Doing up the big shed part 1

One of the things that attracted us to the house we nearly bought was the shed. The log cabin to be more exact, it was big, it was cosy, it had storage and a log burning stove. It felt like having an extra garden room and we loved that. But that house wasn’t to be (as we discovered a house we liked more)

The shed- before

The shed- before

When I first looked round the garden of the house we ended up buying, the number of sheds was overwhelming. There was 7 garden structures in total, this includes the wendy house, chicken shed and the greenhouse. But this blog is about the big shed. The big shed is roughly about 8ft by 10ft so it’s smaller than the other one, but still not too bad a size. The reason we overlooked it was as it was full of junk. It was full of junk when we had the viewings and the previous owner did mostly clear it out, but it still had a lot of junk and of course our junk ended up in there too. Not only was it full of junk, but it was also covered in pink fabric, the pink fabric on every wall and the ceiling and some horrible carpet stapled to the floor. And not only was the fabric pink, but dirty too and also covered in holes, from which poked the insulation. It also had a hole in the floor near the door and a bit of dampness.

One of the least bad holes!

One of the least bad holes!

On the plus side it did have insulation, and it did have electricty and lighting. Okay the lighting is strip lights, but that’s okay for now. And we thought to do it up, would be a lot cheaper than starting a fresh.

So on the first few days in the house the carpet was ripped up, so we could check the floor. It was okay, but a bit damp in patches. So my Dad invented a way to lift the shed up, using a car jack. I don’t really know how he did it, other than using some shelf brackets, but he lifted an entire shed on his own, and it seems to have fixed it. Amazing. Shame no one was looking.

We then left the shed for a bit to get on with other things. Then Simon got really keen to do it up. He could use it to study in, it could be a summer room, and if we make it good enough, it could be used on occasion as a guest room. So we cleared out all the junk to other sheds. We unscrewed the various shelves and brackets and hammered out any nails and random bits of wood stuck to the walls. My Dad said plaster board may be hard to put up in a shed, as you don’t have much to hammer against. My brother suggested we painted the fabric, I thought he was a bit crazy, but decided to have a go anyway. We’d simply staple more fabrc over the holes.

Fabric stapled over hole- what a bodge!

Fabric stapled over hole- what a bodge!

The paint went on, but took about 3 coats and I used a full tin of paint on a small corner of the shed. It took an age to do. And the stapled on fabric looked like a complete botch.

The paint, not really working!

The paint, not really working!

Simon’s mum suggested fixing MDF onto the walls. So I decided I could do the wooden planking idea that I’ve seen mentioned in various blogs. So we were passing a DIY shop anyway, I thought I’d show Simon the wood, and to my surprise the store offered a woodcutting service. I knew some stores would, but I didn’t think this one would. We were underprepared but decided to get a couple of small pieces to see if it works. We found a small cheap bit of hardwood and noticed the sign saying 2 free cuts per piece of wood. As the wood was 60cm wide we decdied to cut it into 20cm pieces. We bought a nail gun and a saw and we were off.

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The wood attached easily. As it’s a shed, we didn’t worry too much about making it level or if pieces had to overlap. In the end I think we had 3 more trips to get more wood, as we never measured it up and at one point we thought we would stop 3/4 of the way up the wall, to avoid having to go into the apex.

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But I wanted to do it properly. And it turns out a piece of wood I took down had the right angle on it, so  just had to cut the hardwood to this and it fitted perfectly.

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We’re hoping to change the strip lights for something else, so at the moment we’re not doing the ceiling, I’ve edged it in with some white paint, so hopefully once we put either wood or fabric on the ceiling it will be okay. So for now we’ve not put wood up around the sockets or light switch. I’ve cut out pieces of wood to fit here.

Wood cut to fit in, once any wiring is done.

Wood cut to fit in, once any wiring is done.

We bought the cheapest white home brand paint we could and it went on so much easier than onto the fabric. It took 2 coats and I painted “roughly” so it would make it look more wood like. One tin did 2 coats everywhere and had some left over. I did like the look of the wood before, though it looked like cardboard. The white paint makes it look a lot nicer though and more like a room.

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My parents were throwing an old carpet out, so we are using that for now. I want to put of sealant in a few gaps to neaten it off, but all in all it’s a huge improvement. Simon has already started using it for his studies and meditation. Hopefully we will get the rest done soon and also paint the outside. I’m really happy with the way it has turned out and I can’t wait to finish it off!

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