WOODEN GARDEN SHED VS METAL SHED

When people are looking to make additions to their compounds in the form of sheds, they often wonder whether they should opt for metal or wood. Usually, you will come across varying opinions, without knowing where the foundation of these judgments lay. Someone might tell you that a wooden garden shed (more information here) is better owing to how great it looks and its durability while another will assure you that a metal shed will save you costs in the long run.

If you are in this situation and require more information as to what wins when it comes to a wooden garden shed VS metal shed, you have come to the right place. Here is what you need to know in this regard:

Price

The one thing that people factor in when choosing between the two options is the price, and this is not advisable. You see, while it is true that you will end up spending less money on a metal shed, a wooden shed has more advantages. Forget about the price of lumber and instead focus on what the two options will offer you. Which shed will last longer? Which shed can withstand pressure from heavy rain and winds for decades on end? Which of the two options looks better standing on your outdoors such that it adds value to your home? Interestingly, other than in price, you will soon realize that wood beats metal in the other areas, thus making it the best option.

Strength

Here, it will depend on the kind of shed you want as well as the climatic conditions in your region. Suppose you are looking for a small shed where you can store some items now and then and are not looking to have pricey goods in the space, you could opt for a metal shed. However, where you are looking to have a large shed where you will store a large number of goods at a time, your best option is the wooden shed.

For one, a wooden shed will comprise of treated ‘2*4 lumber’ that is strong enough to withstand the pressure that comes about due to snow buildup in the winter. In this way, you can rest assured that the roof will not cave in during a storm and that means that you can store valuable goods in the space.

A metal shed cannot afford you the same guarantee as the roof is not strong enough to hold such weights. The chances of the roof collapsing when the winds get strong or when there is a snowstorm are very high.

The walls of a wooden shed are also durable and when the weather gets bad, you do not have to worry about the walls caving in owing to pressure. The same does not hold for metal sheds which have been known to get damaged in hailstorms when the hail makes its way through the walls.

All this means that the probability of a wooden shed serving you for a lifetime is higher than that of a metal shed. It is not surprising therefore that people choose to construct their cabins out of wood owing to the strength and durability of this material.

Maintenance

People often worry about the amount of work they have to put into sheds in terms of repair and maintenance. For wooden sheds, it all comes down to getting your wood from a trusted source. As long as the timber undergoes treatment before use, your shed will be free of rot, decay, and insects and you will thus use little energy in maintenance over the years.

Metal sheds are great at first as you will seldom require doing anything to them. However, as time goes by, you will have to deal with the development of rust. If the situation goes unchecked, the walls begin to weaken, thus threatening the stability of the shed. To fix this, you would need to restore and repaint the walls. However, in this case, both sheds prove okay as none is entirely maintenance-free.

Security

The main reason why people opt to have storage sheds on the outdoors is that they require space in which they can store valuable items which cannot fit in the house. Thus, the shed that you get should be able to afford the said items adequate protection from the weather as well as thieves. It would not make sense to buy something that could not act as a barrier between your valuables and burglars, but that is what happens when you get a metal shed. You see, breaking into a metal shed is quite easy, and all you need to do is kick in the door. You could also use a hammer, and with a few taps here and there, you would have access to the shed.

In the case of a wooden shed, the burglar would require more force and a heavy duty saw would be necessary. It would be hard for you not to hear all the noise that would ensue upon the forced entry and you would be in a position to stop the criminal.

Installation

Regarding installation, in most cases, installing a metal shed is more straightforward than doing the same for a wooden shed. You will require fewer materials and less labor force to do so. However, that is not to say that putting up a wooden shed is an uphill task. It just takes a little more time, but the results are much more satisfying than in the former case.

Design

Metal sheds have a square shape that makes them feel and look boxy. This design is also limiting in terms of headroom as well as ease in navigation in the space. For a wooden shed, you have lots of options from which you can choose, allowing you to select the design that works best for you.

Damage Resistance

With a metal shed, you need to be careful such that you do not dent it upon impact. Something such as a baseball can damage the exterior of your shed, and you would need to ‘hammer out’ the effects of such impacts for you to restore the shed’s look. With a wooden shed, you do not have to worry about this as wood can withstand most impacts.

While it is true that a metal shed does come with some advantages, it is clear that the wooden shed has more. Thus, when it comes down to a wooden garden shed VS metal shed, the clear winner is the former option.

Garden Shed Maintenance

Maintaining your shed requires regular checks to ensure that its structural integrity is at an optimum. The main challenges that garden shed owners face are the sun, wind, and rain. These elements affect the exterior of the shed and if their effects get left unchecked, they can spread to the inside and the integrity of the shed would get compromised. It is thus crucial that you maintain your shed throughout the seasons if you want it to last long. Otherwise, you will end up buying or constructing another shed in no time. Here are some of the steps that you should undertake:

Give the shed some space

The first thing that you should do is ensure that nothing is in contact with the building. Sometimes, people like having trees around the building so that they can provide shade when the temperatures are high. While this is a good idea, the trees should not touch the building as this can get in the way of airflow. Without air flowing freely around the building, drying out of the timber becomes harder in the cold months, and this can lead to mold as well as water damage. Also, if the trees around the shed have overhanging branches, you should cut them. If left uncut, the branches can damage the roof when the winds are strong. Another thing that people tend to leave unchecked is the tools and logs that rest on the shed. Ensure that they too are not in contact with the shed as they can get in the way of airflow.

You should also check for grass and leaves at the base of your shed as they too can affect airflow even when the timber is pressure-treated. Foundation joists have to dry out; else they could weaken over time, forcing you to incur added costs in repairs. With this step out of the way, you can rest assured that you have significantly reduced the chances of mold growth and the damage of your shingles.

Treatment and preservation

It is essential that you treat your wood before the cold months begin. In most cases, the wood treatment gets done immediately you install the building. However, you should continue reapplying the wood treatments on a regular basis to ensure that the shed has adequate protection. Wood preservers work to prevent fungal infections, rot and pest infestations. You should also use some oil to create a watertight barrier. When choosing the chemical to use in treatment, be sure to use a high-quality product that can protect your shed as you head into winter. It is also a good idea to work on the exterior of your shed by applying a coat of paint when necessary and also staining it from time to time. It could be that you want to avoid the use of potent chemicals and in such a case; there are tons of environmentally friendly products on the market. It helps to have a checklist which you can use to see when you last treated your shed to know whether you need to do it again for the next season.

Check your roof

As the cold months set in, the winds get stronger, and it is crucial for your roof to be sturdy enough to withstand the pressure. Check the roof for loose shingles or felt and if there are some, there are two ways in which you can go about it. The first involves buying replacements for the worn out parts and fixing the roof. The second option is to re-roof the shed if the damage is quite significant. It all depends on the situation of your roof. Failure to do so will lead to you incurring costs at the end of the season to fix the water damage that is likely to occur.

Oiling

Start by checking whether the doors and windows open and shut with ease. If you find that they cannot do so, it is likely that the frames have swollen or warped and you should check on this. If you have to pane or sand a surface to free a sticking window or door, it is crucial that you finish the process by applying wood preserver and treatment. For the locks, handles, and hinges, you should apply a coat of oil on them now and then to ensure that they keep moving freely. You do not have to take everything apart for this and you can use a spray can with a straw to direct the oil into the moving parts.

Check the gutters

Gutter blocking could lead to severe water damage, and it is thus essential that you regularly check to see if water can make its way through the drains. Start by clearing leaves and other debris in the gutter. You can also consider having a mesh leaf trap guard in your downpipe to prevent leaves from blocking the drainage, especially when you have trees around the shed. You can also use rain chains if you do not like the way gutters look. Either way, you will prevent water from flowing down your walls and creating damp problems.

Inspect the interior

You could easily fail to spot some problems in your shed if you do not pay much attention to the inside. One simple way of conducting an inspection is by freeing up space in the shed. As you tidy the place, you are likely to spot mold, nests, damp areas and other problems that adversely affect the structure of the building. Checks should be regular so that you can fix problems at an early stage.

Check the windows

Condensation is a problem that garden sheds face during the warm months. Sometimes, it is not that serious, and at other times, it can create damp issues. Check the frames and sills to see if any problems need fixing. At most times, all you need to do is to apply a wood treatment, and all will be good. Ensure that the sills are dry before using the wood treatment for it to be effective.

wooden garden shed, garden shed

As you come to the end of your inspection, it is necessary that you check whether the walls, windows and door frames are at 90 degrees to the ground. If you find that this is not the case, you are probably suffering damp or subsidence issues, and you need to work on the issue before it causes further damage. Following these steps on an annual basis will ensure that you get to enjoy your garden shed for a long time before any major repairs are necessary.

