Welcome to my allotment shed build. Previously we had a large pigeon loft built on our allotment plot which was built on a hill of clay and rocks, but after standing for over 30 years it was falling apart. Having previously housed racing pigeons, it was in need of a good clean out and when we took the plot on, we had only stored things inside, it was a mess.
In August 2020 in the middle of COVID lockdown I decided to renovate the huge shed with the help of my dad. The walls were all pulled down and pallets were used to create the new stronger structure (hence the name Buckingham Pallets). A set of 10 windows were sourced from a friend who was renovating a house and these were saved from landfill. The door was donated by another friend who again was upgrading. Over the last couple of years I have taken inspiration and created what you see today, the projects have been challenging, but the space has allowed me to run free with it and created some fantastic work through my imagination.
I often get comments to say I should have been an interior designer. I’ll take that! The shed has been created as a retreat for the family, somewhere for us to shelter from the rain, somewhere for us to work, and somewhere for us to forget about the outside world and relax. The kids love it, and it will be around for many years to come.
The build has come in at around £1100 which has been achieved by using mostly recycled materials.
One off 'secret bookshelf door' which accesses the toilet. This was shared in the national press in December 2021 - https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10335999/DIY-loving-father-converts-old-pigeon-shed-stylish-man-cave-James-bond-style-bookcase.html.
It’s a hand built book case with a simple wire and latch on the back which is attached to the book. The bottom half of the book pages were removed to make way for a block of mdf.
One off murphy table - I wanted space for us all to be able to sit and eat, and for the kids to be able to study but I didnt want it to take up too much space. A hidden table in the wall was a project that would give us the useable space as and when we needed it. The to do list is a little feature on this, and my youngest daughter decided to create a pretty pattern on the wall behind where the table pulls down. 2 hinges fasten the table to the wall.
One off murphy bed hidden in the wall. I'd had lots of comments about the shed and one said all you need now is a Bed in it and it's finished, good luck with that! I took it on as a challenge, but it also means during a hard day working on the allotment, if anyone needs a nap there's either a comfy settee or the bed. The mattress and springs are from an old travel Z bed which was damaged.
Beano comic wall – Again I wanted to do something different and I loved the Beano as a kid and always had an annual membership to the club. The comics were in my mam and dad’s loft and decided that they had to be part of the build so I took some of my favourite characters and stories and applied them to an mdf wall using double sided sticky tape.
Secret cubby hole – This was again just an idea to build a secret cubby hole into the wall between the fire and the toilet. It’s a frame to make a drawer inside the pallet, and has the bottle opener on the outside as a handle.
Wood burner – This was a present from my wife for Christmas 2020 just after the build started. I had to do loads of research before fitting it to make sure there were no fire risks. I’ve created a write up on how to do this which a number of allotment users have created to build their own safely. The fireproof board behind was again free from marketplace, the corrugated metal was painted black with heat paint, and the hearth was a large piece of marble which we had to cut down and then added loose slate chippings on top to give a bit of character. The uprights are old sleepers cut and cleaned up.
Branch ceiling – In 2022 we had a storm which took down a tree close top our plot, I wanted something different for the ceiling in the main seating area so decided to use some of the branches and add in some fairy lights which look fantastic and make a feature of the ceiling. Other branches were used to make a feature piece on the wall too.
Recycled materials. One thing about renovating something this size is always the thought of cost, but I love to recycle and upcycle, so I had to find as many materials as I could either free of cheap as possible. The only items purchased new were the roofing panels from Onduline, and then the cladding for the outside as I wanted something that was modern, but will also stand the test of time, these were the bulk of the £1200 budget used to build the shed.
Pallets were used to create the main frame of the building, around 30 were used for the main structure, with another8 used outside for the decking support.
3 types of laminate are fitted to the shed, 2 on the floor and also one on the kitchen wall, these were all picked up for free off marketplace and were simple and easy to fit, and are also easy to keep clean.
Tiled toilet wall – The tiles were taken from a skip (with permission) and with one of my first real tiling jobs were applied to the walls. A lot of people said with being a wooden wall they wouldn’t stay up, but a couple of years on they are still attached
- Tiled kitchen floor – I wanted something easy to clean which made the kitchen area stand out and look different (just like the grey laminate flooring does) from the rest of the building. I found a pack of tiles in a skip undamaged (again permission asked) and then found another pack of them on marketplace 2 weeks later for £20, they should have been around £40 a pack to buy new!
- Artificial grass which was free was used to make a feature on one of the walls, and then became a feature throughout making a rug, flooring for the toilet and also toppers for seats. It breaks up all the wood in the building and looks great too.
- Blackboard wall, this has been drawn on by my kids and has gone through a couple of changes, the idea is to use this to look after to do lists in the shed, but also to understand our plot layout and remember what is planted where
- Cable reel clock and table top. I’ve always wanted to build something using a cable reel, and the clock again is another one off. It’s 1m wide, and has each individual number created with black screws to create a beautiful and simple clock. The other end of the spool was used to create the table top instead of the old horrible mdf top that it had, this table now store wood for the log burner.
-The Monster can wall is the latest addition and has been created to house the solar panel build. This will have a 100w panel, solar charge controller, and will also have a Bluetooth car cd player and some car speakers as I always love listening to music when I’m at the allotment working.
- When we pulled down the main structure of the Pigeon Loft there was a lot of green mesh panels to cover the windows to allow ventilation but to stop the birds getting out. These have been painted with blackboard paint and used throughout the build as features.
- Painting above wood burner. This was found as part of the old platform (now new decking) that was around the front of the building. It’s mounted on old board and was covered in shed felt and bitumen paint, It’s a picture of a young boy stood next to a shed door which has a spade leant up against it, I think its great and had to keep this in the final build.
- The kitchen unit’s were donated by a friend who was getting new, and the sink was purchased for £30 with an old tap that my dad has had in the garage for years. I made a panel for the gap at the bottom that tied in with the murphy table.
I've just started planning a solar build, more will come soon and no doubt the shed will have more projects to come as it will never be truly finished
There's a lot of ideas and thought gone into the build to include some of my life and my passions, but also to make the whole shed have a relaxed and natural feeling bringing together some materials which you wouldn't always see in interior design, never mind in an allotment shed!
If you want to see more pictures please look at my Instagram page - https://www.instagram.com/our_allotment_project/