Plastic sheds are gaining popularity with UK buyers as manufacturers listen to the needs of shed owners and provide innovations and utilities that continue to revolutionize shed material choices. Plastic garden sheds don’t rust, rot, or swell with environmental factors, making them an excellent choice for homeowners who want the benefits of a metal shed without the metallic look.
Plastic sheds are the in-between answer that provides the best of both worlds in durability, ease of maintenance, and aesthetic appeal. These sheds are made to look as close to vinyl and wood as possible without sacrificing functionality. Plastic garden sheds are lightweight, come with their own flooring, and are generally easy to assemble.
Pre-fab options are easy to move as one unit, making it more portable than other material choices, and they can provide enough insulation to make temperature control easier than in a metal or wooden shed, which is an important factor if you plan to use your shed as a workshop or playroom.
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Plastic Sheds FAQ
Common Uses of Plastic Sheds
It might sound surprising, but there are more uses for plastic garden sheds than storing your gardening tools or lawn care equipment. There are several types of materials that might fall under “plastic” when you are buying a plastic garden shed. Polyurethane, vinyl, and high-density plastic are the three most common materials, but they are all excellent choices for sheds depending on the usage.
Plastic garden sheds might be used for storage. Like other sheds, it provides optimal space for larger lawn equipment and gardening tools and gives you space to safely store chemicals that should not be stored indoors, such as petrol and pesticides. If you are storing chemicals, it is important to avoid spills or place a tarp down, as plastics sheds typically come with a polyurethane or plastic flooring. This flooring can stain or bleach easily when exposed to harsh chemicals.
These sheds are moisture-resistant, making them a great choice for outdoor water closets and washrooms. If you own a large plot of land or just want an extra water closet on your property, then a plastic shed is the way to go. These sheds are water-resistant and weatherproof, making them the ideal choice for washroom and water closets add-ons.
Pros and Cons of Plastic Sheds
There are advantages and disadvantages to every shed type, and plastic garden sheds are no exception to this rule. Depending on what you are planning to use your garden shed for, this material might be the best choice for you, especially if you are in a region that sees a lot of rainfall or heavy snowfall.
Plastic sheds are weatherproof and generally low maintenance, making it the ideal choice for any UK homeowner. Whether you are looking for a unique way to store your gardening tools, build a sturdy workshop outside the home, or enjoy an addition onto the house, plastic garden sheds are a top choice.
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Pro: UV Resistant
When vinyl and plastic garden sheds first came on the market, they were not coated with any UV resistance, and the material was not naturally protected against the sun’s rays. While these sheds held up wonderfully against heavy rain and deep snow, any colour would fade over just a few years.
Now, manufacturers coat the vinyl and polyurethane boards that are used to make these sheds in a UV-resistant sealant. This coating has increased the longevity of the material used to make the sheds and prolongs the colour’s resistance to fading. Still, many shed owners are advised to keep their plastic garden sheds in a shady area in the yard that receives tree cover or shade year-round to keep the colour for many years to come.
Con: Looks Like Plastic Up-Close
One drawback to owning a plastic garden shed is the appearance. Many shed owners prefer the natural look of wood or the metallic sheen of metal sheds. Plastic is not an appealing texture to many people and can make the shed look like a toy on cheaper builds.
Fortunately, for more expensive plastic garden sheds, this attention to detail has not been skipped over. Using high-quality vinyl sheeting or polyurethane boards can make the shed look like painted wood. These sheds have come a long way from their beginning, and are available in a wide variety of colours, grain textures, designs, and sizes to suit virtually any need.
Pro: Moisture Resistant
Plastic garden sheds are moisture-resistant, making them an ideal choice for yards that receive a lot of rain or snow throughout the year. These sheds make an excellent choice when adding an outdoor room or storing items that require temperature and moisture control. These sheds are the best of both worlds between metal and wooden sheds, providing the benefits of both in one moisture-resistant building.
If moisture resistance is important to your purchase, make sure to find a plastic garden shed that has a tight seal around the door and framing. Purchasing a plastic garden shed that has steel reinforced framing can help extend the lifetime of the shed and provide extra durability against the elements.
Con: Assembly Can Be Difficult
One problem when it comes to initially installing a plastic shed is that, unless your unit is prefabricated and installed for you, you may a difficult time assembling it yourself. Most plastic garden sheds are ungainly, and the walls, roof, and floor are all one-piece units that must be secured together. This can make disassembly tough if you sell your home and want to take the shed with you.
