The whole shed is upcycled, with re-cycled bricks for the floor, corrugated iron roof and timber roof trusses. The 'Bottle and Daub!' insulation for the walls was created with used pallets and empty wine bottles.(Friends provided a regular top up to our own dwindling empty botle store!).Clay earth was dug from the garden and mixed with straw and newspaper renders for the wall covering along with a lighter lime mix for the plastering. All wooden decking ,veranda, windows and doors were salvaged from skips and other projects sourced locally.
The original building had been an agricultural store at some time in the past. It had an earth floor,crumbling brick work, rotten timber and an iron roof and was submerged under shrubs and an overgrown clematis,which almost hid it from view. After deciding not to 'get rid of it' plans were put in motion of how to renovate and create a workeable 'Garden Room' for very little money. The ceiling height was too low and the first job, after clearing away all the shrubs etc was to raise the roof and replace the rotten trusses, with salvaged timber from a fire damaged house in our village. Some of the tin roof was salvageable and more tin was sourced from a local retired small holder. Once the roof was on we borrowed a small digger from a neighbour and 'dug out' the earth floor to a reasonable depth for good head height. After buying bricks from a salvage yard, along with using up bricks from other projects, we laid the brick floor on sand.( The bricks were our greatest cost at £1000, although they are local Cambridge whites salvaged from a nearby commercial yard) We considered a straw bale construction and a rammed cob construction to repair and insulate the existing crumbling brickwalls and fill in the gaps. This however needed a 're-think' as straw bales would have considerably reduced the size of the building and we could not source enough clay earth from our garden, without being left with massive holes! As we had a large number of pallets and rather a large empty 'wine bottle' store we came up with the idea of creating our own wattle and daub using these materials along with clay earth, newspaper and straw. Although we have purchased some lighting we have re-cycled lights from our own 'junk materials', along with old Christmas lights with the odd bulb missing. Windows and doors were salvaged from skips and previous rennovation projects along with the wooden decking and veranda. We use 'The Red Shed' as it is now called as a studio, 'party and entertaining shed' and a meeting place and workshop, brewing home made cider. Heat for the evenings and winter time is provided by a repaired wood stove recycled from our original cottage.
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