Monster post ahead - sorry if you're just wanting to scroll past it... you might be a while
The storms back in March did a real number on my garage roof. Water ingress rates off the charts etc. I wanted to do a full brick build, and even went on a course to learn how, but then the waste removal people wanted £1.4k to take the concrete, so I looked to fixing up and adapting instead. I like wood, and forests etc. and we have a little wild area/meadow at the bottom of the garden, so thought a rustic look might suit.
This was intended to be a 6-week project, but Covid took massive effect on that and turned it into very nearly six months.
Delays like having to wait almost three weeks for timber make for ridiculous frustration, not to mention just needing a hand lifting something onto the roof but because we're in the deepest stage of lockdown I can't make any progress for three weeks.
Still - got through it in the end, and I'm pretty stoked on the results.
There's mistakes everywhere, and lots of not-quite-rights because I was learning on the job, which was too big and complex for my comfort level, but also the floor is unlevel, the existing footprint isn't square, and the whole structure tilts to the side and back made for lots of irritation when perfectly square cuts didn't line up, so I ended up adopting a "that's close enough" attitude for a lot of it. Perfectionism sufferers may want to click away now.
You've been warned!
1 - The original:
2, 3 and 4 - Inside the original:
5 - Emptying out:
6 - Fully empty and door off:
7 - Remove two side panels to put in a human-sized door, for which I had to remove a section of roof because those panels were holding it up in a way that totally wasn't 100% sketchy:
8 - Pressure-washed all over, and then lots of money's-worth of sealant all along the floor joints and part way up, just to be safe. (Inside and out.)
9 - Old shed facing boards recycled into containing strips, with more sealant to hold it in place for...
10 - ...self levelling floor compound! But not enough of it, as you can see. This was my first lockdown issue - there were only two 20kg bags left in all of the Screwfixes, Wickeses, B&Qs, and Toolstations in the entirety of West Yorkshire, and no builders' yards were open.
11 - Roof off and timber finally arrived!
12 - Crown and stretchers.
I looked up planning permission restrictions and you can have an outhouse up to 2.4m at the eaves and 3m at the peak without planning permission.
The concrete panels are 2m tall, so I put a crown of two 145mm boards on top, and then the roof assembly with all the various layers added another 100mm. Measured this up at the end and it genuinely comes in at 2.39m and 2.995m
13 and 14 - Ridge and rafters.
Yes, this timber is way, way overkill, but I was using instructions for a tile roof when I was originally planning a brick-build and forgot I could skimp down a bit. Even for tiles this seems excessive - the rafters in my HOUSE are spaced twice as wide, and about 40x60mm. These are 45x145. Still - better to be overbuilt than under, I guess
15 and 16 - Roofing underlay and battens. Again, no shop in existence would sell me any battens. I ended up having to get them off eBay, couriered by Hermes >.<
The reason for the gaps in the rafters should now be relatively apparent.
17 - Gutter boards and window risers installed:
18 - Shingles! Another three week wait, but worth it.
19 - All shingles on except the ridge. The windows are all staggered to disperse the light as much as possible whilst not weakening the structure too much.
20 - A full shot with the ridge caps on. Starting to look like an actual thing!
21 - Earlier in the year we replaced our greenhouse. It had a load of broken panels and the eaves were really low which made using it awkward. This meant we had a but-load of glass panels (because we hadn't been able to take them to the tip because they were closed). I was originally planning on buying pre-made uPVC windows and doors, but again - all the shops closed.
Combine those two things and my idiotic approach of wanting to do every damned thing myself, I re-purposed the glass and some timber into double-glazing units.
If you ever think you might like a go at this, I whole heartedly emplore you: don't. It's agony.
Also - because I was just cutting sheets with a straight-edge and a carbide wheel cutter, the fewer cuts the better. 40 year old glass is extremely brittle and a lot of cuts failed. So I made as few as possible, resulting in leaving two panes full, four panes with one side trimmed, and two panes had to have both cuts. Per window. So 32 sheets of glass, 24 of which needed cutting to size, and layering on a spacer inside routed channels. The top join is never under stress so it's got nothing but clear sealant over it to make it as close to seamless as possible. They get moisture inside, which is a shame, but they're only really for letting light in rather than looking out of, so whatever.
