Monday, October 18

“It Has the Feel of a Small Local Pub!”: Guardian Readers in Their Extraordinary DIY Sheds | Gardens


‘I’m probably most proud of the bar’

This is my pandemic project: a pub shed in the garden, called the Doghouse. It is custom made from wood with a Firestone rubber roof. Lockdown finally gave me time to build it and I tried to reuse or recycle materials where I could. The doors and windows were from a friend’s old greenhouse. The herringbone wood and planks, as well as the back bar shelving, are pallet wood, which I polished with a chainmail pad and oiled to give it a nice, worn look. I built the bar and canopy from scratch with the scraps of timber framing. The bench was built from a recycled headboard and I used a mattress for the seat. The table and chairs were a local Gumtree find, and the bar and pump memorabilia were from eBay. I’m probably most proud of the bar. It has the feel and character of a small local pub; We often dine there for a change of scenery. Our two boys love it. But of course we will continue to support our local pub whenever we can. Gavin Thomasson, 42, Director of Design, Ipswich

‘I use it as an escape to read’

Simon Critchley
‘I use it as an escape to read and be in the garden no matter the weather.’ Photography: Simon Critchley

We wanted a summer house for a few years so I decided to design and build one myself. Clad in Welsh larch and wooden frame, insulated and wrapped in a breathable membrane, it is expected to be waterproof. It also has a roof of green sedum, which magpies love to steal for nest building. It is fully lined with wood paneling on the inside, as well as power for lights on dark nights. There was a close call with a circular saw, but otherwise everything went well. I use it as an escape to read and be in the garden no matter the weather. Simon Critchley, 43, architect, Manchester

‘Bright colors remind me of childhood beach vacations, cotton candy and rock’

Donna richards
“The bright candy colors remind me of childhood beach vacations, cotton candy and rock.” Photography: Donna Richards

This shed was completed during the first closure, channeling designer Morag Myerscough and painted with paint from half-used cans. The bright candy colors remind me of childhood beach vacations, cotton candy, and rock. It shines in the sun and is an encouraging sight on gray, rainy days. We got a bit carried away so the junk shop was painted the same way too. This project was driven by being enclosed in addition to the sunny weather and weird G&T. Donna Richards, Freelance Graphic Designer, London

‘I’m of the opinion that allotment sheds shouldn’t be neat’

Adam Bradbury
“I’m trying to decide whether to paint it or just seal it and keep the different colors.” Photography: Adam Bradbury

I think the allotment sheds shouldn’t be neat. Their charm is that they can be improvised. I wanted a combined shed and greenhouse and started thinking of different building materials that I could use. I came up with the idea for the door shed, using discarded doors for the entire exterior. I built it in three days with the help of my wife. As with any assignment, the jobs keep coming. I’m trying to decide whether to paint it or just seal it and keep the different colors. While my work requires a good level of precision and thoroughness, a plot, with its structures, cultivation plans, and the plants themselves, does not stick to a strict schedule. It is a good life lesson to be comfortable with the lesser level of chaos that nature brings. Adam Bradbury, 39, Product Developer, London

‘The shed is 95% recycled’

Hywel jones
“I wanted the shed to blend in with the area we live in.” Photograph: Picasa / Hywel Jones

It took me about a year to build the shed in the evenings and on the weekends. I hate waste and wanted to build from discarded materials as much as possible, which included around 120 pallets, scrap plywood, firewood, salvaged glass, old wooden doors, and a discarded flatbed cart, among other things. The final product is approximately 95% recycled. I also wanted the shed to blend in with the area we live in. The corrugated roof and the use of wood in the panels are designed to reflect the Menai Strait and an adjacent forest. During the confinement, we used the shed a lot: I left my exercise bike there and my son used it to practice his guitar. Now that the confinement has eased, it’s just a good space to relax, preferably with a cold beer. Hywel Jones, 55, Project Officer, Snowdonia National Park Authority, Y Felinheli, Wales

‘I saw it in my mind as a chapel’

Alix
“It is a refuge that is as beautiful in the snow as when things are blooming.”

When I first saw the garden, this was a storage shed. But I immediately saw it in my mind as a chapel. It is a beautiful space reserved for moments of tranquility. A haven that is as beautiful in the snow as when things are blooming. I wonder how many little chapels there are in the world. Alix, Retired, New Jersey, USA

‘It’s so small that everything you need is close at hand’

Lori Moore's shed
“For my grandchildren in particular, it became a place where they are always welcome.” Photography: Lori Moore

This shed was built by my landlord for the storage of sundries, like toilet paper, but I knew it could be so much more than that. My husband and I live in a small cabin, so this has made a beautiful place to store my art supplies. All the drawings, prints, paintings and photographs on the walls help inspire those who sit at the table. It is so small (only 8 x 10 feet), that everything you need (scissors, tape, paint, water, paper) is close at hand. For my grandchildren in particular, it became a place where they are always welcome when many other places were closed, and it gives us a break from our routines. Lori Moore, retired art teacher, California, USA

‘We retreat to him during winter days and summer nights’

Michael Ashwell
“We retreat to him during winter days and summer nights.” Photography: Michael Ashwell

My wife and I designed this shed with a local green builder and designer. It is made primarily from recycled building materials and “hempcrete” (a mixture of chopped hemp and lime). It is very well insulated and has a small wood stove. We retreat to it during winter days and summer nights. It has an amazing view across the valley to Long Mynd. It has a green roof with a variety of sedums and is large enough for two people, plus the odd cat or dog. Michael Ashwell, retired CEO of a small rural social business, Shropshire


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