Before buying a book a CD or a DVD, or before seeing a movie, we can refer to reviews to get an idea of whether it suits our tastes and requirements. There are even reviews of restaurants and wines which can help us make informed choices. But as far as I know, similar resources are not available to help us choose a significantly more expensive and long lasting item - a garden shed.
One thing we overlooked when we bought our house was its lack of storage, and in particular outside storage. For four years our gardening equipment has been taking up room in the garage, at times making movement around the garage difficult.
A few weeks ago, after considering a lot of different options, we were seduced by a glossy advertising leaflet that came with the junk mail. Several different sheds were offered at sale prices. One looked particularly attractive, was the right size and came with a window panel. It also had a 20 year warranty. It looked to be exactly what we were looking for so we placed an order.
A week later the kit was delivered and we arranged for a suitably skilled friend to assemble it. Last Friday he came around, and when I got home from work the shed was finished – but what a disappointment.
1) The paperwork with the shed said the warranty was 12 years and not the 20 years in the leaflet (which we no longer have).
2) The panels were joined together with self-tapping screws, which mostly had their sharp points exposed inside the shed.
3) There were a couple of sharp edges exposed on the door.
4) The next morning the inside walls and roof were dripping with condensation.
5) Despite sealing all around with silicone, after the weekend’s heavy rain the floor inside was soaked. We were able to remove half a bucketful of water.
When I consider the cost of the shed alongside the disappointing product, for not much more I could have had a much more suitable and efficient shed custom built.