Mi Casa, Su Garden Shed

Every bloke’s guide to your very own inner sanctum

In some circles, a man’s home is his garden shed. Not only does his garden shed provide a secure, weatherproof place to keep his man-toys, but for many blokes, it’s a hallowed place of sanctuary and solitude, where he can reconnect with his chi, and top up his life-force energy. (Not to mention, disconnect from bad karma and hide from chores like washing up and garbage duty).

There are loads of different garden shed options for every man, depending on his needs. Let’s face it, garden sheds come in a practically limitless number of shapes, sizes, construction materials and, of course, prices. From toolbox sized receptacles to the double garage-sized home-away-from-home variety, there’s a garden shed out there with your name on it!

If you’re not happy with your current garden shed situation, chances are you’re not happy with life. Here are some garden shed tips and tricks to help achieve oneness and peace in your world:

1. Maximizing space in your shed

  • If your garden shed is only used to store garden equipment, the lawn mower and old copies of your favourite girlie mags, then perhaps all you need is a good cleanout. This will not only create more space but earn brownie points with your significant other and these, like frequent flyer points, can be accumulated and redeemed later.
  • If you spend upwards of 20 hours per week ‘pottering’ in your shed, (ie ‘occupying oneself in a desultory but pleasant manner, while doing a number of small tasks’) then you need to be comfortable. Ensure that your garden shed has enough room to swing a cat. However, if you don’t own a cat, simply twirl around a few times with your arms fully outstretched–if you bump into anything, you need a bigger shed.
  • Once you’ve established that you need a bigger shed, either rip down the old one and buy a bigger one or alternatively, buy another one, place it directly alongside the old one and bolt them together. If you’re a handyman and know how to wield an angle grinder, you can cut a doorway from one garden shed to the other, creating a tardis-like effect.

2. Achieving thermal comfort in your shed

Your shed is way too hot in summer and way too cold in winter. What to do?
  • Bring in a fan in the summer and a heater in the winter. Run an extension cord from the main house if you have to, or if you already have power, then problem solved.
  • If you’re serious about your shed, you could install insulation.
  • You could also install ducted reverse-cycle air-conditioning, but you’ll probably have to check your frequent brownie points on that one.

3. Using your shed as a brewery

  • We’ve already established that the garden shed is a man’s sanctuary, so it stands to reason that within that creative and hallowed sanctum, there should be beer. Provided your shed can maintain a temperature of somewhere between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius, it’s the perfect place to express yourself through the art of brewing.
  • If you like the idea of Tip 1c, you can always brew in one room of your shed and store your creations in the other (in a suitably super-cold fridge, of course).

4. Decorating your shed

You can go two or three ways on this one.

  • Minimalist: Most blokes don’t need much in the way of furnishing and decorating their garden shed. An old lounge thrown out by a mate or picked up from the council cleanup should satisfy your need to sit. Alternatively, scour the local wrecking yard and pick yourself up a seat from your favourite deceased motor vehicle and fashion it into a trendy sofa. Apart from that, a TV, a coffee table for your beverages, an old fridge for your beverages, and a shelf to keep the vessels from which you drink your beverages ought to do it.
  • Creative: If your shed is where you do your best creative thinking, you could make the whole place into a really cosy pad. Hanging artworks, putting down mats and bringing your boyhood sports trophies down from the attic are all ways to spruce up your shed and put your unique stamp on it. If you can fit in a day-bed with a nice throw, you’re all set for the next no-talkie session with your significant other.
  • Hiring a Decorator: No, seriously. You’d be surprised at how many frequent brownie points you can accumulate by involving your significant other. Simply uttering the words ‘I need your advice about interior decor’ could see your life take a turn for the better in ways unimaginable. But be careful, it could backfire if she decides that if she decorated it, she has a claim on the space.

Everyone needs their own space, and a garden shed is a nice, cheap way to create four walls and a roof to call your own. But remember, what you do in the garden shed should stay in the garden shed…

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