Lifetime Shed Reviews – Lifting the Lid Off My New 8×15′ Storage Shed
Over the summer I started looking for a new shed to house the ever-increasing number of bikes, trikes, and garden furniture that we were accumulating.
My plan was to get something robust yet attractive, to replace the battered monstrosity that was currently living in the corner of our garden.
Lifetime Storage Sheds had gained my attention since I had seen a fully constructed display shed in my local HomeDepot. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the size I wanted (I needed BIG) so I started looking online, (well Amazon.com).
The 8 x 15-foot option was the one I finally settled upon and ordered. I am definitely one to procrastinate, so I gave myself the realistic goal of getting the new storage shed in place by Christmas, (ambitious I know).
Well as it happens, I can say that after a little bit of sweat and tears, (more on that later) I had our new shed fully constructed before Thanksgiving. I only had it sitting in the box for a month!
What follows is my opinion on our new, Lifetime Storage Shed. From setting up to now several weeks of use. If you’re the impatient type, check out my summary in the box below. For the full, in-depth review, keep on reading.
Who are Lifetime?
I will admit, I had no idea who Lifetime was before I pulled the trigger on buying my shed. The vote of confidence came from the many reviews that I read on Amazon, plus the fact the display shed I saw looked so darn pretty.
However, as we’re here (and I have since done my research) I can say that it all began in a garage in Riverdale, Utah. The founder of Lifetime wanted to build a basketball hoop for his son.
This turned into the first-ever commercially manufactured portable hoop, and then a full basketball system in one package.
By the mid-nineties, the company had moved into building a whole range of garden equipment and furniture. Using innovative manufacturing techniques (and accumulating a ton of patents); the firm now constructs garden buildings, the Lifetime Sheds range being some of the most popular on the market.
So while looking for my new shed, it was no small wonder I came across their offerings.
The 8×15 Feet Storage Shed by Lifetime
Before I move onto what I personally think of the shed, I will take you through some of the design elements, specifications, and features.
Firstly, as can be seen from the images in this review, the priority has definitely been set to create a sleek and attractive design.
Rather than a boring building to store your garden equipment, you actually have something that is pretty to look at. As Lifetime state, their aim was to build something that would “accent the beauty of your backyard.”
(They clearly haven’t seen my backyard, the shed is the only pretty thing in it!)
It is also an inspired design choice to place the doors in the center of the shed. This gives you better access and alleviates the need to climb over stuff to reach all the way to the back.
The build quality is probably the most impressive aspect of the Lifetime Shed. It certainly goes a long way to explain the relatively high price point.
It features sturdy steel-reinforced construction which acts as the frame to the building. Dual-wall, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) construction forms the main panels of the shed.
For the roof, Lifetime has incorporated heavy-duty steel trusses to provide additional strength. They’re so confident in this that they have backed it with a 10-year limited manufacturer warranty.
The exterior is also fully UV protected to prevent weather damage and general decay.
That high pitched roof is also a clever design choice, especially if you are living in more northern parts. Snow, ice, and rain will drain away from the roof with little problem.
Lifetime also states that the design is low maintenance. The jury is still out on that one as far as I am concerned as I haven’t had the shed for long enough.
However, there were a lot of parts involved to put it together, so time will tell.
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As you can probably sense from the build quality, the Lifetime Shed is a strong beast. It sits very sturdily in position and when you give it a shake there’s little in the way of movement.
This makes me happy.
What’s also good is the fact that the steel-reinforced doors are fully lockable. While I wouldn’t stash the family jewels in there, I do own a quality bicycle that currently lives inside that shed. I sleep at night with ease regarding its safety.
Inside the shed
So what have we got going on inside the Lifetime Shed?
In my case a lot of junk that belongs to the kids. That aside, to give you more efficient storage the shed comes with a completely customizable shelving and storage system.
To be honest I haven’t put this to best use yet. The shelves are up and it is good that I had a choice of where they go, but I hardly have a system in place. Even though it has been up for a few weeks now, I am still having trouble finding what I need.
However, that’s more due to the way everything has been piled in there rather than the design of the shed.
The building comes with a slip-resistant (HDPE) floor that is resistant against oil, solvents, and stains, which is a feature I like.
There’s also a great amount of natural light in there from the roof skylights (6 in total), and the 2 shatterproof windows. I do plan on hooking up an extension cord to have power in there too, however.
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Setting up the shed
Okay, now we get to the pain point. I am no DIY whizz. I can barely change a light bulb. So that’s an important point to make before I state that this shed feels impossible to put up if you don’t have at least some experience with tools.
