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The Open Door

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  • More than £500


The Open Door

In the beginning was the wood

Inspired by the Cuprinol Shed of the Year Competition, what started off as a bit of banter over a lazy Sunday pub lunch about what to do with our two old garden sheds, quickly turned into a project to salvage them into one with a bar, where friends and family could get together over a few sherbets at the end of the working week. However, the subsequent site survey in the cold light of day soon revealed the reality of the materials that we intended to work with.

A lot of the shed wood was really rotten and wouldn't take the surgery we had planned for it so we came up with a cunning plan B that would make use of the waste materials that were being produced from refurbishment work that was going on in our house at the time. This included 10 pine doors, their frames and architrave along with a good number of house bricks. It soon become apparent that the organic pub shed we were creating would be mostly made of upcycled doors rather than the two original sheds. The project was also growing in size.

If you build it, materials will come

We collected other doors and materials via freecycle sites, a local salvage yard and a council project that gives away wood and pallets that had been salvaged from the local refuse tip. Friends also donated unwanted bits of wood and were pleased to see it being used in a project that they would get the benefit of once completed. Some also came around and helped in the shed's construction when extra or expert hands were needed. The total construction time (including the outside seated area and landscaping) was around four months and was done mostly during the summer evenings after work and at the weekends.

Whats in a name...?

When it came to naming our wonderful wooden wedge of joy, we opted for The Open Doorto reflect both its construction and that we wanted it to be a friendly and welcoming place for those who visited it. Other names we contemplated were The Door, A Jar (geddit?), The Wooden Wedge and, Montys Last Stand (more on Monty in a bit).

It aint what you do its the way that you do it (or not)

There were never any plans and that probably shows! We all have busy lives and stuck to the Pereto Principle (80/20) to focus on getting things done. Our pub shed is not pretty in places but it is up and doing what it is supposed to do!

Unleash the quirky magnet of joy

The funny thing about our pub shed is that it seems to act as a magnet for the unusual (some people might call it old tut). Since opening the Open Door, all sorts of interesting items have arrived including a Zulu shield, a framed picture of an ostrich, a loudspeaker from a nuclear bunker that would have announced a nuclear attack, a piece of volcanic glass from Mount Kilimanjaro and a picture in acrylics of Princess Diana in a sailors outfit.

Monty the rat; dry as a desert

Perhaps the most unusual item in our pub shed is Monty. Monty is the pubs piece of pseudo-taxidermy. He was found under one of the old shed bases, all dried out and crispy. He was popped into an old pickle jar and is now the shed's mascot, monitoring proceedings and keeping order from his shelf high up in the corner.

Time please

The Open Door was such a fun thing to build. What started off as a small project evolved into something much bigger and organic than we ever thought possible. Our pub shed makes people smile when they see it and has created the backdrop for some amazing and memorable evenings with family and friends. Who could have imagined that a scrap wood building in a corner of the garden could achieve this?


Will, Jane, Ben and Monty
The Open Door

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