Lifetime Sheds - Zacs Garden

An In-Depth Look at Lifetime Sheds – Are They a Good Buy?

Lifetime Sheds 5 x 8, One of their best selling shedsImage courtesy Lifetime.com

JUST MADE THE DECISION TO ADD a garden shed to your backyard?

Now the fun begins.

There are so many different sheds on the market, it can drive you crazy trying to find the right one to fit your needs or budget. If you are basing your judgment of Lifetime sheds on the “plastic” sheds of years ago, you might be in for a nice surprise. These sheds are made to provide you with many years of reliable service.

So, today we are going to take at Lifetime brand polyethylene sheds, one of the leading brands on the market. We are going to look at what makes them so popular from the HDPE polyethylene used to make each part to the powder-coated steel reinforcement used throughout. These sheds are loaded with features many of the other brands simply don't offer or come up short on.

Look What Lifetime Sheds Had to Offer:

ItemLifetime
Floor included Yes
Sub-flooring needed No
Foundation required Yes
Steel trusses for roof Yes
Steel reinforcement in walls Yes
Can be enlarged Yes
Metal parts powder-coated Yes
All parts made in U.S.A. Yes

 

Today's Polyethylene Not What You Might Think

During the early days of polyethylene sheds, the materials used were simply not up to the job they were being tasked with. Often, these materials would fade and warp under the sun or become brittle and break in freezing temperature. In most cases, people who purchased these early sheds ended up angry and spending, even more, money on a wood or metal shed.

Lifetime continues to invest heavily in researching and developing stronger and better materials. The polyethylene materials used in Lifetime sheds are the result of this research. They have been tested to ensure they can stand up to anything Mother Nature has to hammer it with. The roofs are supported in some models with steel trusses to help ensure they can handle heavy snow loads.  

The polyethylene used in Lifetime sheds incorporates special UV protectants to ensure it maintains its color without any signs of fading. The protectant also helps to ensure the sun's heat and UV rays will not cause the material to warp. Your lifetime shed will continue to look new for many years.

The Roof

Roof_Lifetime_6418_Outdoor_Storage_ShedRoof_Lifetime_6418_Outdoor_Storage_ShedImage courtesy of Amazon

Lifetime sheds feature a steeply pitched roof designed to ensure rain, snow, and ice can easily slide off, reducing the amount of load it must carry. For those of you who live in areas where it tends to snow significant amounts at a time, Lifetime sheds also feature powder coated steel A-frame style trusses for added support. Depending on the model you choose, your shed may feature a skylight to help provide you with plenty of natural daylight.  All skylights are fully sealed to keep water and snow out.

The Walls

60042 lifetime storage shed wall construction diagram-lifetime-shedImage courtesy of Competitive Edge Products

Having a strong roof is only the beginning of what makes Lifetime sheds worth more than a second look. The walls are the most vital part of any structure, including a shed. This walls that offer very little in the way of structural strength or support are of very little use to anyone. Many low-cost sheds are built using single-wall polyethylene construction, making them weak and easily broken into. No one wants that.

Lifetime sheds are made using double-wall construction from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) construction and steel reinforcement. This material and design offer superior support, improved weather and theft protection, and exceptional good looks. One more thing you should know about double-wall construction is that the walls act in some ways like double-glazed windows by using the air gap as a form of insulation. The extra-thick polyethylene double-wall construction also helps to prevent rocks slung from under your lawn mower causing damage.

Metal vs Plastic Hardware

One of the most common complaints with many brands of polyethylene and resin sheds is that they use plastic hardware to assemble them. While there a few brands that seem to think their plastic hardware is more than strong enough for use in assembling a shed. The problem with this is that many of their customers find out the hard way that plastic hardware may not be their best option.

Lifetime sheds use steel hardware that has been treated to prevent rust. This hardware will not break under high winds or heavy loads like plastic hardware that can easily break under these conditions. Now imagine a shed that uses plastic hardware to secure the doors and keep thieves out. A determined thief can break into this type of shed in minutes. Lifetime sheds feature all-metal locking hardware to ensure your shed and its contents remain safe and sound.

Why Choose a Bolt-Together Shed?

There are a number of resin/polyethylene sheds designed to be assembled by snapping the parts together. While you might think that assembly should be simpler on these sheds, they can often be hard to actually get all the pieces to actually fit together. In many cases, a big rubber mallet has to be used. Then the first time a strong wind blows through your area, they blow apart so quickly it will blow your mind.

Sheds, such as those from Lifetime, that are assembled using the bolt-together method are far stronger and less likely to be affected by strong winds. While it might take longer to assemble this type of shed, the pieces tend to line up more quickly and the overall assembly is easier. The worst thing you have to do is set aside a little more time and patience to build the shed.

Built on a Strong Foundation

Another very common problem with many polyethylene sheds is that they come with a thin plastic floor or no floor at all. In many cases, you would be better off buying one that has no floor than one that has a thin single layer of plastic. Lifetime sheds come with a double-wall polyethylene non-slip floor that is reinforced for maximum weight capacity.

The material chosen for the floor is resistant to stains, oils, and solvents allowing you to make more use of your shed for things like storing lawn mowers, paints, solvents and just about anything else you can imagine. You should, however, build a strong platform or foundation to set your shed on. You can pour a concrete slab, make a foundation from pavers, create one from gravel, or simply flatten out the ground (though this is not recommended).

