Pros: Durable resin, plastic assembles easily, spacious, designed for shelves.
Cons: Some assembly issues with metal, poorly vented.
So, we've lived in our new house (that which we affectionately call "the Funhouse") for just under three months now, and the stuff was starting to add up. Mind you, we imported tons of junk from our old apartment in Atlanta in which we lived for the last seven years. But now we were faced with a new dilemma: where to store the lawnmower and yard tools we were quickly accumulating. The funhouse does not have a garage, and so we decided we would buy a pre-fab shed to keep the rain off of our stuff. Our choice: The Rubbermaid Big Max 7ft by 7ft Storage Shed.
Buying it and Getting it Home
To be honest, we were leaning towards another model of hard resin storage shed that we had seen at Costco, which like the Big Max 7 by 7 was priced at $599. The Costco model featured a few more windows and a rain collection system on the roof, and with our Executive membership we would earn $12 cash back. Two things sealed the deal on the Big Max 7 by 7, however. The first was the fact that Lowe's ran a Memorial Day sale on all resin storage products, reducing the price of the Big Max to $539.
The main factor, however, was one of simple logistics. Both sheds come in two enormous, heavy boxes, and you will need a large pickup to get them home, something we do not have. Since we could rent a truck from Lowe's for $19 to get the shed home, the deal was sealed.
You should keep in mind that although this is a resin pre-fab shed, every municipality is different and some may require, hard as it may seem to believe, a building permit prior to assembly.
Putting it Together
Assembling your Rubbermaid Big Max 7 by 7 shed will require both time and patience. You will need help holding sections together and down while you fasten them with screws. For the most part, I found that the plastic-resin pieces snap together fairly easily, although I was annoyed at some sections that did not have guide holes for the screws to go into.
The metal sections are another matter, and a central truss that supports the roof between the front and rear gables is very poorly designed. The central support simply will not fit onto the two metal bars that form the "V", and I had to jury-rig the truss to get it together. Otherwise, however, I found that as long as I followed the directions step by step, the Rubbermaid Big Max 7 by 7 shed was a snap to assemble. Be warned, though, that the directions are occasionally faulty; for example instructing the repeat of steps for front gable rather than directing you on to the rear gable assembly.
Let's Throw Our Junk In
Once assembled, our Rubbermaid Big Max 7 by 7 shed has been durable and utilitarian. The roof assembly was easy enough to put on that we actually did it properly, and it's waterproof. We have lots of space to park our lawnmower, rakes, grilling accessories, and other yard tools. The walls have recessed holes on the inside at various intervals that allow you to hang shelves that you can make yourself or buy from Rubbermaid or others. This allows even more storage.
We like the attractive appearance of the Rubbermaid Big Max 7 by 7 shed, especially the double doors. These have windows and along with the skylight allow in sufficient light to see what you're doing. The right door has bolts that secure into the roof and floor, and you can lock the two doors with a padlock (not included) in the front. Vented gables are one poor performing area, as the slots are too small to properly vent and our shed can get very hot inside. Larger, screened vents would serve better.
Overall, though, the Rubbermaid Big Max 7 by 7 shed does what you expect: provides a good amount of space in which to store your stuff. It has the right combination of weather resistant resin and metal to be durable, and we expect it will last a long time. Unless we get a lot more stuff, that is.