The larger the shed, the more pieces that you will have to assemble, as packages can no longer be shipped at a reasonable cost after a certain size. This may mean that your 10 x 16 shed comes in twenty or thirty pieces, compared to the 4 x 5 shed that comes in six pieces. The assembly instructions will accommodate these changes as every shed is installed a little differently, but when in doubt, put together the walls and flooring first.
When you are assembling your plastic garden shed, it is important to get assistance from at least one other person. Not only does this make the job safer, but it will also help make the assembly easier. Before you know it, you will have your plastic garden shed standing in half the time, and you’ll be in good company to enjoy it.
Pro: Minimal Maintenance
One of the main benefits of owning a plastic garden shed is how little maintenance is required. Plastic sheds do not rot, rust, or degrade over time like wooden or metal sheds might, making them the ideal choice for folks who want to get as close to maintenance-free as possible without sacrificing aesthetics.
This key draw is what initially seals the deal for many shed buyers, and these sheds truly stand up to the promise, with minimal maintenance required largely to keep the look of the shed in top shape and keep it looking properly polished. Any other maintenance steps are solely for preventative measures against wear and fading.
Con: Low Security
Whether you are trying to keep out nosy neighbors or the local wildlife population, plastic sheds are not the best option for security-minded individuals. Unless additional measures are installed after the shed is in place, the plastic locks can be easily broken, and the malleable material leaves it open to wildlife sneaking inside.
Some sheds have additional steel reinforcement added into the frame, which can increase the durability and strength of the shed itself, providing extra security and stability in the locking mechanisms. These sheds are ideal for additional rooms or outdoor water closets.
The Best Spot for Your Plastic Shed
The first generation of plastic garden sheds had a difficult time retaining colour against the sun’s UV rays. The shed was watertight and durable, making it an excellent choice for many UK shed owners, but they were met with dismay at how quickly the colour faded.
Plastic sheds are now made with a UV-resistant coating and the colour is now imbued into the boards, rather than painted over the top. Even so, it is still important to prevent as much damage to the colour of the shed. This means that where you place your shed in the yard may impact how well the colours stay vibrant and full of pigment.
You should place your shed in a shady area of your backyard, preferably under tree cover or in an area that does not receive as much sunlight from the rest of the yard.
Plastic garden sheds are made from a UV-resistant polyurethane or vinyl siding that is meant to withstand harsh weather, however, the less exposure, the longer your shed will last. Your shed should also be somewhere that is uphill to stop flooding or heavy snowstorms from wearing down the material over time.
Plastic Shed Maintenance
Plastic garden sheds do require some maintenance to keep it clean and free of debris. For example, if water collects on the corners or roof of the shed, it can lead to the growth of moss and mildew if left unchecked. Fortunately, this is easy to clean with a regular wipe down. Check the walls and the roof, as the roof is commonly ignored allowing debris such as limbs and fallen leaves to collect on roof edges, trapping moisture in.
Another key maintenance tip for ensuring the longevity of your plastic garden shed is to spray it down with a protective spray every 6 months to every year. This helps reinforce the UV resistant coating and keeps it extra waterproof and easy to clean.
While you are spraying the exterior of the shed, you should also check for any signs of damage by animals or environmental factors to make sure there are no larger problems brewing around the edges.
Sometimes, unexpected damages occur right underneath your nose, invisible until a larger problem presents itself. Preventative maintenance is especially important if the region has just experienced a bout of severe weather, such as flooding, hail, or after heavy snowfall has melted.
Generally, plastic garden shed maintenance is kept to a minimum, which is a benefit for many shed owners. The only things that you should worry about are cursory signs of damage, collecting water, and keeping the exterior clean.
If these problems appear, the solution is straightforward and almost always easy to fix. Additionally, many manufacturers provide a warranty that can help protect your shed from severe accidental damages. Plastic shed maintenance is only required every six months to every year and does not require a lot of rigorous work.
Choose Your Plastic Shed with WhatShed
Choosing a garden shed is no easy task. With so many options, the choices are overwhelming, to say the least, and the prices are high enough to make you do your research. By now, you should have an idea of what type of garden shed is right for your backyard, making the choice between the various shed materials easy. Now, it’s time to choose between brands, functionality, colours, and sizes.
WhatShed is the UK’s leading garden shed review source, providing unbiased, consumer-directed reviews and league tables of the top garden sheds sold at a retailer near you. We take the guesswork out of the equation, leaving you with the best choices available on the market today based on your unique needs and preferences.
If you are still feeling a little unsure on what plastic garden shed you want you can read our plastic garden sheds frequently asked questions guide.