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I’ve seen Tuff Sheds offered for sale at Home Depot for years now.
So I decided to check them out when it was time to replace the 20-year-old metal shed that was rusting away in my backyard.
I couldn’t be more pleased with my new Tuff Shed. It has improved the appearance of my backyard and serves me well as an attractive, organized workshop!
Best of all, I bought this Tuff Shed at a nearby location of Home Depot as an ex-model that spent more than a year as a display in the store’s parking lot. It was offered for a great discount — which amounted to about $1,000 off the price of buying the same model brand new.
So, yes, I received a discount on the new shed I’m reviewing here. But, again, that’s only because it was a parking lot model. Nobody involved with Tuff Shed or Home Depot knew that I’m a blogger and journalist. Nor did they know that I had planned to review my new shed. So, now that I’ve said all of that, let me get on with my Tuff Shed review.
Why I Decided To Buy A New Wood Shed
When I bought my house a couple years ago, there were only a few things I had planned on remodeling or changing in the foreseeable future:
- Moving the stove.
- Adding a door under the carport for the laundry area in the adjacent utility room.
- Converting the shower in my only bathroom to a bathtub.
- Removing an old shed and replacing it with a more attractive, roomier shed with more storage and work space.
I had been casually shopping around for sheds since I bought my house — and I took note of what I was finding on the marketplace.
I’m a frequent shopper of Lowe’s and Home Depot — both have stores within a 10-minute drive of my home. I love both of these big-box home improvement stores. And they both offer a tantalizing line of wood sheds.
Both shed manufacturers have a wide variety of configurations — including standard, semi-custom, and custom wood sheds.
What About Metal And Plastic Sheds?
I was sort of on the fence about what type of shed to buy and where to buy it from.
I even went shopping at local shed companies — to check out their various models and options.
So, I was pretty much intent on buying a wood shed. But, just for good measure, I did check out metal sheds and plastic sheds, too:
- Unfortunately, metal sheds can rust — like my existing one did. And I didn’t want another rusty metal shed on my hands in a few years.
- I once owned a small plastic shed. It’s still standing after nearly 20 years, now in my sister and brother-in-law’s yard. It’s served both me and now my sister and her husband well — but they’re ready to replace it. The plastic shed’s paneling is beginning to warp, allowing water inside the shed.
Tuff Shed vs. Heartland Shed (Home Depot vs. Lowes Sheds)
Once I decided to buy a new wood shed, I spent a lot of time comparing the products from Tuff Shed at Home Depot and Heartland Sheds at Lowe’s.
Both manufacturers seem to offer some excellent wood sheds. But the more I shopped around, the more I realized that Tuff Shed was the right one for me.
As a Florida homeowner living within 20 miles of the shore, I wanted to make sure I have a shed that will not only stand up to heat, but also water. And in Central Florida, we get a lot of wind — from hurricanes and thunderstorms in the summer and cold fronts in the fall, winter, and spring.
In my Tuff Shed review that follows, I’m including some important comparisons between Heartland Sheds from Lowe’s and Tuff Sheds from Home Depot.
My Tuff Shed Review Comparing Tuff Shed vs. Heartland Shed
The Foundation: Tuff Shed vs. Heartland Shed
We don’t really deal with any snow in Florida, except for very rare occasions. So snow loads on the roof weren’t a concern for me. But we do receive plenty of rain. And moisture isn’t very friendly to wood structures.
That was the first thing I had noticed between Tuff Sheds and Heartland Sheds… While both are made from wood, their foundations are different:
- Lowes Heartland Sheds have a wood foundation.
- Home Depot Tuff Sheds are made with a galvanized steel framework.
Now, it’s important to note that Heartland Sheds states their wood foundations are treated against bugs and moisture. And I totally believe they are.
But I felt more confident having a metal foundation. Maybe if I was buying a shed for a home in New England, I’d be less concerned. But Florida has not only rain, but also termites. So the galvanized metal foundation gives me more peace of mind.
