Building a Workshop, Rumpus Room or Hobby Shed – How to, hints and tips

Double Garage Workshop Shed

Double Garage Workshop with side access

Here are a few things to keep in mind when building a shed especially if its going to be a workshop, rumpus room, Gym or hobby space where a controlled environment is preferred.

Sheds are generally braced through their Roof and Side walls, either using the cladding (diaphram bracing) or strap bracing. What this means is that if you purchase a shed in one design (shed is optimised based on that design) and you change the design later by cutting holes in it for windows and doors, moving bracing to suit openings etc then you will be altering the way the shed behaves in extreme weather. We would recommend ensuring that the shed is designed for the proposed openings from the start.

If you wish to clad the walls in another type of cladding other than the standard vertical clad sheets of Colorbond or Zincalume then your shed will require additional battening. This is usually achieved by fixing topspan 22 ceiling battens vertically across the horizontal wall girts every 450mm or so. This will give the other varieties of cladding like weatherboard, blueboard, horizontal corro somewhere to fix to. It would be wise to discuss this with your chosen shed supplier so that

  1. it is engineered into the building and
  2. allowed for in the design & slab drawings as you are altering dimensions by 22mm per side.

Councils are usually fine with you doing whatever you want with your shed as long as it is catered for in its engineering/design and that your are not living it it…No hard wired Kitchen. However…Toilets and showers in sheds are fine. (properly installed by suitably qualified builder).

Internally lining a shed should be dicussed with your shed supplier as well, more so if you are intending on lining the roof as the additional load should be noted for the design. Some companies will look to upgrade the rafters and purlins. Others are fine as they are. Remember that often people will go ahead in the future and install solar panels on a shed as well, so if you combine gyprock or similar, solar panels and a major hail storm and drenching rain you may find the roof on the floor.

Aim for your budget to allow for Kingspan Insulbreak 65 or similar insulation. It does 3 things…Insulates, is an anti condesation and creates a thermal break between the cladding and the steel frame. This will make the inside of the shed very comfortable in summer or winter. If lining areas later pop some aditional Batts in the cavities to create a real thermally comfortable space. You can check out Insulbreak here  there is a link on that page to Tech & Spec PDF.

Vermaseal seals the perimeter of the Shed. Buy vermaseal

Vermaseal seals the perimeter of the Shed.

If you are looking to create workshops/rumpus rooms you should install a verminseal to the perimeter of the shed that stops creepy crawlies and moisture during inclement weather coming up inside the shed between the cladding and the slab. You can read about it here. Keep in mind that if you are in a bush fire attack zone that emberseals could be required by your certifier or may just be a good idea anyway. A ridgeseal and Roofseal behind the gutters is also an option too. Rebating the concrete slab is not recommended by manufacturers of the wall claddings as it is a trap for dirt and contaniments and is corrosive to the ends of the wall sheets.

Budget for Electricity? This might cost more than you expect? The most usable shed spaces also have bright functional lighting making the area safe and productive 24/7.

A few other extras that can make life more comfortable in your Shed

  • A Lean-to roof running out from the side of the shed protecting the main openings
  • Rebates at roller doors, PA doors.
  • If a section for the shed is for vehicles that come and go regularly, then put in a remote motor on the door, you WILL be pleased you did.
  • Ensure that you have made the shed tall enough. What might you need to get into the shed now or in the future. Bigger is better.
  • Floodlights outside shed… A big plus.

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