I decided to build my own shed because I wanted good quality at an affordable price. I wanted a shed that would resist the weather and elements, that would be difficult for thieves or vandals to break into, and that would be still standing in fifty years time... I wanted a shed I could pass onto future generations!
The shed is on my allotment, at a site not far from my home. I have a large plot that takes a lot of work, but it has always been my intention that the allotment be far more than just somewhere to grow food. My family and friends socialise there, cook by fire there, and the kids have even camped there. So much activity on the plot means I need a lot of storage space, and perhaps just slightly better facilities than the average weekend gardener.
I salvaged as many of the materials as possible. I reused timber, decking boards, rafters, polycarbonate sheeting, pallet material, a garage door and tin sheet material, all salvaged, mainly items I found in skips. Collecting this material was a major undertaking, as was getting it all to my allotment!
The main shed used some bought timber, but the two annexes though are 100% upcycled from scrap material.
The main shed was built first. The base was made from recycled bricks with concrete between and over them. I then constructed the frames on the flat before raising them into position and bolting them together. The door was a garage door that bolted into the floor. I used self-gripping bolts that bite into the concrete and lock in place.
Once the frame was built, the wall panels were bolted into place. I used 11mm OSB boards and these were painted using waterproof outdoor paint to protect it from the elements.
I constructed the roof with another frame, with a 2ft overhang. It was
built on the ground, lifted into position, then covered with boards then with roofing felt.
The first annex, to the right of the main shed, was constructed by building an H frame, buried into the ground in buckets full of concrete. This makes it secure, rot-resistant, and also helped to reduce the amount of concrete needed. I had been donated some hardwood garden furniture - the shed was literally built around it. The walls were made from a mixture of recycled pallet wood from coper tube packing and recycled decking. Three polycarbonate sheets were used to allow diffused light into the room. The wood was then painted and the recycled tin sheets were screwed to the roof.
The shed on the left, used mainly for storage, was built in largely the same way, except that, because it is on the edge of a steep bank down to a stream, I had to make a trench filled with concrete to ensure that the shed was properly secure.The walls and roof was constructed from the metal sheeting. I struggled to bend the sheeting round the corners but did manage it with a little sweat and a 4 pound hammer.
The finished sheds look great, and we have mod cons inside too. There is lighting in the sheds - in the 'living' shed with furniture, this is LED strip lights, and 12v CFLs in the other two. There is also a radio that runs off 12v, with an 80w solar panel on the roof providing the power to a 100amp-hour battery.
We love our sheds and they have become a much-loved living area at our allotment. While some sheds are purely functional storage units, ours is a home from home, made all the cosier by the fact that I made it myself - and that so much of it used recycled resources!