Wooden Sheds And Wood Shed Maintenance

Wooden Sheds

On the most practical level, galvanized and painted steel is a better material for most building applications than wood, but there are times when wood is the material of choice.

  1. When a homeowners association requires it.
  2. When it is needed to fit in aesthetically
  3. When it is a personal preference.
  4. When it is the only material available.
  5. When initial cost is the major consideration.

In such cases, wood will do very well. Keep in mind that it must be maintained well if it is to last. More on that subject at the end of this page.

Wood is good

Wood is a wonderful building material. Wood is a renewable building material. Wood is a strong building material. Wood can be worked into almost any shape or size by experts who work with it.

Problems with wood as a shed material

The only problems with wood are fire and water, and of the two, water is likely responsible for more wood structure damage than fire. Wood will not rot except in the presence of moisture, and keeping the moisture out is a perpetual problem that has plagued builders since the first planks were split out of a log. Granted, some woods handle moisture better, with less rot than others. Among them, cedar, redwood, and cypress. Unfortunately, these are also among the least renewable sources for wood building materials. It is not that they can’t be regrown, but that they take a considerable amount of time to do so, and despite the fact that they are rot resistant, they still suffer the ravages of the wetting and drying cycle.

Keeping proper moisture balanced

Keeping the proper balance of moisture on a consistent basis is the goal for builders and owners, and this involves sealing the buildings against high humidity, and excess drying cycles. The standard method for doing this is to apply paint or sealer to the wood to prevent the introduction of moisture. When properly applied, and properly maintained these work very well. The problem is usually in the “properly maintained” part of that equation.

Wooden shed maintenance

Proper maintenance of a wooden structure involves cleaning, and resealing or painting the structure at least every 18 months, and preferably every year.

This is the procedure you should follow:

  1. Loose paint should be scraped off
  2. The building should be well cleaned, and allowed to dry if a pressure washer or other cleaning method involving water is used.
  3. All joints should be caulked.
  4. The proper paint or sealer should be applied according to the manufacturers specifications.
  5. The roof should be inspected for damage, and any needed repairs performed.
  6. All openings should be inspected, and weatherstripping or caulking used to seal any potential leaks.

Do these things on a regular schedule and your wooden or composite building can last as long as a steel sided building.

Shed Materials Steel Sheds

There are many materials used for creating sheds. Wood, metal, plastics, vinyl, and composite materials. They can all serve a good purpose, and some function better in some ways than others. Each has it’s place, but one outshines all the others for everyday basic use where endurance is needed.

Shed materials

Storage buildings can be made of many materials, finding the one that is right for your use is just about the most important thing you can do for your long term satisfaction. Metal storage sheds offer many advantages over the wooden sided, or composite sided buildings we have grown accustomed to. They can also be superior in many ways to the synthetic sidings gaining popularity today as well.

Why are metal storage sheds better?

  • Metal siding will not warp with changing weather conditions as can be the case with vinyl or plastics.
  • Metal sidings will not swell and contract with changing humidity as can be the case with wood or wood composite materials.
  • Metal siding will not rot like wood and composites when they get wet.
  • Metal storage buildings require little in the way of maintenance.

What is the best metal siding for storage buildings?

Balancing initial cost, maintenance cost, building longevity and other factors, seem to indicate that galvanized, primed and painted steel offer the best overall value from a purely economic standpoint. Steel storage sheds are durable, resists denting, will not rot, will not swell, and will last longer with the least maintenance of any other material for metal storage buildings, or any other type of storage shed.

Looking at other shed options

There are other factors aside from economics which might make the use of another type of material more to your liking. If your sheds purpose is something other than long term storage or other utility type use, a different type of material might be suitable for the job. For instance, if you desire a Japanese tea room at the end of a garden path, natural wood would be the most obvious choice.

If you have a design in mind, that is only achievable through using another material, then by all means, another material is what you need, but keep in mind that it will require some work on your part to keep it up.

Gone are the days of rusty metal sidings.Remember, steel storage sheds come in many colors, can be built in many attractive styles, and one of them will work for you in almost any setting to become an attractive addition to your home.

Wood Frame Sheds Steel Storage Sheds

Wood is good. Wood is 20 times stronger than steel by weight. The problem is, that the volume of wood needed to achieve that strength is very high because of it’s relative density.

