Guest post :  A woolly hat for your shed

Thanks to Andy from for this guest post about insultation your shed roof.

Everyone knows when it’s cold you put a hat on to keep warm and every house has loft insulation. But when building a shed we typically only have a layer of board topped with felt to keep us warm. My shed was particularly bad as the roof only consisted of some corrugated plastic meaning that even with the heater on it did not keep warm.

Here’s how I retrofitted an insulated roof to my shed with some ideas as to how you might do this yourself.



My shed already had a frame supporting the roof so I knew it would be ok for some extra weight. If your walls are a bit flimsy then you want to consider re-enforcing these before you begin.


In my case, I needed to replace all of the roof so I used tongue and groove for the inner skin. However, it is quite possible to put the new roof on top of the old. The result is a sandwich of wood and insulation with battens for spacing and support.


  • Insulation, blocks are easiest
  • Timber for battens
  • Board such OSB
  • Felt
  • Screws, drywall or exterior
  • Clout nails


  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill

The first step is to remove the existing felt so that you can measure up for the battens. My shed is a bit of a peculiar shape so my batten frame had to match that. Otherwise, you just need a simple rectangle. When using multiple boards, fit cross struts at the places where those boards meet. If you are planning skylights then add extra battens around that area too. The frame can be made up in advance of putting it on the roof. For a large roof, multiple frames may prove more manageable. Place the frame on the roof and screw through from below to secure.


You can now fit the insulation into the frame. For block insulation, this should be straightforward. If you want to use rolled loft insulation then you will need to work out a way of stopping it all sinking to the bottom, perhaps cross wires held with screw eyes?

The top of this sandwich is OSB, if you cut this a bit larger than the frame then you can avoid a gap at the ridge. Otherwise like me, you will need to fit a piece of timber in the gap. Before fixing, I find it useful to pencil on where the battens are located. This makes it easier to ensure your screws will go through the top sheet and secure into the batten. You want the screws to be flush with the board so they don’t rip the felt. I drilled holes for mine but found I did not need to countersink them because the drywall screws do that themselves.


For extra waterproofing an under-felt was added, this is the felt that’s used for house roofs and does not have the stone chippings of regular roofing felt. It was cheaper than regular felt and the stones are only needed on the top layer to protect from the sun. So, to top it all off regular roofing felt was used, held in place with clout nails.


The shed still gets cold in the winter as it’s not constantly heated. It quickly warms up with a fan heater and keeps the heat. This means the fan heater can be turned down or off and the shed is still a pleasant place to work.

You can visit Andy’s website for great posts on his various make projects (includes dragons and 3d Printing), or follow him on twitter.

If you as a sheddie have an interesting build or fix you would like to share with the sheddies then Let me know.


DIY Project : Putting a new roof on a workshop shed

Andy from Workshopshed has posted this on our forum about his New roof on his shed.

It still needs some finishing but I swapped out my old roof with a new one with insulation, felt and a big polycarbonate window.

But you can read the full shed roof job over at his blog.

When I inherited the Workshopshed I was impressed by the clear plastic roof and how much light it gave. However as the first winter hit I spotted that it provided no thermal insulation at all and also had some issues with leaking which I attempted to patch up. In the summer the opposite problem occurred at the workshopshed became unbearably hot.

The corrugated PVC had become discoloured in the sun and when I removed some of it from the side I also discovered that the UV had made it really brittle.

So it obviously had to be replaced so I thought about how it could be done. I looked multiwall polycarbonate sheets and these seemed to have better thermal properties than the old PVC.
However when I costed out replacing the whole roof with that material it was quite expensive. So I then looked at replacing the roof with wood and insulation with a traditional roofing felt and a smaller pannel of polycarbonate.

Over the last 4 days I’ve stripped off the old roof and with some help replaced it with a new one.

