This is our shed roof. We know. We're embarrassed too but this was a cheap shed and you get what you buy. This shed came before the wartime garden, our make do and mend ethos, our change from buy it off the peg to let's build that bloody peg. Looking at it now and it would be so easy to pull it down and build our own shed from our own plans. We love plans, we have plans for this shed. Yet, that would be against our make do and mend ethos, it would be throwing away something that could be saved, could be pulled into our plans.
Boy, have we been saving, saving wood from the old bathroom, saving wood that our neighbour was throwing away. We have wood for this project now and we have plans for this roof, this sad looking roof.
So, let's start the project and part of that project is extending the size of the roof because we're going for a green roof, and that means raising the roof, not with a song or a party, but by driving in some posts to create a shelter outside the shed. This will give us some shelter outside on wet days when we want to be in the garden and not lurking in a shed, which until now has leaked. We need to strengthen the shed, we'll show you how to do that. We want to change the windows, we'll show you how to do that too. We want to build in a potting bench and shelves, we'll show you that as well. We want a green roof, we'll show you how to this too and we will do it for minimum cost.
We need to clear the plants and weeds, level the ground and get it ready for a new path. The new path is made from bricks from our new neighbours, the farmer and his wife have gone, and now we have a builder and his wife, and they have a lot of red bricks they don't want from house renovations. We asked. They said, 'Yes!' Saves them the cost of a skip and we get new paths, new plans, new ideas.
Then there are post holes to dig, and when digging we reveal the truth about our topsoil, a lovely crumbly peat which quickly gives way to sandstone grit. This shows how precious peat is and why we should stop using it, we go a spit deep (the depth of a spade) and we are into this subsoil and then grit. Soil is important and we like to protect our's.
The post holes are in for another day, for rain threatens as we dig these holes and they take awhile to break up that sandstone grit. We only go down 18 inches (approximately 46cm) but it's tiring work with a breaker's bar and spade after weeding out and leveling around the shed. Yes, we do feel a little wussy but better to prepare the site first and do it all in stages. We have been there, getting sheds up in a day and we have suffered the results by neglecting simple planning. Always make post holes bigger than the posts, much bigger when using concrete. By the way, our cement and sand comes from a friend who ordered too much of the stuff, so again, no cost, just us showing up to take them away.
Digging these post holes means making them a spade and a half wide, that's around 16 inches (approximately 40 cm). They're 18 inches deep (approximately 46 cm) and the final 6 inches is all stone which we have to break up. In one hole we hit bedrock. Don't be shy with a breaking bar or spade, brute force will win the day along with some choice four letter words and accusations of illegitimacy of the stone. We could have used a post hole digger but we have seen our old neighbour use a post hole digger and the foresaid post hole digger coming out the ground snub nosed and flatter than a pancake.
The post holes are ready for another day, and we hope you come back to see what we are doing and what we have planned for the roof, how we are going to do it and what the final outcome may be. It may take us awhile but Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will this shed. We have the posts, the only thing we have splashed out on because they're tanalised (water proof to some extent) at a cost of £13 including VAT ($17 or €15 on the date of this blog, no guarantees in this life, wood goes up, wood goes down, money goes batshit). Join us when we put those in.
If you have a green roof on your shed, do share your experiences of planting it in the comments below. Tell us what worked and what failed. We'd love to hear from you.