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Building a shed


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Yes, the 109 has left the warmth, comfort and 3-phase of the lab and is now stood in the back garden being rained on. I reckon it's better to spend a weekend and a few quid building a shed round it than try to finish the build in the p*ssing rain / cold, so it's time for a bit of thinking out loud:

I have a concrete base which is about 25' by 15' (25' being the width of the garden) on which I want to build a shed. I also have some bits of a shed which I collected a few months back, they are panels about 5' wide by 7' high, on the plus side they have windows in them and bolt together to make a 20x10 shed-shaped box, on the minus side they're a bit manky and there's no base or roof, and I think they'd need a support structure to make them properly sturdy.

Father suggested welding up some box to make a frame, bolting it to the concrete and then just slotting in 4x8 sheets of marine ply - this is probably the easiest route to a sturdy weatherproof structure, and is easy to pimp a bit more as time & funds allow.

Basic design would be a bit like this piccy (not quite millimeter perfect :rolleyes: :


Several identical support sections made of 50x50 box (or whatever springs to hand) with the panels filled with marine ply.

The green area is where I need to work out some sort of door - up'n'over is a bit of a no-no as the 109 is quite tall :P, shutter is £££ so it's either DIY sliding door with tracks and trolley wheels, or a couple of big heavy swing-open doors. I'm favouring the sliding doors because of the rear access for my garden, I can't swing a big door in the alleyway (esp. if next door's car is in front of their garage <_< ), and swinging it into the shed would mean it would take up a lot of space:


The alleyway is about a Range Rover +3ft wide, so reasonable but not great for maneuvering - the 109 has to go in across my garden rather than facing in if you see what I mean.

Has anyone got any helpful tips, suggestions, etc.?

Stuff I'm not 100% sure about is:

- How to deal with the point where wooden panel meets floor (a course of blocks?) to keep water out

- What's a good roof material? Wickes have 2/3-ply see-thru plastic panels that would seem a good thing for a light and airy workshop but I haven't really researched any alternatives.

- What's a good way to make a sliding door lockable/unlockable from both sides? I need to be able to get in & out and make the place secure from inside and outside. The front will probably have a normal door in one panel to get into the garden.

- I'll need electrickery, and plenty of it to run the welder B) what's the best way to run a ~32A feed round the garden, or does one need to employ a professional these days? <_<

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A Russian doll shed, a shed within a shed etc. :lol::ph34r:

With pre-fab stables you usually have a row of semi engineering bricks as the base. This would also you allow to level up if the concrete isn't quite level.

I think if you work out how much box section you need, it's going to be expensive. May be cheaper to modify a prefab or a 20' bay from a farm building.

for cable you need some 16mm armoured cable, frequently available from scrap yards.

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Triangles! Unless of course you want your shed to form some interesting shapes on a windy day! Do not under estimate the power of the wind!

Box or 2 x 2 timber for the frame - timber will be easier to attach the cladding to.

You can get sliding door rails etc from a farm shop eg MVF. Then fab up a door frame and skin it with tin.

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Steve - got any farm buildings you don't need? ;)

Bish - there would be a few diagonals in there, believe it or not that is only a sketch not a CAD stress analysis :D

There's a farm supplies & tractor shop up the road that have some good stuff for gates and things, although there's a plentiful supply of old shopping trolleys out the back ready to donate bits :rolleyes:

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I'll need electrickery, and plenty of it to run the welder what's the best way to run a ~32A feed round the garden, or does one need to employ a professional these days?

Just don't do what Dan did, the neighbours can tell when he's welding! :blink::lol:

Sorry, nothing useful to add to this thread except - WAHOO! B) B) B)

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Building something worth using is going to take more than a weekend! I would go with the gazeebo/marquee route for the moment, and build a proper building once the truck is working...

On the shed front, I would personally build the frame out of wood cos it's easy to work with, and cheap (ish) if you get it from the right place. 2"x"2 frame, and some kind of trussed roof would be the way I would go with some diagonals. If you are going to use ply for the panelling, this can be used as part of the strength of the structure and will provide most of the diagonal bracing you need. If you are going to use corrugated tin, or similar for the outside, the frame will need to be rather more sunstantial, as you get no real structural value from the sheets.

