A Plastic Sheds Buyers Guide

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Plastic Garden Shed

The garden shed – a familiar sight in UK gardens. A small wooden structure tucked away in the corner, home to stacks of disused gardening equipment, inoperable power tools and a few sorry-looking bedding plants. The old gas BBQ is gathering dust in the back corner, and there’s a draught coming from the roof where unruly squirrels have decided to invade. It’s certainly seen better days…

Oh, how things have changed! Of course, there’s still a place for the quintessentially British timber garden shed, but shed design, like everything else, moves with the times, and a cheaper, more practical, versatile alternative is the plastic garden shed.

Now, it doesn’t take a genius to know what kind of image you’re conjuring up in your head – you’re more than likely thinking: ‘Plastic – cheap, flimsy, not fit for purpose’. However, the truth of the matter is, you couldn’t be more wrong. Affordable, versatile and durable – plastic sheds are ideal if you’re on a budget, but still want a shed that’s stylish and practical, easy to install, and one which requires minimal maintenance.

Keter Scala Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed, Brown, 6 x 5 ft
  • Ideal outdoor storage solution for all garden tools and equipment, BBQ's, bicycles and DIY tools
  • Authentic wood- effect with Rustic look panels
  • Floor panel with two fixed windows, built in ventilation and metal hinges. Lockable for added security
  • Made of durable, weather-resistant and maintenance fade-free plastic
  • Assembled external dimensions: 185 x 152 x 226 cm (L x W x h); internal dimensions: 169 x 138 x 219 cm (L x W x h)

Only got 5 minutes

Plastic sheds have become increasingly popular in recent years with more consumers opting for the low-maintenance, cost-effective alternative to traditional timber. Plastic sheds still might not be as common as wood, but there’s already a huge range of styles and colours out there, meaning you certainly won’t have a problem when it comes to finding the perfect plastic garden shed for you and your outdoor area.

Before you shop

There are a few factors to consider before you begin shopping for the latest addition to your garden

What will your plastic shed be used for?

  • A tool shed – to house garden tools and equipment
  • A potting shed –  to nurture young plants in a protected environment
  • A space for quiet time and relaxing
  • Storage space for bulky items such as children’s outdoor toys, garden furniture and bikes 
  • A workshop – a space where you can work on your latest DIY project without interruptions

Being clear on what you want to use your plastic shed for is the first step in narrowing down your search. It’ll help you determine the size of plastic shed you’re going to need; where you’re going to put it; design features you like; and any extra fittings or accessories that you’re likely to need.

Sale
Keter Manor Pent Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed, Beige/Brown, 6 x 4 ft
  • Ideal outdoor storage solution for all garden tools and equipment, BBQ's, bicycles and DIY tools
  • Elegant wood affect exterior with single doors, plus ventilation ducts for air circulation
  • Floor panel with integral window for natural lighting and padlock hasp for optional added security
  • Made out of a durable, maintenance and fade-free weather-resistant plastic
  • Assembled external dimensions:183.5 x 111 x 200.5 cm (L x W x H); internal dimensions: 168.5 x 97 x 195 cm (L x W x H)

How big does your shed have to be?

The first step – be practical. Measure the space you have available in your garden, bearing in mind that you want your plastic garden shed to be in proportion with the rest of your outdoor area.

In terms of size, plastic sheds tend to range from a compact 6ft x 3ft up to a roomy 6ft x 12ft. Think about the shed’s size in relation to what you intend on using it for. If it’s storage you’re wanting, think about the size of the items you’re planning to house inside. If you plan on using your shed as a hideaway or workshop, consider what you’re going to want in there – maybe a workbench? Or perhaps a sofa? You’ll need a rough idea of their dimensions so you can figure out how much room they’re going to take up

Where will your shed go?

There are lots of things to think about when selecting a suitable spot for your shed, however, the two main factors are safety and security.

You’ll need an area that is:

  • On level, secure ground
  • As dry as possible and not vulnerable to flooding
  • Accessible from all sides for easy maintenance
  • Away from overhanging trees

Once you’ve identified some potential spots, measure up carefully and see if the measurements fit with the size of shed you had in mind. Remember to allow for the opening of windows and doors, as well as roof overhang.

It’s also important to think about whether the spot you’ve chosen works with what you plan on using your shed for.  If you’re planning on using it regularly and have a big garden, then locating it close to the house will mean you can get in there quickly, without getting a soaking if the weather’s bad. If you plan on using mains-powered devices in there, is there access to an electricity supply? If you’re keen on having windows or a skylight roof, does your shed have plenty of exposure to sunlight? It might take a bit of time to assess the suitability of different potential locations but you want to get it right, particularly if you’re opting for a permanent base – once it’s down, it’s down! 

Sale
Keter Factor Outdoor Plastic Garden Storage Shed, Beige, 8 x 6 ft
  • Ideal outdoor storage solution for all garden accessories and equipment, garden furniture including BBQ's, bicycles and DIY tools. Won’t rust, peel, rot or decay
  • Elegant wood affect exterior with double doors, plus ventilation grills for air circulation
  • Heavy duty floor panel with Integral window and skylight for natural lighting
  • Made of durable maintenance and fade-free plastic with steel reinforcement
  • Assembled external dimensions: 182 x 256.6 x 243 cm (L x W x H); internal dimensions: 162 x 236.5 x 238.5 cm (L x W x H)

Plastic garden shed key features

Let’s work from the bottom up!

Base

All sheds need a base – a level between the ground and the floor to protect your shed from flooding during wet weather and to ensure the structure is secure. Very few models come with a base included, so it’s the norm that you’ll need to lay a base beforehand,  in preparation for your shed’s arrival.

