Not a tough shed yet decent storage at an affordable price
Low cost storage shed that should last for at least 20 years or more.
Can be easily destroyed in an instant. Higher maintenance than a plastic model.
The Bottom Line:
In this class of metal sheds I can't complain. Mainly because of its price plus functionality. Kind of ugly yet will serve its purpose well beyond the warranty period.
The Arrow GS83 is a small basic shed for holding 1 lawn mower, a leaf blower, a weed eater. With the 4 shelves and tool bracket, you can easily squeeze in more garden tools, chemicals and other supplies with room to spare.
If you're considering a small metal shed and don't live in an area where you experience severe weather (heavy snow-wind-hail-large pine-cones) then I feel the Arrow GS83 will suit your needs. I hope my review not only provides enough information about the shed itself, but if purchased save you a great deal of time and effort constructing it. Just a few basic tools, patients, a helper and simple knowledge are required. If you lack in any of the "4" mentioned it will add time to the project and possibly compromise the integrity of the build. Including a part time helper, construction time is approximately 14 (man hours). Approximately 25% of those hours involve the 2nd assistant. The first 2 involved building the wooden floor frame then leveling it where it would be permanently located. At the end of the review I've added a URL to a photo album which provides several pictures of the finished product.
.:Metal vs Plastic:.
Having owned both I find the metal version to outlast the plastic by possibly a 2:1 margin. They don't rot, break and fade like some of the plastic snap-together ones do. Most certainly plastic sheds have fewer parts, they're easier to assemble and take a fraction of the time to build. Aesthetically speaking the metal shed "look" can be considered an eyesore. Plastic versions tend to take on a miniature "house-like" appearance, however within 2 years of sun exposure they start showing signs of color-fade and oxidation. My older 22 year old Arrow YS47 (Yard Saver 4'x7') is holding up fine but needs the wooden foundation replace. The top is completely faded and starting to show rust but I have no doubts if I leave it alone I'll get 10 more years.
The 8' X 3' Arrow GS83 (Garden Shed 8'x3') was not only a perfect fit, total cost was under $330. The wooden frame foundation was $25 or you can simply bolt the shed down on an existing concrete patio. I did read a few reviews before concluding that the only real problems were not so much product related, but instead how long the project took to assemble. A few had experienced freight damage, but it was minor. I bought mine online at Lowe's then placed it on will-call. While waiting for them to bring it to the front counter, I went outside and measured the base. You'll need a piece of 5/8 exterior grade ply with one rip cut at 37 inches. Also grab (3) 2X4X8 redwood studs or pressure treated material for the (7) floor joists.
To start I laid the 137 lb box on my flat driveway and with a utility knife opened the main top flap. Because I've bought a similar kit before I decided not to follow the instructions where it said to "open this end first". Rather than slide everything out onto the ground it's easier to lift the main panels out 1 or 2 at a time. The instructions were at the bottom in a plastic bag. Read them first and follow every step precisely or expect problems. This shed kit was almost like dumping out a huge 1,000 piece puzzle. I would advise keeping your curious 4 legged pet(s) away from the panels. The slightest mishap will easily dent, bend or damage the thinly gauged powder coated metal. If you see a scratch where it exposes the metal you will need to repair or treat the area (per instructions).
At times you'll call them "destructions" because they can be very confusing. There are several instances when you're simply better off looking at the picture and ignoring what they say. That worked for me anyway. On the plus side all the panels and brackets are numbered and because where the holes are located can fit only in one place. The hardware included in the kit consists of very small and numerous screws, nuts, bolts and plastic washers. Get yourself a carpenter's apron to hold the fasteners. The "helper" can speed things up by inserting the bolts and screws through the hundreds of little plastic washers. The detail in the pictures just isn't always what you expect. It's there but you really have to pay attention to the small "pin-holes". Again, there is only one way these parts will fit.
It's a little like a jigsaw puzzle except with laser-cut precision metal panels with razor sharp corners and edges. Have the first-aid kit on hand and clean off the blood before it cakes on. I had only a couple mis-fits (mishaps) and the wound on my forehead has healed completely. I actually bumped into the top right plastic corner and it too was rather sharp. Well there were (2) parts that were slightly defective. I had to drill a new hole on a top left panel (#9879) and the left door-jam (#9893). These little problems were the only real frustrations that probably added an hour to the total time. I did call the customer service department but they want you to call during their "normal" business hours: M-F 8:30-4:30. I normally perform my homeowner projects on the weekends so no help from them. Since it was going to rain the next day I had to improvised and drilled 2 new holes. No big deal...
.:On line assembly video:.
Not really a live video but a very helpful (html) installation assistant in both English and Spanish. I included the link below.
Other than having as flat and level surface as possible I'll add a few important tips you should certainly benefit from. After completing the metal floor frame rails and begin assembling the side panels, it's not necessary to fully tighten each screw or bolt. Get all the panels and brackets on with all the screws ¾ of the way in. Now make sure things are square then fully tighten. The same goes for the roof panels. Last thing to do (step 20) was hang the doors. I was fortunate the opening was almost perfectly square or within 1/8 inch. When the doors shut together and line up, that's it. Now it's time to break out the Champagne but don't Christen the shed with the bottle.
1) A cordless screw-gun with an adjustable clutch is a must. This will avoid over tightening and "squishing" the plastic washers to where they will not seal out water. The #6 magnetic Phillips bit is another highly recommended tool.
2) Allow enough working space for assembling parts before they're installed on the shed.
3) Avoid bad weather, especially a windy day.
4) Once you start assembling the side panels, allow 1 uninterrupted hour in connecting them. Otherwise leaving them unsupported or even propped, they are susceptible to collapse.
5) The placement of your shed is an important factor. A falling tree limb could crush this shed like stomping on an aluminum can.
6) Small and light weight you can build it then carry it to its permanent location.
1. Compared to a plastic shed the GS83 is less money for storage space based on cost per cubic ft.
2. Will possibly outlast a plastic model 2:1
3. If bolted to a wooden framed foundation, the GS83 can be moved or relocated without disassembling.
4. No missing parts or hardware. Plenty of extra screws, bolts, nuts and washers to spare.
1. Can be easily dented or damaged.
2. Long and tedious assembly time with included instructions being somewhat confusing.
3. Some parts simply would not fit
4. Compared to a plastic shed the GS83 is higher maintenance. Particularly keeping leaves off the roof top.
Size: 8'x 3' (outside dimension) Cardboard container: 72"x34"x6"
Storage Area: Sq Ft: 23' Cu Ft: 122'
Interior Dimensions Width: 94 1/8" Depth: 35 3/16" Ht: 64 7/16"
Wall Height: 62"
Door Opening: Width: 50 1/4" Height: 59 3/4"
Shipping Wt (lbs): 140
Material: galvanized steel
The Arrow website can give you technical data, specifications and warranty details.
http://www.sheds.com/ & http://www.sheds.com/awarranties.htm
Owner's manual and assembly instructions:
I found this after I built the shed: http://www.sheds.com/assembly/installation.html
That video makes it looks so easy!
For pictures of our completed shed please visit my photo gallery: