If you're considering building or installing a raised bed in your garden, you may not be sure which material is best in the long run.
Many gardeners are switching from traditional wood or plastic beds to metal raised beds because they function and look great. But is metal really a good material for this purpose?
In this article, we'll show you all the pros and cons of using metal for a loft bed, including tips on how to choose the best material for durability and long-term use.
1 – Metal does not rot or deform over time
One of the main advantages of using metal instead of wood is that it won't rot and warp over time like wood.
Lumber on raised beds can be especially problematic if it is not treated or not wide enough, as it can quickly start to rot and crack. Once this happens, soil can start leaking from the sides onto the trail or lawn. This can make the walls of the loft bed unstable and even collapse.
Wood may also shrink and expand depending on the weather, absorbing moisture if not handled properly.
The beauty of metal raised beds is that (as long as they're made of the right metal) they won't rot, warp, or be affected by the weather too much.
2 – Metal does not need to be treated
If you are using wood for a raised bed, it will need to be treated with paint or oil to keep it in good condition.
If the wood is not treated regularly, in time it will begin to warp, crack and let in more moisture.
With metal, as long as you get the right kind, you don't need to deal with it because it won't let moisture in or crack over time.
3 – Reduce long-term expenses
Although some may argue that it is cheaper to use wood or plastic instead of metal beds, wood is becoming more expensive, so there is often little difference between the two.
If the initial cost of building a loft bed from metal or buying a ready-made bed is slightly higher, you should save by using metal for the long term.
This is because metal lasts longer than wood or plastic and doesn't require annual treatment, so you won't need to replace metal beds for years.
A quality off-the-shelf metal loft bed sometimes comes with a ten-year structural warranty, so it's often worth spending more on a quality bed that lasts longer because it will cost less in the long run.
4 – Metal beds take up less space
The sides of most metal raised beds are usually thinner than wood beds, so they take up less space.
The thinner sides of a loft bed are especially useful if you don't have a lot of space, or if you want to fit multiple beds with walking space between each bed.
Gardeners who want to create a vegetable garden to grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs often choose metal raised beds to create a uniform, easy-to-use production area that they can use for years and seasons to come.
5 – Metal loft beds look great
While wooden beds look good, they can fade and deteriorate over time, making them look a little tired.
In contrast, metal beds are currently in vogue, especially corrugated metal, and they look great in traditional or contemporary style gardens.
You can buy ready-made metal beds in a variety of shapes, sizes and depths depending on the space you have, and they are often available in a variety of colors to help enhance their contemporary feel.
Disadvantages of using metal as a loft bed
Now let's take a look at the potential disadvantages of using metal in garden raised beds, and how to avoid possible problems:
1 – Certain metals can rust
If the wrong metal is used for a raised garden bed, this can lead to rust, which can lead to discoloration, and over time, the metal can begin to become brittle and peel, causing holes in the structure.
If you're considering building your own loft bed out of metal or buying an off-the-shelf bed, be sure to get galvanized metal that won't rust.
Galvanized metal is usually made of steel impregnated with molten zinc. This process helps protect the underlying metal and prevent it from rusting.
Therefore, choosing galvanized metal is key to ensuring that your metal loft bed will last a long time. It's also important to make sure the metal is bolted to stainless steel that won't rust.
People often make the mistake of using the wrong bolts, which can rust and snap off in time, causing the bed to crack or deform — even if the sides are made of galvanized metal.
If you're buying ready-made beds, it's a good idea to check what they're made of and check that the joints are good so you don't get rust through bad joints or bolts.
2 – The metal bed will sag
Another disadvantage of metal raised beds is that they can dent or deform.
When you have a busy garden or a prolific vegetable patch, it's easy to kick the bed or beat it with gardening tools.
If the metal is thin, it is easy to dent and it is difficult to knock it back, which can cause the side of the bed to look misshapen.
Preventing things like this isn't always easy, but choosing a slightly thicker, better-quality metal should make it harder to dent.
3 – Metal loft beds can get scratched
Another problem with metal beds is the possibility of scratching them. Not only will this make them look tired over time, but it can also lead to rust.
Rusting can sometimes occur if the outer galvanized layer is scratched to reveal the underlying metal (usually steel). Over time, this exposed metal can rust and then get inside, causing it to flake off and break down.
Scratches can be avoided by choosing high-quality metal and taking good care of the bed when using garden tools.
4 – Metal beds are not always suitable for children
If you have young kids running around your garden, trips and falls are inevitable, so you want to make sure things are as safe as possible.
Some metal raised garden beds have sharp or very straight edges that can be dangerous if a child (or even an adult) falls on them.
The good news is that you can get metal beds with rounded edges, so this may be something to consider if you have young children visiting your garden, or if someone is more likely to trip or fall.
So, all in all, metals are a great material choice for raised garden beds; they look great, last longer, and don't require long-term maintenance.
They can even be cheaper than wood because they don't have to be replaced as often and you don't have to spend money on paint or oil.
Metal can rust, but if you choose a good quality galvanized material, you should have no problem, especially if you buy a ready-made bed that is guaranteed.
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