There are four types of shed base to choose from:

Type of Base Overview
Wooden frame A timber frame which raises the shed off the ground
Plastic A portable option which is perfect if you plan on changing the location of your shed in the future i.e. changing the layout of your outdoor area, moving it to an allotment, or if you if you’re living in rented accommodation or have plans to sell your current home in the future
Paving   Hard-wearing. The ideal way of saving money if you have any spare slabs or bricks leftover from previous building projects
Concrete Most popular choice – a permanent and durable option

Panelling & Doors

Most plastic sheds are made from polycarbonate – it’s strong, lightweight, high impact, weatherproof and low maintenance and, as a result, is often used for the floor, panelling, door and roof of plastic sheds. The polycarbonate panelling fits together securely, like a very snug-fitting jigsaw, and is supported by a frame, usually constructed from aluminium.

In terms of access, smaller plastic sheds tend to be fitted with a single door, with larger models having a double.

Sale
Duramax WoodBridge Plus 10.5' x 8' Plastic Garden Shed with Foundation Kit & Fixed Window - Ivory & Brown - 15 Years Warranty
  • Ideal outdoor storage solution - Cover all your storage needs with the WoodBridge Plus 10.5 x 8 ft all-weather outdoor storage shed. With a generous 8.02 sq m, it has the ideal size to keep your gardening tools, bikes, BBQ, exercise equipment, auto repair accessories, and other belongings dry and secure. If you have the room, this is the smart choice for you!
  • Protection and durability – This shed is built to last and can be used with confidence all year-round; the roof is reinforced with a solid metal structure and during winter it can hold up to 20 lbs/sq ft of snow
  • 100 Percent maintenance free - Forget about painting your bike storage shed periodically, our traditional garden shed made of durable vinyl is maintenance free, it is a stylish and practical addition to your property. This heavy duty building will never rust, dent, rot or mildew. With their 60 In. Wide x 71 In Tall double doors it is wide enough to easily store big items and high enough for tall people
  • Versatile solution with a stylish look - Combining outstanding performance with a look in ivory/brown, this horizontal storage shed will look better in your backyard; it will stand out as the ideal addition to your home; this large garden shed features three windows and wide double doors with pad lockable handle (Padlock not included); besides a storage solution, it can also be used as a hobby or activity room
  • 15 years warranty – We focus on providing the solutions for your family; we are confident that you will be happy with this large garden shed; in case you have any issues with the product received, feel free to contact us at duramax customer service and our friendly customer service is available to your 24/7

Shed windows

Whether you opt for a shed with windows will depend on what you intend on using your shed for. If you plan on using your shed for storage, from a security point-of-view, no windows will be best – any uninvited guests into your garden won’t be able to see what you have stored inside so not having them serves as a good deterrent.

On the other hand, if you intend on spending a lot of time in your plastic shed – gardening, working or relaxing – windows will be beneficial, particularly in warm weather, as you’ll have a source of natural light and a view of your outdoor area.

If you are opting for windows, you’ll need to decide if you want the windows to be fixed or opening. An advantage of having opening windows is that they provide ventilation – ideal if you plan on spending a lot of time in there; keeping pets inside, or intend on growing plants. A disadvantage is security – you’ll need to check the windows are secure when closed and remember to close them at night or when you’re not at home, and during bad weather.

If you’re keen on the idea of natural light but put off by the appearance of windows or the security risks, consider a skylight roof. Usually made from polycarbonate, you’ll get all the benefit of ample natural light without having to worry about the risk of sun damage – most polycarbonate skylights block any harmful UV rays passing through.

Roof

There are two types of shed roof:

Roof type Advantages Disadvantages
          Apex Pointed to allow rainwater to run off double eaves Generous amount of centrally headroom XL version available! Dutch apex roofs offer a greater height, meaning more headroom thanks to the double-panelling on each roof slope Double sloping eaves significantly reduces the risk of water damage and internal rotting   Limited headspace around the edge Can be tricky to assemble roof will require felting  
          Pent Flat roof design with one side lower than the other to allow rainwater to drain curved pent roof gives your shed a stylish and contemporary look A hanging pent roof offers extra protection to doors and windows from the elements Less traditional appearance More susceptible to water damage with only one sloping eaveNot best suited to storing tall items
Duramax StoreMate 6' x 6' PLUS Plastic Garden Shed with Plastic Floor & Fixed Window - Anthracite & Adobe - 15 Years Warranty
  • Maintenance Free Vinyl Storage Shed that it won’t Rust, Dent, Rot or Fade and is Fire Retardant
  • Wide & Tall Double Doors - Approx. dim. (W x H): 154 x 180 cm
  • Strong steel Roof Truss Support that can carry 20 lbs/sq. Ft. Of Snow
  • Includes Heavy Duty Molded Floor Kit, 1 Fixed Window & Door Handles with Latch and Padlock Eyes
  • Dual Air Ventilation System for Better Air Flow

Frequently Asked Questions

What colours do plastic garden sheds come in?

Plastic sheds come in a range of colours. The most common colours are medium brown, grey or olive green, although colour choice will vary depending on the brand of plastic shed you decide to go for.

Are plastic sheds any good?

For those of us who like sitting in our garden, but who aren’t particularly keen on working in it, a plastic garden shed is ideal. Like any shed, a base is needed, but then the actual process of putting a plastic shed together is quick and painless. Once it’s up, not only are they durable and long-lasting, but there’s minimal effort required when it comes to maintenance.

Chris Sharples
About Chris Sharples 65 Articles
I love a good gadget! Whether it's something that makes my home smart, saves me time or just looks great. I blog about gadgets and technology in and around the home. Follow me on my journey to avoid the pitfalls and find the best.

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