Floors And Walls: Heartland Sheds vs. Tuff Shed
For me, Tuff Shed was already leading the decision with the galvanized steel foundation. But I was further sold when I compared the specs regarding the floors and walls!
The floors in both the Tuff Sheds and the Heartland Sheds seem roughly equivalent to me.
But I noticed a big difference in the construction of the walls:
- Heartland Sheds places their studs 24 inches apart in the models I looked at.
- Tuff Shed spaces their studs just 16 inches apart.
I presume that both shed manufacturers are compliant with local wind codes, but I felt more comfortable having a shed with more closely spaced studs. Generally, the closer the studs, the more durable the structure.
It’s important to note that both Home Depot Tuff Shed and Lowes Heartland Sheds use 2×4″ studs, which are much more substantial than the 2×3″ studs I saw in other sheds.
Roof: Tuff Shed vs. Heartland Shed
There are differences between Home Depot Tuff Shed roofs and Lowes Heartland Shed roofs, as well:
- Tuff Shed models come with the roof and shingles installed.
- Heartland Sheds requires you to buy the shingles or other exterior roofing finish materials separately.
Exterior Finish: Heartland Sheds vs. Tuff Shed
I’ll hand it to both Tuff Shed and Heartland Sheds… Both companies make some nice-looking wood sheds!
Really, I didn’t have a preference when it came to the exterior aspects between the two manufacturers. I would’ve felt proud to own either a Tuff Shed or Heartland Shed on the merits of their exterior.
Both shed companies use engineered wood product and durable siding or other finishing materials to help keep bugs, moisture, and other nasties out.
And Tuff Shed and Heartland Sheds offer a ton of exterior options to make your shed look just the way you want it to.
The options include different styles of:
- Windows and window shutters
- Siding options
All of these options give you plenty of opportunity to match your shed to the appearance of your home and landscaping!
Cost: Tuff Shed vs. Heartland Sheds
OK, this is where Home Depot Tuff Shed and Lowes Heartland Sheds differ quite a bit.
Heartland Sheds are generally less expensive to buy than Tuff Sheds.
The price difference primarily comes from the fact that:
- Tuff Sheds are installed or delivered onsite by the Tuff Shed team or approved local contractors — and your shed is fully usable the same day.
- Heartland Sheds can be built either as a do-it-yourself project or professionally installed. So, if you’re handy and have some free time, maybe you could install your own Heartland Shed over the course of a few weekends.
Pricing varies from model to model between Tuff Shed and Heartland Sheds. It seemed to me that the price of a Tuff Shed installed was about 30% more than an equivalent Heartland Shed bought as a DIY kit. (Don’t forget, you also have to buy the roof shingles for the Heartland Shed separately. However, buying shingles for your Heartland Shed isn’t necessarily expensive.)
If you want a fun do-it-yourself project, you can probably build a Heartland Shed for a lot less money than the cost of buying a Tuff Shed and having it installed.
However, if you’re tight on time like I am and intend to have your Heartland Shed professionally installed onsite, the cost savings for the Heartland Shed pretty much disappears.
You’ll pay a separate price to have your Heartland Shed professionally installed — and that cost can easily run into the hundreds of dollars or more, depending on the model.
What The Tuff Shed Installation Process Is Like
Remember, I bought a fully built display model — so I didn’t have my Tuff Shed built onsite. It was delivered and installed in one piece.
So, my Tuff Shed review here isn’t based on having the company build a shed onsite. However, the crew that came to install my shed is the same team that builds Tuff Sheds from scratch. (I know this because I spoke with the Tuff Shed crew who came to my home, and they told me they also personally build Tuff Sheds.)
My experience with the Tuff Shed team was terrific from start to finish. The sales rep for my area answered my calls and texts promptly and was courteous in answering all of my questions.
I didn’t know what to expect with the Tuff Shed installation team — but they, too, were a joy to work with.
