Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Our garden project - Rowlinson Woodvale shed review.


I've been a bit slow on publishing this post; partly because I wanted to see how our shed weathered 'the storm' & partly because I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it yet.

It's the man room (every home has one) so I don't really need to have an opinion, but I want to be able to write a helpful review because other people's reviews were what helped me feel confident in buying this shed 'blind'

So lets start with the basics: The shed is the Rowlinson 10X8 Woodvale Metal Shed; we purchased it from B&Q along with the 'floor' which currently costs £519.98 with home delivery & £769.98 if you would like someone to assemble it for you - we opted for the former for purely financial reasons. As far as I'm aware if you choose to have someone else assemble it then it takes them a few hours; assembling it ourselves took about 12 - spanned over 3 days.

I actually really enjoyed putting it all together: It's pretty straight forward as long as you're patient. We didn't have to drill any extra holes because we were meticulous about the frame being exactly square but there were the odd few screws that needed a bit of coaxing/forcing & some of the side panels were a little less accommodating than others. It's definitely a job for two or more people & unless you're some sort of screwdriver king: You're going to need electric assistance.

I love the look of the shed: It's got the benefits of being metal with the subtle wood design that stops it looking garish & matches our fencing perfectly. It's a good size & the apex roof is shallow so it's doesn't add too much external height but still helps rain water run off. We will eventually put guttering on & add a water butt or two so this sort of roof is perfect for that set up. We have a few spots that leak though which is super annoying & I can't work out why they exist but we're hoping to block them with waterproof tape or something similar so it's not too much of a biggie.

As we expected the internal walls are a haven for condensation so to try & fix that I think we'll add a vent above the door & we've played with the idea of adding some sort of insulation before putting any shelving in. Until then we can't/won't lean anything against them. The sheeting is thin steel that has ridges in 'wood panel' style; they're sturdy enough but I probably wouldn't trust them to take much direct weight at the moment anyway.

The doors are where things go downhill; they are an absolute nightmare. The concept of sliding doors is very appealing as it's a real space saver but they're not weighted correctly so are a pain to open/close. If I had the choice I would absolutely have gone for standard hinged doors, but as it is now we're going to have to find some way of adding some other handles/weights/rollers etc. C'est La Vie.

The 'floor' is also a bit of a questionable design. To start with: It's not a floor, it's a base. So don't assemble the shed first thinking it would fit nicely inside because it won't & you'll have to convince a small army to lift your newly made, very heavy shed structure while sliding it underneath (yepp, that happened.) Secondly there aren't really enough supporting planks under the boards which means that it flexes a little intimidatingly when stood on. I don't think that it will be an issue for us but I would suggest maybe adding some extra yourself before assembly if you're hoping to store very heavy items on it. I think that eventually we'll purchase some foam or rubber matting to go above the boards but that's just down to personal preference, you absolutely don't need to do that.

There is nothing in the kit to allow for anchoring so we went & purchased some L-shaped brackets & long screws to attach the floor to the concrete base. It's blowing an absolute gale outside as I write this & our shed is still at the bottom of the garden so I'm going to count that as a success.

The delivery was not done by B&Q or by Rowlinson: As far as I'm aware it was done by an outside company & that outside company sent a single van driver with a tiny hand cart that couldn't fit any of the unbelievably heavy boxes on which made the delivery the most tedious stage of all. If my little brother hadn't been here when the delivery arrived I can guarantee it would not have ended up in our garden so massive thanks to Isak for being my muscles. Also because we weren't going to start assembly that night I needed everything to be stored for a little while & so I had to put tarpaulin on the lawn before the boxes were set down & then had to cover everything to make sure it wouldn't get rain damage. I absolutely didn't mind doing this, but I know that there have been other people who haven't done it & the wood has been ruined so if you're going to purchase this shed please take it upon yourself to provide a dry area for storage & expect the possibility that you may need to do heavy lifting.

So, overall verdict: I love the aesthetics of the shed, I love how secure it feels & how easy (if time consuming) it was to put together. I'm not, however, a fan of the doors or the floor-come-base & I wasn't impressed with the delivery company for sending that poor guy on his own. I think that the price is absolutely fair for the product & I know that it is going to be an great extra room.

Would it have been my first choice if money were no object? No. Would I buy it again if I had the same budget? Probably yes. Do we have more work to do on it? God yes, but it is totally serviceable as it is & I do think that it is a great budget shed.