Don't underestimate the cost of wood either. Unless you have a good source of cheap or free wood it is gonna be fairly spendy for a building that size...

As another idea for a quick temporary but a bit more sunstantial structure, why not build the frame out of scaffold, and clamp your existing panels to the frame?

I think I think about sheds too much... :o


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blue tarps from B&Q, lots of paracord and a bungee in series for each connection so when the wind takes it you dont rip the eyelets out

think of it like a coccoon ("party in a can" trade mark applicable) where the 109 can morph from an ugly caterpillar into a beautiful........... ah cobblers

£7 B&Q for the big tarps, eat more lard so you are insulated from the cold - bingo.

welding power - make your own "orange" and shove a blue commando in the kitchen :)

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My friend built his stable block out of a row of cheap second hand telegraph poles cemented in, then simply nailed some sort of T&G planking for the sides, made his own roof trusses out of 50mm angle, then skinned roof in marine ply and shed felt gritty stuff. Its very heavy duty and everytime he needs more space he just adds another set of poles and builds an extension! Ideal for your situation but you'd probably have to think about how to fix the poles in...

If you decide to go down the marquee route costco do some garage size ones, i was thinking of getting one myself to spray the car in.


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something that nobody has mentioned (and sorry for it) - but don't you need planning permission for that kind of structure?

All it takes is one dissagreable neighbour and you have the council guy knocking on the door.

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It is worth checking the planning regs, but most 'free standing temporary structures' do not need planning permission. Something that is permanently attached to the ground will however need permission.

Bolts into a concrete pad do not count as permanent.

As I said though, check the local regs on the council website...


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Hmmmm... I'm sulking :angry: . Not sure I should offer help now, but...

I think its gonna cost more than you think, and take more effort to put up. A couple of ideas spring to mind. The first is just to finish the car in my garage - after all, we are all well aware of how much free space there is inside... :angry: Plus you'd have your 3-phase back, and its free, so you can spend all your money on the truck.

I am gonna be bringing the Mog inside as well for a bit, but there will be enough room, so no bother.

Secondly, I will probably be able to help you build a shed for 2 or 3 days in the week beginning April 9th. You could gather materials / plan it until then (while working on the truck at mine), then get some extra hands on it to help the build?

Clear panels in the roof sounds good - light used to be a real problem in mine.

Maybe a slightly bigger door on the house-side, since this will be the only lane access for mowers / motorbikes / Huge BBQs etc etc?

That much steel or wood is gonna cost you some proper biccies... Sell the V8?

Go for the roller doors.

Al. :)

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Check the planning, wonder into Gosport council's planning dept, ask to see a planning officer.

Tell them where you are and what you want to do and ask if you need an permissions/ what restrictions you might have.

I did this 3 yrs ago with Eastleigh, really helpful. Only thing i discovered, that could have been an issue if not asked, was that for planning regs i had to set the garage entrance back 6ft from the alley. bit of a pain but it gives a nice useful pull on area and allows more access for manouvers etc.

May not apply to you, but it would be more hassle to put something up and be forced to take it down at an inconvenient point in the future.

Also, technically, under Part P of the latest building regs(i work in construction) you must have a fully qualified electrician install with certs the power for your garage. Or you can do it yourself but must have a qualified electrician approve your work(unlikely). This is a PITFA, i know, but will affect the sale of your house in the future, as you must prove its safe. Damn regs!!!

Other thing, look at getting a Conc sectional/ or metal prefab garage, thats what i did, it was free, i just had to dismantle it, which was good as i learnt how to put it up again. It went up in a weekend, as it is designed to do that.

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Would agree on the cost front - it is surprising how much it costs! For reference, I built a 10' x 7' shed with the cheapest crappiest cladding and materials cost me £300 and that was from a timber yard not B&Q.

