The siding you choose for your shed will make a massive difference to your budget, maintenance, and appearance. Whether you use your backyard shed for storage for your tools or lawnmower, as a man cave or she-shed, home office, or playroom, there’s one fundamental question you need to ask yourself. What is the best siding for shed construction?
Let’s look at some shed siding options. Then, we’ll give you some information to help you decide which shed siding materials are best for you.
Why Does Your Shed Siding Material Matter?
Your shed walls serve several critical functions.
Not only are they the face of your shed, but they also protect the shed’s structure from Mother Nature. They should be aesthetically pleasing too.
For these reasons, finding the best backyard shed siding materials matters:
11 Most Popular Shed Siding Options
When choosing shed siding, you want something that looks fantastic, functions how you want it to, and withstands whatever the weather can throw at it. Consider the following shed siding options:
1. Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding is made using polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and you’ll find vinyl in a wide range of colors, textures, and various styles.
2. Metal / Steel
Metal or steel siding will give your shed a very industrial look. Generally, metal or steel siding comes already painted.
3. Traditional Wood Siding
Traditional wood siding is a very popular option because of its classic and understated appearance. Whether you choose plywood or redwood, it can blend in with the surroundings, or you can choose to make a statement with an eye-catching finish.
4. Engineered Wood Siding
Engineered wood siding is made using natural wood strands or fibers that are treated with resins. Look for engineered wood products with low emitting resins for your shed’s siding.
5. LP Smartside Siding
LP Smartside Panels are a form of engineered wood but treated with zinc borate for improved protection. Before you install LP Smartside Siding or something like LP Smartside Trim, there are some things to consider.
6. Bevel Siding (Clapboard)
Bevel shed siding is often called clapboard. Bevel siding is long thin planks that are nailed horizontally to exterior walls. The planks are thinner at one edge, hence the name.
7. Cedar Shingles
If you want your shed to look like a cute country cottage, this is the material to use.
8. Grooved Plywood (T1-11)
T1-11 is available in two grades: plywood sheathing or Oriented Strand Board (OSB). Plywood T1-11 is more expensive but better quality.
Fiber-cement is a mixture of cement, sand, and cellulose fibers rolled into a sheet and pressed to produce a pattern.
Board and batten siding is one of the most traditional types of shed material. It is a series of wide boards and narrow wood strips (battens). The boards and strips can be installed horizontally, but more commonly, they are vertical.
11. Channel Siding
Channel siding is softwood lumber such as pine or cedar siding with a lip at the bottom or a rabbeted groove that overlaps the top face of the plank below it. The result is a lap siding finish with channels.
The best type of shed siding material is whatever fits your needs. Exposure to weather, sunlight, and temperature are the primary factors that affect the lifespan of shed siding, and these depend mainly on where you live.
Your budget and aesthetic preference are also going to influence your choice of material. Now you know more about each option, you can pick the right one from the list of different materials.
1. How thick should shed siding be?
It depends on what qualities you’re looking for and the material you choose. Tongue and groove siding, for example, is made using a 3/4-inch thick board.
2. What type of siding lasts the longest?
Several factors determine how long siding on sheds will last. For example, is the shed subject to heavy sun exposure? Does the area where you live experience frequent storms and high winds? Are you going to paint, stain, power wash, or perform other types of cleaning?
Here are some average lifespans of the most popular siding materials for sheds:
3. What is the cheapest most durable shed siding?
Vinyl siding is considered the most economical material for a shed. It’s easy to work with, trim to size when fitting around windows and the door frame, plus it doesn’t need to be painted. It's also resistant to rot, weather, and insects.
Wood is another option if you can find some really cheap siding for your shed. Reclaimed wood is another option, for example, from a building that’s being demolished. People have even been known to use wood from pallets for shed siding.
4. Can I use pine for shed siding?
Yes, you can use pine for shed siding. It will do wonders to enhance the beauty and elegance of your shed. You can also paint or stain it to create an attractive finish. Pine also delivers immense value and durability.
5. What is the most weather-resistant siding?
Vinyl is virtually indestructible under normal circumstances. It is weather- and insect-proof and fade-resistant. However, it does have a downside. It can melt, burn, or crack, and it might also make a rattling noise in high winds.
A relatively new alternative is plastic siding. It is much thicker than vinyl siding, which makes it more expensive. On the other hand, it has good weather resistance and is less prone to damage.
6. Does shed siding need to be pressure treated?
If you decide that wood is the best option for your new shed, the next decision is whether to use pressure-treated wood or not. Pressure-treated wood lasts longer without rotting and resists insect damage. But there are occasions when untreated wood will work just as well for a shed. Let’s look at some examples.
The wood will be in direct contact with a source of moisture
You should use pressure-treated wood when there’s a possibility of direct contact between wood sheds and a source of moisture. For example, posts in contact with the ground, wall framing, any lumber touching concrete or masonry. If there’s a good chance that moisture will reach the wood, the shed plans should include pressure-treated wood. Shed siding panels will be exposed to rain.
The wood will come into contact with people and pets
Chemicals are used to pressure treat the wood, and it is these chemicals that resist the damaging effects of moisture and insects. Arsenic will have been used in all older pressure-treated lumber, while copper is more widely used in the newer pressure-treatment formulas.
If you, your family, or pets are going to touch the siding and then rub their eyes or eat some food, you could ingest something which could make you sick over time.
Larger sheds where pets and kids spend time regularly should be built with non-treated wood. A far better compromise is to use rot-resistant natural wood such as cedar for such sheds.
Add a sealant to increase safety
Applying an oil-based sealant is the best protective measure for sheds if you’re using pressure-treated wood siding for shed construction and are concerned about the risks.
Jeremy Horning has a passion for efficient and smooth running systems. He values beauty and craftsmanship. When he’s not too busy building business, you’ll find him on the job constructing sheds or resurfacing hardwood decks.