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Thread: New shed!

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    New shed!

    So, I think it's getting to the point where we need a new shed.

    The wooden one we have had for ages is requiring more and more repairs to keep the elements (and critters) out, and seems almost constantly damp in the cooler months now. I've just patched another hole near the base with a piece of scrap plywood!

    Any suggestions on what sort to go for? I'm expecting to get it around next spring/summer time ideally so have some time to decide, but wondered if anyone had some advice/feedback on what sort to go for?

    As I see it, the choice is between metal, plastic, and wood. All of which have their pro's and cons.

    Wood - traditional and possibly lower cost? But has to be constantly maintained with paint etc to prevent rot/damp.

    Metal - Robust but expensive and potentially vulnerable to corrosion I guess? Also rain noise on roof could be a problem?

    Plastic - Not vulnerable to rot/corrosion but I've heard can get degraded by UV light? Also potential rain noise issue?

    Could be wrong on the above, of course!

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    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    Re: New shed!

    Rain noise on the roof being a problem? Are you using it as a shed or a work from home space?

    If you are working from home, I can heartily recommend one of these:

    https://www.greenretreats.co.uk/

    Not cheap though....

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    Re: New shed!

    Like a lot of things, you tend (up to a point) to get what you pay for. Personally, I prefer wood but would prefer (assuming longevity was desired) a decent thickness in the covering, and reasonably chunky structural bits. Make sure wood is properly treated, and one of those long-life (but relatively expensive) roofs that isn't just felt and whatever bitumen-substitute is still legal.

    Buy right, it'll cost more but be much less prone to leak, rot or shrink.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: New shed!

    Not really a work space, the rain noise I was thinking more of it being heard from the back bedroom, as it's fairly close. Perhaps I'm overthinking that, but I've left things like upturned plat pots in the yard and the noise from them can be fairly loud at night!

    The panels on the current shed are relatively thin shiplap, and some of the lower ones subject to more damp have got to the point of rotting and falling off, hence the plywood repairs (not pretty but it does the job for now). Credit where it's due, the rot isn't too bad in most places, only where run-off from nearby plants has likely kept those bits damp (I'll probably relocate those, especially if it's another wooden one). And there are some bits of the floor that seem to stay almost permanently damp too, even with a proper flagged base, as though it's wicking up through the wooden base 'joists'. The roof also seems to stay damp on the inside over the winter months too; not sure if that is humidity from the base or a failure in the roof itself.

    Also regarding the damp, I'll often go in and see containers covered in condensation - not really sure if that's entirely unavoidable or if it too is just down to that damp in the base.

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    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    Re: New shed!

    Get a good local joiner to build you one from scratch - you get to customise it exactly to your liking and quality standard. I'd echo saracen's advise and use good sizes structural elements - 2 by 4 as a baseline. I use Sikken's for mine which was build about 3 years ago. Coating looks as good as the day it was applied if you ignore the cobwebs. Sikkens isn't cheap but it's worth it - won't need recoating for 5 years minimum, possibly 10!

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    Re: New shed!

    I'm not expert, but my approach to a concretebase was to get the shed clear of touching it. A good base, which essentially decent quality (as in outdoor-rated, properly treated base of 2x4, with the 4" side vertical (i.e. givig a 4" ground gap) and then a heavy sheet of watrproof ply (I think it was 3/4" or about 18-20mm,might have even beem a inch thick) provide the base on which the whole shed sits. The actual shed skin was about 1/2" or 15mm (yeah, I know 30mm <> 1 inch) thick, whick pretty much ensures it won't warp/shrink and therefore leak.

    But yeah, doing it "heavy" does increase cost, more than a little bit. I dunno what your budget is, watercooled, or the shed size, but my priority was to do it just once, if I possibly can. I'd had enough of cheap sheds. So another issue is how long you need it to last? If your intetion is to move in 3-5 years, maybe that's overkill. My intention was for the shed to outlast me, and certainly, outlat my time in that house. In short, I'm a lazy git and would rather spend more up-front and do it just the once, than be out there every year trating it, then replacing it or patching it up in a few years. It ended up somewhere around double to triple the cost of a 'standard' shed of similar size, so it does come at a cost.

