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Shed Design Title Photo Step 4

Step 4: Choose Your Materials

Do you want to match/complement your house, or do you just want a cute, stand-alone “garden shed” type of look?

Shed Materials: Beauty and Function

This is the step where you make most of the aesthetic decisions about your new storage building. But your choice of materials, as you will see, is also a choice of how your building will function.

Your first one choice simply what type of siding you want. You have many siding options, but the majority of the buildings we sell have either painted wood siding or vinyl siding. Here is a brief overview of the pros and cons of each:

Painted Wood Siding

With great options like vinyl siding available, you may wonder Why We Love Painted Siding. Wooden siding is the classic material for a backyard storage building. Siding quality has improved over the years, and Bylers is now using a product called LP SmartSide® that has held up much better than older Masonite-based wood siding products.

LP SmartSide is a wood-engineered siding that is much superior to T1-11. The SmartPanel we use even has a radiant barrier that keeps the shed cooler in the summer sun, and makes the interior of the shed considerably brighter as well.

All our painted sheds get a thick coat of rolled-by-hand Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint®. The limited lifetime warranty of this paint should give you a good 20 years of useful service before you have to repaint. That’s a while!
Shed Design Painted Shed Close-Up

Advantages of painted wood siding include:

  • Cost: it’s less expensive to manufacture than any other siding alternative.
  • Aesthetics: It has a pleasing and traditional appearance. It is also possible to be a little more creative with exterior design, since all you have to do is cut the trim the exact shape you want and paint it.
  • Flexibility: If you decide 5 years down the road that you no longer want a green building, your dream color is only a coat of paint away.
  • Resilience: Wood siding is more resistant to breaking, denting, and cracking than vinyl siding. When it does get scuffed or marred, it is fixable with only some caulk and paint.

Disadvantages of painted wood siding include:

  • Maintenance: Painted siding needs to be–no surprise here–repainted. Not all paints and stains are created equal. Some have to be repainted every 3 years or so. Others will last 7-10 years. As we said, our Sherwin-Williams SuperPaint® should go about 20 years before you need to repaint.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is what covers many of the buildings that we sell. Most of the residences constructed over the last 30 years or so have come with vinyl siding on at least some, if not all of the exterior. This inexpensive, maintenance free material has also become a favorite storage building siding as well.

For more discussion on a comparison of vinyl vs. painted siding, read Wood vs. Vinyl Sheds — A Comparison of Shed Sidings.
Shed Design Vinyl Siding Close-Up

Advantages of vinyl siding include:

  • Low maintenance: Other than a pressure washing every couple of years, you really shouldn’t have to do anything to your storage building.
  • Match the house: Most houses have vinyl siding, and most homeowners can find something close enough from our selection of stock colors.
  • Cost: while it costs a little more than painted wood siding, it is still much less expensive than other alternatives like masonry facades and HardiePlank®.
  • Aesthetics: It looks nice.

Disadvantages of vinyl siding include:

  • Fixed color: You can never change the color of the building without replacing the siding completely.
  • Cost: It costs a little bit more than a comparable painted wood building.
  • Fragility: Vinyl siding is much more susceptible to flying stones, BB’s, and other projectiles.

We offer other types of siding on our storage buildings. Here are a few of them:

Shed Design Cedar Lap Siding

Cedar lap: A 4 ½” dutch Lap siding – the perfect complement to a log or wood-sided house.
Board & Batten Cottage Close-Up

Pine Board & Batten: Vertical pine board siding with 2” wide battens covering the splices.

LP ShedFloor®

As the name implies, this is a flooring material that is designed particularly for storage sheds. It is manufactured by the same process that creates the LP SmartSide® line of exterior siding products, and hence it has better moisture resistance than the standard, similarly priced plywood products. It is topped off with a pre-finished, textured surface that has a nice, uniform appearance, and is highly moisture resistant.

That pretty much covers the building material options. Other builders have many options that we feel should not be made “optional,” such as pressure treated floor joists, 16” OC walls and rafters, and tar paper under the shingles. Rest assured that all the “options” necessary for longevity and structural stability are “standard” on your Byler Barn!

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