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By Amy Hanlon on 06 Apr 2023

How long does a cheap plastic shed last?


Sheddie, I admire your hustle. You’re on a budget and you’re trying to get the best bang for your buck. You know you need a shed and you’re an open-minded sort. Sheds don’t have to be made of wood, do they? There are all sorts of exciting options open to you these days. But you’re still looking for value and don’t want to find yourself encountering problems. 

Fear not! I’m here to do the research, read the small print, and talk to our team of shedsperts. That will allow you so t make choices that suit your needs, fit your budget and meet your expectations. 

Maybe you already saw my post about how long a cheap wooden shed lasts. Like me, maybe your cheap shed questing led you to the wonderful world of plastic sheds. I’ll be perfectly honest. I had no idea that such things existed. But now that I know better, it feels wrong not to pass on my knowledge.

In the interests of fairness, I’m asking the same questions here as I did about wooden sheds: 

  • Where can I buy a cheap plastic shed? 
  • What are cheap plastic sheds made of? 
  • How much should I expect to spend on a cheap plastic shed?” 
  • “How long will a cheap plastic shed last?”

Where can you buy a cheap plastic shed? 

It turns out that most places that sell cheap timber sheds also sell plastic sheds. I couldn’t find any dedicated retailers who specialise in only plastic sheds. They’re sold by companies that sell a wide range of products, like Amazon, B&Q, Wayfair, and Studio, but are also sold by shed suppliers like Sheds Warehouse and Sheds First. Manufacturers include Keter, Duramax, Grosfillex and Lifetime

What are cheap plastic sheds made of? 

Plastic, of course! But seriously – you will find variations on this theme. Vinyl, resin, polypropylene, polycarbonate, but essentially they all add up to the same thing: plastic. 

These sheds have a metal frame, sometimes steel, sometimes aluminium, which is embedded in the plastic that makes up the walls and roof. 

The various different types of plastic used are tricky to differentiate – resin is a term that means plastic, and there are many different types of resin. One important thing to note is that vinyl is not UV-resistant, and over time a vinyl shed will fade and is susceptible to cracking due to sun exposure. Unlike a timber shed, you can’t usually paint a plastic shed to protect it from the sun.

The type of plastic used to construct a shed won’t affect the price, but the method of construction will. More expensive models feature twin walls, an important protection against condensation, which can be a significant issue with plastic sheds. Because plastic isn’t breathable, any moisture that gets into your shed will stay there. More expensive models have ventilation grilles to help with this, but cheaper plastic sheds may not.

When you buy any large plastic item you should also consider what you’re going to do with it at the end of its useful life. While some materials are recyclable, plastic sheds have a greater impact on the environment than timber sheds. Unfortunately, the more sturdy the plastic shed, the more plastic you’ll be left to dispose of when you’re done with it.

How much does a cheap plastic shed cost?

The cheapest plastic shed I found was a small Keter shed on Amazon, coming in at £256 for a 4’x3’. While the reviews for this product are not great – “Ours lets water in, and the door doesn’t close flush.” “Nice shed but not an easy project.” – it’s still an outdoor building suitable for storing small items. 

Small single-walled plastic sheds cost between £370-£450, with larger buildings coming in at around £750.  

Brands like Keter have even larger models, with a 9’x7’ twin-walled shed at £1265, and larger sheds costing up to £1500. Lifetime is more expensive again, starting at £1165 for a 7’x4.5’ shed. 

While plastic sheds can be seen as an alternative to timber and metal, they’re not necessarily a cheaper option if you want a quality product. 

How long will a cheap plastic shed last?

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that there’s a whole world of sheds out there. (Ooooh! ShedWorld! Cara, can we have a shed-related theme park?)

But rollercoasters, parades, fireworks and merchandising opportunities aside, this makes this a difficult question to answer. 

Plastic sheds come in a range of shapes, sizes, and designs. A cheap, flimsy plastic shed, with a single wall and a substandard base could literally last a week if the weather gets blustery. 

The light structure is a huge bonus when you’re building it, but is a major drawback in a high wind.

A more sturdy single-walled model with a decent base might last you 5 years, but if everything you put inside it gets mouldy or wet you probably won’t keep it that long. 

Keter and Lifetime sheds come with a 10-year limited warranty, while Duramax offers a 15-year warranty. 

These warranties only protect against faults, and don’t cover scuffing, scratches, fractures, discolouration or fading, rusting, or acts of Nature – you know, all the stuff that you actually need a warranty for! They don’t cover condensation, mould, or water ingress caused by improper installation.

So as long as you have a good solid base for your shed, AND if you get lucky with the weather, 5-7 years is a reasonable estimate for a cheap plastic shed. 

Just like with a cheap timber shed, you can expect to have to replace a cheap plastic shed after a relatively short time. If you need a quick storage fix then a plastic shed will be fine in the short term, but it’s not a long-term arrangement. Get the value that’s important to you!

Like with most other things, paying more means a higher-quality product. Any difficulties you might encounter with a cheap timber shed (water ingress, dampness, mould, getting blown away in a hoolie) are present in plastic sheds too, with the added concern of condensation. 

But if budget is your number one concern, a cheap plastic shed could well be the solution to your storage problems, as long as you’re looking for a quick fix rather than a lifetime solution.

What’s a Sheddie to do?

As always, we want you to know what you’re getting for your money, so you can make the best decision for your needs, wants, and budget. 

Plastic sheds are not our thing here at G&M Shedquarters, but they could well be exactly what you’re looking for. 

So get on and make a decision, now that you’re all genned-up on the plastic fantastic. If you haven’t quite decided what you need, remember that our Learning Centre has TONS of information about all things shed-related, because an informed Sheddie is a happy Sheddie.

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