Andy has also kindly written a guest blog post about battering down the hatches for Winter – look for that soon.

if you have any tips for our sheddies for the Winter or any shed build projects you would like to share then please Contact me and I will do a blog post about it.

Top Tips for felting a shed roof

My shed roof desperately needs re felting – of course I should have done it in the summer when the weather was a lot better, but as with most things I do, it takes me months to get round to things (yes mrsunclewilco was right, but don’t tell her).

Anyway being of little DIY skills I asked the sheddies, on that fangled twitter thing. and got some good advice from the shedwitters

BuyAssociation November 5, 2009

@unclewilco Buy the stuff that has a strip of bitumen on one side underneath – heat with a blowtorch, stick down and it seals! Genius…

JULIANBRAY November 5, 2009

@unclewilco get rigid corrugated sheets of roof lining (B&Q £11 a sheet) and fixing nails much easier lasts longer

oddjones November 5, 2009

@unclewilco Yeah – prepare yourself both pysically and mentally beforehand – it’s a horrible job :

Christopher_R November 5, 2009

@unclewilco Wear good gloves. That cold tar stuff is horrible.

GardenBuildings November 5, 2009

@unclewilco measure the felt twice and cut the felt once. always a good one. Don’t scrimp on the tacks either or high wind will get you


If you have any more tips to help me in my task then please reply on this tweet or comment below.


TOP TIPS FOR… fixing creaking floorboards

:: Floorboards creak when two pieces of wood rub together. There are several causes of this, but one of the most common is that the nails which fix the floorboards to the joists become loose over time. It’s sometimes possible to solve the problem by pushing talcum powder or chalk between the boards, so try this first.

:: If this doesn’t work, walk over the floorboards to find out where the movement is. Providing the offending board is in good condition, you can remove the loose nails with a claw hammer and then fix the board back in place using the same holes – but with screws rather than nails, which will make it more secure. Remember to countersink the screw heads, otherwise they’ll protrude and could hurt someone or catch clothing.

:: If the floorboard isn’t in good condition, it may not be possible to lift it and screw it back down again. If so, work out where the joist is – this should be apparent from the row of nails – and drill new pilot holes through the board into the joist. Again, countersink the screws so they won’t cause problems.

:: If the end of the floorboard isn’t resting on a joist, give it the support it needs by lifting up the board and fixing a 25mm x 50mm batten to the side of the joist with long screws. Lay the board on top of the batten and screw back in place.

:: Never screw or nail into a floorboard unless you know what’s underneath, as this could be dangerous. Use a battery-operated cable and pipe detector to find out what’s under the board, although these detectors can be inaccurate if, for example, they pick up the nails in the boards. A more foolproof method is to lift the board up, if possible, and if you do find any cables or pipes underneath, mark these on the surface with a pencil so you can avoid them.


:: According to research by Triton Showers, women spend longer under the water than men. More than half of the women questioned admitted taking 10 minutes or more in the shower, compared to 42% of men.

There are also differences across the country – 44% of East Midlanders spend 10 minutes or more in the shower, with the inhabitants of Yorkshire and Humberside (40%), the North East and the West Midlands (both 36%) not far behind. It’s a different story in the South of England, though, with 42% spending just eight minutes or less showering.

If you’re looking for a new shower to spend time in, check out Triton’s new Unichrome Mersey thermostatic mixer range (prices start from around £270). Find out more by going to the company’s new-look website – – which is designed to make it simple to find a shower to suit the look, bathroom and plumbing system of your home.

:: DIY can be physically demanding, especially when you’re working on floors or ceilings and have to kneel and bend or reach up high, but the Tribod mini massager from JML can help. Ergonomically designed to fit in the palm of your hand, it works by vibrating three massage balls that soothe aches and pains and relieve knots all over the body. This is often what you need after a hard day DIYing. The Tribod costs £9.99 from

Bank Holiday shed sales fest

15% off over 150 Garden Structures including Sheds, Arbours, Cabins & Summerhouses

15 % off over 40 Wooden, Metal & Plastic Sheds & Storage

15% off Selected Playhouses

15% off Selected Garden Rooms & Home Offices

15% off Arbours and Arches

15% off over 70 Cabins & Summerhouses

15% off Selected Carports, Canopies & Garages

15% off Selected Pet Houses
B&Q have some incredible deals this Bank holiday offering 15% off 1000s products online and in store. Please see each individual offer below for details.

