Steel Sheds Vs Wooden Sheds: Which is best?
Steel Sheds Vs Wooden Sheds
What are the differences between a steel garden shed and a wooden one?
Steel Sheds Vs Wooden Sheds.
The battle of modern times. “Are steel sheds better than wooden sheds?”, or “are wooden sheds better?” are questions that we get asked quite a lot here in Sheds Direct Ireland. If you’re struggling to decide which is the one for you, read on and we’ll hopefully get you pointed in the right direction
It’s worth noting that we don’t supply wooden sheds all over Ireland. See where we offer our steel and wooden sheds before you do anything else and this could make your decision very quickly. Right, onto the TLDR version.
Steel Sheds Version Wooden Sheds: The Short Version
Steel Sheds’ Best Points:
Steel sheds are on average much cheaper than their wooden alternatives. Particularly in the larger sizes.
Steel Sheds can be shipped flat-packed. This keeps the price down even further, but it means that we can get our sheds across Ireland quickly.
Virtually No Maintenance
If you want a shed that requires little maintenance, a Steel Shed is the best option for you.
Wooden Sheds’ Best Points:
Add windows, doors, verandas, cat flaps and more to your heart’s content.
Doesn’t require a solid, level base
Wooden Sheds don’t need a full concrete or paving slab base – they just go on 4″ solid blocks.
Most wooden sheds come with a window, so there’s a natural light source.
Steel Sheds Vs Wooden Sheds: The Detailed Version
Today we’ll be looking at the differences between Steel and Wooden garden sheds. What separates them from each other and why you might punt for one over the other. Let’s start with a point that’s important for a lot of people: Price.
People are often surprised to learn that Steel Sheds are considerably less expensive than wooden sheds. (2022 Update: This has only been compounded with the recent surge in wooden prices). While there’s not much between them in the smaller sizes (like 6ft x 4ft) once the shed gets above 8ft x 6ft, the Steel Sheds work out to cost a lot less than their wooden counterparts. In some instances, a steel shed can cost only a THIRD as much as a comparable wooden shed.
As a brief example, lets looks at a similarly sized large sheds from 2021. The prices will have changed since then, but the correlation remains relatively the same.
Steel: Flat-packed: €779
Steel: Supplied and Fitted: €1129
Wood: (Most basic option) Supplied and Fitted: €1,355
Wood (All Upgrades option) Supplied and Fitted: €2,535
The Steel Shed with supply and fitting is less expensive than even the cheapest wooden option. If the price is a factor, Steel Sheds might offer a more cost-effective answer to your storage needs – providing that you have a base in place, already.
However, it’s worth remembering that Steel Sheds need to be built upon a solid, level base. This isn’t an issue if you have slabs or concrete already in place, however if you need to get these in place, it may negate the difference between the wood and steel.
In the battle of steel sheds vs wooden sheds, steel sheds pip wood in terms on maintenance. If you’re looking for a hassle-free shed, you probably won’t get less hands-off than a steel garden Shed. Once it’s up in the garden, it’s good to go. Our Classic Range for example, is often described as ‘hassle-free’, and I’d agree. Sure, you might need to clear out the gutters and treat any scratches that you leave, but otherwise they’re a doddle.
Wooden Sheds are a different beast altogether. If purchased untreated, the shed will require annual varnishing or wood care. This can suit some people, who wish to change the colour of their shed annually. However, if you want to avoid the regular upkeep, you can get Wooden Sheds that have been Pressure Treated, which negates the need to treat them annually. This pressure treatment comes in at a cost, which can be substantial in larger sized sheds.
Wooden sheds’ felt roofs also require replacing. Typically, a felt roof will last 10-12 years and then it will begin to degrade. If you don’t want to replace it, or if you want something more rigid form the start, you should check out the steel roof upgrade available on most wooden sheds. Again, a steel roof can add a substantial cost to the base price of the shed.
You can read our guide to Steel Shed maintenance here and our guide to general shed maintenance with a particular emphasis on Winter care here.
In general, Steel Sheds will be more affected by condensation than wooden sheds would be. Wooden Sheds with Steel Roofs are the obvious exception, but if you’re looking at getting a shed that requires no extra input to get it condensation-free, you should consider a Wooden Shed.
