Archive for July 17th, 2012

17th July
written by Dom

I know I’ve been banging on about making plans for the shed since forever, but I’ve finally got round to finishing "SHËD: Build your own DIY Garden Office for less than £2500". Find out more at

I started kicking around with the Google sketchup model that I started off with a couple of months ago, but figured that if it was going to be any use then it needed to:

  1. Be to scale
  2. Show the actual construction, rather than just the finished box

Unfortunately, sketchup isn’t a great way to build a model that actually shows the construction of this building. I kept getting about two thirds of the way through and running into the free version’s polygon limit. I committed myself to buying the Pro version only to find out that it would crash as I tried to build the various construction materials into different layers…

I had this idea that I wanted it to look like an “Ikea” plan, and loved Sketchup’s “sketchy” rendering, but the application itself wasn’t really up to the job. After various to-ings and fro-ings to architects and people with more powerful CAD packages (which I didn’t understand) I ended up with a series of fixed models which I could bring back into Sketchup in order to render – it’s less than ideal, as I’d like to offer you guys a model to download, so you can see how it all fits together… However getting the model right was stopping me from writing the plans, which is what people wanted…

In the end I discovered the concept of “Lean Publishing” – a method whereby I can self-publish my book and offer it for sale, while it’s still in its draft form. The book will (one day) be finished – to the point where I can put “THE END” at the end, but for now, it offers an illustrated set of walk-through instructions to build the shed you see on these pages. The plan is to build in feedback via a forum () so that readers/builders can ask questions or correct mistakes as they go along, making for a collaborative production and hopefully a better end product.

You can buy the book at Where you can also downlaod a “preview” version to check I’m offering what I say I am!