sheds

  • You can’t paint resin sheds to match your home

  • You can’t hang as many garden tools or as much weight on the walls as a wooden shed

Fiber cement

Fiber cement is made using a mixture of sand, cellulose fiber, and cement. The materials are combined and then rolled into sheets and pressed so they’ve got a pattern. The pattern in the fiber cement can be made to look like any kind of wood.

The average price of a fiber-cement shed is around $13,000.

Pros of Fiber Cement Sheds

  • A shed made using fiber cement siding won’t rot or rust

  • You can have the color of your choice

  • Fiber cement sheds are fire, heat, water, and insect resistant

Cons of Fiber-Cement Sheds

  • Susceptible to impact damage

  • Typically costs more than vinyl or aluminum sheds

How to Choose the Best Shed Material for Your Needs?


What you’re going to use your shed for is a factor you need to consider. If you only want a wood shed the best material to use needs to be one that's waterproof at least. However, if your garden shed is going to be a working space, it needs to be durable, warm, look good, and require minimal maintenance.


The quality of the material you use determines how long your garden shed will last. Metal and plastic sheds, for example, can be constructed using top-quality materials. LP Smartside is also a material of the highest quality that ensures your shed will last a long time.

Reviews and Specifications

Check out what other people think about the material you're considering. Do your research online as there is a lot of information available to help you make the right decision.

Location of Your Shed

Survey the planned location of your shed to help you make your decision. For example, are you going to use a concrete shed base, a gravel shed base, or a raised timber floor?

A metal shed is better suited for a concrete base because it allows you to secure the shed against the elements.

If your shed is going to be temporary, a gravel base will make it easier to move.


You can choose to install and build your shed yourself or hire professional contractors to construct your shed for you. Some materials are easier for the DIY enthusiast to install than others.

Climatic Conditions

What weather conditions are the norm where you live? If the area you live in is prone to cold weather, for example, condensation can be a serious problem.

If heavy snow is a regular occurrence, you need a material for your shed that can withstand the weight of the snow.

Cost and Budget

Regarding cost and budget, metal sheds cost less than wood sheds. However, you should remember that there are more factors that determine the cost of building a shed. Some of them are:

  • size

  • labor

  • shed style

  • foundations

  • building permissions

  • durability

Legal Restrictions and Requirements

Legal shed building restrictions and requirements vary throughout the United States. It’s best to make yourself familiar with these requirements as they can influence your decision.

Accessories and Additions

Whether you want lighting, windows, shelving, or electrical power, the type of material you use can make a difference. Some materials are stronger than others when it comes to internal fixings and fixtures.

What is the Best Type of Material for Building a Shed?

Here at Urban Sheds, LP Smartside is the most popular material used in the construction of our sheds. Compared to other shed siding materials, it is:

  • More durable

  • Withstands impacts

  • Available in a wide range of colors

  • Costs less

  • Visually appealing

  • Available in embossed textures or smooth

  • Resistant to insect damage, rot, and resists deterioration

  • Able to withstand a force

  • Easy to install

  • Environmentally friendly

LP Smartside also comes with a 50-year warranty and can be supplied pre-primed so it can be painted any colour you prefer.

Urban Sheds team makes it a priority to design quality sheds that are constructed by expert builders. The design process is done online and the quality sheds are built by local craftsmen that follow our structural guidelines.


There are lots of things to consider when deciding on your own shed building material. The best material for your new shed siding will depend on availability, cost, what you plan to use your shed for, and other important factors.

Wood sheds offer the best choice in terms of insulation and customization. However, wood requires a large amount of regular maintenance. A shed made using metal siding will be durable and strong, but not the most attractive. Metal sheds are also prone to rust. Plastic sheds may shine in many aspects but aren’t as weather resistant as some other shed siding materials.

Ultimately, your choice of shed siding material is going to vary depending on your preferences and what works best for your particular situation.

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