Pros: nice appearance, fairly easy to assemble, illustrated instructions, durable materials, options for extra storage
Cons: time-consuming construction, not a one-person project, no room for interior wood beams
Once again the family is hip deep in home improvement projects. This time the spotlight is on the Roughneck X-Large Storage Shed. This resin shed is designed to store riding lawn mowers, snow blowers, garden tools, ladders, and other items.
This resin shed measures 7-feet square (exterior height 94" high) and has interior dimensions of 81" square by 91" high. Storage capacity is 325 cubic feet. The double-walled shed body is a gray color, and the roof is a black-gray color. There are four small skylights in the roof. The two steel-reinforced doors each have a small bow-shaped window. This shed can also be padlocked (the lock is not included). The manufacturer claims that this shed is maintenance free, leak- and dent-resistant. Estimated assembly time is 90 minutes (more about that later!).
"We Need Another Shed"
That was the battle cry my brother issued. I didn't hesitate to dive into the research pool for him. He already owned the Rubbermaid Big Max shed, which has stood up well. However, the Home Depot where he purchased the Big Max shed was undergoing a transition period and did not have any available. Recently I learned that Home Depot stores may no longer offer the Rubbermaid line of sheds. (I see they are available for sale online at the Home Depot website, but not at stores.)
Since the no-maintenance resin shed has worked well for so many years (withstanding snow, rain, windstorms), we were after the same type of building. After doing some research, I found the Roughneck shed at Lowes. Ironically, the Roughneck is also a Rubbermaid product that is almost identical to the newer model Big Max shed.
Preparing the Ground
The first step is to prep the ground where the shed will stand. This took a day to do. The instructions state that the area has to have proper drainage. A tiller was used to dig up the ground. The dirt was smoothed out, and a 10"x10" tamper was pounded against the ground to compact the earth. Again the surface was checked to make sure it was level.
Originally, we wanted to use pea gravel for the foundation. However, the local hardware store was out of it. Instead, my brother opted to buy 12 bags of drainage stone. Drainage stone is larger than pea gravel, and a bit more effort was needed to smooth it out and tamp it down to create a level surface. After studying the results, my brother was not happy with the coverage. As he said, it was adequate, but he wanted it to be more than just okay. So he returned to the store and bought 12 more bags of Drainage Stone. Again, it was leveled and tamped down.
Note: It is very important to construct the shed on a level surface. If the surface is not level, then components of the shed may not correctly install.
Tools Needed for Assembly
* Utility Knife with sharp blade (used to cut out slots in the resin material)
* Phillips Head Screwdriver (also needed to knock out tabs and screw holes in the resin parts)
* Rubber Mallet
* A motorized drill with an adjustable clutch (set the clutch on the lowest setting so as not to strip the plastic)
* Adjustable Wrench (or 7/16" nut driver, or ratchet, or box wrench). You will need two of these. The instructions don't say you need this, but we found it handy when installing the structural support beam for the roof.
* Liquid soap (for lubrication of resin connections)
Assembling the Shed
The directions state that this shed takes 90 minutes to assemble. It actually took a bit more than three hours with two people working on it. This is not a one-person project! For instance, if there is the slightest breeze, the wall panels will pop out as they are being worked on. Also, two people are definitely needed for the roof assembly.
The written instructions are illustrated with line drawings and schematics. We figure that part of the assembly time difference (90 minutes versus 3 hours) was the constant referral to the instructions. Overall, they were easy to follow. Plus, there was already the experience of having installed the Big Max shed, even if it was a number of years ago.
A pdf file of the instructions is available at the Rubbermaid website. If you want to know all the specifics, I recommend downloading the pdf file to see what is involved for construction of the shed. Here are some observations.
Consider the weather before constructing the shed. This Roughneck shed was assembled on a clear day with a slight breeze. Snapping the panels on each side of the shed into position is relatively easy as long as the wind doesn't kick up. Even with a mild breeze, the resin pieces popped out of position. Two people were needed to hold and snap the panels into place.
