When planning to augment your home's storage capacity or increase its functional space with the addition of a shed, your options are nearly limitless in terms of shed materials in construction, size and shape of the structure, and the ways the completed building can be put to use. Choosing the right materials requires a bit of consideration as to the local climate, intended use, initial budget and long term maintenance costs, and how the appearance will complement the property.
Different materials are best suited for different climates, so local weather patterns are a good first step in choosing the best materials for your shed. Areas that receive lots of rain will have a different effect on building materials than arid locations. This is particularly true for walls of wood or metal, where moisture is a prime concern. In addition to considering how much water a shed will face from precipitation, another important factor is the ground on which it will be built; low-lying areas that tend to be boggy long after rain has passed will require more forethought in constructing the foundation of the shed.
Because sheds can serve a wide variety of purposes, deciding how a shed will be used is vital prior to developing a materials list and heading to purchase lumber. Some sheds are strictly used for storage of belongings that do not fit in the home, others for garden supplies ranging from basic tools and seeds to tractors and accessories. A house that lacks room for a home office can benefit from a shed that doubles as a work room in the garden, but requires better insulation and more wiring than a basic plywood-walled space for stowing shovels and rakes.
The most variety in material options can be found in a shed's siding, where the main options are lumber, metal, or vinyl. Initial cost and durability are the prime differences between these choices, although appearance and ease of updating also play a part.
Wood is the most popular traditional choice for shed walls. When treated effectively against the damage weather can inflict, lumber is a strong, attractive, and versatile choice. It can be painted or allowed to weather over time for a rustic look, allowing the homeowner to customize the appearance to best suit the shed's surroundings. Wood sheds might require maintenance, but upkeep is relatively simple compared to vinyl or metal.
In some areas, metal is a more cost-effective material choice; it also holds up well over time and is sturdy. Its drawbacks are that it can be noisy in inclement weather, easily marred by dents from accidental blows, and steel in particular is prone to corrosion.
Vinyl is often a more expensive material type for shed use, but has a number of advantages. It requires practically no upkeep, excels at withstanding weather, and can be the perfect complement to a house clad in matching vinyl siding. If it does fade or chip, however, maintenance costs can rise quickly.
The process of building a shed begins long before the first nail is hammered home. With proper planning regarding location, moisture conditions, purpose, and durability, shed materials can be chosen to ensure that the completed building will last through many seasons regardless of weather.