Sunday 18 November – Shed and Bed

Last week’s blog said that we were due to have some good weather which would allow me to progress the man-shed.  Thankfully that has proven to be accurate and I have managed to put in a few days continuing the man-shed build.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to work on the shed every day, although would have liked to, and while the weather would have allowed, once again there were other things to do.

The week started with the last bit of dirty work, for now, when I need to mix more mortar to put in a damp-proof layer at the top of the 3 courses of brick.  I am not sure why but damp proof membrane does not seem to be as readily available in French DIY stores as in the UK and, where it was stocked, it was  considerably more expensive.  Irritatingly, having bought some at Castorama I then found some at much better value online – lesson re-re-relearned!

However, at least having it done allowed me to make a start to the frame.  I am using exactly the same techniques that our builder used and taught me when we were building Grange (but much slower!) so, being only single story, it should be absolutely solid.

Unlike the old shed that I am replacing I want this one to have natural light – at least through windows rather than the massive gaps in the cladding than before!  We found a couple of windows on Facebook marketplace (a resource I am very new too but now quite like) and we saved the glass panels from the old shower in Stable when we were refurbishing in our first year.  I said I didn’t throw anything away that maybe useful, well now they have found a purpose!

I started on the front wall as it would be the easiest to do and have managed to complete it.  This has allowed me to calculate the angle I need for the roof so I can start the back wall and cut the uprights at the correct angle.  So far its looking like it is working out!

Man Shed Progressing

Man Shed End Wall







As it will be in the same style as Grange, we are going to have large douglas fir corner posts.  Initially I thought it would be easier to get these from the same sawmill as those for Grange however, having tried to contact the mill, the operator has had an industrial accident and the mill is closed for the rest of the year.  Knowing how large their saw blades are I hate to think what sort of accident he has had but, as he is confident he will be open next year whatever it is will evidently have grown back!

It did mean that I needed to find another mill and, having done a bit of research I was amazed at how many there are around us.  It has meant that I have been able to choose one at a reasonable cost and who can have them ready fairly quickly as I will likely get to a point when they will be the things that hold me up.

I had to stop work on the shed on Thursday as a local farmer arrived with a trailer load of firewood we had ordered that then needed to be split, cut and stacked away while it stayed dry.  All good stuff for keeping us toasty warm in the winter and, more importantly, our gîte guests!

Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get back to the shed since then as we decided on Friday to go shopping for some other bits required, mostly the roofing sheets, based on the principle that, if I have everything here, there is no excuse not to make good progress when the weather allows.

Saturday was another ‘shopping’ trip for a couple of beds we also found online.  We weren’t actively seeking new beds but on our, very long, list of things that we want, was to replace the last 2 single beds which were here when we arrived and were in Granary.  The beds we had were functional but weren’t very attractive and didn’t fit in with our refurbished décor so, when we saw an advert for 2 traditional Breton beds and mattresses at a great price we though the long journey to collect them was worth it.

I have spent most of today putting them up.  It wasn’t supposed to take that long but, having initially decided that they would look best in Priory’s eaves twin bedroom, when I had built them it looked a tiny but too cramped – these being wider than the beds we were replacing – so we chose to move them to the first floor twin where we think they look great – traditional yet not old-fashioned and not too ‘Grandma’s house’.  We hope you agree.

New Priory Beds

Breton Beds








This has allowed us to shuffle the remaining beds so now the Granary twin has the beds previously in Priory, which look far better, and the legacy beds are in storage – told you I don’t throw anything away!

Next week again looks good weather-wise  albeit very cold at points, but I should be able to continue with the shed and hopefully get the whole of the frame erected – assuming we get our douglas posts!