Project Shack: dimensions and notes…

So, the first stage has been to work out what we actually want to do inside the shack and what its purpose is. The main things so far are the bedroom space, music, gatherings and art, possibly with a home cinema element thrown in : )

IMG_1057 IMG_1058

One of the main sources of materials for the ‘new’ shack will be our existing single-storey bathroom/utility space at the back of the house. We’re going to be using the timber, bricks and blocks from that structure as much as we can in the new shack, while at the same time building building an outside room space in its place, with adjacent vegetable patch, so we aren’t so reliant on travelling over to the allotment.

I’ve just measured the existing shed, inside and out, and factored in the extra space needed. The red colours indicate the finished internal space. The green section is the existing concrete block walls, inside which we’ll use 100mm (approx) of insulation, with plasterboards over that.

On the outside of the concrete blocks, we’ll fix an external weather proof layer, which at this point is going to be vertical timber cladding. So the blocks will form the structural element, with the cladding being the part which is visible. There’s also an idea to use blocks as the base layer of wall up to the bottom of the windows, with timber frame for the rest. This would be more sustainable and could be quicker to build. This depends on the quantities of materials we have and what sort. Whatever we have we’ll use.

So, more soon and roll on the Spring!

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Project Shack: the first piece of the jigsaw…

This the first post in a new series on my blog (drum roll)… I give you Project Shack!

What is ‘Project Shack’?

We are going to build a new shed / shack / lodge at the bottom of our garden, which will give us another space for a whole variety of things which will enhance our lives. This is where I can use my decks and do the mixing which would otherwise be too disturbing for other people in the house. It’s also a space for sleeping and will give us a third bedroom for guests. It’ll be a space where we can create art, sit and read, hold gatherings.

We’re going to do it using only second-hand, used, free, scrounged, reclaimed or recycled materials, with a major focus on natural materials. Some materials may not be free, but they must be previously-used or second-hand. There are two main reasons for this approach.

1) Less environmental impact and a more sustainable approach to building and living.

2) Lower overall cost, which means we can build this shack and still afford to eat!

I want to see how little money we can spend while still creating a warm, well-designed, functional and beautiful structure. I want this project to be an inspiring example for all the budding DIY and frustrated builders out there, who also have limited funds but big aspirations.

So, to underline our commitment to the project and as a first and very important piece to the jigsaw, we have just bought from Ebay two second-hand double glazed windows…

Conservatory windows

These bad boys cost only £40.00, maybe saving £400.

2 x UPVC double glazed Windows

Dimensions = h 1400mm, w 738mm, d 60 mm

‘Two fixed panel windows (none opening). They were left over from my conservatory and are still in the packaging. Just been in my shed getting in the way for around a year so selling them cheap to get rid of them.’

This is a great example of something second-hand but still virtually brand new. Something discarded by the previous owner which wouldn’t otherwise have been used, and in their original packaging. Triple bargain. These are large windows, each 1.4m tall, giving a total area of glazing of just over 2m squared.

I’ll post some of the designs for the shack which we’ve been working on and hopefully will be able to post regular progress reports.

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