When it comes to choosing the best garden shed plans that are right for you first have to decide which of the 1000’s of different shed plans is going to be best for your situation. Consider the material and the size you need first.
There’s all kinds of different shed plans available, so when your shopping for garden shed plans look for plans that have, step-by-step instructions, accurate material and cutting lists, 3D drawings and used for labels for each piece. It should also be easy to follow and laid out in the order that you’re going to build.
In order to help you better choose your plan I’m going to look at the most common types of sheds and the types of materials most commonly used in shed construction:
The Most Common Types of Garden Sheds
– Multi-Use Storage Shed… These types of sheds are used to store garden supplies, lawn equipment and general storage; the most common sizes are 8×8, 10×12 and 10×10. If you’re not sure on what size you need you can read my article “How Do I Choose the Right Size Storage Shed?” where I go over the 5 steps for choosing the perfect size shed. Read it here.
– Garden Sheds… Becoming very popular are the multi-purpose sheds, they can be used as a garden shed where you can use them for starting out your plants and usually have good light and a workbench to set-up your seedlings. They also work as lawn equipment storage, tool storage and anything else you need to store.
– Tool Sheds… These are great for storing tools and are designed with lots of shelves for storage, they can also be used by the gardener for storing there tools, soil and fertilizers. They can also be bought with large windows and wide doors for letting in sunlight and storing larger items.
– Cedar Shingle Sheds… These types of sheds are made to be set-up in the garden area and are made from real woods such as redwood and cedar and blend in with the natural surroundings of the garden. The beauty of having a cedar shed is its long life and can be easily maintained.
Depending on your needs and how much you have to spend on your garden shed, you can decide on which material will be best suited for the location of your shed. Keeping in mind that it should match the design of your home and it’s landscaping. If you’re an avid do-it-yourselfer there many garden shed plans to choose from.
You can read my article “Is It Cheaper to Buy a Shed or Build it Yourself?” where I look at the advantages and disadvantages of “Pre-built sheds”, “shed kits” and “building it yourself” you can read the article here. If your just looking for some garden shed plans I’m going to recommend you take a look a “Ryan’s Shed Plans” where you can get some free plans. Check them out here.
Wood, Metal or Vinyl? What’s The Best Choice?
Building some extra outdoor storage space for garden purposes, storage or a place to work on some hobbies doesn’t have to be difficult. So… What are your options of materials for your garden shed? Let’s look at the top 3 types:
Plastic Made Sheds
This would include sheds that are made from polyethylene, vinyl or a resin type of plastic.
– Lightweight and Simple Maintenance … One of the main advantages of plastic types is lightweight. As well as being very durable and very easy to maintain. All they need to clean is some soap and water. Easy to move around and set-up.
The better quality [more expensive ones] are reinforced with steel supports and some have double thickness exterior walls. They also can easily be fitted with optional shelving, and hooks for added storage.
– Very Resistance… You don’t have to worry about them rotting, rusting or having insects damage them. The better quality ones also have UV-protection to prevent fading and cracking from sunlight over time.
– Unstable in Wind…Will need to be securely attached to the foundation to prevent damage caused by high winds.
– Less Sturdy… Not as strong as sheds made out of wood or metal sheds. The plastic storage boxes are ideal for small storage solutions around the yard and pool side providing they are anchored down.
– Not Customizable… Making improvements are very limited, so attaching heavy shelving can cause stress to the plastic material. As well painting or adding some decorative roofing are not a good choice.
– Not Natural Looking… The plastic shed is made from mostly oil and disposing of them can be a lot harder than its wood counterpart.
The lifespan of the plastic sheds can be shortened if installed in direct sunlight, using them as a place to work on hobbies or even as an office isn’t ideal because of the nature of plastic and a wood shed would be a much better choice.
Here’s some plastic type sheds you can check out.
Metal Made Sheds
These would be constructed out of steel and from galvanized aluminium.
– Cheapest Choice… Out of the 3 most common types of sheds the metal is usually the least expensive.
– No Maintenance… All they need is a hosing down once in a while and add some grease to the sliding door track.
– Durable… They don’t rot out and insects can’t eat them and they don’t have the same fading and cracking issues that the plastic storage sheds have.
– Not Sturdy… Like the plastic sheds they will require additional anchoring against high winds.
– Subject to Rust… Be on the watch for rust and it usually starts first around the sliding doors.
– Not Natural Looking… Metal sheds are not as attractive as wood sheds, but will be maintenance free for quite a few years.
– Weather Damage… Being made from metal you will have to watch out for condensation from weather changes and may not be a good solution if you need dry storage.
– No Floor… You’re going to need a foundation to sit your metal shed on, just like the plastic sheds.
– Noisy… If you’re thinking about using your shed as an office or a workshop, metal is going to be very noisy when it rains and very cold inside.
The metal storage sheds are a lower priced option for storage of outside tools and lawn equipment, but don’t make a good workshop option because of the lack of a good solid floor, and they can’t be insulated. However like the plastic storage sheds they do have their place as excellent lower priced storage.
Here are some metal type sheds you can check out.
Wood Garden Sheds
There are 1000’s of garden shed plans that you can build when your using wood as your material. Over 90% of storage sheds that are constructed on site are made from wood, and with no limit to the size you can construct make the perfect choice for the home do-it-yourselfer.
– Completely Customizable… Using a good set of garden shed plans to build the basic shed you can customize basically anything you want. Using different finishing materials you can create a unique garden shed just for you. Adding a workbench, skylights, custom shelving you can make it a very versatile space.
– Breathable… Wood sheds can be easily insulated and by add a few vents will be well ventilated eliminating any condensation issues.
– Very Versatile… Make excellent workshops, exercise rooms or just a place to go and tinker on some yard projects.
– Renewable Resource… Wood is beautiful and renewable so there’s always going to be wood for further generations.
– Traditional Choice… Wood is the number one go to material and has the best choices and can be built to any size without having to worry about wind blowing them away.
– Regular Maintenance… Once constructed correctly to keep the elements out they will require minor or more maintenance depending on the type of finish you have chosen. Asphalt shingles will last around 25 to 30 years or if you choose to go with metal roofing it will last the life of the shed.
If you have chosen to finish the walls with natural wood you’ll need to apply a stain or other type of wood preserver every few years. Make sure that you build the foundation with concrete or treated wood to prevent rot and insects from moving in.
– Sturdy Foundation… Wood sheds will require a strong foundation and the most common are treated wood foundation and the concrete slab on grade.
Here are some wood shed kits you can check out.
Wood is the best choice for building and with a good set of garden shed plans you’ll have a sturdy structure that will last for years and years. They can also be customized to match your home and fits into any yard landscaping. Wood sheds are the most expensive storage sheds to buy or build, but you’ll only need to do it once as well it will add value to your home so when it’s time to sell you’ll recover all your costs.