A SHED-load of ideas for your man cave

Whether you want to cre­ate a dream den or sim­ply make the most of pre­cious stor­age space, here are some top tips for get­ting started

Rutherglen Reformer - - House & Home - David Domoney

Sheds can be the corner­stone of any gar­den – if they are used wisely. If yours is sim­ply an out­door stor­age space crammed full of tools, bikes and gen­eral junk, you’re not mak­ing the most of it.

Sheds should be so much more – a proper out­door space that pro­vides an es­cape from the pres­sures of life as you plan your next gar­den project. One re­cent sur­vey even branded our gar­den sheds a Bri­tish icon –along­side fish and chips, the Queen, a cup of tea and the Sun­day roast.

Keep­ing it well- or­dered – and spick and span – will save you end­less time and frus­tra­tion in the long run. So if you’re look­ing out of your win­dow at a smelly, bor­ing, brown junk- filled box with cracked win­dows, a leaky roof and cob­webs, it’s time to pimp your shed.

Here are some sim­ple hints and tips on mak­ing the most of your shed.

They re­ally can be the gar­dener’s Tardis – but not if you’re con­stantly fight­ing to find any­thing. So first you’ll need to clear ev­ery­thing out and check your shed’s struc­tural in­tegrity.

Get crack­ing and empty all the con­tents out on to the lawn and put stuff in groups.

High-value items such as moun­tain bikes, golf clubs and the like are usu­ally best stored in­side for se­cu­rity reasons. Get rid of as much as pos­si­ble, give the shed a good brush out and then check it all over for leaks.

If there are any holes, use roo­fing felt and or­di­nary sil­i­con bath­room sealant to plug gaps. While you’re at it, re­place any bro­ken win­dows and strengthen doors or walls with tim­ber and nails where nec­es­sary. Go on, show it some love.

Then give your shed a proper scrub­bing in­side us­ing a de­cent gar­den dis­in­fec­tant like Jeyes Fluid.

And now you’re ready to be­gin your trans­for­ma­tion.

Stick in some shelv­ing units. Old book­cases, chests of draw­ers and kitchen units are per­fect for stor­ing fer­tilis­ers, seeds, smaller tools and other es­sen­tial kit.

Screw hooks on the walls are ideal for keep­ing larger tools dry, safe and tidy. The more you get on to the walls, the more floor space you’ll have. Your shed will start to feel more like a proper out­door room than a junk shop.

If you want it to be re­ally smart, paint the in­side and out­side us­ing coloured stain or paint.

There’s ab­so­lutely no need other than tra­di­tion to go with brown. Gar­den greens, reds, and even yel­lows and or­anges can look classy.

It’s only the out­side that needs pro­tect­ing from the el­e­ments, but dec­o­rat­ing in­side too will help make you feel right at home – and lessen the chances of your shed sim­ply be­com­ing a dump­ing ground for house­hold tat.

Now for fur­ni­ture. Have you got an old sofa or some chairs? Or maybe the old cof­fee ta­ble would fit in?

If there’s space, add a work­bench. It will make the shed more prac­ti­cal so you can do pot­ting up, grow seeds and do other plant­ing jobs.

Run some out­door cable to the shed, and you can fix up lights, a heater and even a fridge or ra­dio. These lit­tle things will en­cour­age all-year-round use and make it feel far more cosy.

Then check out the floor­ing. An old rug or two can be used and rolled up over the winter.

Out­side, em­bel­lish it with win­dow boxes or con­tain­ers – add trail­ing ivy or climb­ing plants.

Next, sort your con­tent into three piles de­pend­ing on how of­ten you use them. Then ar­range them with the least-used items at the back.

Fi­nally, be­fore you start putting ev­ery­thing back, be ruth­less. Try to find at least five ex­tra items that can be binned. Ev­ery bit of saved space is a bonus.

A SHED can pro­vide an es­cape from the pres­sures of life

KEEP­ING your shed well or­dered and clean will save you time in the long run

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