Back in 2015 a need arose for more storage space in the apartment I live in, and need that was mirrored by Pauline who would soon live in the apartment below mine. The obvious solution was a large shed in the garden.
One traditional shed already existed down there, since around 2008, and had evolved to become my office space/edit suite after a renovation in 2012 to insulate it and make it wind and watertight.
Over the course of one month in 2014, with the help of a friend of Pauline's Bart, we set about creating the new shed. At four metres by almost two metres it was a substantial construction as sheds go, and within "permitted build" regulations, so need for planning permission etc.
Key to it's success was to raise it off the ground and cover the roof with a rubber membrane called EPDM, which carried a 25 year guarantee.
Fast forward to 2018, and the growth of my new Film Academy for kids has required new investment in technology, and the result is I have outgrown the old "shed" come office. Pauline and I deliberated for a long time about me taking over the big shed, which is an ideal size and shape, but for various reasons the logistics of using it were just not going to work out.
Solution? Expand the old shed.
This is not a large expansion. At present it measures roughly 2m x 2.5m, and when finished it will measure 2.6m x 3.2m.
First phase was to empty the interior, decanting my office into my kitchen in the apartment.
Phase two required a concrete foundation to be mixed and poured, but not before a section of root system was cut away. I took advice from George Anderson, a friend of mine and whom some will recognise from the Beach Grove Garden series on TV.
Phase three is now complete, which was to lay a course of breeze block around the outer perimeter to keep the timber frame off the floor. Ideally it would have been great to elevate the entire structure, just like the big shed, but as I am reusing most of the existing structure this is just not feasible.
The big shed was built in a four week run of sunny warm weather in September. It is now November, and this week in particular has been very wet. Thankfully the foundation and bricks were in place during a dry spell.
The next phase is to paint bitumen on the outside of the breeze block. I used what are called aerated blocks, which have high thermal mass, but it does mean they are quite porous, hence the bitumen to seal them.
That should happen this weekend, and from then on it will be dismantling two existing walls and moving them outwards.
Hopefully in a months time the shed will be wind and watertight, leaving only the interior to reinstate.
If my academy grows anymore then I guess I'm "gonna need a bigger hut".