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gardener 06-10-2008 03:23 PM

Building a movable garden shed/greenhouse

I am looking at building a garden shed on my new allotment (English thing where peple pay nominal yearly rent on a piece of ground (usually 30 x 100 ft) to grow vegetables).

The local goverment has very clear regulations that you can only have a maximum of a 6 X 4 feet shed, and a greenhouse a maximum of 6 x 8 feet.

At present these regulations are ignored with much larger sheds on the plots, but I am thinking of building a basic A-frame structure that is 6 ft wide at the front and 8 foot long, so that it can be easily halved to 6 x 4 ft if someone does come round inforcing the regulations. As there is no electricity on site, I would like to build it in sheets kit-like at home and then transport it to the allotment and bolt it together. If I was to make the floor, side walls and roof in two 4ft wide panels that joined to make 8 feet wide, would I be severly jepodising the strength of my shed or would this be possible?

It is something I would like to be solid, but as cheap (and light) as possible at first, and then maybe spend more money insulting and lining inside when I am richer know how much use it will have. I have looked at a few plans on-line, but would be grateful for suggestions of any that would be easy to pre-make and transport to the site.

The allotment shed will actually be more a weather shelter/picnic hut for humans than a storage shed for tools (one's own private garden in build-up outer-London). So I am thinking of building a 6 x 8 wooden greenhouse(with polycarbonate sheeting sides) onto the front of the garden shed, so it can double as a sunroom in the cooler months. Any suggestions on how best to connect the two buildings togther so that the greenhouse and shed are "air-tight" together?

By the way, while I have done 4 years of technical drawing, this would be my first big building project (apart from seedling frames). I am wondering if I should just buy a pre-made kit shed for the same cost as the materials, but have always wanted to build my own house, and this will probably be the closest I will come to building or owning my own for a good while yet.

Grateful for any help,

the Gardener

TexasEd 06-13-2008 04:47 PM

My first post here.

I believe your biggest issue will be the strength of the base to support the building and keep everything level.

I would build the base as two small frames to fit within a larger frame on the outside.

I don't know if your dimensional lumber is like it is in the US where we use lumber measured in inches, but they take off 0.5" for the lumber in each dimension. If not and my dimensions seem like they don't add up this is why.

I would use 2"x6" lumber for the outside frame of 6'x8' (cut the 8' side to fit inside the 6' sides) and then nest two 5'9"x3'9" frames made of 2"x4" on the inside. You could build these smaller frames at home and transport them to the site with the precut lumber for the outside frames.

Attach the two inside frames to one another with bolts and then nail the outside frame around all of that with all the tops flush. If you have to downsize you can cut through the outside frame flush with the inside frame that you will keep after taking off half the top. Disconnect the bolts and the unused half will pull away. Re-use the 2x6 from the discarded end (full 6' length) and nail it to the remaining piece.

For the building I would frame your long walls as two separate frames and bolt them together like the base. You may also want to bolt the wall framing to the floor for one half if you have it raised enough and can get underneath.

If you build the end wall of the part to be discarded correctly it should be able to nest inside the rest of the remaining building with little or no modification.

Keep building it in halves and bolting together and I think that will work until you get to the roof. You'll need some overlap regardless of the material you use. I would recommend some corrugated material.

Good Luck,

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