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What is The Best Type of Wood for a Garden Shed?

December 22nd, 2010

With careful planning and the correct materials, a garden shed for your backyard can be built to look good, serve your needs and not deteriorate for years to come. Although there are many plans available for different styles of garden sheds, the most important element of the structure is the material used to build the shed.

Garden sheds can be built from a wide variety of materials. New styles of plastics have become popular. The material doesn’t rot. But it is tough to paint and can fade or become brittle over time exposed to severe elements. Some builders turn to steel to construct their sheds. If not properly treated, it can rust. Additionally, it is harder to cut and fit steel into some designs.

Most garden sheds are still built from wood. Wood provides the easiest construction method and it also allow to design and paint the structure in a way the better fits with the aesthetics of their yard or garden.

However, the type of wood should be carefully considered in any design. The framing of a wooden garden shed should be made from pressure treated lumber. Although cedar and redwood make good choices for structures exposed to weather, they tend to be expensive and aren’t necessary for the parts of the shed not directly exposed.

The most care should be taken in the siding and roofing of the structure. Cedar or redwood siding material are the best choices. These species, when properly treated, resist rotting and other weather damage. The siding should be stained or sealed, but it can be treated in such a way that the natural appearance of the wood will remain. The boards should be fastened to the structure with galvanized nails. Builders have the option of putting the siding on the wall studs. However, some may choose to install plywood first and attach the cedar or redwood planks to the plywood.

The same species of wood should be used for roofing the shed. If wood shingles are being used, cedar shingles is the best choice. The shingles will hold up best in the weather and should be treated every one or two years with a stain or oil sealant. If properly maintained, the shingles can last a long time. Shed owners should monitor the shingles and quickly replace any shingles that show signs of cracking or cupping.

Many shed builders opt for composite roofing materials. Asphalt shingles can be installed to last for decades and require little maintenance. However, they also can change the aesthetics of the shed.

With the proper cedar or redwood exterior combined with regular maintenance, a garden shed can hold up for many years. Shed owners should still take into account property drainage around the shed. It is important to keep water moving away from the roof and foundation. The less moisture allowed to “wick” into the wood of the structure, the longer the shed will last.

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