Posted by: estherreeves | February 16, 2009

Building a shed

So this weekend we set about building the new shed.. It is a 7×7 shed from homebase, in some ways it feels strange building a new shed on the allotments where most are old or built from bits but it was a present and everyone has to start somewhere and by having a shed we will find working the plot much easier with somewhere to sit, keep random bits and so on.. nothing we care much about though as thing do go missing and our plot is much more open than most. We lost five fence posts that were holding the weed suppressing fabric down round the hedge for instance! Oh well.

On to the shed Saturday we put down the base. We had put down a thick layer of sand (with lots of stones) a while ago and as the whole plot slopes we used that to help us get the shed level. We bedded two rows of breeze blocks into the sand which we got as level as possible. Then we dug out the middle of the sand back to ground level so there is a channel running under the shed, as this goes down the slope it should help channel any excess water so it doesn’t pool round or under the shed. You can see the newly planted hedging between the shed base and the road, one day it will be big enough to make a difference !.

Digging out the channel

base1We laid some damp proof membrane we had left from the underfloor heating at home over the slabs and put wood we had got as joists on top. We stapled the edges onto the end joists so that the water goes under it rather than it draping in the middle and the water running over it. This is to help stop damp rising up into the wood, though we put a couple of slits in it so any water that does end up on top has somewhere to drip away through.

Damp membrane and joists

plastic_baseThen we put the floor panel on top of the joists. The panel already had it’s own joists but they were very small and designed to go on top a solid layer of slabs. If you look carefully you can see the big  joists sticking out the back as well as the front. Sunday morning we decided that it was better to just have them at the front as then there was only on place they might fight with the wall panels. The floor was then screwed down and covered till Sunday.


Come Sunday and with the help of a couple of others we got the shed panels up and in place. In the end we didn’t need to trim the front panel to sit over the big joists which was a relief.

Here is the shed before the roof went up but it is screwed onto the floor and each panel is screwed to the others. We started with the back so that attached in a couple of place to the floor then added the sides and got them square with the floor before screwing them to the sides and floor.. There was then a ridge pole to put in with a couple of right angle brackets to keep it in place.

sidesThen we needed to put the roof on. This meant we needed to add a beam along the lower edge and we did find the nails supplied didn’t do a wonderful job holding it on. We did manage to get the roof on a roughly square with a bit of brute force and nails to hold it. I think you can see the channel under the shed in this picture and get some idea of how high off the ground it is, the pallet sitting in front of it slots under the joists on the right hand side and doesn’t quite on the left.


Once we had the roof panels one we added a few more screws  holding the walls together to firm up the shed generally and then added the trimming strips down the courners. We also put the windows in, they are on the side so we can see the car in the carpack and the top of the plot which is the area we plan to have fenced off for the boys to play.

Then it was time to felt the roof, by this time the weather was starting to feel much more windy and rain threaterned, but never appeared.. The felt went on in three strips. the first two being nailed along the edges of the roof and the third going over the ridge and over lapping the bottom two. It is important to nail the felt so it stops at the bottom of the roof batten and not to turn it under the batten this is because if you do that the water instead of dropping of the eaves of the roof runs back along the bottom of the eaves and down the walls, just what you don’t want.. There is a groove cut out of the underside of a windowsill for the same reason. The clout nails they gave us were so short they didn’t hold so we ended up using some of our own .. the site is quite windy and we decided we would rather have the points of the nails coming through to the inside of the roof than to have the felt blowing off.


You might spot we have put a couple of floorboards on the joists that stick out to make a step in front of the shed, we also plan to have a couple of pallets in front of that to make a small decked area both to sit on and to make it easier to get up into the shed.


This was where we stopped.. everything finished except the doors, as our drill had run out of power and we were running out of time. So we need to finish that off as soon as possible.

Our view of the shed kit?  It’s OK, fairly basic but we expected that. the panels were straight and went together fairly well however we did feel it was rather too lightly engineered. A couple of times the nails given were not really up to the job and the basic frame of the panels is of such small diameter wood that it didn’t feel that sturdy plus it wasn’t that well held together so a few times the frame started to part company with itself when being nailed to the floor or similar. Nothing major but I would suggest having some extra nails on had to use as needed if you are building one.


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