I knew this going in and had my father over to help, (this man basically built the house I grew up in).
And whether it was the father-son dynamic I don’t know, but a few arguments were had and it ended up taking a few days.
Basically, there are a ton of parts and the instructions are lousy. The experience was a headache, to say the least.
If I was to do it again, I would definitely employ someone and be done with it. Or maybe just stay out of my dad’s way.
A quick read of some of the customer reviews will reveal similar stories. Clearly, some people had no real problems, but a large percentage of buyers did.
Keep this in mind before you buy.
Pros and Cons of the Lifetime Storage Shed
My final thoughts on the Lifetime Storage Shed
After the harrowing experience of setting it up with my father was over, I can safely say that I love our new shed.
It looks good, there’s a great amount of space in there for all our gear and it feels like it could handle a tornado. Yes, it is on the pricey side, however, I have no plans on replacing it anytime soon.
It is definitely an asset to our backyard. If you’re after a new shed and have the budget, you will not be disappointed, (just get someone in to build it!)
LifeTime Shed FAQs
Q. What are Lifetime sheds made from?
Lifetime Sheds are made from Polyethylene rather than wood. This is because polyethylene is a highly durable plastic that will not chip, crack, or peel as wood products do. It is also very easy to clean and is lightweight. In short, it is an ideal material for outdoor use.
Q. Can I paint my Lifetime shed?
No, polyethylene plastic cannot be painted over, so Lifetime sheds remain the same color from purchase. This is a benefit as it means you do not need to paint your shed to keep it looking fresh.
Q. Will my Lifetime shed fade in the sun?
While any product that remains in the sun over many years will fade, Lifetime Sheds contain inhibitors in the polyethylene that help prevent fading. The polymer will retain its color for many years of use.
Q. Can I enlarge a Lifetime shed after purchase?
Yes, you can. Lifetime Sheds sell a 2.5 ft extension kit that can be used to extend any of their available sheds. These can be added during initial assembly or at a later date as your needs grow.
Q. Do Lifetime sheds come with a floor?
Yes, Lifetime sheds come with a floor. This is in the form of interlocking polyethylene panels. However, you will need to ensure that the ground beneath is smooth and level. Lifetime shed recommends a concrete slab or wooden base for this purpose.
Q. Does the flooring need subflooring before installation?
No, there is no need for a subflooring for a Lifetime shed, however, you will need a smooth and flat concrete or wood foundation.
Q. Does a Lifetime shed need a Foundation?
Yes, Lifetime sheds must be built on top of a smooth and flat level surface. A concrete slab or wooden platform is recommended.
Q. Does the foundation need to be the same size as the shed?
No, so that rainwater can drain from the shed, the size of the foundation should be a few inches smaller than the overall shed dimensions.
Q. What is the best way to anchor a Lifetime shed?
For smaller Lifetime sheds (the 7, 8, and 10 ft-wide models), anchoring to the foundation can be done through the provided indentations in the shed floor. On the 11 ft. wide model, the shed is anchored via the floor brackets attached to each wall support.
Q. How do I prepare the concrete for anchoring the shed?
You will need to drill holes in the concrete or wood platform in the appropriate positions so that they align with the shed anchor points. This is done after the shed has been assembled.
Q. What is the wind resistance rating of a Lifetime shed?
Lifetime sheds have a wind resistance rating of 70 MPH. However, some areas of the US such as Florida have wind force regulations in place. This could mean you require a high factor that 70mph.
You should check with your local building regulation department to see the requirements. However, where greater tolerance is needed, Lifetime sheds sell an Extreme Weather Kit. This is available for the 8ft models and increases the wind speed rating up to 118 MPH.
Q. What is the snow load rating of Lifetime sheds?
The snow load rating of Lifetime sheds depends on the model size. Check the website for details.
Q. Can I wire my Lifetime shed for electricity?
No, Lifetime sheds should not be wired for electricity. Alterations of this kind will void the warranty.
Q. Do LifeTime sheds come with a warranty?
Yes, Lifetime sheds come with a 10-year warranty from the date of purchase against any defects in the material or workmanship.
Q. Do I need a building permit to erect a LifeTime shed?
When planning on erecting any such construction as a shed, homeowners should check with their local authorities to ascertain what permits may be required.
Q. I wish to submit plans to my city office for a permit for the shed, how do I obtain the blueprints?
While blueprints are not available for Lifetime sheds, the assembly instructions included in the Owners Manual contain details that may be of use when obtaining a permit. Copies of the manual can be obtained via the website, or by contacting Lifetime Customer Care at 1-800-225-3865.