Sheds, The Do-It-Yourself Guide for Backyard Builders, 4th Edition

The humble, and not so humble, shed is one of the most convenient ways of expanding the area of the home. The authors have again revised, updated and expanded their guide in this 4th edition. Most Highly Recommended

NAME: Sheds, The Do-It-Yourself Guide for Backyard Builders, 4th Edition
FILE: R3284
AUTHOR: David Stiles, Jeanie Stiles
PUBLISHER: Firefly Books
BINDING: soft back
PRICE: £18.95                                                      
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT:   Sheds, outbuildings, tool sheds, potting sheds, home office sheds, 
workshops, DIY workshops, storage, garden furniture, bike sheds, garden machine 

ISBN: 978-0-85442-137-4

PAGES: 240, extensive colour and b&w illustration through the book
IMAGE: B3284.jpg
DESCRIPTION: The humble, and not so humble, shed is one of the most convenient 
ways of expanding the area of the home. The authors have again revised, updated
and expanded their guide in this 4th edition. Most Highly Recommended

The outbuilding has been a feature of homes and farms in rural areas for centuries. It is a convenient and versatile way of expanding the total work and home floorspace. It has also become an important feature of urban and suburban housing.

For many, the humble timber framed and clad prefabricated shed is used for storing garden tools, bicycles and general odds and ends that are not wanted inside the home. DIY stores and specialist suppliers offer a simple low cost shed that can be delivered to the customer for self assembly. Although if can be challenging for one person on their own, this type of shed can be assembled very quickly with few tools and no prior building experience. Two people working together can make easy and short work of putting up the shed and starting to fill it with all the things that are not required in the home. It also has the virtue in many countries of not requiring planning permission and does not have to follow any complex building codes.

However, even DIY stores, now offer more complex structures that are optimised for a particular use. This includes log cabins and sheds intended for use as summer houses. Even at this stage, this guide can prove invaluable because it is a source of ideas that can be applied to a standard prefabricated wooden shed or an ambitious DIY project that is constructed from components sourced from a builders merchant, or even from available raw materials.

Using available raw materials can be very satisfying and dramatically cut the cost of the shed. If trees can be felled and stripped, a log cabin style shed can cost little more than the screws and nails, and the windows and roofing materials. Equally, sheds can be built with recycled materials, including vehicle tyres and empty bottles.

The authors have offered not just a selection of interesting and varied designs, but provide a guide to construction and use. Their guide is heavily illustrated with sketches and drawings in b&w and full colour, together with colour photographs. As one would expect from a 4th edition, this is not only a very popular book, but also a comprehensive guide.

Sheds fall into several categories and some may serve more than one category. The most popular shed has been the wooden storage shed. It may have few, or no, windows and can be anything from 2 by 2.5 metres, simple tool sheds can be even smaller, upwards. If the user does not want to do carpentry, or mix mortar, the prefabricated shed is ideal and some suppliers offer a selection of pre-assembled sections that can be used to provide exactly the size required with the number of windows needed and the number of doors. This type of shed is most frequently used initially to store garden machines, tools and associated equipment, but soon begins to collect other items that are no longer required inside the home.

The other most popular shed type is the workshop. It may be used for carpentry, boat building, potting, hobby work. It has more and/or bigger windows, usually a power supply and perhaps also a water supply and sink. Having more facilities often means that it becomes a retreat for one or more family members.

Similar to the workshop shed, the summer house is primarily somewhere to sit in the garden but out of wind and rain. It has large South-facing windows, probably a decking area, and more conveniences, such as a kettle, or small stove, and comfortable seating. It is much more a home from home and may also include a television set and other leisure electronics.

What the authors have done is offer a wide variety of designs and concepts to enable the DIY enthusiast to make the most of available space and provide a shed that most closely matches what the owner wants to use it for. It also allows the owner to blend the building into the landscape and against the main building.

What is particularly useful in this guide as that the more skilled and ambitious DIY enthusiast can take ideas from several of the designs to construct a unique shed that exactly matches the need. This is specially useful for a home office. As homeworking becomes more common, and essential during infection lock-downs, for many it is tempting to take over a spare bedroom or share general living space but the most successful approach is to construct an out building.

The reason for separating home and office within the same site is that it allows the owner to treat the space exactly like the convention business accommodation. All of the communications and computer equipment can be installed to the same standard previously taken for granted in conventional working facilities. Correct seating and workstation/desk can be included, together with things like lockable cupboards and filing cabinets. If that is combined with the clothing previously worn for work, the remote worker is able to achieve the same level of professionalism and efficiency, free of domestic disturbance. With this type of shed, the building materials and design will be more sophisticated, but the authors have allowed for this in their selection of designs and construction techniques.

This may be the most profitable book that the reader will ever buy.