Newest Review: ... pretty huge one; namely, the sheds are self-build constructions that you have to piece together from a vast number of relatively tiny pane... more
Review for a shed that should be filed under new dooyoo category 'erotic'; subset 'sado-masochistic'
Large Metal Apex Shed
Member Name: worst_trip
Large Metal Apex Shed
Advantages: Slightly cheaper than a timber shed; so small they can send it to you in the post
Disadvantages: Nightmare to construct. Gets damp inside. Not rodent-proof. Difficult to site and access. Eyesore.
We needed to have some serious building work carried out on our house a couple of years ago, and having had a look at the cost of renting storage for our furniture while this was underway, decided to buy a metal shed to keep the rain off all our furniture, household item and possessions instead.
We selected a metal shed firstly because they were slightly cheaper to buy than their equivalently-sized, timber-constructed counterparts. Secondly, the previous owner of our house had left not one, but a pair of rotting wooden sheds falling apart in the garden when she moved out. As it had taken a lot of effort to demolish and cart away the old timber sheds, I was none too keen to put an identical wooden replacement up where they had once been.
A six-by-six apex metal shed cost about £200 from a business seller on Ebay back when I purchased one. These sheds are available in a range of sizes, from ones with the smallest dimension being about four feet, to the largest, a 10 by 13 foot behemoth. Ours is a lower / mid-range version, about six foot square. From 'proper internet sellers' - such as the folk who sell via amazon.co.uk, a metal shed will cost you substantially more than £200 these days, but there still many people on ebay who will sell you a new one for a lot less.
There is of course a catch with these garden buildings, and it is a pretty huge one; namely, the sheds are self-build constructions that you have to piece together from a vast number of relatively tiny panels, all from scratch. And the building up of the shed is a massive undertaking in itself.
For example, my six foot shed arrived in a surprisingly small box - very heavy, certainly, but no more than four feet high, two feet long and about 12 inches deep . From this worryingly small package, you have to construct the framework of the shed, the ridgepole, the sides of the building, the roof, the doors - and you can see there's going to be a heck of a lot of bolting short bits together to get the job done. The various panels are, of necessity, made from incredibly thin metal: it's no coincidence that like the other dooyoo reviewer of this shed, me and my partner (quite independently) made the joke that there was no point in trying to lock it because anyone who really wanted to get into it would be able to rip through the side with an ordinary tin-opener in about two seconds flat. On that issue, the 'lockable' aspect of these sheds must refer to the holes that are built into the plastic door 'handles' (these are basically naff bits of black plastic that just allow you enough hand-space to notionally "slide" the door panels open and closed - and I put the inverted commas around the word 'slide' because this shed's doors don't). Presumably you're intended to slip a padlock through the holes - but the plastic handles are so insubstantial that a I think good kick, much less a light wrench from a crowbar, would be enough to break them off).
So, to summarize, the apex shed once built is surprisingly flimsy, and the home-construction job to put it up is all insanely complex to do and takes forever (about four days working flat out, between the two of us - me and my partner; neither of us much good at DIY, but no strangers to making up flat-pack furniture, either). If we hadn't 'had' to do it - ie. build the shed on the spot so we could clear the house out before the builders came - I would've been so dismayed by the relatively poor quality of the product and complexity of the shed building task that I'd have happily written off the £200 and just chucked it all in as a bad job.
Still, our metal shed did the job required of it - namely, to keep our possessions safe and secure - but only after a fashion. A lot of the fabrics that were stored in it went mouldy, because in the rain, the little holes in the side of shed (that are supposed to be there) let in the damp and then it can't get out again. And the door of the shed is incredibly flimsy and doesn't shut properly; this arrangement is a real weak-point in the shed's otherwise so-so design, as the doors are sliders on runners the rails of which aren't nearly robust enough to keep them in a straight line - or even from dragging along the floor. Anyway, because of the gaps in our shed's door, mice got in and ruined much of our kitchen stuff and a lot of books had to be thrown away. So I wouldn't say that this shed in my experience is 'rodent proof' - something the manufacturers claim. But the furniture and everything that could be washed down or cleaned properly did survive.
What you get for your £200 (or whatever) if you spend it on an apex metal shed is a garden building that's difficult to access, not much good for storing anything that isn't made of solid wood or metal in (because of the mildew and damp), and is surprisingly flimsy once you've managed to put it up. With their green and white paint jobs and faintly shipping-container-like appearance, these sheds don't look fantastic to me, but if you've got somewhere you can 'hide' yours away - behind another building; in a hollow of the landscape or something - that certainly helps. They also need to be properly moored (ie. screwed or bolted down or however you secure things to concrete) on proper hard-standing with a flat base to stand on if you've any intention of getting in and out of the door on a regular basis; we put ours on an area of concrete that LOOKED flat enough, but the slight variation in profile / aspect was enough to ensure we can't open the door properly, so now we're using it as a 'traditional' garden shed, it's a real headache trying to get at anything that's still in there.
Summary: A home-build project best suited to those who like pain, frustration and anguish