HOW TO FIX CRACKS ON THE WOOD OF LOG CABINS

Over time, you are likely to see small cracks developing on your logs, and this is quite normal. They go by the name checks, and many people think of them as a welcome addition to a log cabin’s (more information here) aesthetic appeal. However, for other people, the occurrence of these checks causes them to worry. The truth is that most cracks that occur in your cabin are quite harmless. However, before we get into whether you should call in an expert or not, let’s see where the difference between checks and cracks comes in.

Cracks vs. Checks

A check is a crack that occurs on the surface of a log. It does not go through the diameter, and it is pretty small in size. Owing to these properties, it does not affect the structural integrity of your cabin. A crack, on the other hand, is much more pronounced. It is likely to pass through the diameter of the log and can occur for many reasons. It could be that the cabin is under a lot of pressure, that the drying methods used were not suitable or force on the log.

Checks are not all that noticeable and can either be on the interior or the exterior of the log. In most cases, they do not present a problem. However, you should monitor them over time to see whether they are increasing in size. They can allow water to the log’s interior, and this can lead to water damage as well as insect infestation. Checks are only an issue if they are creating an entry to the interior for water and pests. Otherwise, they are okay.

Cracks are a problem, and the sooner you deal with them, the less it costs and the easier it becomes to uphold the structural integrity of your log cabin. You can replace the entire affected log, or you can add support to the house. The method chosen will depend on how severe the crack is, and it is best to call in an expert to weigh in on the situation if you have not handled such a case before.

As for checks, you do not have to get professional help, and you could quickly fix the problem. Here’s how:

Wood Putty/ Filler Sticks

Start by getting a filler compound that has a similar color to the log in question. Purchase filler sticks and putty in crayon shape, as they will make your work easy. You can get these in a home improvement store. If not, you can always get a variety of the same online. As is the case with the filler compound, be sure to get those that match the color of the wood. If this is not possible, you can get many colors and mix them to come up with a different shade. You can also opt to color the wood once you finish and in this case, your best bet would be to get a product that can stain with ease.

Next, place the filler material into the crack using your finger. Suppose you are using a filler stick, you can achieve this by rubbing it over the hole then spreading it as needed using your finger. For putty, you can overlay it over the crack using a knife or whatever material helps you to get it in there. Continue adding filler to the hole, ensuring that you fill it in thoroughly. Once the hole fills, add some more material to create an overfill. The essence to this comes in when you smooth the filler material as it helps in blending the crack.

The material dries pretty fast, so it is essential to start flattening it out immediately. You can use a putty knife for this and where you cannot get your hands on one, use your finger or a rag. Ensure that the cloth you use is clean to prevent the introduction of debris to the crack which can lead to other problems.

Once you flatten it out, you can leave the filler material to dry. The time needed for this step will vary depending on the filler material you use. As such, you should check the label on the product to figure out what period is suitable. Leaving the filler to dry for about eight hours should be good enough. It is safer though to do this overnight for the best results.

You can now start sanding down the overfill using a fine grit or plane sandpaper. The sandpaper grit should be somewhere between 120 and 220 for the best results. Work on the excess filler and wear it out until it lies flat against the wood. Once you achieve this, the crack shouldn’t be noticeable, if you used a filler material with a similar hue. You can then decide on coloring and treating the wood as you deem necessary.

Glue and Sawdust

This option works great and is pretty easy on the pocket. To start with, get sawdust that matches the color as well as the type of your wood. You will use it to cover up the glue as well as to blend the crack, and its color will determine how excellent the results are. You can get some sawdust by sanding or sawing the kind of wood in question. If you do not have any wood that you can work on, a trip to a home improvement store will do. While you are here, be sure to grab a bottle of wood glue.

Start by pressing the wood glue bottle to release the contents into the crack until you fill the hole. You can also use a syringe when dealing with a small hole to get deeper into the pit. Next, cover the glue with sawdust completely and rub a finger over the hole to ensure that the adhesive sticks to the sawdust. The sawdust should prevent anyone from seeing the glue underneath once you finish.

Allow the glue to dry overnight, and once it is dry, it should not be possible to see the crack. If you can still notice it, add the glue and sawdust combo and give it another day to dry. Using grit sandpaper that is between 120 and 220, sand down the area until the filler lies flat.

With these simple steps, you should be able to rid your log cabin of all checks that may threaten its structural integrity.