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Yeah, it looks more like one of those kiddy-castles than it does a shed. But still, this might be the only real solution for some folks (like me, sadly) whose overly-zealous homeowner’s association won’t allow any kind of construction of any sort in a backyard — even if it’s not visible from the street. So if building one’s own isn’t an option, do these sheds hold up?

Rubbermaid’s literature touts the plastic as a benefit: “no rot, no rust, no problems.” But I can’t help but wonder if the plastic slowly disintegrates like the arm rests on lawn chairs. If so, how long does it last? They do have a point; provided it lasts at least as long as a wood or metal counterpart, I suppose I can’t really bitch.

The one you see pictured starts at around $425 and is 52″ x 48″ and 6′ high. That’s about enough to hold a push mower, or at least some of the overflow of things that I don’t want cluttering up my garage, like a string trimmer, fuel, etc. Rubbermaid also says that their wall anchors work inside the shed, so you can add things like shelves and other organizational stuff to fill it up properly.

Medium Storage Shed [Rubbermaid]


16 Responses to Plastic Storage Sheds — Not Just For Kids

  1. Fong says:

    Had one in my patio for 2 years. It arrived and left with a housemate who had it for at least a few years before I saw it. Fully exposed to rain, sun and the dry desert air, it never looked like it aged. No cracks, chips, flaking or discoloration. They hose off and wipe clean. The plastic will hold up so long as it doesn’t have a plastic on plastic friction latch.

  2. Ray says:

    As long as you’re not worried about security. Those things look to have all the structural integrity of a zip-lock bag. In my neighbourhood in downtown Edmonton, my garden tools (and gas) would be gone in 5 minutes.

  3. Brau says:

    My neighbour has an 8×8 plastic shed. Seems to have held up better than another neighbour who built a wood one (H.Depot kit). 4 years down the road it looks better and doesn’t have ugly flaking paint either.

    As for theft, it’s always your insurance you rely on and legal pedantries can be a hard thing to wrap your head around. When I erected a steel shed I was surprised to find my insurance company does not allow modification, even if it’s adding what *I believe* is a better lock. They can deny my claim if I modify the shed in any way. Instead they advised me to use whatever security the shed came with out of the box … even if it has plastic handles … so my insurance company can’t deny my claim. The same went for my hot tub lid that came with cheap plastic clasps and a plastic key.

  4. Shopmonger says:

    I have a 8 x10 and it is really secure….in fact almost more secure than one that would have been constructed. I love it…it used 2 x 10’s in the roof and that allows me to hang things from it….actually i hang a cargo net from it and keep all of my patio fold up chairs in the rafter area… Now for hanging stuff, use some anchors for wall board when screwing hangars, but damn it is awesome, have had it 6 years in snow, heat and it has even had 10 inches of snow and an inch of ice…and no issues… also make sure you put it on a flat surface, some hard pack is recommended…because if not they bow in the base boards and that makes the door not align right.


  5. David says:

    Over here on the west coast in Canada (moderate temperatures, lots of rain, some snow, minimal wind) and my family has had a couple of these for over 10 years, and they still are as solid as the day we snapped them together. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a pretty decent value.

  6. FourMat says:

    I have had a Rubbermaid Big Max for about 9 or 10 years now and it has held up reasonably well. There hasn’t been any degradation from the sun. I am entirely happy with the purchase, performance, and looks. I use it to keep my rider and as an external enclosure for my large air compressor.

    With that being said there are a few problems that I’ve had with it, both from my doing, and from design flaws. If you do not have a rock solid foundation, the plastic floor tends to distort. This was my fault. First I had built a leveled sand bed, but not well. Then I moved and leveled out a solid piece of ground, but over time, there was too much settling, and the doors are a little warpy, but not so much that I want to redo it. With experience behind me, the best option probably would have been to level the ground, put largish pavers down, then build on top of that.

    The second thing is the shelf hanging system. The units come with wire brackets that fit into slots molded into the plastic side walls, on which you place a board to span the length of the wall. Great system in theory, but in the heat of the North Carolina summers, the plastic gets soft and if you have too much weight, it pulls out of the slots. Made the mistake and had a lot of plant food and pesticides on them, which ended up as a toxic mess on the floor one day. I still use the shelves, but I make sure that it’s not too heavy.

    But overall it’s held up better than the other wood shed we have on the property, and better than any thin steel shed I’ve owned.

  7. rembret says:

    HOA nazis…

  8. John says:

    I’ve got a 10 plus year old plastic 8×10 shed I picked up at Home Depot for about $1000. They don’t sell that brand anymore (Royal Outdoor Products) but I’ve had no problems at all with it. Best of all when I moved it was trivial to break it down, toss it in a truck and set it up again. Building and leveling the platform took much longer than assembling the shed itself.

  9. Frank says:

    Had my Rubbermaid for over eight years now. Been in the hot deaert sun. Only complaint is that my six year old son continually climbes on top of it.

  10. Blair says:

    As far as security is concerned, as stated well above, the shed isn’t a vault, the T-111 siding on most sheds isn’t impervious by any means either, and the locking systems are usually there to “keep honest people honest”.

    The only thing I would even worry about is the heat where you are, and whether it would warp, or distort the sides at all. As FourMat said, it may be prudent to not rely on the shelving system to hold much weight, but for keeping your mower, etc out of the weather, I would think one of these sheds would be fine.

    • Ray says:

      Re: security, I agree.

      You can’t stop the more determined cockroaches, but you can slow them down. As a general rule, theives are lazy. If you present them with a decently built wooden shed with a padlocked and a steel bar across the door, they’re more likely to move on to one of my neighbour’s Fisher Price sheds.

      At least that’s the theory.

  11. Dom says:

    Not a oil-company-hating tree hugger by any sorts but that’s just WAY too much plastic – even it lasts 15 years.

  12. Mac says:

    Have a couple smaller ones that have held up fine for close to 10 years now. No complaints at all.

  13. John pacetti says:

    Want 2 buy shed but friends in Mich and Wisconsin say they warp in Sun. Do they? Thanks waiting 4 your answer.

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