Building a Shed – Is Metal Or Wood the Best Option?


Do you find yourself looking high and low for more storage space? If so you are certainly not alone. The need most folks have for storage can be easily surmised by noticing the vast number of self-storage businesses to be found in most populated areas. Rather than pay rent somewhere else, why not build your own storage shed? It’s an easy DIY project and can usually be done in just a few days.

Before you can begin you’ll have to make one key decision when building a shed – Is metal or wood the best option? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each choice.

Building a Metal Shed

Metal sheds have the advantage of being supplied in a kit. You don’t need many special tools or particular skills in order to put together a metal shed. They often go together quickly and they tend to last for decades. For a quick storage solution, metal sheds are often a great choice.

Just one problem for many people: they usually need a concrete slab. If you know how to pour concrete, great. If not, it means hiring someone to do that part of the job.

Benefits of a Metal Shed

• Easy construction, simple directions and no special skills needed
• Can be done quickly, usually a day or two
• Inexpensive, often less cost than any other option
• Durable, secure, and water tight storage
• Can sometimes be purchased on terms using store cards or finance offers

Drawbacks of a Metal Shed

• The need for a concrete slab can increase the cost and time
• The look of a metal shed sometimes leaves a bit to be desired
• Ceiling height inside can be a bit low for taller folks
• Space is limited – structural issues limit the possible size of DIY metal sheds
• It isn’t easy to add electricity, build shelves, or add windows to a metal shed

Building a Wood Shed

If you’ve got some basic carpentry skills and tools, a wood shed might really be a great option for you. A DIY wood shed can usually be constructed in just a few days and often can be designed to look great with the surroundings. Compared to a metal shed, a wood shed requires more design and planning thought, but the up-side of that is the chance to arrange things just how you want them.

Wood sheds can be built to look almost like small houses with roofing similar to the main house, trim, windows, and doors all looking more like an “outbuilding” than a “shed”. The downside of all of this is that the cost can be significantly higher than the metal shed option.

Benefits of a Wood Shed

• Can be built with a wood floor – so if you have carpentry skills you can skip the concrete pouring step
• Can be designed in a custom fashion – windows, doors, etc. can be easily placed exactly where you want and need them to be
• Installing shelves, adding electrical service or plumbing, and other similar improvements are easier with wood was the base wall material
• Interior ceiling height is generally much higher providing more storage and making the space more comfortable for taller individuals
• Creative and Architectural options are greater – the exterior of a wood shed can be detailed to the point of suitability for a magazine layout. Imagination, time, and budget are the only limitations.

Drawbacks of a Wood Shed

• The time to build is generally longer. Even for a simple shed, the overall effort for a DIY builder is more than for a metal shed.
• Heavier and harder to move. While a metal shed can often be dismantled and relocated, not so with a wood shed. Generally speaking, they stay where they are built.
• Cost is greater. Even considering the cost of having a slab poured, a metal shed is less costly. Wood, roofing, windows, and doors usually add-up to a higher price point for wood sheds.

Whichever way you choose, having a shed on your property is a much better option for most people than paying rent month after month at a storage facility somewhere. When you have a shed, your property is close at hand. And if you want a place to do woodworking or store your outdoor equipment, a shed makes a great workshop.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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