Updated: Jul 21, 2020

The next house purchase decision was made predominantly due to the garage. The corridor of a bungalow wouldn’t win any design awards but at one end it had a single up and over door, and when it was up, I couldn’t get over what was revealed. It was not your usual single car space, so narrow that you have to do the Dukes of Hazard through the window exit technique. If this garage had been a photo on a phone, someone had parted their thumb and finger across the screen and enlarged it in all directions. The expanded space was easily 2 cars deep with a flat roof extension, and extra wide, albeit at the expense of the lounge which was the other side of the internal garage wall. The rest of the house was horrid but that didn’t really matter.

However in the 7 years I lived there, although I remodelled and modernised the house, the garage never really fulfilled its potential. It was dark and cold, the vaulted roof took all the heat out and the inadequate window didn’t let the light in. I tried my best to brighten and warm it up. When I replaced the kitchen, the old one became bench and storage cupboards, but not having the best of memories I discovered that I was more of a shelving kind of guy. I needed visuals, I could never remember what was hidden behind the doors of the relocated kitchen cabinets and consequently all cupboards were opened to find that elusive can of hammarite or bottle of fork oil.

Nothing of note ever really happened in there, no glamorous rebuilds or restorations, no parties or inspiration, it’s a place the visiting smoker would go to avoid getting soaked on the patio. I did have a bike fire in there once, it was warm in the garage that day and smokier than usual.

The new owners turned the garage into a master bedroom, increasing the square footage of the habitable living space by about 25%. I moved to Bulgaria and increased my living space too. With a new sense of permanency it was time to build the shed to end all sheds. It was already there, in a Dutch barn kind of way. Open to the elements but with a tile roof and a single stone wall holding back the terraced garden that the semi-subterranean shed was built into. It was just over 40 foot long but with so much more potential than a container.

It had a wet bottom, never a comfortable situation and it was decided the best course of action was to dig a French drain inside the retaining wall. Unfortunately before the trench was filled with stone a wet weekend had the structure collapsing into the ditch that had been dug.