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Plastic Shed Buying Guide

Plastic sheds might appear to be straightforward garden structures. And the material itself may seem simple at first. But the more you explore, the more you realise they can be so much more than meets the eye. Simply having an idea of what they are won’t be enough — enter our plastic shed buying guide.

Are Plastic Sheds Right for You?

Plastic garden sheds have gained popularity due to their low maintenance and durable qualities. These structures are made of weather-resistant polyethene, making them resilient to the elements. Their appeal lies in their lightweight construction, which makes assembly a breeze. What’s more, their resistance to rot, rust, and decay set them apart from wooden and metal materials.

On top of these remarkable benefits, they offer the following:

Plastic sheds come in various styles and sizes, catering to different storage needs. When deciding if one is the right choice, there are several factors you need to consider.

What Lies Beneath Plastic Sheds

When it comes to the main material, this relates to the walls and door of the plastic shed. There are three common materials used, and these are:

1. High-density Polyethylene (HDPE)

This material is known for its remarkable durability and resistance to the elements. HDPE sheds are robust, offering protection against impacts and extreme weather conditions. They are also UV-resistant, preventing colour fading and deterioration from sun exposure.

2. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Vinyl sheds are known for their lightweight construction and affordability. While they may not be as impact-resistant as HDPE, they’re still resistant to moisture and decay. Furthermore, they are easy to assemble and maintain.

3. Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is favoured due to its excellent transparency and shatterproof nature. This material is often used for shed windows, skylights, and roofing. It allows natural light into the garden building while maintaining security.

Each material has its own set of perks and quirks. So, choose one that best suits your needs, budget, and preferences.

Matching Size to Your Needs

Selecting the perfect plastic shed size takes a lot of consideration. Lucky for you, we’ve got some helpful tips and factors that can help you make an informed choice:

What do you plan to store in the shed?

Begin by assessing your storage needs. For instance, a 4x6-foot plastic shed is perfect for garden tools and children’s bicycles. Meanwhile, a 10x12 size can accommodate larger and bulkier items, including garden furniture.

How much space do you have?

Measure the area where you intend to place the unit. You’ll want to ensure it fits well, so that it is not in danger of damage and access in and out is easy. Also ensure it adheres to local planning regulations. Future needs

Consider your potential future storage needs. It’s always a good idea to choose a slightly larger size if you expect to accumulate more items over time.

Access

Ensure that the shed size allows for easy access and organisation of your belongings. Take into account the layouts and shelving options to maximise the storage efficiency.

Ideas on what to store:

  • Small plastic sheds (4x6): Ideal for garden tools, bikes, and outdoor equipment.
  • Medium plastic sheds (8x10): Suitable for lawnmowers, patio furniture, and more.
  • Large plastic sheds (15x8): Spacious enough to store larger items, e.g., ATVs, and even serve as a workshop.

The right shed size must accommodate your current and future storage needs. At the same time, while making the most of your available space.

Key Features to Choose From

Walls or cladding

HDPE cladding offers robustness and resistance to the elements. It’s known for durability and colour retention. PVC cladding, while lightweight and cost-effective, may be less durable than HDPE.

To make your investment worthwhile, consider your climate, intended use, and budget. HDPE is suitable for demanding outdoor conditions. In contrast, PVC can be a budget-friendly option for more temperate environments.

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Security

While plastic storage sheds offer protection from the elements, security against theft may be a concern. Many lack an outdoor lock. So, finding one equipped with an internal locking mechanism is a big advantage.

If you plan to store valuable items, invest in a model with built-in shed locks or the option to add one. This ensures your peace of mind and safeguards your possessions effectively.

Ventilation

This aspect is often overlooked, and you wouldn’t want to be that person. Remember that proper airflow within the shed is key to anti-moisture buildup. Moreover, it prevents condensation and the growth of mould or mildew.

Without this, your garden storage unit can become a hot and stuffy space during the summer.

Ventilation is a small yet vital detail that can make a difference. So look for a plastic shed unit with built-in vents or windows that allow fresh air to circulate

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Base types

When installing a plastic shed in your garden, the base is of important consideration. Here are the common plastic shed base options and their pros and cons:

Concrete plinth:

Slabs:

Brick or paving:

Wooden decking or raised timber frame:

Colour Options

With a plastic shed, you can forget the hassle of painting, staining, or treating it. You can find a variety of attractive colour options: amber, grey, and olive green.

Take this opportunity to align your shed option with your style and garden’s aesthetic.

Manufacturer’s guarantee

A manufacturer’s guarantee, like provides peace of mind. Ensure the warranty covers structural integrity, rust, and other potential issues. Read the terms and conditions to understand the warranty’s duration.

Optional extras

Consider your storage needs. Optional accessories like access ramps and shelves can maximise the shed’s functionality. These additions can help you organise and access your items more efficiently.

Carefully assess your needs and the shed’s intended use to make an informed choice.

Your Questions Answered

Are plastic sheds maintenance-free?

Yes, plastic sheds are generally low-maintenance. They don’t require painting or staining and are easy to clean with a hose and mild detergent.

Are plastic sheds weatherproof?

Yes, they can withstand various weather conditions, including rain, snow, and UV exposure. They are typically weatherproof!

Do plastic sheds fade in the sun?

Some models can fade over time due to UV exposure. Thus, it’s important to choose UV-resistant models or apply a UV protection coating.

Is insulation an option with plastic sheds?

Insulation can be added to plastic sheds, but it's often not as effective as with wooden or metal sheds.

Can I install shelving in my plastic shed?

Yes, you can install shelves in plastic garden sheds. Many models have built-in grooves or anchor points for shelving brackets.

How durable are plastic sheds?

Plastic sheds are durable and resistant to rot, rust, and decay. The lifespan can vary but typically ranges from 10 to 20 years or more.

Are plastic sheds easy to assemble?

Plastic sheds are generally easy to assemble. Thanks to their lightweight materials and simple, snap-together designs. Most come with clear instructions.

Does plastic shed light enough inside to see?

Plastic sheds can be somewhat dark inside without additional lighting. Adding windows or LED lighting can significantly improve visibility.