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strategery 01-26-2013 12:11 AM

I need a shed for additional storage. Wood or plastic?
I've got a lot of things that my garage just can't accommodate -- lawn mower, snow blower, tools, bikes, etc. I see this plastic modular sheds being sold at the big box stores. Nice idea, doesn't need to be painted, won't rot, very simple to put together. They still need a concrete slab I think though.

On the other hand, I could just BUILD a shed out of lumber. I have never built a shed before, but how complicated could it be? I know there's a lot more labor involved since I will have to shingle it and side it but the experience would be good.

Has anyone here ever considered these two options? Which way did you go and why?


joecaption 01-26-2013 12:30 AM

Go with a wooden one.
One strong wind and the plastic one is history, had to keep the doors lined up, degrade over time from the UV.
Unless you build up a slab high enough off the grade so the walls are at least 6" up off the ground so they do not rot out from the splash back you may be better off just building it up on concrete blocks.
There's tons of sites on the net with shed plans and all the Box stores have shed building books.
Biggest mistake people make is not building it big enough.

LVDIY 01-26-2013 06:57 AM

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If you are interested in DIY, I'd recommend building one yourself. I did this as one of my first major projects, and it was a great learning experience.

I did consider those plastic sheds as well as the metal and prefab wood ones, but I settled with building my own since I could get it exactly the way I wanted it. I built it taller and stronger than the sheds at the big box stores. It sits on concrete blocks and I made a ramp for the mower.

I was able to use quite a bit of leftover material so my out of pocket cost was a lot less than buying a prefab.

md2lgyk 01-26-2013 07:32 AM

Another option is to buy a premanufactured wooden shed. Places like Home Depot often have their floor samples deeply discounted (like 30%) beause the've sat outside and the stain is a bit faded.

roxytom 01-26-2013 11:54 AM

I would stay away from the plastic ones as joe stated. They tend to sag and are not that sturdy at all. A buddy of mine built his own wooden 8'x10'. It took him two weekends to finish it up including the painting. One thing I noticed about my parents wooden shed is that the bottom edge on one side is starting to rot and that is because it is next to a garden. When it rains heavy the water splashes off the side of the shed into the dirt of the garden and back onto the shed, rotting the t-111 siding.
As for me, I sold my old shed to a neighbor and bought a pre-made 14'x30' shed with 4 windows, a rollup door and a front entry. If I had built it from ground up, it would have taken me a summer of weekends. Mine was Amish built and I was able to tell them exactly where placement of doors and windows should be. When it waa delivered, the trailer the guy used, yes one guy delivered it, is remote controlled and he placed right on my mark. I ran 60 amp service and water out to it. I just wish I had run a drainline also... Drat.
Where do you live? I know most of the sheds that are supplied in the new york, jersey and eastern Pa are made by the same Amish guys. I pass them everyday transporting sheds over the bridges. It might save you even more money if you were able to move it yourself. My shed cost us $3800 six years ago.

strategery 01-29-2013 07:33 PM

I live in Iowa.

Should I pour a concrete slab so I can bolt the shed down and so it has a flat surface? Also to keep it above ground to prevent the wood from rotting?

joecaption 01-30-2013 02:01 AM

A slab would be fine if it was built up high enough that the sides of the shed were at least 6" up off the ground, if not the sidings going to rot out.
It also will be far more expencive to do it that way.

roxytom 01-30-2013 04:28 AM

Instead of a poured slab, I used inexpensive landscape blocks from home depot at all perimeters and the center was filled with stone that was tamped with a plate tamper. Any rain that happens to go under the shed now dissipates theough the stone instead of pooling.

md2lgyk 01-30-2013 07:06 AM


Originally Posted by roxytom (Post 1102505)
My shed cost us $3800 six years ago.

Then you got one heck of a bargain. Four years ago we bought a shed very similar to yours but only 12x30. It has log siding (doesn't quite match our log house, but close enough). We paid about $5500.

r0ckstarr 01-31-2013 08:53 AM

Wood. You can always replace parts when in need of repair. You can do more to it, and you can add more to the inside if needed.

Mort 01-31-2013 09:24 AM

I've got a plastic shed that my parents had, and it works alright for what it is. It's cheap (I assume, they bought it 8-9 years ago), easy to put up, surprisingly water tight, and portable (we've had it at a few houses).

On the other hand, the snow load isn't great (I live in a mountain valley so I have to clear it a couple times a year), the doors are flimsy, and it doesn't look as cool as a nice cedar shed.

As far as the floor, it's also plastic that I laid on top of a bunch of pavers. It worked pretty good (would've been even better if I were any good at grading, but I was 22 when I did it).

dariusld 01-31-2013 05:51 PM

My main concern with plastic was shelving options.

lateracer 02-12-2013 09:02 AM

I realize this thread is probably dead, but thought I would throw my two cents in. People here are giving the plastic shed a bad rap. Those things are awesome and can't be beat for a limited range of uses. Here are my experiences with both:
1) DIY Wooden Shed - I built a pretty large stick frame wooden shed a few years ago that I designed from a how to book I bought at Lowes. It was cheaper than buying a pre-fab kit (~$1,100, 130 sqft), and was exactly what I wanted. Tucked in the back of my yard, it was a great escape for beers and cigars at back yard BBQ's, got me through two motor swaps on my race car, and was just fun to hang out in.

2) Plastic Shed - Fast forward a few years. New house with tiny garage that the race car has claimed for itself. Not enough room for all my bikes, lawn mowers, weed eaters, blowers, shelves full of oil/ paint thinner/ brake fluid/ you name it. So, I picked up this rubbermaid shed for $300 on Craigslist. I'm not gonna hang out in there. But, I can hang out in my garage now that my bikes, mowers, chemicals, rakes/shovels, etc are all in there.

I wouldn't get anything larger than this 7x7 model, but this little model is really sturdy. For what I needed (some elbow room in the garage and a place to put all the dirty equipment), there's no better choice for the $$. I went from cutting open the box to completely finished in three hours. Would have taken about an hour if I had help.

Just some food for thought. I'm a fan of good looking sheds/garages, but for tucking the dirty crap where it doesn't bother anyone, this can't be beat.

dariusld 02-12-2013 09:43 AM

Did the roof leak? What are the negatives of that roof?

Larryh86GT 02-12-2013 01:52 PM

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Originally Posted by r0ckstarr (Post 1106250)
Wood. You can always replace parts when in need of repair. You can do more to it, and you can add more to the inside if needed.

It is easy to repair a wood shed. This is mine that is 25 years old that I dressed up the bottom edge of this summer. The raw P/T wood was caulked and painted after this picture was taken.

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