Outdoor Living for less – All these offers are valid from 22nd May to the 28th May


:: Fired Earth is celebrating its 25th birthday this year and, to mark the occasion, is offering 25% off selected favourites throughout the year (details online or in-store).

Also, if you spend £50 or more on paint in-store, Kevin McCloud’s new book Colour Now (RRP £9.99) is yours free. In it, McCloud researches, selects and combines more than 120 colours, including his own paint collection for Fired Earth. Each of the featured palettes is made up of between three and eight colour swatches and includes an introduction describing its influences, potential and variety.

If you want to know more about colours or if you struggle to choose and combine them in your home, this could be the book for you. See for more details.

:: Homebase has a new DIY advice centre on its website, offering lots of help and information for home improvers, including interactive tools, buying guides, projects, frequently asked questions, and ’How to’ guides. You can also view Homebase brochures there. Websites of DIY chains are a great source of information and advice – and this one just got better. Visit


Now is a good time to treat wooden garden furniture to protect it against the elements and wear-and-tear during summer, especially if you plan to leave it outside. Wait for a fine day and apply an exterior wood treatment, oil or paint, following the instructions carefully.

Screwfix Save 5% on all orders over £50

Screwfix are promoting a new voucher code from Tuesday 12th May until Midday Monday 8th June (12.00).

Save 5% on all orders over £50 or more with the following voucher code: Affiliate5%

Simply enter your unique offer code in the special instruction box when you reach the check order details screen. The saving will be deducted from your order total before your card is charged (it will not show on the checkout total or confirmation email).

Terms and Conditions:

– Offer cannot be redeemed against Delivery charges or Gift Vouchers.
– Offer cannot be redeemed in conjunction with any other voucher.
– Offer only valid via the web.
– Offer valid from Tuesday 12th May until Midday Monday 8th June 2009.
– Offer is open to all UK residents aged 18 years or over except employees of Screwfix Direct or their families and anyone professionally involved with this promotion.
– There is no cash alternative.
Promoter: Screwfix Direct Limited.


Britons are collectively planning to spend £4.5 billion on home improvements over Easter, with many hoping to add value to their property, a survey showed today.

The average person will spend £181 on DIY projects during the Bank Holiday weekend, rising to more than £200 among people in London, according to research by The Co-operative Bank.

Nearly a third of people said they were planning to carry out work in a bid to add value to their property, while 28% wanted to improve their current home because they could not afford to move.

But 16% of people said they were planning a DIY project so that they did not get bored, 13% want to make their home more environmentally friendly and 9% want to create more space for their expanding family.

Homeowners are most likely to carry out work on their garden and lounge at 18%, followed by the main bedroom at 17% and the kitchen at 15%.

But while 33% of people will be painting and 29% will be gardening, 12% of people planning home improvements will be buying new furnishings.

Terry Jordan, head of mortgages at The Co-operative Bank, said: “In the current economic climate with the slowdown in the property market, people are not moving house as much as before.

“Instead the research clearly shows that people are looking to make improvements to their existing homes in order to add value and better their living space.”

:: questioned 3,500 people during March.

TOP TIPS FOR… removing polystyrene ceiling tiles

:: Polystyrene ceiling tiles are unsightly and old fashioned, but removing them isn’t much fun, so be sure you want to. Once you’ve started scraping them off, you can’t just stop.

:: Make sure you have a stepladder tall enough to enable you to reach the ceiling without stretching and straining, as this could be dangerous. The ladder should always be placed on a flat, stable surface and the floor should be protected from falling debris, unless you’re planning to replace it.

