Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a very durable type of polymer that is typically made into hard plastics used for a variety of purposes. PVC pipes are very popular because they are resistant to wear, weather and rust, and have very few toxic properties, making them ideal for use in sprinkler systems and other landscaping projects. This material comes in a variety shapes and sizes, and with the wide number of connectors and pipe shapes available today it is possible to construct the framework for a variety of objects at home.

Stack of PVC pipe at construction site
credit: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Types of Sheds

Before determining if PVC pipe can actually be used to build a shed for your yard or garden, you'll need to decide what kind of shed you want, and also what price you are willing to pay for it. The most common at-home PVC shed projects are actually greenhouses. These greenhouses can be built in a variety of shapes with many different features included, such as shelves and racks. You can opt for a curved roof, bays for different flowers and a variety of other options, but this will just be framework. You will need to cover the greenhouse PVC frame with heavy-duty plastic. (Some types of plastic are actually made for greenhouse purposes.) This will provide your plants with suitable protection, and even give you a place to store your gardening tools. But it will be in a hot and moist place, hardly the ideal environment for storing much of anything.

It is also possible to build a shed frame out of PVC pipe and then use different materials to cover it. A tarp will keep the sunlight out, but you may still have problems with heat or moisture depending on where you live. Corrugated metal walls are also an option, but keep in mind that you will need a method to attach these walls to the PVC and bond them well enough to keep out the rain and pests that will invariably seek refuge inside. A strong layer of PVC cement or a similar plastic-bonding glue works well, as long as the walls are tight-fitting

What You Will Need

PVC pipe comes in many different shapes, sizes and colors. Make sure you have the type of tubing that you want, whether it be square, octagonal or round in shape. The most important part of building a PVC shed is having the correct connectors and a good plan. There are a number of PVC forums where amateur builders exchange plans for greenhouses and sheds, and you can try sites such as pvcplans.com or todaysplans.net to find some ideas. You can get the connectors at a local hardware store. Keep an eye out for the three- and four-way connectors, and calculate carefully how many you will need for the project. You will also need a saw for cutting the PVC pipe, a level to make sure all your angles are straight and some type of bonding glue to seal the connections that you make.

Another option is to buy a PVC garden shed kit. These kits do not actually use PVC pipe: Rather, they make the walls, roofs, and doors themselves out of PVC plastic. These will be much more expensive, but solve your problems of what wall and roofing material to use.