Exploring Life Expectancy for Different Types of Outside Sheds
Workplace Inspiration

Exploring Life Expectancy for Different Types of Outside Sheds

|Sep 9, 2023

A high-quality outside shed is more than just a place for you to store a few extra things. If you choose the right type of prefab ADU and put a lot of effort into its maintenance, it can be considered a long-term investment in your property. 

Consider how much more your property will cost when you have a great-looking garden shed right next to your house. Also, think about all the different things you can use your outdoor garden shed for. It is for these reasons that buying a good-quality prefab ADU should be at the top of your list of things to do in 2023. 

However, this is a significant investment that needs a lot of thought before you commit to building a shed outside. One of the things you need to consider carefully is the life expectancy of your garden shed. After all, the last thing you want is to spend thousands of dollars on an outside shed that will look shabby and rundown in just a year or two. 

In that regard, you should consider the factors that influence the lifespan of a shed, as well as the steps you can take to make sure your ADU is still standing decades from now. Autonomous has some great prefab ADUs and office pods for sale that you should consider. Read on to find out more. 

What Are the Factors That Influence the Lifespan of a Shed?

When you go shopping for an outdoor shed, how do you differentiate the good-quality sheds from the ones that will need replacement in just a few months? Well, it is not always easy to tell which type of multi-dwelling housing will have the best lifespan, but it is not impossible either. 

As long as you know which particular factors influence the lifespan of a shed, it will guide you in making the right choice. Always keep the following factors in mind:

1. Level of Workmanship

A good-quality garden shed is easily identifiable by the level of workmanship that went into its construction. Usually, the more expensive the shed is, the better the quality you can expect. However, this is not a rule that is set in stone, because even an affordable prefab ADU can have exceptional workmanship, especially if you buy from Autonomous. 

If you are building a shed from scratch, rather than buying a prefab ADU, always make sure you put your trust in the hands of a builder with a good reputation for producing quality work. No matter the type of material you have, or the level of maintenance you do, if the workmanship is not good enough, your outdoor shed will not last.

Level of Workmanship

2. Quality of Materials

Many different types of materials can be used to construct an outside shed or prefab ADU. Usually, it depends on the environment you live in and the budget you are working with. However, any material you choose has to be of the best quality. 

Ideally, when you are building an outside shed, you should expect the cost of the materials to be your biggest expense. This is one area where you cannot afford to cut too many corners. 

You will need, for example, a sturdy frame if you want your shed to last. The only way to guarantee this is by making sure that the type of material you choose is strong and resistant to decay. Also, make sure you have a solid foundation for your shed to stand on, such as a good-quality concrete block.

Quality of Materials - outside shed

3. Type of Paint Finish

Always choose the type of paint you use on your outdoor shed very carefully. Many types of paints are specifically manufactured for use when you build a shed outside.

A good coat of paint is one of the biggest defenses your modular guest house has against the weather elements. If, for example, your area experiences a lot of rain, you might want to consider applying a coat of waterproof paint to your outdoor garden shed. 

When you build your ADU in a protected area, you do not have to worry about constantly repainting your walls. However, when exposed to direct sunlight most of the day, you should repaint your outdoor shed every decade or so. 

4. Position

Where do you plan on positioning your outdoor shed? A lot of people base this decision on aesthetics without giving a lot of thought to how the position of their prefab studio will affect its lifespan. 

Do you think a shed that is exposed to direct sunlight all day, strong winds, and other weather conditions is going to last as long as one that is relatively secluded? Probably not. While good-quality garden sheds are built to withstand all types of inclement weather, giving your ADU a bit of protection is not a bad idea. 

Instead of building your outdoor shed in a wide open space, why not put it close to your main house, a tree line, or a garden wall? That little bit of extra protection will go a long way in ensuring your shed lasts for many years.


5. Proper Repairs

No matter how well you take care of your outside shed, over time, a few things will begin to break down, such as window panes, door hinges, and roof shingles. Conducting repairs is something you will have to accept as part of the responsibility of owning a shed. 

However, when repairing your outside shed, avoid the temptation of doing a quick cover-up job. You must carefully take care of any issues as if you were making repairs to your main house, otherwise, those issues will quickly escalate into big problems that will cost a lot to fix. 

6. Type of Sealant

There are special types of sealant that are reserved for outdoor shed use. Depending on the type of housing you build, always choose the proper type of sealant that will keep water out and prevent your shed from rotting due to water damage. 

Choosing the right sealant is one of the most important things you can do if you opt for a wooden shed. This is especially important if you live in an area that regularly experiences sub-zero temperatures and heavy rainfall.

