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Shed Buying Advice and Helpful Tips

Shed Buying Advice

Purchasing a shed can be a significant investment, offering a practical solution for additional storage or a versatile outdoor workspace. However, with a myriad of options available, making an informed decision can be daunting.

In this article, we provide essential shed buying advice to help you navigate through the various styles, materials, and features, ensuring you select the ideal shed that meets your needs and complements your outdoor space.

Whether you’re looking for a compact storage solution for garden tools or a spacious workshop for DIY projects, our comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know before making your purchase.

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3 Shed Buying Advice Tips

What Should I Look for When Buying a Shed?

What Time of Year is it Cheapest to Buy a Shed?

What Type of Shed Lasts the Longest?

What Size Shed is Most Cost-Effective?

Which is Better, Vinyl or Plastic Shed?

What Makes a Quality Shed?

Shed Buying Advice and Helpful Tips

Absolutely, buying a shed can be a great investment for some extra storage space or even a dedicated workshop!

Here are some key things to consider helping you choose the right shed:

3 Shed Buying Advice Tips

1] Size:

Measure your yard… Make sure the shed will fit comfortably and comply with any local regulations regarding distance from property lines.

Measure your belongings… Consider what you’ll be storing and how much space it’ll take up. Think about bulkier items like lawnmowers or patio furniture.

Plan for the future… Sheds are often long-term purchases, so try to estimate your future storage needs and buy a bit bigger if possible.

2] Permits and HOA restrictions:

Check local regulations… There might be restrictions on shed size, height, and placement. You may need a permit to build a shed.

HOA restrictions… Homeowner association (HOA) rules might limit shed styles, materials or colors.

3]  Material and Features:

Material… Woodsheds offer a classic look but require more maintenance. Metal sheds are durable and low maintenance, while vinyl sheds are affordable but may not be as strong.

Features… Consider extras like windows, ventilation, shelving, lighting or a loft for additional storage. Think about whether you need single or double doors for easy access with larger items.

What Should I Look for When Buying a Shed?

Here are some key things to look for when buying a shed:

Purpose and Functionality:

– What will you use the shed for?  This will influence the size, features, and potentially even materials you choose. Will it be a basic storage shed for bikes and tools, or a workshop you’ll spend a lot of time in?


– Make a list of everything you plan to store and estimate how much space it will need. Don’t forget to factor in future needs and add some buffer room (around 25%).

– Measure your yard to ensure the shed will fit comfortably while complying with local regulations on distance from property lines.


– Wood: Classic look, requires more maintenance (painting, staining).

– Metal: Durable, low-maintenance, may not be ideal for very hot or cold climates.

– Vinyl: Affordable, may not be as strong as other materials.

Durability and Construction:

– Siding thickness: Thicker siding provides better weather resistance and durability.

– Roofing material: Metal roofs are generally the most durable, followed by asphalt shingles.

– Floor joists and wall studs: Consider the spacing between these for the strength needed for your planned storage or use.

– Warranty: A longer warranty indicates confidence in the quality of the materials and construction.

Other factors:

– Foundation: The type of foundation will depend on the size, weight, and intended use of the shed.

– Delivery and assembly: Check if delivery and assembly are included in the price, or if those are extra costs.

What Time of Year is it Cheapest to Buy a Shed?

There are two main times of year that are generally considered the cheapest to buy a shed:

– Fall (September-November): This is the end of peak shed-buying season for most retailers. They’re often looking to clear out leftover inventory from the summer to make space for new models. This can lead to significant discounts and clearance sales.

– Spring (March-May): Some retailers offer spring sales and promotions to kick off the shed-buying season. While these might not be the absolute lowest prices, it can still be a good time to find deals, especially if you need the shed delivered and assembled quickly to take advantage of the summer weather.

Here’s a quick comparison to help you decide:


Pros,,, Typically, the biggest discounts and sales.

Cons… Less selection available, may have to wait for delivery and assembly until next spring.


Pros… More selection available, potentially faster delivery and assembly.

Cons… Prices might not be quite as low as fall sales.

Ultimately, the best time to buy a shed depends on your priorities. If you’re flexible on timing and want the best possible deal, waiting for fall sales is a good strategy. However, if you need the shed right away and are willing to pay a bit more, spring sales could be a better option.

What Type of Shed Lasts the Longest?

In terms of longevity, vinyl sheds are generally considered the most durable option for a few reasons:

Weather Resistance… Vinyl sheds are resistant to fading, warping, cracking, and rusting. They can withstand various weather conditions without deteriorating significantly.

Low Maintenance… Unlike woodsheds that require regular painting or staining, vinyl sheds require minimal upkeep. An occasional cleaning with soap and water is usually sufficient.

Pest and Rot Proof…Vinyl is not susceptible to rot or insect damage, which can compromise the structural integrity of wooden sheds over time.

Here’s a quick comparison of the three main shed materials:

Material Advantages Disadvantages



Most durable, weather-resistant, low maintenance


Can be more expensive than wood or metal sheds, may not have the same aesthetic appeal as wood.


Metal Durable, low maintenance (except for rust prevention), fire-resistant Can dent or bend in strong winds, may get very hot or cold inside depending on climate.


Wood Classic look, customizable Requires regular maintenance (painting, staining), susceptible to rot and insect damage.


However, it’s important to consider some additional factors:

Quality of materials… Even within material types, there can be variations in quality. Look for sheds with thicker vinyl siding for better durability.

Construction… The overall construction quality will also impact longevity. Look for well-built sheds with proper framing and secure connections.

