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Which Shed Material is the Best?

Whether you require a storage solution for household goods, a workshop with plenty of room for you to tinker with tools, or a dedicated she shed or man cave where you can indulge in your hobby to your hearts content, a high-quality garden shed can be an invaluable addition to your garden. There are many different shed options out there that it can be difficult to decide what type of garden shed would be best suited to your needs.

Three of the most commonly used materials favoured by shed companies are plastic, metal and timber, with each having their own advantages and disadvantages depending on how you are going to use your new shed. If you find you are asking yourself ‘what shed material will best suit my needs?’, we have put together a guide to each material to help you make your decision.

Plastic Sheds
Price point: low

If you are looking for an easy-to-install shed that will be kind to your pocket, plastic sheds are one of the cheapest shed options and you can put one together relatively quickly. The material used to make most plastic sheds is lightweight vinyl, making a plastic shed a good option if you are in a rented property or need to move house as it can easily be moved around. The material does not need treating and can be hosed down when it is looking dirty, meaning they are a lower maintenance shed.

While some are UV protected, the sun can damage plastic sheds over time as the heat can yellow the material and cause it to crack, meaning your new plastic shed will not stay in pristine condition for long. Depending on which plastic shed you buy, it is not always possible to drill into them so the material could also crack when trying to install your own shelving and hooks, so you may want to consider buying a plastic shed with these included as part of the design, or buy a free-standing solution. The lightweight material may be renter and mover friendly, but strong winds could end up moving or even tipping the shed over, so you may want to consider anchoring the structure to something more solid.

Metal Sheds
Price point: low-medium

The price point for metal sheds sits nicely in between plastic and timber. They are usually made from steel or galvanised aluminium for durability. Metal sheds are weatherproof and designed to withstand the elements. You will also find that metal sheds do not require as much maintenance as other shed materials, other than occasionally greasing the door hinges to ensure they open smoothly.

One of the big disadvantages of using metal to construct a shed is that the material is not a good insulator, making it very hot inside during the summer and very cold in the winter. The hot conditions inside during the summer will mean that you will need to be careful what you store in there. The heat will scorch plants and will be uncomfortable to work in, so you will not want to use a metal shed as a potting shed or workshop. With this in mind, you will need to carefully consider the placement of a metal shed in your garden, as you will want it installed in a shaded spot so that it does not get too warm inside. A metal shed may not be the best option for you if you have a particularly sunny garden and limited space to place it.

Timber Sheds 
Price point: low-high

1.8 x 2.4m Superior Shed painted in Exterior Sage, with Georgian Windows and Grey Slate Effect Roof Tiles

Timber sheds vary largely on cost depending on what you are looking for. You can buy a cheap timber shed to provide basic storage, or if you are looking for a shed that will last, will look good in your garden, and for a specific purpose, such as a workshop or potting shed, you can spend a lot more to get a quality product. Timber sheds can be customised more than the other two materials so you can have a shed that is tailored more to your individual needs. You can opt to include partitions, insulation and electrics to your timber shed, and take your pick from different window and door styles, paint colours, and roof coverings for further personalisation.

Timber is a natural insulator, meaning the inside of your shed is likely to be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, making it a great option for anyone who would like to spend a lot of time inside their shed. As well as having natural insulation qualities, timber sheds can be made suitable for use throughout the year by having lining and insulation installed. This will ensure the shed remains comfortable for use in every season. Unlike metal and plastic, wood is a renewable resource, making timber sheds one of the most environmentally friendly options.

We specialise in timber sheds at Crane Garden Buildings. Each is hand-crafted to order by skilled craftsmen inside our Norfolk factory before being delivered and installed by experts from our installations team. We use materials of the highest quality to make our sheds, which is why we source FSC® certified timber for our wooden garden sheds. The timber is machined from Scandinavian Redwood, grown close to the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden.

If you would like to see one of our high-quality timber garden sheds for yourself, we would recommend paying a visit to one of our UK show centres. You will be able to take a closer look at the quality timber we use, while also seeing a wide variety of display models, including garden sheds, summerhouses, studios, garden rooms and garden offices!

For more information about our timber sheds, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly advisors at Crane HQ will be more than happy to assist you with any queries you may have. You can email or you can call us on 01760 444229.

Garden Sheds

Superior Shed with Added Security

Superior Shed

There are many sizes and design options to choose from in our Superior Shed range, including full insulation, lining, and electrics.

Classic Shed PR1

Classic Shed

The unlined Classic Shed is a great option for those looking for a simple yet high-quality garden shed.

2.4 x 3.6m Blickling National Trust Shed with Apex Roof and Built In Log Store

National Trust Sheds

National Trust Sheds are traditionally styled and will add rustic charm to your garden.

Superior Shed with a roof overhang and painted in Exterior Ash


With helpful features like partitions, electrics, lining, and workbenches available, our Superior Sheds make great workshops.