22 - Windows hoisted up on to the roof. Thanks very much Adam and Mike who detoured about 40 minutes on the way to a ride to help me out. They're only about 25-30kg each, but they're 1250x1250mm each so very awkward.
I'd actually had them all finished for about three weeks before I was able to get someone to help me lift them. Very frustrating times.
They were originally indended to be openable because oh BOY did it get hot in there in the summer, but I messed up calculations and forgot to account for the ridge tiles which are in the way and I have no way of attaching hinges to the top edge. I've toyed with side-hinges etc, but at the moment I think I'm just going to leave them fixed closed.
23 - Same process for the side window and human-door. Thankfully both of these DO open, however!
24 - Internal studding.
I couldn't get them at 600mm centre-to-centre because I could only mount them at the irregularly spaced joints in the concrete panels, which had to be done by un-bolting each and every bolt and putting steel strapping either side before re-fastening.
That wasn't a fun couple of days. (Actual days, too. 07:00-21:00 for two days straight, even with Matilda helping :/ )
25 and 26 - Barn doors! So convenient! Made in the same way as the windows but with plywood sheet in place of glass, obviously.
Also routed the mains cable back in before closing off the gable completely.
27 - Speaking of electrics...
Originally there was just one flourescent tube bulb and a single plug socket. I replaced the light with four bulbs, but it was super sketch.
Time to do it right. Upgrading to 5x double sockets and four better spaced bulbs that are actually connected in a way that won't set on fire.
28 - Finally able to get hold of some more self levelling compound, so filled in that missing patch and smoothed over the rest, then smothered with floor paint to seal it off.
(Yes, I was by pure luck able to perfectly match it with the door panels )
29 - Insulation board in the walls and ceiling.
It got unbearably hot in the original garage in the summer, and so cold in winter than my finger got stuck to the cast iron base of the lathe.
Probably won't be life-changing, but if that can be moderated at all, I'd like to.
30 - Internal cladding on the ceiling.
31 - Plasterboard. Another thing that took over two weeks to get hold of.
Terrible job of it because of the stud spacing, but it's a workshop... It doesn't need to look amazing
32 - Covered over joints, cracks and screws with filler, and then blanket-covered with magnolia.
33 - The pit suffered from terrible damp. Never flooded, but so moist. The dirt floor was probably the main culprit, so I laid a slab in there, and didn't get a picture afterwards but I also tanked it. Seems relatively dry down there so far, and we've had some pretty intense rain since then. Assistance from Alfred much appreciated.
34 - I was originally going to put a steel pit cover on gas struts, but too much faff. I had a bunch of offcuts, so for the price of buying two more boards I could make a super chunky wooden covering which is almost level.
The brickwork is very wonky so I need to do some levelling at some point, but it's not a priority at present. It's five separate panels, so I'll put hinges on one side eventually. At the minute it's just got some logs and the Cannibal in it, but eventually I plan to put a massive shelving unit along one wall for the stuff we all have but rarely use (decorating kit etc.).
35 - Neon-blue cyberpunk detailing, perhaps?
Perhaps not - let's cover that up. Help from Dad because holy awkward.
36-42 - Definitely not "complete" - I doubt it ever will be - but it's at a point where it just needs finishing touches. Door handles etc. The last big job remaining is making some guttering to lead down into the water butt at the rear.
And a final before/after comparison:
I know a few people do things like this, so in case anyone's close to pulling the trigger but nervous about money, I'll include what I spent.
I did this project because I had money. It was inheritance money that was set aside specifically for this, so I wanted to make it nice. It could EASILY be done a lot, lot cheaper if you just wanted the practical result.
All figures have been rounded up/down, just for convenience.
Total spendings: £3100
Structural timber: £500
Roofing battens and underlay: £130
Windows and doors: £300
Shingles and cladding: £850
Tools (my drill died, and I needed a router - decided to include these in the cost of the project to make myself feel better about it!): £240
Sealant, steel strapping, and an unholy quantity of screws and nails: £120
Internal cladding: £50
Pit floor, tanking and cover: £200
Self-levelling compound and floor paint: £60
Misc. stuff (a different router bit, door locks, hinges etc.) £140
Again - sorry for the ridiculous post!