The two-person crew was extremely professional. One of the two guys, an individual who had been working for Tuff Shed for several years, volunteered all kinds of maintenance and care advice to me. He told me exactly how to keep my shed in good working order for many years to come.
Tuff Shed Maintenance Tips
Here are a few of the tips that the Tuff Shed installation guy shared with me:
- Paint your wood Tuff Shed every few years – to help keep the exterior in attractive condition.
- Keep mulch and other landscaping materials away from the under lip of the wood siding — to reduce wood rot.
- Avoid abutting landscaping materials that might allow water to ricochet back up and under the siding — again, water getting under the wood siding could encourage rot development.
- Keep large plants farther away from the foundation to keep roots from growing up under your Tuff shed — however, ground plantings around the shed are okay.
- Don’t apply any adhesive flooring inside your shed — it could void the warranty.
NOTE: I did apply new floor paint in my Tuff Shed to freshen up the interior of this former floor model. However, I called my Tuff Shed sales rep before doing so — to make sure I was using paint that doesn’t void the multi-year warranty with my shed. I recommend you consult your Tuff Shed rep for the same advice to avoid having any problems down the road with a voided warranty.
Do You Need A Permit To Put Up A Tuff Shed?
At 120 square feet, my 10’x12′ TR-700 Tuff Shed is smaller than the 150-square-foot threshold for needing a permit to install a shed in my community.
However, many communities do require a permit for building a shed of any size or material. So, I recommend that you call your municipality’s zoning and permitting department to make sure you have the necessary legal clearances to build a shed at your home.
Check with your neighborhood’s codes, too — to make sure that your new shed will be in compliance with any applicable homeowners association (HOA) rules.
What My New Wood Tuff Shed Is Like
In case you’re wondering if Tuff Sheds are good and if I’d get one again knowing what I know now… My answer is YES!
My new Tuff Shed is wonderful to own and a joy to use.
I moved in virtually everything from my old metal shed right away. Everything fits perfectly in my new wood Tuff shed — the storage and organization inside is awesome.
One of the biggest improvements for me is that I have so much more head room inside the Tuff Shed:
- My old shed is about 6 feet tall at its center — my height exactly. Its side walls are only about 5 feet tall, so I’ve had to do a lot of crouching to get around on the inside of my old shed.
- My new Tuff Shed has a 6’2″ door, 7-foot-tall side walls, and a roof peak over 9 feet tall — so it’s just the right size for me.
I plan to have a licensed electrician install lighting and a power outlet inside my Tuff Shed — so I can use it as a fully functional workshop. I love carpentry and hope to make all kinds of things in my new shed!
I’ve had no problems at all with my new Tuff Shed.
Several storms have passed through and not a drop of rain has dripped inside. The inside of the shed smells like wood — there’s no mustiness or mold. And that’s a very good thing!
Plus, the window on my shed really brings in a lot of beautiful daylight.
Even with the discount, my Tuff Shed was a significant 4-figure investment. But it’s one I’m very glad I made. I fully expect my new wood shed to last me for decades. Who knows? Maybe even my grandkids will step foot in it someday!
Tuff Sheds In The News
Around the time I had begun shopping around for a new shed — right after I bought my home — I saw a story in the news about Tuff Sheds (Don’t worry… It was good news!)
The city of Oakland, California had bought dozens and dozens of Tuff Sheds in order to construct a community of tiny homes, providing temporary housing for the homeless.
And The Office actor Angela Kinsey took to social media with her personal Tuff Shed haven known as the “That’s What She Shed.” (You have to know The Office, which ran on NBC from 2005 to 2013, to get this hilarious inside joke!)
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I’m a roller coaster junkie, a weather enthusiast, a frequent traveler, and a numismatist. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG). I’ve also been studying meteorology and watching weather patterns for years. I enjoy sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about coins, weather, travel, health, food, and living green… on a budget. I work from home full-time as a journalist, reporter, and author.