Building a Shed

Do you also love the idea of a garden studio and have a crowded Pinterest board with glorious garden spaces, she sheds and summer houses?

Are you also dreaming of your own little space? Somewhere around your home, that’s yours and you can decorate just the way you want to? I’m super lucky to still have a room in our house, but fear the girls don’t want to share forever.

But why?

At the beginning of the first lockdown I asked myself,

‘What can I teach my girls they won’t learn in school?’

I usually work with paper, but also love wood. And we urgently needed a shed. (Just look at the sad ‘before’ picture below.) My hope was to build a little shed as a tester, to see if one day… maybe… I could build my own garden studio.

I’m not good with cement, so for our shed we re-used old foundations next to the patio. They are straight opposite the garden seat, so I wanted something visually pleasing.

I bought a cheap metre saw, got a rental car and bought materials.

The girls were 6 and 9 at the time. I cut the wood and the girls screwed and painted. You couldn’t buy cladding nails at this time, so there was a lot of screwing.

Any problems?

Yes, lots of delays. Because:

  • Homeschooling kept us unexpectedly busy.
  • We depended on the weather. As we don’t have a garage, we’ve built outside.
  • I had to reglaze the reclaimed window in the sidewall. (I’d broken two planes while taking off the old paint.)

My biggest headaches were the door and the roof. The door is built with a reclaimed window and it took forever to figure out, how to best build a frame around it. For the roof I really wasn’t sure what material to use. Because the shed is so small, any kind of tiles would have been too big. And because of the steep roof angle, I needed a flexible material for the ridge.

When winter came we piled the wood behind the sofa. The partly finished sidewalls rested against the wall in the family room. …Let’s say we got to know our shed more intimately than planned and we have some pretty funny pictures of the time.

I finished setting up the shed once the girls were back in school last September. In the end it was remarkably similar to one of my miniature projects. You just look at it and see what’s needed to give it this ‘finished’ look.

Any highlights?

Definitely the bargeboards! Those are the curvy wooden boards on the gable, which I also didn’t know when I started. I’ve been looking forward to them for months, diligently studying them on old houses. I’ve made a paper stencil and cut them with the electrical jigsaw I’ve got for my 17th birthday. Finding the finial (that’s the cute bobbly bit on top) was a lucky strike. Isn’t it amazing that someone still makes them?

What’s inside?

Lot’s of fun stuff, next to boring garden things. I reused old materials I already had at hand. The previous alcove shelves of a friend, became my worktop and storing shelves. Fertilisers and garden sprays are stored out of sight in the gable. The watering can looks quite sweet and got a spot on a lower shelf. Kids toys and chalks are hidden in a basket.

The floral fabric inside and the hand-crochet curtain on the door were splendid internet finds (spare from another project).

Final thoughts?

It was great fun to see it all come together and I’m delighted every time I sit in the garden seat. But I might have accidentally stretched my families patience, with all the wood sharing our family room. I still love the idea of a garden studio, but fear it might take a century to complete…

I’m delighted to say, both girls are now great with the drill and know how to pop a screw in.

Have you ever built a shed? Or are you dreaming or creating your own space? I’d love to know, please leave a comment below.

It didn’t seem worth getting a car when I wasn’t even sure if the materials were back in stock.

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