:: You’ll need a stripping knife to scrape off the tiles. One with replaceable blades is a good idea because you can change them when they become blunt. Be careful about damaging the ceiling underneath, especially when the blades are sharp, as plaster can be very soft and prone to gouges.

:: Once you’ve removed the tiles, you’re left with the problem of the adhesive underneath. You can continue scraping this off, but it will be easier if you use a hot air gun to soften the adhesive first. Scrub any remaining adhesive off with an abrasive sponge dipped in solvent thinner.

:: Be very careful when using the hot air gun, as, again, you don’t want to damage the ceiling – or yourself. Play safe by wearing protective gloves, glasses and a dust mask and remember to ventilate the room. You should also wear something like a shower cap on your head to protect your hair from the falling tiles and adhesive.


:: DIY is enjoying renewed popularity because of the recession, according to a survey by online trades and services portal MyHammer. It found that 85 per cent of those questioned would rather make improvements to their home than sell up in the current economic climate.

More than half (58 per cent) of those surveyed said they were planning or doing home improvements, and more than two thirds (69 per cent) said it was because they have to stay in their current home for longer than they originally thought.

The study found that the hardest hit are the over 56s, with 92 per cent saying they must improve instead of move. Following the fall in house prices, many of this age group are stuck in their current homes, whereas before they’d have been able to downsize and use the profit from the sale towards their retirement.

:: B&Q has teamed up with shutter specialist The California Company to offer made-to-measure shutters on its website. The online service guides you through every step of the process, from selecting and measuring to ordering and DIY installation.

You can enter your exact opening sizes, choose from a range of designs and the number of panels for each window, then select a stain or paint and the finishing touches. Free shutter samples are available and there’s a choice of elm or poplar wood and a variety of stains, ranging from cherry to honey oak.

All the shutters are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accredited, which means that the wood has been sourced from independently certified, well-managed forests or other controlled sources. Prices start at £175 a square metre – see


Q: What’s a good DIY way to get privacy on my lower windows without having net curtains?

A: Plain frosting film is inexpensive and easy to fit yourself (decorative film tends to be much more expensive). If you want something less permanent, bottom-up blinds work like upside-down roller blinds (from the windowsill up) on a pulley system, so you can control how much of your windows you have covered. These blinds can also be installed quite easily by DIYers, but they’re not cheap. Another (fairly expensive) option is shutters, some of which come with installation included and some of which are designed for DIY installation, but they will reduce the light coming into the room.


Easter’s coming up, the traditional start to the DIY season, and if you’re staying at home, why not use the long weekend to do a meaty home-improvement project? Plan ahead early so you’ve got everything you need to get on with it and don’t have to brave the bank-holiday shopping crowds.

Couple create town where they first met in shed

Childhood sweethearts Stanley and Christine Buck have created a model of a 1950s town to remind them of “happy times”.

The retired couple, of Whittlesey, Cambs, have spent much of the past 20 years crafting the MDF replica.

The 1:24inch scale model features a variety of places that hold memories for them, including the coffee shop in Greenford, London, where they met in 1957.

Mrs Buck, 68, said she and her husband, a 75-year-old former factory worker, had spent thousands of hours on the project.

“I used to do it all day, as well as the housework,” said the mother-of-two, who has nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

“I’m the artistic one and he makes the buildings.”

She said the model, which is 24ft in length and 2ft deep, was based on 1950s architecture and fashions.

“It’s a collection of buildings we’ve known or that remind us of places that we’ve been to,” she said. “We get pleasure from looking at it. It has memories for us.

“It’s more about the period than any particular place.”

The cinema where they went on a date is included in the town centre model, along with houses, flats and shops.

The couple, who celebrate their golden wedding next year, have welcomed visitors from neighbouring counties to view their work, which is stored in a garden shed.