Steel vs Wooden Sheds:
whats are the differences between them?
So you know you want a shed, but you can’t decide if you want a Steel one or a Wooden one, right? Happens all the time. “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. With that in mind, we decided to make this handy, complete guide which outlines the differences between Steel and Wooden Sheds. We hope it helps!
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 flatpacked. 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 low maintenance shed, a Steel Shed is the best option for you.
Wooden Sheds’ Best Points:
Add windows, doors, verandas, cat flaps and more to your hearts content.
Preferred by Gardeners
Wooden Sheds are more breatheable – ideal if you’re sowing plants.
Most wooden sheds come with a window, so there’s a natural light source.
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.
People are often surprised to learn that Steel Sheds are considerably less expensive than wooden sheds. Typically Steel Sheds come in much less than the wooden ones, and as the size of the shed increases, a metal shed can be as little as a third of the cost of it’s wooden equivalent.
As a brief example, lets looks at a 10ft x 12ft Steel Shed in Dublin:
Steel: Flat-packed: €779
Steel: Supplied and Fitted: €1,129
Wood: (Most basic option) Supplied and Fitted: €1,355
Wood (All Upgrades option) Supplied and Fitted: €2,535
If price is a factor, Steel Sheds might offer a more cost effective answer to your storage needs.
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. Sure, you will need to clear the gutters every now-and-then and treat scratches as soon as they occur, but otherwise they’re hassle-free. We offer an 18-year Rust Perforation Warranty on all our Classic Range of steel sheds too, so that should give you an indication of how well built and robust they are.
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.
The only other maintenance that a wooden shed might require, is to check that no rodents etc have gotten in under the shed. As Wooden Sheds go on blocks, they can make ideal hiding spots for foxes, rats etc during the Winter months.
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.
If you want to see what’s involved in insulating a Steel Shed however, you can read our guide here.
Steel Shed are hard to beat if you’re looking to keep stuff out of the rain, away from frost or deter rodents. Steel Sheds are more ‘complete’ than wooden sheds. They’re made from large sheets of steel, rather than planks of wood, so it only makes sense that they have less weak points.
That said, if you place a steel shed on an unlevel base, rainwater can run under your shed and soak upwards from within. If this is the case, you can simply seal the outside 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 overlapping board. The way in which it’s overlapped creates small gaps which allows damp, 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 for Hammerite for example, 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, 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 steel shed. You can minimise risk by investing in a good look 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. Our Steel sheds come in 8 sizes as standard, excluding the the PVC Cladded ones which have 6 further sizes.
However, If you have something specific in mind size-wise, contact us to see if we can work something out.
Steel Vs Wood: Verdict
Phew! You made it all the way here. So you can probably see that 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 shed that will go be built for them and won’t get condensation.
Personally speaking, I prefer the Steel. Things like the sliding doors, gutter 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. 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 ideal of maintaining a wooden shed might be enough in and of itself.
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 page, you can learn the difference in Wood Types on this page.
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