Studio arrival and shell construction

Some three weeks after ordering the studio arrived and was deposited on the drive by Garden Buildings Direct. Inspecting the parts revealed a couple of breakages, one of which I couldn’t live with, so I requested a replacement which duely arrived. This process was pretty straight-forward and, whilst I didn’t feel embraced by the warmth of their exquisite customer service, they were easy to contact and answered all my questions quickly with only slight confusion. A solid ‘B’ grade.

Before assembly I covered every part in either Wickes Garden Colour paint (Herb Garden) or Wickes wood preservative to ensure that any water that did creep in wouldn’t cause issues. The painting/treating took 3 solid days to complete and was a logistical nightmare as we had to protect the parts from the inevitable rain – you can see the ranks of painted components in the garage in the photos above. Painting T&G is also fiddly hence the length of time it took.

Once a sunny day, and parental-shaped help, materialised we set out to build the structure itself. The first change/addition we made was to raise the studio up on an additional set of treated bearers and place damp-proof course on top of these before putting down the floor bearers from the studio kit. The purpose here was twofold:

  • To provide an additional airgap and ventilation underneath the floor insulation to prevent damp forming there.
  • To enable us, if the worst happens and a floor bearer begins to rot, to jack up the studio and replace it.

The studio itself went together quickly and easily and was built and roofed within 24 hours. Along the way we made two other additions that are worth noting:

  1. The second-to-last wall board finished very untidily with a free ‘tongue’ and a space to the underside of the roof. I cut a piece of infill from the broken part for which I’d received a replacement however it’s worth noting as, without this, I’d have an irritatingly poor finish here.
  2. The instructions said to screw the roof into the top of the walls to anchor them however the jointing here wasn’t very close and would have resulted in a slightly curved roof. We added an extra piece of 75mm * 50mm screwed to the top/outside of the wall to bridge the gap and provide a more solid base for the edge of the roof.

The roof was covered in underlay (heavily overlapped due to the shallow pitch of the roof) and then Wickes felt roofing shingles. both of which were relatively easy to work with. Internally we inserted 25mm foil-backed PIR between the floor joists and then boarded over. We would have liked 50mm insulation in the floor but we couldn’t fit it in due to the depth of the floor bearers.

Next job is to make it watertight. Good luck all!

Costs: £2810.00 total

  • Studio: £2200.00
  • Additional bearers, all plates, and DPC: £80.00
  • Wickes Garden Colour (4 tins) and preservative (1 Tin): £90.00
  • Polyester underlay (3 rolls) and Roof shingles (9 packs): £370.00
  • 4 sheets of 25mm foil-backed PIR: £40.00
  • Misc screws/nails/fixings: £30.00

Lessons:

  • Allow time in your schedule for the replacement of broken or warped parts – I had this experience and seemingly so does everyone else who orders one of these log cabin structures. I had to accept that there was a level of warping and breakage that I’d just have to live with.
  • Get the supplier to send you some offcuts to use as blocks for tapping the boards down and filling in gaps/tidying up. The tongue and groove style of the boards means that you can easily damage the tongue if tapping them and the shape is a swine to replicate when you’re trying to get a good finish.
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2 Comments on “Studio arrival and shell construction”

  1. Bob says:

    Wickes garden colour really isn’t the right product to use…unless you fancy re painting it every year (false economy). You need a much higher quality product such as Sikkens or Sadolin to protect it from the elements and you’ll only have to maintain it every 5 years.

    • ovineloving says:

      I agree. I don’t much fancy repainting it every year! Unfortunately this was an area where I didn’t do as much research as I could/should have I’ve probably made a poor choice.

      Depending on how it weathers over the winter we’ll probably have to recoat next summer and, when we do, we’ll be more selective about what we use.


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