Also, the flooring is thinner than the flooring of the original Big Max shed. It comes in two pieces. The seam is designed to go from side to side so that it does not interfere with the shed door opening and closing. So far the flooring has held up fine with a riding lawn mower parked atop it.
Punching out the screw holes with the screw driver is a bit of a pain. We were trying to think of why the holes weren't punched out at the factory. Maybe they were concerned that the resin would become damaged with the holes pre-cutout. For instance, the shed gables each required that 22 holes be punched. Plus, a utility knife was needed to cut the vent slots.
The main doors have metal hardware, and the handle has a magnetic catch that holds well. There is also a metal latch for a padlock. The hasp will accommodate a padlock with a 1/4" diameter. This is another area where two people have to work together. One person has to hold up the gable while the other person installs the doors. The Plexiglas windows came covered with a thin paper, which was a pain to remove. The paper kept shredding into small bits, and it took twenty minutes to remove all the paper from the windows.
There are a total of four skylights; two in each side of the upper roof. The Plexiglas skylights came with the gaskets already on them. Again, roof assembly is a two-person job, and a ladder is needed. There is a steel bracing beam on the inside of the roof, located in the middle. The way the Roughneck eaves are designed using lighter-weight plastic, the materials will not support added beams for reinforcement or storage space. My brother really wanted to add those extra beams as he had been able to do on the Big Max shed.
An extender kit will add more depth to the shed, but it also adds to the cost. One was not purchased. Accessory kits are also available that will allow peg board and shelves to be installed (You need to call Rubbermaid to inquire about the kits). This shed came with four U-shaped clips with screw attachments. At this time, we have not installed them since the shed is being used to house a riding lawnmower.
Placing the riding lawn mower in the shed does not leave a lot of extra room. Plus, the bag has to be removed from the mower in order to fit the riding lawnmower in the building. This is a standard-size lawnmower. Initially, I was concerned that the flooring might not hold the lawnmower weight, but so far so good.
Differences Between the Roughneck and Big Max Sheds
The Big Max shed being discussed was purchased a number of years ago. It does not have windows or skylights. I'll post a link at the bottom of this review so that you can read in detail about our experiences with the Big Max shed.
The Big Max shed has thicker resin flooring. Also, the Big Max shed flooring came in four pieces that needed assembling, while the Roughneck shed has two pieces of flooring. The two pieces of flooring has the floor seam going from side to side so that it doesn't interfere with the door opening. The Big Max shed has a seam that connects with the door, which sometimes causes trouble with opening and closing the door. Roughneck eliminated that problem with the horizontal seam.
The Roughneck roof has an embossed shingled pattern on the roof. Plus the shed exterior walls have horizontal lines that mimic the look of vinyl siding. The Big Max shed does not have these appearance-enhancing niceties.
The Roughneck shed has two windows (one in each door), plus four skylights. The windows are no doubt an attempt to make the shed more pleasing to the eye. It is not as though this shed is designed as a building that one would work inside. As a matter of fact, the manufacturer states this building is not meant for habitation. However, if one had to seek shelter inside the building (I'm doing some wild assuming here), then the windows are nice to allow light into the closed shed.
The Roughneck storage shed does not allow for the addition of reinforcing pieces of lumber near the roof. Wooden "beams" were used in the Big Max shed for additional roof support and for creating more storage room.
This shed was purchased from Lowes for $599.00.
The Roughneck X-Large Storage Shed is about an exact fit for the riding lawnmower. If cost wasn't an issue, then the extension module might have been purchased to allow more storage room. (You have to call Rubbermaid to purchase it.) Still, even with some of the thinner resin pieces, this Roughneck storage shed is working well. And it looks great!
I hope you found this review useful.
Enjoy the day,
Please read my other reviews:
Big Max Storage Shed
HON Storage Cabinet
Craftsman 3-Drawer Portable Toolbox
Step 2 Grass Hopper Wheeled Garden Stool / Cart
Suncast Easy-Reach Hose Reel Cart
Copyright 2010 Dawn L. Stewart