That’s not to say that Steel Sheds are beyond fixing. Indeed in some instances, you can have a steel shed insulated by a professional and still have it cost less than it’s wooden alternative. If you want to see what’s involved in insulating a Steel Shed , you can read our guide here. In a nutshell, we recommend putting a damp-proof membrane under the base of your shed.
We don’t recommend putting anything that generates heat in either type of shed, without taking steps to negate the build up of warm air.
First off, and it should go without saying, but we’re talking about weather conditions to be expected from Irish weather in this part. No shed company can guarantee anything to do with a red weather warning, for example.
With that in mind, we’ll start with steel sheds. Once your steel shed has been built correctly, it won’t leak. If you’re self-assembling, remember not to over-tighten the bolts and you should have zero issues with leaking. You will however, need a solid, level base for your shed. If the base is not level, water can run under the base of the shed and dampen the goods inside. You can negate this by simply sealing the outside and inside base of the shed with something like Tec-7.
Wooden Sheds’ resistance to the weather varies depending on the wood used and whether it has been pressure treated or not. For example, a Rustic Shed is made with an overlapping board. The way in which it’s overlapped creates small gaps which allow damp, the frost of insects to get in. You can see an example of this gap here:
Because they’re more exposed to the elements, Pressure Treated Rustic Sheds don’t get the breathable internal membrane that the other wood types get when they’re pressure treated; they’d just get destroyed over a brief amount of time. We also wouldn’t recommend keeping anything that would be damaged by damp in a Rustic Shed, because of this.
However, Deluxe Wood and Barrel Board hold up very well by comparison. They’re tongue-and-groove and th wood is locked in together, making it tougher for the elements to get through.
Wooden Sheds can be customised to your heart’s content. If you want to add extra doors, move the window, add a cat flap or flower box – or well, pretty much anything else – you can do it with a Wooden Shed. Let us know what you’re thinking of and we’ll tell you if it can be done. By far the biggest reason people punt for wooden sheds is because of the visuals that they offer. If you want a shed to look a particular way, Wood can offer this.
Steel Sheds are far less flexible in this regard. While the locks or internal linings can be changed, the style is as it is. You can get a colour option or two in some cases, or paint it with specialist metal paint like Hammerite, but typically metal sheds don’t pride themselves on their customisation options.
Steel Sheds would appear to be the most secure at first glance – they’re steel, after all, right? However, this is not necessarily the case.
It’s estimated that it would take someone twice as long to get into a wooden shed as opposed to a classic steel shed. You can minimise risk by investing in a good lock and lighting your shed up at night with a motion sensor light, for example. However, we can’t (and nobody can) guarantee complete security in any of our sheds.
As standard sizes go, there would be more sizes available in wooden sheds. We can offer sizes from 6ft x 4ft all the way up to 20ft x 10ft, with a lot of variation in between. We can even make something to spec if needed. There are fewer size options available in the steel ranges.
Steel Vs Wood: Verdict
Phew! You made it all the way here. So you can probably see in the steel sheds vs wooden sheds battle, it’s a real ‘horses for courses’ scenario with regards to which suits you better. Steel Sheds are affordable, require little input and built to last. Wooden Sheds would be more for the visual impact or for people who want a simple solution and don’t want to get a solid, level base in place.
Personally speaking, I prefer the Steel. Things like the sliding doors, gutters and the ability to lay them flat on concrete makes them more usable as a day-to-day shed. You can get in and out of it easily and you don’t have to lift anything into it because they have lipped entracnes. The ability to just put it up and more or less walk away from it is also a bonus. If you’ve enough going on at home, the idea of maintaining a wooden shed might be more than you want from a shed.
At the end of it all though, the choice comes down to what you want, as well as what you might need. Hopefully our guide above has helped steer you in the right direction. If you’re still unsure call us at 01 864 4247 or message us on Facebook and we might be able to help more in person.
Oh, and if you were lost in some of the jargon on this steel sheds vs wooden sheds page, you can learn the difference in Wood Types on this page.