Shed Quality – Why It’s a Big Deal
When it comes to the quality of our sheds, we could go on all day about materials and measurements, etc., but that would likely leave you thinking “Ok, but why does it matter?” To help clarify how sheds from Recreation Unlimited measure up against the competition, we’ve detailed out the important and unique features below.
Most shed companies use OSB board, commonly referred to as particle board, for their roofs, walls, and floors. This product has a poor reputation for wicking water, and when it gets wet, it swells and crumbles apart. In recent years, in order to help this situation, some shed builders use a coated “smart” OSB siding which helps address the wicking problem. Plywood siding is far superior and typically costs the builder twice as much. Ask any shed company to upgrade the walls, roofing, and floor to plywood and they will charge several hundred dollars more.
On center floor joists, wall studs, and ceiling rafters, 24” is the shed industry standard. It is also on the scale of barely getting by in order to meet a low price point. With 16” on center construction, your shed will be 25% heavier and stronger. This is why we are able to offer a 7 year warranty instead of a 5 year limited warranty offered by most companies.
Treated ground runners and floor joists are a must. This lumber is the closest to the ground and will be subject to high moisture levels. If the runners and joists are not treated, don’t buy it! Be aware of companies who cut corners to save money by eliminating a runner or two. Always count the runners, or you may have a floor that sags and gives way over time. This is especially important when the OSB “particle board” is used on the floor, as it is structurally weaker and subject to moisture damage.
Plywood floor is always preferred due to its strength vs OSB “particle board,” as mentioned above.
There are many grades of siding used in shed construction. The lowest quality is particle board, and the highest quality available is DuraTemp™ Primed plywood siding. Don’t be fooled by companies who call their sidings “smart”, attempting to mimic the quality leader in the industry, which is the Duratemp ½” plywood primed siding.
The shed industry has used steel gusset plates for years. Unfortunately, over the years, the steel continued to get thinner and thinner in order to reduce costs to builders. Plywood rafter plates are several times stronger than the steel currently used. Again, we are referring to plywood plates, not particle board plates.
Most shingle roofs include felt paper. If you find one that doesn’t, it is not a good sign. A drip edge may or may not be found on some sheds but it is important in order to protect your wood underlayment from getting wet every time it rains and eventually rotting. Roof shingles come in a variety of styles and quality levels usually described in the number of years they are expected to last. For example, most shed companies include a 20-year shingle. We include a 25-year shingle or a 30-year architectural style shingle for a small up-charge.
Locking T-handle door latches are becoming more of an industry standard now vs. a typical gate style catch where you would have to purchase your own padlock to use.
Continuous piano-style aluminum hinges also have been a standard in the shed industry. They are strong and seem to do the job. However, many people are opting for the new style strap hinges that offer an architectural flare. We do not charge for the new strap style hinges. You choose.
An aluminum diamond-plate door threshold is a cool feature found only on the best sheds. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it also protects the most abused area of your shed – the threshold. It also provides a metal base to lock your shed, whereas most sheds that have a wood base that can easily be compromised in the event that someone tries to break into your shed.
Venting your shed can have a large impact on its lifespan. Most sheds come with gable vents. When you a purchase a vinyl-sided shed, we upgrade you to ridge vents for no additional cost.Your shed needs to breathe and vents allow it do so. If your shed is not properly ventilated, moisture and condensation will become trapped inside, where they can cause mold and mildew, an unhealthy environment, even more so if you are storing fuel, mowers, pesticides, and other corrosive products in your shed.