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By Amy Hanlon on 13 Jan 2024

How long will an expensive shed last?

How long will an expensive shed last? One day there will be a quick, simple answer to one of these questions. But not today. Because of course, it depends. A good-quality shed that’s maintained and looked after can last for 30+ years. But how do you make sure that this is what you’re getting?

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Is an expensive shed a good-quality shed?

A Gillies & Mackay apex timber shed painted Stephanotis Cream.

A customer phoned us this week to inquire about our sheds. While he was on the phone he asked about prices, and remarked, “You’re very expensive, you know!” But he’d heard tell of our sheds from his neighbour, so decided to come and see them for himself. Nicola took him out to see our Show Area sheds, where he did something that marked him out as a True Sheddie. He gave the shed a shove.

The Shove Test should be an essential part of any shed-buying process. It’s as simple as it sounds – put your weight into the shed wall and give it a shove. If it’s a solidly-build shed, it shouldn’t move.

And for our doubtful customer, The Shove Test told him exactly what he needed to know. “I can see now why your sheds are expensive.” Because our sheds pass any Shove Test. You can give them a Desperate Dan mighty push, and they’ll stand firm.

How do I buy a good-quality shed?

The Gillies and Mackay Shed Buyers Checklist

You’d like to think that spending more guarantees a solid shed, wouldn’t you? But not all expensive sheds are great sheds. That’s why we created our Shed Buyer’s Checklist to give you the information you need to make a good buying decision.

So start with The Shove Test. Then arm yourself with a copy of our checklist and start asking questions. Find out how thick the framing is. Make sure the cladding is going to withstand the Scottish weather. Ask about the roofing materials on offer, and check that there’s an aftercare plan. Make sure you know the difference between a cheap shed and an expensive shed, whatever price they’re being sold for.

The higher your Sheddie Score and the lower your Shoddy Score, the more confident you can be that you’re buying a shed with serious long-life potential.

How do I extend the life of my shed?

A man painting a timber panel with pale green paint. He is wearing a white t-shirt with a "Shedonism" logo on the back.

The life expectancy of your shed depends not only on the quality of the building but also on how well you look after that building.

Do I need a base for my shed?

A solid shed is built on a solid base. No matter how expensive your shed is, if you chuck it on the grass and expect it to stay level and watertight, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. For the longest life, your shed should be installed on a level slabbed base or ground screws.

Do I have to paint my shed?

Every shed needs a coat of paint. If you stood outside your house in the Scottish weather without any clothes on you’d soon feel pretty sorry for yourself. Also, the neighbours would definitely have something to say.

Your shed is the same. It needs a raincoat to keep it protected from the crazy amounts of rain that we see around these parts. A good coat of microporous water-based paint like Sadolin is exactly the raincoat you’re after. Reapply every 3-5 years. If you live by the sea or in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions, you may have to repaint your shed more frequently than this.

How do I prevent damp in my shed?

Every building is having its own battle to keep the elements out. A shed is no different, and keeping water out is key to a long-lasting building. Painting and regular ventilation will help with this.

However, most sheds are single-skinned, meaning they have only one layer of timber forming their walls and roof. Even the most expensive, best-quality single-skinned sheds can suffer from water ingress.

And when water gets into your shed, it has to be able to get out. In the wetter months, you’ll have to help with this process. The most reliable way to remove moisture from inside your building is with a powered dehumidifier. You can also use chemical dehumidifier pots to collect moisture inside your shed.

Are expensive sheds waterproof?

If you’re looking for a shed that’s 100% watertight, you won’t get this from a single-skinned building.

However, you can buy a tiered or layered shed, where the walls and roof have more than one layer of building material. For large sheds, we recommend our 3-Tier specification to remove the possibility of water ingress.

This specification is more expensive than our single-skinned sheds because it performs differently. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.

How long does an expensive shed last?

If you:

  • Buy a good-quality shed designed to withstand the Scottish weather
  • Install it expertly on an appropriate base.
  • Paint it every 3-5 years with microporous water-based paint
  • Ventilate the shed and help moisture out during wet weather

then your shed will last at least 30 years. After this point, you may find that minor repairs are needed, but you’re looking at replacing the odd board rather than replacing the entire building.

If you invest in a shed that’s solidly built from high-quality materials, and give it the love it deserves, you really will save in the long term. Cheap sheds tend to last for 5-6 years before they’re letting in water, sagging or just plain falling down. An expensive shed removes the inconvenience and expense of replacing a cheap shed, and means you don’t have to worry about the contents of the building.

Where can I buy a shed that will last?

A Gillies & Mackay pent shed painted blue, on a gravel area next to a fence and some bushes.

How do we know so much about seriously long-lasting sheds? We’ve been building them since 1989! We regularly talk to customers whose G&M sheds are decades old and still going strong. If you’d like to give our sheds a shove or talk about timber, we’d love to chat! Our Show Area is just outside Errol, and our Sales Team can answer any questions you might have.

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