I reckon you should buy Al some rubber er, beers and move in! :ph34r:

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We built a shed a mates house last summer for him to keep his toys in. We found a building site which was putting up box corrugated factory units and persuaded the foreman to save his off cuts each day and went and picked them each night just as they were they shutting up. We picked up some junk etc, but managed to get some panels which were big enough. The backside looks a bit like a jigsaw but since it is up against a fence this was not a problem. the timber frame cost about £80 including screws etc. The corrugated material is pretty strong in it's own right so the frame does not have to be huge.

Worth a thought. Would definitely go with Al's suggestion of clear panels or a few old strip lights.

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Clear roof panels are excellent for extra light, but it makes your workshop more like a greenhouse in the summer!

Hmm, thats a good point - I also wondered about the security aspect of plastic roof panels easily-climbed-onto in an out-of-sight back-alley in Portsmouth?

Al. :ph34r:

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The security of the clear panels is solved with a mesh on the inside, ie dog guard stylie.

I have clear panels in the 'house' end of my garage, which is in an equally desirable area, just like Gosport.

The panels can not be seen by a muppet from the alley. Abit of lateral thinking can do alot of good.

As far as getting hot, just open the door and the pedestrian door in your garden, get a breeze through and it will be bearable, worth abit of warmth for the light gain. Also means that if this is the only way too see into the garage, someone has to be fairly obvious about looking in the garage, by getting on the roof. A few nosey old biddy next door neighbours will spot this, i am sure nosey old bats are better security than alarms, they always know whats going on, just got to keep them on side and humour them.

Just for the record,my 10ft x 16ft conc garage was free, but it cost £800 for the custom timber doors(main and pedestrian) with security fixings on the hinges, and another £30 for the clear roof sheets + odds and sods.

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If you want to do a building on the cheap then it depends what you have to hand and how motivated you are.

Also do not under estimate how nicer and hence more motivated you will be if you have a nice concrete floor and wind proof warm (ish) building to work in. From my experience the most expensive bit is the concrete for the floor - and if you going to spend that mutch on the concrete you may as well put down some hardcore and rol it first.

Farmers make big buildings using old telegraph poles. However the voice of wisdom is do not concrete timber into the ground - you will just make an expensive water retention system that will rot out your shed. They support huge sheds with second hand telegraph ploes just lobbed into 5 foot deep holes and packed out with rubble. They also make roof timbers with a bit of work with a chain saw, however realy you need large reclaimed timber......

The cheapest weather proofing is old asbestos sheets as obviously no body wants them, but they keep the rain out fine. However they may look odd at the back of your house......

It all adds up, but you can have some fun driving all the diggers, rollers etc that you borrow/hire.....

My bother has a 35' by 45' shed built on these principles - bought it second hand, paid his mates to help him one week end to take it down. Then over the next year he bought a JCB, excavated the gound, hard cored, sold the JCB, erected the steel work (with out a crane) and roofed/walled the best hobby shed you can imagine....


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£10 in fuel per trip to go to Als

4 trips per week


4-6 weeks

£160-240 in fuel

Als has electricity, much lovely dryness, locking doors etc, £240 is gonna build a Soweto shanty in your back garden and leave you living in fear of having stuff nicked, Al's has the added benefit of in-house mickey taking.

no brainer in my book John

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As a short term solution to achieving the completion of the truck, i would have to agree with Jez.

To achieve a sensible level of fnish to your garage, you will need to spend time and money on it. If you throw it up it will repay you with leaks and a desire to throw itself down!!


If you just want a quick dry shelter, bang up a gazebo to keep showers off, or acquire some Heras Fence Panels to use as sides, with a rudimentary roof for shelter. We are getting to the better time of year for weather, so excluding the gusts of the last 24hrs, it ought to survive.

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Look at pre-fab stuff. As in concrete panels that bolt together, and just sit on the concrete pad. The weight will keep it in place!

Oh yeah, and I have one for sale at my house in Eastleigh! ;) To fit a 109 would need lengthening but would form a good starting point. Seriously sturdy wooden roof etc.

If you want, will be at the club social tonight. Just have to 'encourage' moose/paul to empty it of all his stuff!

Even if you didn't want it, you're more than welcome to come and have a look to see how it works. :)


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