A beautiful garden is a joy, but it requires continual maintenance. And maintenance requires tools and other supplies. Which requires storage, ideally a cheap garden shed. Since most of us don’t have rolls of spare cash lying about, the foremost question becomes which are the cheapest garden sheds available? A difficult question to answer, as a cheap garden shed for one person’s needs may be an extravagant luxury for another’s requirements.
Choosing the Cheapest Garden Sheds
The items stored in the shed, as well as the size of the site, determine how large a shed you may need. Sheds come in all sizes from small units that fit against the side of a building, to structures large enough to serve as garages or workshops.
Regardless of size, the cheapest garden sheds are those made from PVC plastic. They have some additional advantages, such as being very easy to assemble and requiring little site preparation. Most plastic sheds are made with floor panels, so a foundation or other flooring isn’t necessary. Assembly is very easy for most plastic sheds, and the parts are light enough for one person to handle.
Another reason to choose plastic for your cheap garden shed is maintenance. For plastic, there isn’t any! Plastic can be molded and colored to add architectural flourishes that would be very expensive in wood and impossible in metals, so a plastic shed may blend in with your home’s design more easily.
There are some trade-offs for choosing PVC plastic, however. Even ultraviolet-stabilized PVC will eventually degrade and become faded or brittle under harsh environmental conditions. Plastic sheds won’t stand up to heavy storms, so if you are in an area that is threatened by high winds or powerful storms, you may want to make a different choice.
A plastic shed is also more difficult to secure than those of metal or wood, so if you have expensive items to store, plastic may not be the best shed material.
The Cheap Garden Shed of Choice
For most people, the idea of an inexpensive garden shed brings to mind a small metal building with a low, peaked roof. While not the cheapest garden sheds, metal is an excellent, economical choice for most garden owners.
A quality metal garden shed is almost as maintenance-free as a plastic building. Most manufacturers now use electrostatic coating or other method to apply a colored finish much stronger than normal exterior paint.
The basic metal garden shed ships with a door and perhaps a small window or translucent roof panel to allow for natural lighting. Shelves, sliding doors, screened windows and a range of other options are available from many manufacturers. Of course, all these extras add to the price tag.
It’s a safe bet that many metal garden sheds sit directly on the ground, but for the best results, some sort of foundation should be used. A concrete slab, with its edge rebated about 15-20 mm, is ideal but of course, hardly cheap.
A metal garden shed can be secured to protect expensive items. Some manufacturers also offer systems that allow the shed to be anchored against powerful weather such as cyclones. It’s wise to check with your home insurer about this; such a system may be required in your area.
Wooden Sheds, Cheap or Expensive?
Wood is appealing for many reasons, but unless the gardener has access to free lumber and has good carpentry skills, or can relocate and repurpose an existing shed, there is no way wood sheds can be considered cheap. Maintenance is an issue with wood. It must be painted and placed on a solid foundation to prevent rot, water damage and insect infestation.
No matter the cost or material, make sure you have all the proper permits before installing your shed. Even the cheapest garden sheds can become horribly expensive if legal fines and neighborhood ill are part of the installation price.