Welcome back! Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this online for you, I literally cannot sit still long enough to write it!
Now, if you haven’t read part one you might want to head over & check that out first… it’s right here: https://www.salvagesister.co.uk/?p=4487
In my last workshop post I talked about the design, finding the materials and building the frame, now we’re onto damp proofing, boarding, insulation and that all important interior! This is where we finished up last time (below) with a long way still to go to make this a functioning workshop!
I needed to damp proof the structure before I started boarding the outside or stuffing the pallet cavity on the inside with insulation. I remembered on one of my visits to Cat Fletcher at her Freecycle depo (when we were filming Fill Your House) she had tonnes (literally) of exterior vinyl advertising banners that had been used & were now out of date. Because these are made with vinyl to withstand the wind & rain I knew they would be the perfect damp proof answer for my workshop, and once again – free! Plus I’d be saving this useable material from landfill. I picked up what felt like a lifetimes supply & took it back to my shell where I covered the entire thing & overlapped by several inches – making sure that if condensation were to run down it would end up outside! They look really jazzy too, was almost a shame to cover them up!
As that task was coming to an end I jumped on Freegle & Freecycle to search for boarding materials. In an ideal world marine ply would have been perfect, although it is so expensive I thought I had more chance of picking up a unicorn on my travels!
What at I did find though, (within hours and only 2 miles away) was a carpenter who was offering 21 sheets of 18mm OSB boarding for free on Freegle – enough to board the entire workshop including the roof! Normally OSB is not used outdoors for any length of time unless it is properly sealed, this is because UV Rays eventually break down the structure of the board and then water can penetrate.
so I got in touch with my pal at GreyStone associates for some advice. He is a very knowledgable fella so I knew he would be able to tell me how I could protect my OSB board and keep it watertight. He told me to use SBR – Styrene Butadiene Rubber, which is a latex bonding agent with a high solids content. It dries like rubber as the name would suggest & protects surfaces from damp & UV. It’s pretty cheap & can be found at any reputable tool and materials outlet. I obviously managed to bag 5 litres for free that was left over from one of his sites!
Above is one of my OSB collections, I went back A week later once they had finished with the rest. It was in varying degrees of condition, but all of it was useable, all of it was saved from landfill! The carpenter had been using the boarding as a temporary floor in the refurbishment of a house, once it was no longer needed he had to get rid of it quick as it was in the way & would have taken up a whole skip on its own – costing them hundreds of pounds to remove from site.
Above you can see the boards going over the damp proof membrane. I had to cut the 4ft x8ft sheets in half to carry them from my van, up my neighbours driveway, through her garden, over a wall and up to the back of my garden on my own! Sometimes I wonder if I have a screw lose! It was winter too, so the wind howled & made carrying a large flat object quite difficult! Lol. Plus the rain soaked the boards so they doubled in weight! This particular part of the workshop wasn’t much fun – although I did get to use the nail gun to secure the boards which made this misery bare-able! Plus, I now have great guns to show for all my hard work!
By the time I had completed boarding the roof & sides I had lots of bits & pieces of board left over – which I wasn’t going to waste! The backend turned into a patchwork wall.
I used squirty guirty (otherwise known in the nuthouse as fireproof expanding foam) to seal any joins or gaps in the boarding. Once it has cured you can slice the excess off. As I mentiond earlier I then sealed my boards with SBR.
Over the OSB roof I used more of the vinyl banners which I tarred in place & I also used clout nails on it like u would on a ‘normal’ shed roof when using felt.
Here’s me posing on the roof like I’ve got nothing better to do! Haha.
I then got back down to build my door frame.
I wanted big double ‘stable’ doors – so I could open just the top ones if I needed to, or just one side at a time – this would mean I could fit all manner of strange reclaimed up-cycling materials in my workshop & watch those pesky kids in the garden while I’m working!
I had some free reclaimed fence posts left over from building my frame so I put one either side with a larger one going across the top.
I had saved enough OSB to board the front but I wanted to put this on after so I could work around my door frame.
