Monday, May 02, 2011

Patrick Wickham: modelbuilder

A guest post by Shedworking reader Patrick Wickham about how he built and now uses his garden office.

I have a 'Shed' which is in fact a Dunster House Cabin, built by ourselves where I carry out my hobby as a modelbuilder. We originally wanted an extension to the back of the garage that would include moving the toilet/washbasin to the back of the garage wall and incorporate a wetroom shower area and give us the 4 metre long room.

But as we live in a split-level house we would need to remove 5+ tons of earth to get down to the house footings. Four independent builders gave us quotes of around £40,000!(plans drawn up and planning permission obtained). So a change of plan was to remove the trees lining the edge of our garden, erect a fence and as the site slopes across the back of the house right to left would need a deck to build the cabin on, with the back of the deck at ground level.

On visiting the Dunster House factory/showsite at Bedford we chose a Carsare model log cabin sized at 3.5 X 2.5 metres manufactered to peak below the planning height limit and this was delivered about 6 weeks later. We (my wife and I) had all the walls up in 2 hours and the next morning put on the first layer of tounged and grooved roofing on. Then the weather changed, I rushed to our local B&Q and bought two 8 metre tarpaulins and carried on what work we could underneath.

Two weeks later the weather changed to dry so my wife and I took a week off work and completed the build adding insulation to both the roof and floor (plus a laminate floor in the oposite direction for extra strength) and the double glazed glass to the doors and windows and black shingles all as supplied by Dunster House. We are nearly two years down the line and we are thoroughly happy with the decision to build our cabin (all costs including site changes, build and electrical work adding up to around £4,000 just 10% of the original cost) and to get my model making off the dining room table after nearly 40 years!
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

1 comment:

  1. Keen to learn10:26 AM

    Very interesting to read your comments. We have just installed a 4.3M x 3.5M Lantera cabin in the garden. Due to the expense we decided to buy the uninsulated version and then insulate it ourselves. However, I'm not at all sure about how to do this in view of the storm braces which have been fitted inside. At the lower ends these 4 wooden struts have vertical slots through which they are secured to the walls with bolts, to allow for the expansion and contraction of the building. Given this, I can't see how we can fix battens to the walls. Presumably we need to do this so that an inch or so of thick insulation can be fitted between them and to give us something to attach the covering 'wall' surface to.
    If you can give us any clues about how to go about doing the insulaion ourselves I would be very grateful. I've read that plasterboard for the final internal cabin walls would be inappropriate as it would absorb moisture. (The floor can be insulated from underneath the building as it is raised up with space to get under it).