Comparing standard sheds, with small sheds, and outdoor plastic storage sheds for price and build quality

It’s all fun and games when you’re shopping for a new petrol pressure washer, aerator, or hedge trimmer, but before you know it, you’ve got a ton of ‘toys’ and with the car in the garage, there’s nowhere to store them. This is when you realise the importance of having a good shed.

However, sheds can be more than just places to store tools and other things like bikes and kids paddling pools. They can also act as workshops for your DIY projects, and even be converted into a bar, as you’ve probably noticed by looking on your friends’ social media accounts.

When choosing a shed, there are three main types you decide from, and they are standard garden sheds, small sheds, and outdoor plastic storage sheds. Each serves as a place to store your possessions, but are different in their own way, so we decided to compare them in this article.

Oh, and if you have won the lottery lately, you could go for something like this 😲

What are you going to use your shed for?

How you will use your shed will play a large part in which one would be best for you. Let’s say you are looking for a place to do a spot of woodwork, or even to act as an artist’s studio. For these purposes, you’re probably going to need a full-size garden shed, as nobody wants to work while bumping their head, elbows, and every other part of their body, into walls and other obstacles.

A small shed should be more than enough if you just want somewhere to keep a few of your larger tools, such as a lawnmower, spade, rake, etc. If you have or intend to buy bigger tools like a ride-on mower, or even a larger collection of power tools, a small shed might look cramped pretty quickly so I’d go for a standard shed.

If you just want somewhere to keep a few plant pots, a garden hose, or the kids’ bikes, you really don’t need to go through the hassle of building a shed, and can probably just make do with a plastic storage shed. These sheds are easy to assemble, and provide a decent level of security if locked up properly, and can be placed right next to the house if you so wish.

For some tips on maximising your shed storage, here’s a short video on the subject-

How much space do you have?

It seems an obvious thing to say, but the size of your garden is going to go a long way in determining the type of shed you can/should buy. It’s not just the overall area of the garden you need to consider either, it’s things like available space. For example, you might have flower beds, water features, or things like gazebos in your garden that are already taking up a lot of room.

Another thing to think about is that you need more space than you think to actually assemble the shed. It’s not just a case of needing 6x4ft of space for a 6x4ft shed. You need to lay down a solid base for the shed to be constructed on, and space to move around while you work.

Then there are natural obstacles like trees, and like all living things they grow as time passes by. So, you might find in a few years’ time that your shed is now being overtaken by branches, hedges, and other types of plants.

All of these things are to be given thought before buying a shed, and if you think that you really don’t have much space, a plastic storage shed will be the thing to go for. If you have an average-sized garden but you don’t want to feel like your shed is taking up all the space, then go for a small shed. For people with plenty of room to spare, a large shed can be a great addition, and won’t look like it is lost in such a large space like the other two types of sheds can.

Even smaller gardens can house a shed. However, I wouldn’t let my wife choose the paint colour like this bloke did-

Different types of sheds compared for security

Shed security has always been an important issue among gardeners and house owners as they are just very common targets for thieves. So, which of the three types of shed (standard, small, or storage) is the best for keeping its contents safe?

To be completely honest, no shed can be completely thief-proof. Most standard sheds have glass windows that are easy to break or pry open, then there is the fact that they, and smaller sheds too, tend to be made from wood and this makes it easier for doors to be broken off or unscrewed at the hinges.

Metal sheds will provide more security than wooden ones, but you have to keep an eye out for rust or that will soon become an easy point of entry. Even plastic storage sheds can be broken into by determined thieves, despite them appearing more secure from the outside, so what to do?

We recommend that when you assemble your shed, you use tamper-proof screws on the hinges, and also install a top-quality bolt and shed lock. On top of this, a good security camera with night vision and two-way speaker, and/or some kind of shed alarm will go a long way to deterring thieves. If you’d like to know more, please read our article on this subject.

There are also plenty of videos wth hints and tips on how to make your shed more secure, just like this one-

Comparing different types of sheds for maintenance

When it comes to a low-maintenance shed, you can’t really beat a plastic storage shed. Unlike wooden garden sheds, there is no roof felt to repair and replace, you don’t have to remember to repaint or coat the wood with stain or varnish, there are usually no glass or plastic windows to keep clean, and you don’t have to worry about insects making their nests in your wood, or even using it as a meal.

Of course, buying a metal shed can also reduce the need for roof felt and you shouldn’t get little creatures making their nests in the material, but you still have to keep the thing painted, and as mentioned above, the biggest threat to a metal shed is rust and corrosion caused by the weather.

Because plastic sheds won’t get affected by damp or wet conditions like wooden ones can, it makes them much easier to blast down with a hose or pressure washer when it comes time to spring clean, yet another positive point for this type of shed.

Pressure washing your shed isn’t just quicker, it’s also extremely satifying-

Standard shed, small shed, or storage shed– a price comparison

A standard garden shed is going to cost you more than a small shed, that much should be obvious, and the higher quality of the materials used for that shed, the higher the price will be. What might not be so obvious to people new to sheds, is that metal sheds tend to be cheaper than wooden ones of the same size, so that might be worth thinking about if you’re on a tighter budget.

Small plastic storage sheds are fairly inexpensive. However, larger plastic sheds of the highest quality can be comparable in price to some wooden sheds. Having said that, a good quality plastic shed should last most people longer as there is hardly any maintenance required and they are weatherproof, so they are good value for money for the most part.

Although metal sheds are cheap, you do have to factor in the cost of paint, and if you want the shed to last, you’ll have to give it a new coat pretty often like this lady has-


What look are you going for?

When compared to metal or plastic sheds, standard wooden sheds are more traditional looking, and would go well with other wooden garden furniture and features like benches, swing chairs, pergolas, and trellises.

Plastic storage sheds have a more modern aesthetic and so would probably look better in a garden that has more modern features. Things like modern-styled fire pits and BBQs, zero gravity chairs, and the like, would all match well with a plastic storage shed.

There are some plastic sheds out there that have the appearance of wooden sheds, and also models that come in a variety of colours and shapes, so you could still find one that fits in a more rustic setting, or you can always repaint it however you fancy like this person-

About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message:

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