Here are Five Great Lifetime Sheds Worth Your Consideration

Lifetime 6405 Outdoor Storage

Lifetime-6405LIFETIME 6405 Outdoor Storage Shed with Window

Measuring in at 90x114x70 inches, this Lifetime shed features 4 large skylights for added natural lighting, a pair of vents for better airflow, and a single shatterproof window. Inside you will find a customizable shelving system that adds even more versatility. The steel-reinforced high-arch double doors create an opening that is 4′ x 6′ with locking mechanisms inside and out. Comes with a high-density polyethylene floor that is resistant to stains, chipping, and peeling.

ProsCons
Steel A-truss reinforced double wall roof Time-consuming assembly
Steel reinforced double constructed walls Assembly manual poor
Bolt together construction using steel bolts Threaded holes may strip out using metal screws

Lifetime 6402 Outdoor Storage

Storage ShedLIFETIME Storage Shed

This Lifetime shed measures a full 12-feet long for those who need plenty of storage space. The entire shed is made from low-maintenance UV-resistant HDPE (high-density polyethylene) that has been designed to resist weather damage. Both the roof and walls are made using double-construction and include steel reinforcing to ensure maximum load support. Best of all this shed comes with a 10-year manufacturer's warranty.

ProsCons
Steel-reinforced double-wall construction Steel screws tend to strip out plastic threads
Lockable steel-reinforced doors Some issues with panel alignment
UV-protected for long-life Installation manual needs work

Lifetime 6415 Outdoor Storage Shed

Lifetime_6415Lifetime_6415Lifetime_6415LIFETIME 6415 Outdoor Storage Shed

The extra-wide Lifetime shed measures a full 11 feet wide and 13 feet deep. There are 2 shatterproof windows and a vent at each end of the shed to provide plenty of ventilation. The steel reinforced high-arch roof not only helps rain and snow to slide off, it provides 6'8″ of headroom at the peak. The HDPE double walls have built-in steel reinforcement to help with load carrying ability and added security. The shed also features a fully customizable shelving system.

ProsCons
2 shatterproof-windows and 2 ventsChallenging assembly
High-pitched roof with steel trusses for support Threaded holes in plastic strip out easily
Steel-reinforced doors for added securityDoors need a way to adjust the alignment

Lifetime 6411 Outdoor Storage Shed

Lifetime_6411_Outdoor_Storage_ShedLIFETIME 6411 Outdoor Storage Shed

At 8 x 7.5 feet, this Lifetime Shed is the perfect size for your lawn mower and a large selection of your favorite garden tools. It features a single shatterproof window, 3 skylights, and 2 vents for added ventilation. The roof, walls, and doors are made from durable double-wall HDPE construction with steel reinforcement for added support and security. This shed features a customizable shelving system that lets you set up your shelves to meet any needs.

ProsCons
High-pitched roof provides 6'8″ of headroomScrew holes tend to strip
Sturdy plastic non-slip floor Assembly manual leaves a lot to be desired
Durable HDPE material designed to last yearsChallenging assembly for one or two people

Lifetime 60005 Outdoor Storage Shed

Lifetime_60005_Outdoor_Storage_ShedLifetime_60005_Outdoor_Storage_ShedLifetime_60005_Outdoor_Storage_ShedLIFETIME 60005 Outdoor Storage Shed 

This Lifetime shed features double doors on one side instead of the end, making it easier to use as an equipment storage shed. The roof features skylights, durable double-wall HDPE construction, and powder-coated steel support trusses. There are two small windows in the front and a single window in the rear, all made from shatterproof polycarbonate. High-grade steel screws are used throughout the construction process to ensure superior stability.

ProsCons
Powder-coated steel reinforcement used throughout construction Skylights would work better if they were clear instead of opaque
3 windows and 2 skylightsTends to leak in the rain
Low-maintenance UV resistant materials Assembly manual is very poor

Other Options

If the many sheds offered by Lifetime are not exactly what you are looking for, perhaps a resin of HDPE shed is not what you should be considering. There are several metal sheds that may fit your needs. Here is one worth considering, bear in mind that metal sheds can be more expensive and far more challenging to assemble.

Arrow Shed AR108-A

Arrow_Shed_AR108Arrow_Shed_AR108

ARROW Shed AR108-A Arlington Storage Shed

This metal shed from Arrow features simple to assemble parts that are pre-drilled and pre-cut that makes assembly easier. All galvanized-steel parts are coated with a baked-on enamel to help minimize any risk of corrosion. The design includes a mid-wall brace for added stability. There is a total of 440 square feet of storage space and a large door opening that should give you more than enough room for most riding mowers.

ProsCons
Sheet metal offers excellent strength and durabilityEven galvanized steel will rust in time
Bolt together design withstands high windMust be set on a foundation or pad
Plenty of space for a riding lawn mowerVery difficult to assemble

Conclusion

Today's top-quality HDPE sheds offer a wide range of sizes and designs for you to choose from. The entire range is durable and well-constructed and ready to take on any challenge. They HDPE material used in their construction is resistant to the sun's UV rays and just about anything else mother nature can throw at it. In my humble opinion, all of these sheds make an excellent choice, just be sure to match the one you buy with your needs and budget.

 

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