The Shed

6th September
2009
written by Dom
You can actually watch the building become slicker as you nail each board on!

You can actually watch the building become slicker as you nail each board on!

Rain stopped play unfortunately just as I was getting into the groove this afternoon. Can’t believe it’s my building under there! So glad I decided to go with the cedar now – shiplap would never have looked this slick. The wood is so easy to work and gives such a clean, sharp finish it’s untrue.

You can just see underneath the cladding next to the sliding door how I’ve “built out” the battening on the front of the shed to give a more dramatic front to the building. The cedar cuts like butter and offers such lovely smooth lines that I very quickly saw I could get the dramatic lines of the “Ecospace” studio quite simply by building additional depth into the front of the design…

I simply added another CLS batten underneath, allowing the cladding to “stick out”, making both the “step” at the end of the sliding door and the entrance to the roller shutter more defined, by adding more depth.

Am considering cedar cladding my volvo – it’s boxy enough…

1st September
2009
written by Dom

Tell me what you think

Tell me what you think


Realised that last comment mightn’t make sense without seeing the problem itself – here it is. The problem is that the felt at the top (and back) of the roof isn’t long enough for the straight, horizontal front-to-back solution I think I’d prefer… I’d welcome any opinions you may have.

1st September
2009
written by Dom

Cedar cladding arrived today while I was at work. My son answered the door but they wouldn’t help him carry it through to the back yard (Boo! you know who you are!) So my wife and family were effectively trapped by the 4.8m long planks which stretched literally from the front door to the back door of my house.

Each plank is 4.8m long - that should do it

Each plank is 4.8m long - trapped the dog in the house!

How shiny and smooth is that?

How shiny and smooth is that?

If you think (like me) that it looks pretty damn lovely, you should smell it! Can’t wait to fit it (although it will be the weekend before I get the chance). In the meantime I’ve got to decide how to finish the sides and back of the roof… In my hurry to lay the felt I didn’t leave enough overlap to cut it horizontally and maintain a clean line from front-to-back so debating whether to lay more felt on top or cut it diagonally, trying to maintain an even height from front-to-back. What do you think?

29th August
2009
written by Dom

Lovely warm glow off the walls now

Lovely warm glow off the walls now


Picked up some cheapo varnish from B&Q – they’re selling Sadolin varnish (in certain colours) at half price – so the shed is now “light oak” rather than the clear I was going for, but I saved myself £20 so that’s got to be a good thing. One thing I’m finding is it’s a real pain cutting accurately through the plywood/kingspan sandwich – I bought a reciprocating saw (one of those “alligator” jobs) – but the blade bends so it’s impossible to cut straight and guarantee where the blade’s going to pop out the other side. I’d noticed this issue when cutting the rooflight (where I was holding the saw vertically) – so I didn’t even try when cutting the window. So I had to resort to measuring the hole on the inside and trying to match it up on the outside – measured it FOUR times and it still wasn’t bang on… Came across one of those lovely moments where I had to bodge and the bodge was better than the original idea (always nice)…
I’d measured the double glazed unit and accounted for the width of the frame (then checked, and double checked), cut the holes in the walls, painstakingly spirit-levelling and adjusting as I went… Fitted the frame and of course, the window didn’t fit – by almost a whole half inch all round – How does that happen?
I’d mitred all the frame up, so I couldn’t redo it so I dug out the power planer and cut a 5mm rebate 2½ inches into the frame all round. Once I married the window up it fit so snugly it’s like I’d designed it that way… I love it when a plan comes together!

