Nathan James Dodd describes how GardenSite have once again joined forces with garden designer Andy Tudbury by donating a Rowlinson Haven Corner Arbour to his show garden at this year's Gardeners' World Live event.
Last weekend Nathan Dodd was busy constructing a Forest 6x4 Garden Shed for one of our local customers. Here's the story of how the task was completed.
Following a customer request for a small shed with an apex (high point in the centre and sloping sides) roof, a shiplap (cladding) 6x4 wooden shed was ordered from Gardensite.
A week later it was delivered directly to the customer's house in several large pieces strapped together and included:
I took along my tool box which included:
I had estimated the job would take me around 2-3 hours.
On arriving, my first job was to open the bag and get out the instructions. Never start without reading the instructions, even if your feel tempted to. It's very easy to get something the wrong way round or upside down.
Clearly labelled, I made a start laying out in order all the screws and fittings on the floor. After that, I made space for where the customer wanted me to build the garden shed, then put the sides, roof and floor up against the fence. I then unrolled the roof felt on the lawn. Once I had done this, it made finding everything much easier and I was also able to check that I was not missing anything.
The customer already had a lovely level slabbed area for the shed to be sited on, so that made installing the shed floor very easy. The floor fitted together in two pieces. Made of lightweight reconstituted wood, I was impressed by how solid it was and yet how simple it was to put together.
The customer wanted the shed to store bikes, so it was important to make sure the window was near the fence for security reasons. The great thing about Forest sheds is their flexibility. The sides are interchangeable and the door can open left or right depending on where you locate the door hinges. In this case I made sure the hinges were on the left hand side of the door, so that it opened against the fence to create as much access room as possible.
The next job involved me putting the hinges on the door, whilst the front shed panel was flat on the floor. I thought this might be a job you did once the shed was up, but this way was very straigtforward. The only thing I had to remember was to make sure the screw hinges went into the door battens. If you just put them anywhere then the screws will go through the shiplap door wood and show on the inside. This is not good for strength and can cause injuries. The bolt lock supplied also screwed into the door batons. A padlock is not provided.
Once the door was secure I placed the front panel against the floor and raised it up. It sat nicely on top of the floor in a ridge. I then did the same with the side panel. Now I should say at this point, having two people makes this bit a lot easier. Anything bigger than a 6x4 and I would have needed someone to hold the sides as I screwed them together.
Once the front and sides were erected and screwed together in place, it was a case of adding the back and the other side and screwing them together. Although this all sounds fairy straight forward and it is, it is important to make sure your shed is level and that everything butts together. Once happy with the levels I then screwed the sides down into the base. If you do this too soon, the whole structure won't have any give, which is what you need once all the sides are up to make sure your get everything butted up tightly. Having a level base is the ultimate key to having a level shed.
Next I fitted the clear perspex window which just slotted in. I then nailed the wooden beading aorund the perspex to secure it.
The roof section is the most difficult part of building a shed because it involves measuring, cutting and trimming. My dad always says "measure twice and cut once" and that is something always worth remembering.
On this particular shed a wooden baton goes across the top from the front to the back section. The two roof pieces sit on this wooden bar and fit into the side ridges and overhand each side of the shed to create a roof apex. I then screwed them in place making sure each side was equal front and back and side to side.
Having left the roof felt out in the sun it had lost its creases and become flexible. I cut the felt in half and carried one section over to the roof and laid it flat so it over hung over both ends equally, I then tacked it down as instructed. Having step ladders is the only way you can do this effectively.
On this size of shed, the roof felt went over onto both sides of the apex roof. This meant that when I put on the second piece they overlapped each other at the apex by several inches. Again I secured the second piece of roof felt with the roofing nails provided along the sides and top where they overlapped.
To finish the roof off, several pieces of cut batten wood are provided for the front and back to hide the roof felt edge and create a strip of wood to frame the apex roof. Once these are nailed down all I had to to was cut the felt. This is not a easy unless you have a very sharp knife as roof felt is very thick and the tar can quickly blunt the sharpest of knives.
The final job was nailing the four batons that go on each corner of the shed to hide where each panel joins. These really made the shed look neat and tidy.
After three hours it was now time for a cup of tea and to pack up before the rain came.
If you are looking to purchase a new shed why not visit our shed product pages on Gardensite.co.uk.
As GardenSIte's plant specialist I always keenly anticipate the HTA National Plant Show. This is my chance to visit nurseries, find out what's trending in the horticultural world and source new stock, all from under one roof.
Following on from GardenSite's successful television advertisements earlier in the year, Senior Partner Robert Hall explains why terrestrial TV is being used for the first time in the current campaign.
Gardensite hosted a tremendously successful Father's Day event on Sunday 19 July, and David Coton was there to participate in the fun that raised money for the Breast Cancer Now charity.
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show takes place next month and Nathan James Dodd looks forward to what you'll discover at the largest annual show of its kind.