I promised that I would keep you posted about the rather long tale of my storage shed. The first shed I purchased was a vinyl shed which would have been perfectly serviceable if it had been installed correctly. If you have ever brought a product at Lowe’s or Home Depot and have contracted with them to have it installed then you know that they do business with outside contractors who probably win the right to take care of installations for these building supply stores based on a bidding process. I have learned that these installers in turn hire employees or subcontractors to meet the need of consumers and as business waxes and wanes their numbers of subcontractors probably varies also. Sometimes the contractor who wins a contract to do business with Home Depot and/or Lowe’s may not even be all that local, in other words the contractor may serve a wide geographic area. So the contractor who built shed #1 hired a new subcontractor and that subcontractor came from about one and one-half hours away. He was a nice guy and he had a helper, but the shed was a bit complex and it was the first one he had built and it needed a platform built to go under it, which required tools the subcontractor did not have. He left the job late in the day as if the job was completed. I noticed six metal “ribs” lying on the ground but he said they were extra and did not go with this shed. However he was wrong, instead they were the posts in a post and beam construction and because they were absent the shed would have fallen in the first snow storm. He also did not finish attaching the roof to the gable. I am sure that this guy, if nurtured in his trade a bit, would eventually make a useful subcontractor and I hope the company gave him another chance. But I could not afford to keep a storage building which would not stand up. If he had not taken the extra parts with him we may have been able to fix the construction flaws but without the parts it was impossible.
Lowe’s stood behind me as a consumer and I appreciate this very much. Because of this I would be more than happy to do business with Lowe’s again, although I may have turned myself into that business horror, the high-maintenance customer. The subcontractor had the opportunity to buy the shed and take it away with them and I am not sure if they did end up with the product or not. I was allowed to purchase a different shed from Heartland Industries, with a longer track record for effective installation, for almost the same price I paid for the original vinyl shed. I had to wait a while for installation because we have had a very rainy summer, but now I have my shed. At first the doors would not open; perhaps affected by humidity and drying paint, but Heartland came immediately and fixed the doors so they now open as they should.
I heart my new Heartland shed and it has become a sort of focal point of my yard. Here’s a few pictures. I will eventually use some landscaping to tie it to the ground around it so it doesn’t look quite so above it all. I have moved items into my cute little shed and my lawn mower is quite happy in its new home. Lowe’s, thanks for backing this satisfied customer.
A horrible old metal shed with a holey roof and a rotted platform came with my house. It was still usable and it still locked so I used it to house my new lawn mower, which I had to buy for the gigantic backyard full of grass that I really didn’t think about when I bought the house. Since I didn’t move into this house until a day in late November (three years ago), I did not have to worry about mowing right away. Winter came early and stayed, without a thaw, straight through to spring. I did have to worry about shoveling snow, but not mowing. So the next spring I went through the lawn mower saga with Home Depot which you can read about in my blog (Lawn Mower Saga, Lawn Mower Saga, Part Deux). At the end of the lawn mower saga I had purchased the best lawn mower I have ever owned with an electric starter and a self-propelled action which made mowing my lawn doable, although still a challenge. I am working to fill up some of the grassy spaces with gardens and eventually patios so the amount of mowing will gradually decrease and perhaps eventually disappear, but these are early days and so I still need a place to store my mower. However, this past winter a very strong wind picked up my old holey metal shed and blew it over about twelve inches until my lawn mower was partly exposed to the elements. It was too heavy for me to lift so I had to leave it. Unbelievably, a strong wind came from the opposite direction about a month later and moved that shed right back into place. Still it was a sign; a sign that I would have to buy a shed to replace the rusted out shell that was formerly known as my shed. I doubted that it would be possible to continue to rely on dueling winds.
This spring I went to Lowe’s and I got myself a Lowe’s card so I could get a new shed. I looked at all the sheds and I picked out one that would keep my expenses at the level I had budgeted. The salesperson was not sure that I should buy that particular shed because it was a new model and the installers were also new to Lowe’s. I thought they were trying to up-sell me so I decided to hang tough and stick to the structure I had picked. We did the paperwork and two days later they came to measure and to see if the old platform could be salvaged. What was I thinking? It wasn’t even the right size so I had to go pay for materials for a new platform and have that delivered. The day that my shed would be installed finally came (it really didn’t take long) and two guys showed up to build the shed. They worked hard and they worked all day. I sprang for a pizza and gave them some water to drink, but otherwise left them to it. Around six p. m. they started wrapping things up and the shed looked cute, although slightly reminiscent of some of the outhouses people used to use. I thought that my lawn mower now had a new home. But when I opened the doors on the shed and looked inside there were two wooden props holding up the roof. The lead installer said that I should wait two weeks to take them out of the shed. This did not seem right to me. Then I saw 6 steel L posts lying on the ground. When I asked about them, the installer said they did not go with this shed. They were extra parts. I gave them directions to their next stop and off they went.
Once they left, I started to think about the whole post thing and the leftover parts thing. The installation company that Lowe’s hires likes to get you to respond to a survey as soon as they do anything, but I decided to avoid that survey until I did some checking. I looked over the directions and I found where those 6 L posts were supposed to go. Then I went to the Lowe’s parking lot and took another look at the shed there which was constructed correctly. I saw the 6 L posts in place and I saw that they were, in fact, essential to holding up the shed. Later my brother-in-law looked my sad new shed over and he noticed that the roof anchors were missing and I also learned that the platform should not have been larger than the shed, which it was (by about 6 inches all the way around). The installers were supposed to have a saw and cut the wood to size before building the platform (measurements were given in the instructions). This installer did not have a saw among his equipment. So he was polite and he was diligent, but he cheated and he lied. I think he knew the job was not done correctly, but he was afraid to be honest about it.
Suffice it to say that the two women in the install office at my local Lowe’s (Kath and Victoria) have worked through this with me. At first they agreed to fix the shed and then, when we realized that the installer had taken the leftover parts with him, they agreed to take the shed back, charge it to the install company and get me a new shed for almost the same price from a different company with a different installer, an installer they have done business with for a long time. I have been very impressed with these two people who have helped me through what could have been a very frustrating and expensive experience. I really am not a high maintenance person, but I also cannot afford to keep products that don’t work. So this is my testimonial for Lowe’s. My new shed will be installed one week from today. I will keep you posted.