26th August
2009
written by Dom

Just finished boxing in the roof-light (pics to follow). Purchased £400 odd worth of top quality t&g cedar planking to finish the exterior (due to be delivered in 5 days or so, a new belt sander (£80 worth for £15!) and some varnish to finish out the office.
The job is coming to a close – which is at the same time wonderful and slightly poignant. It’s cost me more than a grand – so in one way I guess I’ve failed (I haven’t done the sums yet, but I reckon it’s getting dangerously close to double the original haphazard valuation) but I still feel I’ve done well – after all I have a truly great space, which does everything I want – looks to me like a grand design, is warm/cool and watertight, takes up no more room than my old shed, offers an office as well as a useable storage space for all the shit that’s been clogging up my house for so long- yet has cost me less than a twelfth of the price of my starting inspiration – the Ecospace Garden Studio.
What I suppose I’ve learnt is that those tossers on Grand Designs aren’t perhaps as objectionable as I first thought – when you have a dream of something it doesn’t matter how tight you are;- you will compromise the budget to make it good – when you’ve invested so much time, the money becomes less important than making it as good as you can.
While I was on holiday in Cornwall last week I hooked up with a very old friend who’s been living rough in an old stables for five years while waiting for the planning permission to come through – it kinda put my little project into context, yet made me proud of what I’ve managed to do in what has been (by my reckoning) about a month’s solid work.
I’m trying to convince my friend that his conversion might make a viable next feature for One Grand Designs – in the meantime I do have some other projects bubbling around – this blog has introduced me to the Arduino and Hackspace communities in Liverpool, and I still have my electric motorbike to finish (now that I actually have a shed to work on it in) – If you have any ideas for future projects, are contemplating your own “one grand design” or have any questions – please get in touch – I’ll make sure to feature them here.

15th August
2009
written by Dom
That looks better - it's been looking like a half finished tailored suit for weeks

That looks better - it's been looking like a half finished tailored suit for weeks

Also managed to utterly smash my thumbnail by hitting it rather hard with a large hammer. Had a real Alan Partridge “I stood on a spiiiike ” moment. I dunno what it its with this thumb but I always seem to damage it just before I go on holiday.

Heh - computer asked me if I wanted to make a thumbnail out of the image. That's not funny at all.

Heh - computer asked me if I wanted to make a thumbnail out of the image. That's not funny at all.

3rd August
2009
written by Dom

lights work(!)

lights work(!)


You can’t really get any sense of size or space as it’s all empty, but I do love the scandinavian decor 😉

3rd August
2009
written by Dom

In between the freakish showers we’ve been having I have had time to do a bit more to the shed than just the roof-light…
On Saturday I managed to get the roller shutter fitted to the “shed” half of the shed…

shutter closed...

shutter closed...


and (half) open!

and (half) open!


I managed to lock myself in the shed while fitting the shutter and found out just how well insulated it is when nobody came to answer my frantic calls for help (at least I hope that was the reason). I had to pull the shutter out of a well soaked cardboard box and missed the box of bits at the bottom – I’m really quite worried about how many pieces are left over, but the door opens, closes and locks so it can’t be that bad eh?

3rd August
2009
written by Dom

Finally got a day free of rain and took advantage of my sister’s kind offer of help – lots of frantic sawing, tarring and drilling got the roof light in in a record 3 hour stretch!

grovelling on roof

grovelling on roof


First pinprick of light

First pinprick of light


what you can't see is me jumping off the ladder as the flash went off - convinced I'd sawn thru a cable

what you can't see is me jumping off the ladder as the flash went off - convinced I'd sawn thru a cable


Ta daa! - just in time for the rain.

Ta daa! - just in time for the rain.


The more observant among you may have noticed the water stains all over the ceiling of my office and be thinking “well, it’s not very water tight eh?” – truth is, I stupidly left the plywood on the roof of my car for a week in the rain – where it got stained. I will be sanding down the whole office and varnishing/oiling it so hopefully those stains will go then…

29th July
2009
written by Dom

Heh! ask and thou shalt receive!

Heh! ask and thou shalt receive!


In response to my “I would happily wear a Kingspan t-shirt” post of the other week, look what just arrived through my door! Thanks again to Joe at Kingspan Offsite. I will honest to goodness wear one of these whilst finishing the shed. I will endeavour to have myself photographed whilst wearing it. I am an utter wh*re 😉

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