Once the retaining wall had been finished, we were able to start work on the much needed shed.
Building the Shed Base
We opted for a concrete block base. This lifts the shed up slightly and therefore allows air to flow around the joists which should help to prolong its life. It was also easier and cheaper than making a solid base for it (particularly given that the only access to the garden is through the house).
Mike and Kate’s Dad (Brian) started by planning out the dimensions using string. It was important to get this stage right and to ensure that it was square. To do this, they made a right angled triangle using some scrap wood and ensured it was a true 90° angle using Pythagoras’ Theorem (i.e. making one side 3, one side 4 and one side 5 of whatever scale they were using).
Once this was done they set three rows of concrete blocks at regular intervals using sand and cement. They used a long level to make sure that they were all level with each other.
We then covered the whole lot in weed membrane as whilst we were waiting to build the shed we were forever dealing with forget-me-nots, bindweed and seedlings from a neighboring sycamore tree. We opted for the heavy duty stuff so that it would last and so far it is coping marvelously.
Garden Buildings Direct
Having spent a long time shopping around for a shed, we finally decided to order one from Garden Buildings Direct. We ordered an 8’x6’ Greenkeeper Workshop with tongue and groove flooring from the BillyOh 5000 range. The ordering process through the website was very good and straightforward and any queries we had were swiftly dealt with over the phone. Unfortunately it was after this point that things started to deteriorate.
On the day of delivery, we received an e-mail informing us that delivery would be between 10:51am and 12.51pm (weirdly precise and not at all adhered to). Despite several calls to find out what was going on, the shed didn’t turn up until 3pm and included damaged panels and not nearly enough roof felt. We ended up having to buy some extra felt locally and (eventually) Garden Buildings Direct reimbursed us.
Whilst building the shed, we noticed that the quality was not what we were expecting given that it is from the mid-range options. The various panels seemed to be fairly roughly cut, particularly around the roof. This meant that we had to buy extra wood to enable us to felt the roof correctly and make sure that it was leakproof.
The nails that were provided for securing the windows were useless (the framework of the shed looked like it was going to collapse when trying to hammer them in) so we ended up having to screw the shed together instead.
Regardless of all this though, up it went:
Adding Some Colour and Finishing Touches
We used Cuprinol Garden Shades to treat our shed and add a bit of colour to our garden. We chose forget me not blue (in memory of all the weeds we had destroyed in that area) and pale jasmine for the trim.
The paint went on brilliantly and we were really pleased with the finished look of it – its like our own private beach hut in the garden!
The End Result
Overall we are now pleased with the shed (after having to modify it ourselves), but I certainly would never use Garden Buildings Direct again. We are always a little wary of buying things over the internet as you can’t see them beforehand and therefore conduct a lot of research and normally everything works out OK. Sadly, this time we were not so lucky and their customer service to get everything ironed out was appalling We might have got our money back for the felt, but we were never offered an apology. We (stupidly) didn’t check reviews other than their website before buying from them – lesson learnt as many people have had similar experiences but unsuprisingly they only publish good reviews on their own website! Beware!