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7. Regular Maintenance

The moment you notice a problem in your garden shed, attend to it before it gets worse. One of the best ways to ensure that you stay on top of any repair issues is to conduct regular maintenance checks on your shed. 

Since garden sheds are usually not that big, conducting a routine maintenance check should not take you more than a few minutes, and can be conducted at least once a week. To make the task easier, you can conduct maintenance at the same time as your cleaning schedule. 

Garden shed maintenance involves simple things, such as trimming the grass, sealing small leaks, checking for cracks, and looking for signs of infestation by wildlife and insects. Once you get used to the routine, you will be able to conduct regular maintenance in a very short time. 

8. Use of the Shed

What do you intend to use your outside shed for? Surely you cannot expect a garden shed that is being used as a mechanical workshop to last as long as one that is used as a home office, can you? Physical tasks cause a lot more wear and tear on floors and doors than more sedentary activities. Over time, the type of work you conduct in your shed will begin to affect its lifespan.

Use of the Shed

What Is the Shed Life Expectancy Based on Building Material?

When you buy an outdoor shed, one of the main things that will affect its life expectancy is the type of material you choose. You will likely have to perform a balancing act between buying good quality material that is suitable for your environment and staying within your budget constraints. 

Consider the following types of material regularly used on garden sheds and their life expectancies: 

Plastic Sheds

When building a long-lasting but affordable shed outside, one of the best materials to use is plastic. It is commonly found in many types of modern summer house sheds these days.

The good thing about plastic is that it is easy to work with and unlike wood, it does not rot when exposed to moisture. You will not have to worry about rust either. However, depending on the type of plastic you buy, it could crack when exposed to extremely high temperatures. 

In general, with proper maintenance, you can expect a good-quality plastic garden shed to last you about five to seven years. While this might not seem a lot, considering its affordability, this is a good lifespan for a plastic shed.

Plastic Sheds

Vinyl Sheds

Vinyl is a very popular choice for a modern outside shed. This material is highly resistant to many types of weather and requires relatively little maintenance. With proper care, your vinyl shed can last many decades before it begins to look worn down and shabby.

Wooden Sheds

Wood is another common material used when building a garden shed. Its easy availability and beautiful designs make it a very popular choice throughout the USA. With the right care, a wooden shed can last just as long as a vinyl one, which means you can expect a lifespan of up to 20 or 30 years. 

However, this is only possible if you find a good way to protect your wooden shed from the effects of excessive moisture. Wood will easily rot if you allow it to get wet. A good coat of waterproof paint or varnish will do the trick. 

Metal Sheds

Investing in a metal outdoor shed is not the typical lifetime guarantee that most people would expect. The biggest problem with this type of material is its susceptibility to rust. Just a little bit of moisture is all it takes for exposed metal to begin rusting. This is why a metal outside shed will likely last around five years.

Metal Sheds

Pressure Treated Sheds

The longest lifespan for an outside shed is typically achieved by using pressure-treated wood. With this type of material, you do not have to worry about warping, vermin, or any other problems that you find with wood sheds. Even with little maintenance, pressure-treated wood sheds can last up to 40 years. 

How to Properly Maintain Your Shed to Make It Last Longer?

There are a few things that you can do to squeeze out a few extra years from your outside shed, such as: 

  • Inspect the foundations regularly.
  • Respray and re-stain the wood as often as possible.
  • Make sure that doors, windows, and any other openings remain intact.
  • Regularly check for rust, rot, molds, and mildew, and deal with it as soon as possible.
  • Check for leaks or a sagging roof as often as possible.
  • If there is any vegetation encroaching on your shed outside, trim it quickly.
  • Clean the floor, wash the walls, and generally keep the shed dust and mildew-free.
  • Apply wood preservatives when necessary.
  • Routinely oil the door and window hinges.

Conduct regularly shed maintenance checks, looking out for cracks or other signs of damage.

How to Properly Maintain Your Shed to Make It Last Longer?

Need a Long Lasting Shed? Try Autonomous!

While prefab home additions are a great benefit to your property, you have to take the time to choose the right type of ADU to invest in. Choosing an outside shed from Autonomous is one of the best things you can do in 2023. 

With so many shed house ideas to choose from online, you can pick a long-lasting, easy-to-install, and great-looking outdoor garden shed from the comfort of your home. Consider the WorkPod, WorkPod Versatile, or WorkPod mini, which are all excellent choices for anyone looking for a great-quality ADU. 

However, it will be up to you to maintain your shed properly so that you get the most out of its life expectancy. As long as you apply the tips mentioned in this article, with Autonomous, you will be sure that you have a lifetime investment on your hands.

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