Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Let's Talk Sheds

This was on my list to discuss, so here we go.

How to build a shed in several not so easy, but ultimately satisfying steps.

We are very grateful to yer man upstairs, who is a builder by trade. Isn't that lucky?

It's very important to get the concrete base right, that the shed will sit upon.

To do this, we had 2 tons (yes, two tons) of ballast, and about 25 bags of cement, if I remember rightly. You might save yourself some time and trouble by getting pre-mixed concrete, where you just add water, but we were guided by the man so this is what we did.

The boys, and it was their decision entirely, had decided on a 10' x 8' shed. Rather large, as sheds go, but we are sharing, so for all our garden paraphenalia he had an equal amount of tools, and also fixings for his motorcycle. So, seeing as it is rather a large garden, a shed of that size was not going to be too obtrusive.

Shed-base-laying-day. D mixes the cement on a board, by combining ballast with cement and spraying it with the hose - one to spray the hose, and one to mix with the big shovel. That was D and his lovely woman P from upstairs, doing the do. To my boundless admiration, she can actually lift a bag of cement, which I really honestly couldn't to save my life! I'm no weakling, but that was beyond me.

What I could do was bring the ballast back from the front (can you imagine what two tons of ballast look like? And could the supplier bring it to the back for us? Um, no) in the wheelbarrow at regular intervals.

What we also used, completely, were all the rocks harvested from the soil during rotovation and turf preparation and laying. And there were a lot. But it all went into the big heap of the base.

You will see the wooden frame to hold in the said rocks, and ultimately the cement. Then the pouring of the concrete, and the smoothing over, of which he did an admirable job. This took us an afternoon. Phew! We had a barbeque to celebrate in the evening.

Here is the shed, in pieces. We ordered this from a wonderful, highly reasonably priced firm called Walton's Sheds in Lincolnshire. It's a "second", ever-so-slightly damaged in places, you could hardly tell and so cheap, compared to your average high street DIY shop. Highly recommended.

Now, it was delivered again down the side, and left in bits to carry back.

My recommendation is, if you are a woman of average strength, with maybe a few small arm muscles and certainly having gained some strength from the strenous digging and cultivating of overgrown ground, please feel free to tell you husband to sod off if he requests that you help him carry the pieces to the back.

These babies were heavy. Thankfully D came down to participate in what was only going to be a great man-fest of construction for the afternoon. A kind of "barn-raising" a la the film Witness. At this point I was relegated to supplying the tea. Comprehensive instructions were supplied, and were followed.

Ta da! A thing of beauty and a joy forever.

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