I made each door to measure by cutting down some ply hoarding that had been donated to the cause – I literally only just had enough but I think it worked out pretty well. I used heavy duty galvanised hinges – meaning they wouldn’t rust & they look cool too!
I found some lovely bright paint that would offset the colour of the wood & put this over the SBR sealant – giving it another layer of protection.
At the moment I am breaking up the left over pallets & using the slats to cover any joins which will further protect the exterior from damp. I will eventually stain these in a dark wood colour & make a feature out of them so the workshop will look panelled.
(photo by Amanda Jackson)
Now I had the exterior water tight it was time to get busy on the interior, man oh man had I been counting the days until I could start the interior!
I had already been making enquiries about insulation & found out a pal of mine was involved in the renovating of an old building where all the insulation was being removed. I collected 4 hippo bags full of insulation to reuse – which it turned out was overkill & I ended up donating 2 of them to Freegle.
I used the the insulation to stuff the cavity of the pallets.
This was an extremely hot & itchy job to do. Make sure when stuffing insulation you wear a mask, safety glasses and have every inch of skin covered. The tiny fibres get everywhere – you do not want this stuff on your skin, in your eyes or your lungs! Trust me!!
I also insulated the floor, my dad had donated some radiator backing insulation which are made to go against your wall behind your rads to reflect heat into the room. They are like thick bubble wrap foil. I made sure the shiny side faced upwards to reflect heat back into the workshop and anchored it to the floor with a staple gun making sure it overlapped, then boarded over it with these interlocking floor boards I had also picked up from the carpenter who gave me the OSB.
My dad had loads of left over ‘space blanket’ insulation which I used to insulate the ceiling with. This was a much nicer job than reusing the bags of insulation because it’s foil covered so you don’t get so many itchy particles floating about. Plus it had never been used before so I just unwrapped the rolls, cut them to size & used a heavy duty staple gun to secure them in place before I fitted the ceiling. It’s always a good idea to mention your project to as many family & friends as possible because you never know what people have got stashed away that they don’t need, yet don’t want to throw away! Posting your project on Social media will also throw the nets wider.
GreyStone Associates came in handy again for the ply interior, all this ply had been used on a building site & was no longer needed. I even managed to get 6mm MDF for the ceiling and the strip lights where out of a demolition site.
The cabling for the electrics were left over reels and the plug sockets were old ones out of site cabins.
I constructed my work bench from 4×2 that used to be the frame work for hoardings around a building site. I obviously had to de-nail it but that is well worth the effort to get these great materials for free & save them from landfill.
My workbench top is old scaffold boards that I was given by a scaffolder who couldn’t use them any more for scaffolding, yet they were perfect for my workbench. After a sand down you would never know they weren’t new!
The shelf is also a long scaff board with homemade shelf brackets made from off cuts of wood.
(photo by Amanda Jackson)
The only items I have bought to build this entire work shop – with a floor space of 18sq meters are fixings such as wood screws, decking screws, heavy duty metal strapping to fix the floor pallets together, nails and gas for the nail gun, the coach bolts I used to fix the frame together and the door hard wear.
I started collecting materials in Sept 2013 & by spring 2014 I had the entire frame built, the damp proofing, insulation, boarding and roof complete. In the Summer I worked on the interior. During the build I was away quite a lot to film ‘Fill Your House’ series 2 & obviously running my business so I couldn’t spend all day everyday on it, even so I think it was a pretty quick build – especially a building that has cost me next to nothing to fabricate.
I am amazed that it wasn’t actually that hard to find all the free materials I needed. I presumed that now & again there would be a big hold up for a particular item & I would have to improvise or change my plans to fit the materials but I didn’t!
It just goes to show the amount of materials that are just laying there waiting for you to find them – for Free!
You don’t need to spend a fortune to build an outhouse, workshop or shed! All you need is drive and ambition!
(A van comes in pretty handy too.)
I really want to hear from you if you are planning your own ‘reuse’ build, or if you’ve already done it, send me some photos, I would love to see what you achieve.
Im planning a photo shoot next Spring so I’ll get some juicy pics of the totally complete workshop for you in the sunshine and maybe upload some videos too!
Until then enjoy salvaging & go hard… or go home!!