So, is wood or steel a better building material? The answer is, yes! Wood is better for some applications, and steel for others. This can be seen easily in the portable utility building market.

Wood Frame Sheds

For the purpose of framing, wood’s light weight provides an excellent framework for a building, keeping the weight to a minimum, while offering structural stability more than sufficient for the job. Wood frame buildings are among the best for storage sheds and other utility buildings.

Steel Covered Buildings

As for the covering for the building, wood is at a distinct disadvantage for the same reasons. To provide the strength needed for covering the building to protect it and it’s contents from nature and intruders, a very thick covering of wood would be required to equal the strength of steel. A thin film of steel provides more than adequate protection from the elements. Steel also ads to the structural integrity of a building.

Wood Frames With Steel Siding

Steel offers another distinct advantage over wood as a covering, that is, if it is properly prepared, it is almost impervious to the elements. It will not rot when moisture is present as is the case with wood. Water is still an enemy of steel, but if it is properly galvanized and painted, it is almost permanent. One manufacturer offers a 25 year rust through warranty for it’s product. Steel storage buildings, built around a wooden frame offer the best of both worlds. The best material for storage buildings is clear, it is a combination of both wood and steel, but both in the right places!

Prefab Steel Sheds

Prefab steel buildings and their advantages

Do construction and maintenance type work for long enough, and you will get to see what works, and what doesn’t, that is, if you pay attention.

Storage buildings, barns, garages, and shops have evolved, and the days of the old rusty “tin” building are about over, except in photographs and memories. The evolution of utility buildings has happened because of the materials used to build them, and increasingly, the material of choice is steel.


Steel is the structural material that industry is built on, and it is becoming common in residential building as well. The steel itself is not anything new, but the major force in this trend is the coating. Better methods for galvanizing and painting have come about, and with them the durability and longevity of the products have increased.


A side effect of this longevity and durability is manufacturers warranty. Over time, this has increased.
Warranties vary from one company to the next, but it is not unusual to find buildings with a rust through warranty of 20 years or more.


There are a multitude of pre engineered steel building manufacturers actively working in the marketplace today, a fact that has increased competition, and resulted in lower prices, and higher standards for the consumer, so prices are great! With prices at about the same level, or lower in some cases than in previous years, the market looks great for the consumer right now.


Another positive for prefab steel buildings over other types is the issue of maintenance. Modern steel buildings require very little of it, especially when compared to their wooden or composite counterparts. No regular painting an resealing is required.


Prefab steel buildings can be constructed in many configurations, and can be used for shops, barns, garages, carports, storage buildings, and even housing. The list is as large as your imagination!

Sources for prefab steel buildings

There are a lot of companies that will be happy to sell you a steel building built to your configuration, and we have a recommendation based on the volume of business done, customer satisfaction, and ease of acquisition. See: Steel Buildings for more information.

Shed Materials

Storage sheds can be built from materials that might not be practical for larger buildings. Of course, they can also be built from standard building materials as well. Whether you choose to buy a shed, or build your own shed, some knowledge of shed materials will come in handy.

Small plastic sheds can be molded, spun, or extruded into existence. Plastic sheds offer a measure of style and versatility, as well as an added level of durability to the shed buying market, and they can be watertight. The earliest plastic models suffered some from ultraviolet rays which produced some brittleness and powdering, but newer generations have suffered much less from this problem. Plastic sheds can be made as horizontal boxes for storing small equipment like patio and pool tools, as well as standard gardening tools. They can be vertical buildings more akin to standard storage buildings as well.

Vinyl sheds, are related to plastic sheds in material, and wood sheds in construction. They work well for common uses, and can be built to match most home siding without interfering with the overall aesthetic.

Wood sheds are excellent as garden sheds. They can be made to fit into all types of surroundings from ultra modern to aged Japanese tea rooms for more detailed gardens, and as long as they are properly maintained, they will last a lifetime.

Metal sheds are durable and last a long time with little maintenance. Of the different types available, steel sheds with galvanized primed and painted sheet steel are some of the best values on the market. Many have as much a s a 25 year warranty on rust through, and most will last much longer without problems. Minimum maintenance can easily expand the life of such buildings beyond that of their users.

Shed plans are easily available, so are kits, or if you are not the do it yourself type, the prices for such buildings are pretty low anyway.