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Front garden around new shed and gate



  • Thank you for the extra comments. I have surveyed the site and drawn a scale plan. There is an extra difficulty of a second manhole that I'd missed as it was under a plant pot.
  • On the proposed plan, it's the areas shaded purple where I'm particularly interested in getting the surface right. My contractor wants to use concrete flags like the existing, however I'd be interested in a more flexible surface like gravel, possibly interspersed with flags if appropriate. I don't want to use too many different materials, and I'm not sure it's worth keeping grass in the hatched areas. I don't like the alternative idea of artificial grass.
  • Yes, I'd prefer a shed with a slope towards the front and yes I'd prefer a green roof one. Unfortunately they are difficult to find, and the green roof seems to add about another 1000 pounds to the cost! I might have to buy a regular shed first and look at doing a strengthening upgrade afterwards. Also there's a risk that the authorities might ask the shed to be taken down, so not sure I want to risk the best part of 2,000 pounds at the moment. I also discovered building regulations that due to fire risk such a shed should be 2m from the main house, so the position is very constrained. As it is it would have to cover a manhole which would then need an access hatch created to mitigate, and may rule out a metal Asgard shed (without fire constraints) as I don't think you can easily cut into the metal base. The offset to the fence is also a bit of a compromise for a wooden structure, I'd prefer to cover the gap to direct rainwater away.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,152
    edited January 2022
    Gravel.  ;)
    You could easily do a mix of gravel and paving - without it being formal as such. The drawback would be that it's still going to be shady, due to the proximity to the house and with the shed, so I'd tend to go for gravel alone. Paving is lethal in wet weather in shade. It gets mossy too, which is slippery.

    That area down at the bottom will be quite shady - tree and shed creating it, so you could make it more of woodland-y space, and plant it up accordingly. That would be a nice view from the house too.  I doubt if the Ceanothus would thrive well in those conditions, but you could leave it for a while  to see how it goes. It could support a climber if nothing else. Whether you put a climber on the southern side of the shed will again depend on the condition of the soil and how much moisture there is etc. Easily left for later on though. 
    That's what I'd do anyway.  :)

    Is that manhole nearest the house next to the existing tree? If so, you might want to take that tree out. It's possibly going to create a problem anyway if you're putting the gate in, but it depends on how you feel about it. The manhole would be fine if you gravel the area. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks Fairygirl. There is only one tree, furthest from the house. The other four shrubs are all Ceanothuses, it just happens that the ones nearest the house are larger. I will have to remove three of the four Ceanothuses to make room.
    I like the idea of the woodland type area at the bottom.
    I discussed the plans with my wife this morning and she is content with the layout but is concerned about gravel being trodden into the house and might prefer paving unfortunately. I would like some kind of resin bound gravel that's permeable but I'm not sure if there's such a product.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,705
    In my experience it's the smaller 10mm shingle that tends to get trodden into the house because it gets caught in shoe / boot treads. Larger stones are less likely to be a problem.

    Just as a thought re the fence / gate posts. We had a problem with wooden fence posts rotting in a damper area of the garden. Our contractor doesn't like the metal sleeves into which you insert posts. Apparently the posts can be difficult to remove when they eventually rot and the sleeves themselves can corrode causing more problems.

    We decided to use concrete posts but clad the sides with timber planks so they look like slightly chunkier wooden posts. The cladding stops about 4" above the level of the soil so no timber is in contact with wet ground. All the strength and durability of the concrete core but with the nicer aesthetics of timber posts. The timber is easily replaced if necessary - but 7 years on it still looks as good as new.

    Just an idea...
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,152
    edited January 2022
    Is that huge trunk in the photo a Ceanothus then? It's massive. I can see the other ceanothus along the fence. 
    It isn't evergreen though  - are you sure that's what it is? It must cast a lot of shade into the house. Or have I got the space completely wrong?

    The gravel I have is the 20mm size. Anything smaller is a giant cat litter tray in my experience. It's also easier to walk on than 10mm sized gravel. 
    A small concrete slope or similar in front of your shed will be useful. Paving would also be fine for that, or paviours to match what you have. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,116
    Could you put your bike shed on the opposite side to where you have drawn it?
    That way you won't have a manhole under it.
    It would mean that your bike shed would be more in the shade of the tree .... but if you do go for a green roof then ferns etc would be lovely.
    I agree that ready made kits for green roofs are a stupid price .... looks easy enough to do a bit of DIY.

    Agree about the bigger size of gravel, it shouldn't come into the house. Also easy enough to rake it over occasionally if it gets a bit mossy.

    Bee x
    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,152
    edited January 2022
    I think there might be a drive on that side @Bee witched, but I might be wrong about that. 
    I missed @stephenroberthall's post about the distance and green roof, but I agree that's a ridiculous price for something that could be done quite easily. Not so straightforward on a conventional roof, but easy enough on those pent roof sheds. It just has to be sturdy enough to take the weight. 
    A pent roof shed would have the roof running away from the doors/front though - for two reasons. To give height at the front where it's most useful, rather than at the back, but most importantly - so that excess water runs off the back and not onto your back   ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you @Topbird, the contractor recommends a concrete spur at the bottom of the existing fence post, basically chopping away the rotten bit and bolting them together. No-one has recommended one of those metal sleeves. Your timber clad full replacement concrete post suggestion is a good alternative.
    @Fairygirl, I'll post another photo, there are large trees in the public footpath behind the fence which might have confused you. I'm a bit torn about the slope of the pent roof. It's more useful to have the space at the front, on the other hand it might be better to drain away from the fence to minimise risk of damp there, and might look slightly better with the taller side against the fence . We only use bicycles infrequently so it would be rare to be getting them out in the rain.
    Bee, Fairygirl is right, we have a drive on the other side and also we wouldn't want the shed right in the centre of the space blocking the view from the door. It needs to be as unobtrusive as possible.
    Thanks for all the advice about gravel size, I am now wondering whether to go for loose 20mm gravel or some resin bonded type.

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