    Naturally, we then decided to re-plan the entire garden for low overall maintenance, ditch the lawn and so on, so I didn't need the outside shed at all.

    Which brings me to my penultimate point. If you can, build (or have it built) in panels, so that you can dis-assemble it, to move if you mov, or flog if you don't need it.

    Ultimate point .... build it like the proverbial brick outhouse and it goes a long way to minimising one of the problems with 'standard' sheds, which is that they offer about as much anti-thief protection as the average soggy paper bag. Built "heavy", and with a decent lock, and it'll be MUCH harder, and/or noisier, to break into.

    Oh, umm .... final ultimate point ( ) .... try to build in some ventilation. A bit of air-flow should help with that condensation problem. IMHO. Again, I=not a expert.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: New shed!

    Many thanks for the suggestions.

    I'll look into a less off-the-shelf wooden model to see if the cost is palatable. Ideally I'd like it to last "as long as possible" but without being prohibitively expensive - but I would rather spend more than have to replace it again in 5 years. I'll look into that coating too.

    The current shed already has a raised, flagged base, so I'm expecting that should be good enough to build the new shed on. The current shed is raised on joints with room for ventilation underneath, but I think the joists have effectively failed to the point they're just soaking up water from the ground now, hence the dampness on the floor.

    Point noted about the ventilation too, the current shed doesn't really have any! I might actually DIY some ventilation to the current shed as a bit of an experiment.

    I kinda like the idea of building one from timber myself, but I'm not a joiner and it would probably take me quite a while to complete, all while I have to find alternative storage for the contents! I don't think I'd be the most popular person if I had half the shed's contents in the kitchen for a week!

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    Re: New shed!

    Sikkens do various coatings, I believe it was Cetol 7 as a base coat, followed by whatever top coat you preferred, but it's been a while I might be getting mixed up.

    I saw a test where some dedicated fellow had tested various wood preservers on timber batons. In full sun, and near a coastal location. He posted the results every year, for 6 years, the mad expletive. After 5 or 6 years, the Sikkens sample looked like the nearest competitor after abour 1 or 2 years. That's basically what convinced me it was worth the extra cost.

    Edit: My base coat was Sikkens Cetol Filter 7 Plus
    Last edited by cptwhite_uk; 18-10-2021 at 02:28 PM.

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    Re: New shed!

    Quote Originally Posted by b0redom View Post
    Rain noise on the roof being a problem? Are you using it as a shed or a work from home space?

    If you are working from home, I can heartily recommend one of these:

    https://www.greenretreats.co.uk/

    Not cheap though....
    A decent local chippie will be able to create something just as good as those for significantly less money. Still not cheap though. Mine is ~3.5m x ~5m and cost a total of ~£16k which included all the electrics, plastered walls etc. It's also made of SIPs which whilst being the same thickness of the usual garden offices have the same or better insulation (U value) as a modern house with walls twice as thick (including cavity wall insulation etc)
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    Re: New shed!

    Not after anything that fancy, just a place to store garden tools, car cleaning stuff, etc. But preferably without everything being almost constantly damp in the cooler months!

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: New shed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    and one of those long-life (but relatively expensive) roofs that isn't just felt and whatever bitumen-substitute is still legal.
    Something I forgot to ask about, what sort of roof do you mean? When I search for long-life shed roof I find EPDM (rubber) ones?

    I'm leaning towards building a wooden one with help from a joiner friend, so I'm just roughly pricing materials etc. Still very much in the consideration stage, with a view to build next summer.

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    Re: New shed!

    For me despite the need for treating etc I'd stick with wood. Robust material, won't rust like metal or sweat/condensate like metal or especially plastic ones do.
    A couple of years tends to see plastic ones go very brittle too.

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