Warranty… A longer warranty on the shed materials and construction generally indicates confidence in the product’s durability.

By prioritizing vinyl as your material choice and considering these additional factors, you’ll be well on your way to finding a shed that provides long-lasting service.

What Size Shed is Most Cost-Effective?

The most cost-effective shed size depends on a few key factors:


Vinyl… Generally, the most expensive material per square foot, but requires minimal maintenance and lasts a long time.

Metal… Usually, a more affordable option than vinyl, but might require maintenance for rust prevention and can be less weather-resistant.

Wood… Often the most budget-friendly material upfront, but needs regular maintenance like painting or staining.

Square Footage vs. Usable Space:

– Smaller sheds with simpler designs are generally less expensive per square foot.

– However, consider the usable space within the shed. Slanted walls in a gable roof design will eat into headroom compared to a vertical wall shed.

Here are some strategies to find a cost-effective size:

– Match the size to your needs: Don’t buy a larger shed than you actually need. Carefully measure your storage items and plan for some extra space but avoid excess square footage that drives up the cost.

– Consider a vertical wall design: This maximizes usable space compared to a gable roof design.

– Explore pre-fab kits: These can be a more affordable option than custom-built sheds, especially for smaller sizes.

– Think about used sheds: You might find good deals on used sheds in good condition, but be sure to inspect them thoroughly before buying.

Here are some general size considerations to get you started (remember, material costs will affect the final price):

– Small Sheds (6’x8′ or 8’x10′): Good for storing basic gardening tools, lawnmowers, or bicycles. Can be very cost-effective but might be cramped for larger items.

– Mid-Size Sheds (10’x12′ or 12’x16′): A popular size that offers more storage space for a variety of tools, equipment, and furniture.

– Large Sheds (12’x20′ or larger): Ideal for workshops, storing large equipment like tractors or snowmobiles, or even creating a multi-purpose space. Will be the most expensive option.

By considering your needs, material choices, and these strategies, you can find a shed size that’s both functional and cost-effective for your situation.

Which is Better, Vinyl or Plastic shed?

While both vinyl and plastic sheds are often referred to interchangeably, there actually are some key differences that can affect your decision:


Vinyl… Generally considered more durable than plastic. Vinyl sheds are more resistant to cracking, warping, and bending, especially in extreme weather conditions.

Plastic…  Can be more prone to cracking and becoming brittle, particularly in very cold weather.

Weather Resistance:

Vinyl… Resists fading, rusting, and various weather elements well.

Plastic… May not be UV-protected as effectively as vinyl, leading to faster color fading over time. Weaker plastic sheds could be more susceptible to wind damage.


Both… Both vinyl and plastic sheds require minimal maintenance compared to woodsheds. An occasional cleaning with soap and water is usually sufficient.

Fire Retardancy:

Vinyl… Many vinyl sheds are fire-retardant, offering an extra layer of safety.

Plastic… Not all plastic sheds are fire-retardant. Check the specifications before buying.


Vinyl… Generally, more expensive than standard plastic sheds.

Plastic… Can be a more budget-friendly option but may not last as long.

In Conclusion:

– Vinyl sheds are a better choice if you prioritize durability, weather resistance, and fire safety. They’re a good long-term investment, especially in areas with harsh weather conditions.

– Plastic sheds can be a more budget-friendly option if you’re on a tight budget and your climate is mild. However, they may not last as long and might require replacement sooner.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your priorities and budget. Consider how you’ll be using the shed, your climate, and how long you expect it to last before making your decision.

What Makes a Quality Shed?

A quality shed goes beyond just being a place to store your stuff. It’s a durable, long-lasting structure that can withstand the elements and provide secure storage or workspace for years to come.

Here are some key features that define a quality shed:

Durable Materials:

Thick siding… Shed siding is the first line of defense against the weather. Look for sheds with thicker vinyl or metal siding, or pressure-treated wood for better weather resistance and durability.

Quality roof material… Metal roofs are generally the most durable, followed by asphalt shingles. Avoid sheds with flimsy materials like thin plastic or cardboard.

Strong Construction:

Solid frame… The frame is the backbone of the shed. Look for sheds with a strong frame made from treated lumber or galvanized steel for maximum support.

Proper construction techniques… Well-built sheds will have secure connections between walls, roof, and floor. Inspect the shed for proper bracing and anchoring to ensure stability in strong winds.

Focus on Longevity:

Warranty… A longer warranty (ideally 10 years or more) typically indicates the manufacturer’s confidence in the quality of materials and construction.

Low maintenance… Quality sheds should require minimal maintenance. Vinyl and metal sheds generally require less upkeep compared to wood, but pressure-treated wood can also be a good option if properly maintained.

Weather resistance… The shed should be built to withstand your climate’s weather conditions. Look for features like proper ventilation to prevent moisture build-up and rust resistance for metal components.

Additional Features that Enhance Quality:

Double doors… Wider double doors provide easier access for moving larger items in and out of the shed.

Windows and ventilation… Windows allow natural light and ventilation helps prevent moisture build-up and mildew.

Flooring… A sturdy floor that can support the weight you intend to store is important. Look for pressure-treated wood or plywood floors.

Customizability… Some manufacturers offer options for customizing your shed size, features, and even adding a loft for maximizing storage space.

By prioritizing these quality features, you’ll be well on your way to finding a shed that meets your needs and provides reliable service for many years to come. Remember, a quality shed might be a larger upfront investment, but it will likely save you money in the long run compared to a cheaply made shed that needs frequent repairs or replacement sooner.