Welcome to my shed, affectionately known as The SHED. It was an idea born out of the need for more space for our family as they grow and the desire to treat myself to something nice for my 40th Birthday.
Now complete this really is a multipurpose space. Its got a bar area (which has been great during lockdown when the pubs have been closed). Its a great family games room with pool table, dart board, table tennis table (which fits on top of the pool table), all the families favourite board games and a big screen TV with Sky and a games console. Oh and of course it has Wi-Fi&the first thing any teenager with a smart phone needs.
The shed has also served as somewhere to work from home during the various lockdowns to avoid everyone being on top of each other in the house.
Finally, it also serves as a workout space while the gyms were closed during lockdown.
The Shed is fully insulated with electric heating so is comfortable to use even in the depths of winter and on a Saturday night it is a much shorter walk home after a few beers than our local pub was!
We also love the way the SHED looks, I spent a lot of time debating what would look good at the bottom of the garden, its a prominent feature and I wanted something that looked like a designer building, while being made from honest materials that were cost effective and were something I could work with myself. The aim was always that this would be something I built myself with the minimum of help, and in the end the lockdown made sure I didnt have a whole lot of choice in that!
There are so many things I love about the SHED and very little I would change if I built it again. 6 months on from when it was finally finished my favourite part is still how it looks when viewed from the house, the front is made of cheap, easy to find materials, mainly scaffolding boards, but the effect that has been created looks great. It looks fantastic in the morning sun when the warmth of the wood really glows but it looks equally great at night when the external down lighters pick up the detail of the way the boards are stacked alternatively.
When I tell people I spent the first lockdown building a shed at the bottom of my garden I think they imagine somewhere I keep my lawn mower, the reality couldnt be further from that! It was always the plan to hold a party in there for my 40th Birthday, sadly that didnt happen due to the pandemic, but once things improve and restrictions are lifted the plan will be to make up for lost time catching up and partying with friends and family.
The shed build site was an area at the bottom of our garden that was occupied by a kids swing and trampoline. As the kids got older (now both at secondary school) they were getting to an age where games consoles, TVs and iPads appealed more than anything that involves going outside.
Unfortunately the build site sloped front to back and side to side so the first phase of the build was spent digging, and with no access for a mini digger it was all done by hand. The soil in our garden is solid clay and the site was criss-crossed with more tree routes than I care to remember, some bigger than my arm! I have to admit, there were times when I was skidding around in a clay mud bath with an aching back that the initial idea no longer seemed like a good one!
The build itself coincided with the start of the first national lockdown, there was good and bad in this. Working from home gave me more time and a spell of great weather helped no end, but it did make sourcing materials more difficult.
Im not a builder but am a keen DIYer and designed the shed so that I could do all of the work myself. In the end I managed to get some help from close family members (when the lockdowns allowed) and the only thing we didnt do ourselves was the plastering.
I wanted the front of the SHED to look great, the last thing I wanted to look out of my house and see was something I didnt like the look of. Id love to have clad the building in Western Red Cedar but the cost was way outside of the budget. The cheaper alternative was to use scaffolding boards which give a good chunky look. The only problem was what to finish and protect them with. After a bit of experimenting a used a combination of Cuprinol decking oil and Cuprinold Ducksback fence paint. The combination looks great with the warmth of the wood against the modern look of the dark grey.
Loads of parts of the shed were sourced second hand, including the doors and windows which came from a local house that was having them removed for an extension. Inside there are more custom made features up-cycled from second hand materials. The back feature wall has a large mirror (which started life as a door on a sliding wardrobe), surrounded by more scaffolding board. The bar is also made from scaffolding boards and the table uses scaffolding tubes as the legs. Even the photo frames were made from scaffolding board off cuts.