Sunday 15 November 2020

Shed Questions & Advice

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As you know, maintaining your shed makes it look great and last longer. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t feel quietly content at the sight of a beautifully painted shed containing neatly organised tools and tidily stored equipment?

My Allotment Shed on plot 1 which is not what you would expect from me if you saw the photograph of my Messy Shed at home in the back garden that won me a 1.2m x 0.9m  Pressure Treated Shiplap Wooden Garden Chest from Waltons in their recent competition 

We’re looking for further advice on things like:

• How to keep damp at bay?

When placing my first allotment shed that was a 1.2 x 1.8m apex feather edge I used 400mm square paving slabs over a dpm visqueen the width was 1.8m the slabs covered 4x400mm = 1600mm thus 1800-1600=200mm  there were 3 gaps between the slabs = 200/3= 66mm each for air flow under the floor. 

In the past I have used 75mm fence posts between the floor and the slabs to increase the amount of air flow and prevent damp from the slabs getting into the battens on the floor boarding.     

• How do you keep the floor in its best condition? Do you use carpet, lino, or bare flooring?

On my first shed I used lino, on the second I bought a sheet or correx, but have now some lino for it as although the correx is black and appears in good condition after a couple of years, the lino will last for a long time.  

• Do you have a regular maintenance routine (even if that's annual) for your shed?

I try to give my timber sheds a coat of paint annually.



2015 Extension Added 


The trees branches started to wear the felt away and a temporary fix was in order. however the wall behind had moved so much that the council was again put on notice that it was dangerous and I was requested to stop using the shed and going into that area, until they had resolved the problem. 

The colour got deeper and deeper with each passing year. 

• Any other advice that we might usefully include?

Consider putting a few paving slabs inside a newly erected shed especially when a storm is coming as it's not just temporary lightweight green houses that can turn into kites or get blown over!  This was my brother in laws shed on his second allotment, two plots down from mine. 

My shed which was exactly the same type but didn't move because in his words "I had too much crap in it" As I said to him I like to think of it more like ballast in a ship to keep in from turning over!     

Fitting a bench/ shelf in to timbers along the walls at the door frame mid height level makes it more resistant to vandalism as it stiffens up the timbers forming the door frame. 

Having had an Apex and a Pent shed on allotments I have to say that Pent style is so much better it gives you so much more room to play with and is worth every extra penny 

On this shed I also fitted the same internal lock along the top of the door so that it was a tight seal and vandals could not prize the door off from the side and the top. 

Replacing two of the screws with dome headed blots either side of the hinges means the little darlings can't just unscrew your door and get into your shed that way.

Don't use nails to fix the walls to the floor use screws and then when you decide after 3 years to move allotment site and take on a half plot next to your original plot you can easily take it apart move it to its new home, give it a coat of paint and you are good to go. It cost me £25 for a man with a van to move the shed, much cheaper than buying a new one.  

If you have even limited skills a small extension to be used for semi dry storage or an onion drying rack can be added. 

Having extended the side then you start to think about doing the same at the rear, and it still looks better than the shed on the next plot. 

In 2019 with the 34degree heat and very dry hot summer the Tongue and Grooved cladding started to come apart as the timber shrunk and in hindsight I perhaps should have hosed the shed down to keep it's moisture content in the timber stable. 

I did attempt to seal gaps that are now like upside down featheredge and will promote the rain running down the face to go into the shed. These were mastic/ frame filler from the inside but continued to curl and become unconnected and required re filling before Winter.

The rain staining can be seen on the bench timber and a shaft of daylight can be seen on the back wall in the left photo. 

I know no other way to make the shed walls once again water proof because of the open joints and would be interested in any other suggestions of improvements on what I have already done. This filling now appears to be an annual routine maintenance job. 

The Plot 1 shed is not as congested as the one at home, but I really do need to make it so that I can at least stand in there if it starts raining. 

Now the tree they dropped on the shed roof on Plot 1A and the dangerous leaning wall has been removed and the wall replaced with a fence, I can re attached the side extension, fence and water butt and finally get around to re-felting the roof without the fear of getting flattened by the leaning wall.

The old girl who is eight this year has had a coat of paint and is just awaiting a couple of dry days to get her new roof covering.

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