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What are the Pros and Cons of a Plastic Shed?

Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Updated May 16, 2024
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For most homeowners, the idea of building a large wooden shed for the back yard garden can seem both daunting and expensive. Even metal sheds might be too much for what the homeowner will use the shed for, while other homeowners want a better option for easy set up and tear down. A plastic shed may be the answer for such homeowners who want a simple shed that can house tools, garbage cans, lawnmowers, or other household items that don't have a place in the home or garage. A plastic shed is a simple, easy to install option that is easy on the wallet and even easier to move if necessary.

While a plastic shed may not be the most rugged choice for a backyard shed, it is perhaps the most mobile. It is light enough to be moved from one location to another with only two people carrying it, and it is waterproof and easy to build. Most varieties of plastic shed come in kits that can be put together in minutes, and they are made from a rugged plastic that will be fairly durable and sturdy. They do not require any special base or foundation, and they can be placed directly on a lawn, patch of dirt, or driveway.

If the homeowner is looking for a more permanent, stable structure, the plastic shed is not ideal. The plastic shed is lightweight and not nearly as sturdy as a wood or metal shed, which means it may cave in or collapse in high winds or heavy snow. Most plastic shed models are designed to withstand only a certain amount of force, so if the homeowner is storing anything valuable in the shed, he or she may want to consider a more stable structure.

The price of plastic sheds can't be beat; they are far less expensive than metal and wood sheds of the same size. They cannot, however, be built as large as many wood or metal sheds. Plastic sheds are meant only for small to medium storage around the house, garden, or workplace. They do not need to be painted or stained like wood does, and they will not rust like metal. Cleaning plastic sheds is quite easy and can be done with a garden hose and a bit of soap. Most are made of high quality plastic that will resist warping or yellowing in the sun, but less expensive models may not be resistant to this and can fade or warp after time.

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Discussion Comments

By croydon — On Jul 30, 2013

Something you might want to consider if you're going to buy a plastic shed anyway, is where you want to set it up. If you get the right kind and set it up near the house, you can actually get yourself a bit of free heating, if it lets the sunlight in. It will act a little bit like a conservatory and heat up that wall of the house, if it's a clear plastic.

Unfortunately, that can also make it unsuitable for storing things like seeds, if you live in a hot area, when they need to be kept in a cool and dark place.

So I would definitely take the climate into account before deciding on a plastic storage shed. And don't buy the cheapest one you find, either, because it won't last very long. You're better off spending a little bit more to get a decent one, or at least one with a decent guarantee.

By bythewell — On Jul 29, 2013

@Mor - I suspect that depends on the metal as well. My grandfather has a metal shed that might be older than he is for all I know and it's certainly older than I am. And it's still going strong.

As far as I can see, one of the only real advantages of a plastic shed would be that it would let more light in, without letting the neighbors be nosy at the same time.

By Mor — On Jul 28, 2013

I do think it depends on the variety of plastic shed if you are comparing the ability for it to survive wear and tear. If you get a heavy duty plastic, it will last longer than a standard tin shed, just because the plastic is never going to break down.

It might be lighter than the metal (although even that depends on the shed and the thickness of the walls), but that doesn't mean it's less durable.

If you've got a coated metal garden shed, all it takes is a scratch and it might end up rusting (which it is likely to do eventually anyway). A heavy duty plastic shed is more likely to survive.

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