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  • Jeremy Horning

Different Shed Building Materials and How to Choose the Best One

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Sheds come in a wide range of shapes and sizes and are made from a variety of materials. But which is the best? When buying the perfect shed, start with the best material before you worry about windows, the roof, where the door goes, and any 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 sets out all the information you need to choose the best material for shed construction.

So what is the best material for a 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 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 you might want to sell your home in the future; something to keep in the back of your mind when making any outdoor addition or renovation.

Investing in a beautiful shed made using good quality material will add value to your property.


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 costly problems further down the road.

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


Some storage shed building materials require more maintenance than others. There are shed materials that need regular and high levels of maintenance but others require less maintenance or none.


We all look at things differently, and while one person might consider their wooden shed beautiful, another might think it looks a little tired and uncared for. However, most people don't want to look at peeling paint and warped wood.

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 plan to paint your storage shed to choose 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 many colors or paint the metal yourself. However, you'll need to frequently repaint the shed if you want it to stay good-looking.

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

Pros of Metal Sheds

  • Extremely durable

  • Insect and rot resistant

  • Not too expensive

Cons of Metal Sheds

  • Metal siding is not easy to customize

  • Not the most beautiful to look at

  • They can become 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 a 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

  • Insect, rust, and rot resistant

  • Require little maintenance

  • You can move a vinyl shed with little effort

Cons of Vinyl Sheds

  • Not easily customizable

  • They tend not to be too attractive

LP Smartside

LP Smartside is an engineered wood made using a composite mixture of various kinds of wood and fibers. It looks just like real wood 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 super durable

  • 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 correctly installed.


Resin sheds, vinyl sheds, plastic sheds, or high-density polyethylene sheds use the latest materials and are quickly becoming very popular.

The plastic material makes the sheds very light but robust 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

  • 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

  • Unable to support as many garden tools or as much weight on the walls as a wooden shed

Fiber cement

Fiber cement is a mixture of sand, cellulose fiber, and cement. The materials are combined, rolled into sheets, and pressed with a pattern/texture. The pattern may 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

  • 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?


How are you going to use your shed? The purpose of the shed is something you need to consider. If you only want a wood shed, the best material to use needs to be at least waterproof. However, if your garden shed is going to be a workspace, 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 the highest quality and 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 a lot of information available can help you make the best decision.

Location of Your Shed

Survey the planned location of your shed before making a decision. 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.

Will your shed be temporary? Then 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. Some materials are easier to install than others for the DIY enthusiast.

Climatic Conditions

What weather conditions are the norm where you live? For example, if the area you live in is prone to cold weather, condensation can be a frequent 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, remember that other factors also determine the cost of building a shed. Some of them are:

  • size

  • labor

  • shed style

  • foundations

  • building permission

  • durability

Legal Restrictions and Requirements

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

Accessories and Additions

Whether you want your shed to have lighting, windows, shelving, or electrical power, the type of material you use can make a difference. Some materials are stronger than others, especially 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 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, ready to paint any color you prefer.

Urban Sheds designs premium quality sheds constructed by expert builders. The design process is done online, and local craftsmen then build the sheds following our structural guidelines.


There are many things to consider when deciding on your shed building material. The best material for your new shed siding will depend on availability, cost, what you plan to use your own shed for, and other 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 robust 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 will depend on your preferences and what works best for your particular situation.

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