With the help of a handyman and her gentlemanly neighbour, Kate built her She Shed as a craft room in her Brisbane backyard. We asked her a few questions about how the process went…
SheShed: “What was it like building the kitset?”
"It was a good experience. We were all surprised with how easy it built, and it was a good fun process that brought us all together. Yeah, it was a really good experience.
I think we had a couple of broken bits which [SheShed] sent up to replace and they came really quickly, but that didn’t stop the building because we could still put the broken bit up until the new bit came, and it all went perfectly. I’ve had to adjust the door a couple times because of the changing weather, it got really hot after being quite cool for a while, so with the allen keys, I managed to change the levels. It was very simple to do though.
It was a really good experience, anybody could do it. I mean I can’t go up on the roof, I’m in my early sixties, but I really enjoyed it. It was a doddle to build really."
SheShed: “Good to have someone to help hold the other end of the boards and that kind of thing?”
“Yeah, you couldn’t do it on your own, I was lucky that I had lots of people wanting to help, so the handyman and my other neighbour were there all the time, so between the three of us it was very quick.
We put a fan in and I’ve prettied it up with hanging baskets and flowers, and it’s come up a dream. The dog’s got his bed in there, he sits under the bench, and we spend hours out there. And so far, we’ve had some pretty hot days, but because I’ve got two windows, the breeze comes in the back, and with the fan on it’s lovely, so it works really well.
When it arrived, I thought “Oh my gosh, there’s so many bits,” but it was really easy, there’s extras of everything. I’ve still got some spare bits to put some shelves up. There were spare little brackets and extra boards, so that was excellent. Yeah I couldn’t fault it, it looks beautiful, and everybody comments on it. I’ve got a chair in there and I read the paper and have a cup of coffee. You know its just a really lovely space to sit.”
Kate chose our most popular model, the Star Cabin, because at 9 square meters, its 3 x 3 meter size fitted perfectly on an existing concrete foundation from an old tin shed that Kate pulled down. (And because she looked through the window of one of our display cabins and thought “this is exactly what I want!”).
SheShed: “Were there any concerns that you had about how it might go?”
“No, not at all. Because we’d watched the video, and read up so much, we just couldn’t wait to get started, very exciting. And you know all the neighbours were going past saying “Oh what have you got in there, where are you going to build it?” And I said “Ooh, just wait and see”. Yeah, people are loving it, and I just love it. I’ve got a new granddaughter, we could do crafts together, and in time she could have it for sleep outs, because you know it’s great for that as well, so yeah, I love it.”
SheShed: “Where were you doing your crafts before building the shed?”
“I was doing it in the house, with plastic all over the table, but I also do stained glass work and it’s too dangerous with the bits of glass, so I had to wait until the shed was built to do it in there. I do mosaics, I paint, and the stained glass work, so it’s got multiple uses, I’ve got two big benches, one part is for this, one part’s for that, and one part’s for the other, so it’s all contained. It’s going to get a lot of use. I’ll be out there for hours and hours, and people already know that if I’m not in the house when they call around, then they can come around the back because I’m probably in the shed!”
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"And you know I think it evolves, it’s the sort of thing I would have loved to have had years ago, that would have been my getaway when I had all the kids. It would have evolved to be “mum’s space”. But I’m lucky that I’ve got it now, so my house can look relatively tidy without paint pots and stuff all over the place, and everything’s in the shed contained and you can shut the door at the end of the day, so you know, it’s lovely.”
SheShed: “Why did you choose this particular She Shed?”
“I looked at lots of different places, and I sent emails to people to contact me on the phone to see what I was looking for, and not one of them came back to me. And I went to see a local shed builder, and he basically wasn’t interested at all, and my daughter said, “I think he has an issue with the fact you’re a woman,” and I looked around and I kept seeing yours, and then I found your display shed in Brisbane, at a community garden. I looked in through the window, and thought, “this is exactly what I want.” And I know it was a bit dearer than some others, but it was exactly what I wanted, and the fact that it could be insulated, looked fairly easy to build, it was perfect for me. So I stopped looking after that, rang you up and bought it, so yeah, I was really pleased.”