One of the most common house hold structures in Wimbledon and London as a whole that is requested to be built is a shed. Whether it is for personal use or for work, many customers request this service. Since we have built many sheds, we have a small amount of advice that we can give for anyone who wishes to ask us to build their shed or do it alone.
The first tip is to ensure that every shed is started with a solid foundation. When building a shed, you should not expect yours to last long if it’s built on weak foundations. Sheds should be built on strong materials such as solid blocks of concrete or wood timbers that have been pressure treated and set directly onto the ground and spaced properly (spaced closely enough for the shed’s floor frame to be supported and levelled corrected). Another small piece of advice which I would find useful when considering the life expectancy of a shed is ensuring that you build on dry land. If the land is wet, it will help erosion over time. That said, if the area (such as Wimbledon or London) is prone to rainy conditions, ensuring that the foundation is built on gravel will also ensure that the foundation will be protected from erosion.
Larger sheds that are on average more than 200 sq. ft. in size should have permanent foundations that are set down onto the land and extended into the frost line, which are constructed of buried wooden posts or poured-concrete piers. The last piece of advice that could be given in this scenario is ensuring that when using timbers and buried wood posts that they are cut from pressure-treated lumber which are specifically useful for ground contact. This is to prolong the wood from rotting.
Allowing for air circulation is also important for sheds. Since moisture can easily and effectively get into sheds that are not correctly circulated, this moisture can rot the framing, floors and doors and even slowly corrode the hinges within the shed over a long enough period of time. This is easy to fix however, simply by ensuring that the mudsill (lowest laying wood member of the shed) is at least 6 inches above the ground to ensure space for air to circulate under the shed. Another step to helping the circulation of air in the shed is to allow enough space around the shed itself. Anything such as trees, fences or hedges can block out sunlight and wind, and not give the shed enough clearance space to allow the shed to stay dry. It will also help when needing to paint the shed or make repairs in the future.
Using low maintenance materials is also a tip to building a long lasting shed. Since the majority of people who contact us or build sheds have very little time to ensure that the shed is well maintained, using low-maintenance materials can help cut maintenance time. While it will mean that you will be paying more for those materials, the time and trouble that is saved make the price worth it. Materials such as plastic lumber, vinyl or aluminium windows, fiberglass or steel doors and even using faux-slate roof shingles all help take steps towards low maintenance. Fibre-cement siding and composite decking for the steps should also be taken in mind.
Building a floor frame that is weather resistant in the Wimbledon and London area is also very important. Ensuring that you are using the right materials and allowing for enough space, you can help your shed survive the weather. Ensuring you don’t spend cheap on your materials, and allow for such space, your shed will not be as exposed to rotting over time, and will allow a tightly locked foundation.
While not all of these options are cheap or quick to install, over time they do become cost and time effective. The lowered expenses on maintenance as well as the lowered amount of time it would take to maintain the shed will be payment itself. Try to keep these tips in mind if you are going to build a shed, or call us if you want a professional to do it instead.
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South London Carpenters
140 Effra Road
020 8050 1401