I have decided to have a shed on my allotment patch and have been told it is allowed in addition to the allowed size (7x5 feet max). I wish to have a shed mainly to have a place to retreat to/rest whilst working on the plot, in addition to a place to store things, as I live a good 20 minute walk away and am totally exposed to the elements. I hope to make it a nice little retreat to relax in. I am new to growing my own stuff so I would appreciate your advice
So my list of questions now begins and would appreciate all your advice, experience and knowledge in guiding me towards a little tranquillity hub for myself
1. Is it cheaper to build a shed yourself vs buying one (say from argos etc) which just requires following the set-up instructions?
2. My shed will be situated on the area of the plot which during the winter months of heavy rain, I am told will be reminiscent of a marshland. I will be working on improving the drainage buy digging a shallow ditch to direct the excess water to the end of the plot where the ditch is. Any advice on how to avoid any potential nuisance this may cause? This spot coincidently is in the shade where I can't grow anything.
3. Is it wise to have windows if they may be easy to be broken into? Are there alternatives to letting light in and not thieves?
4. How do you keep your shed secure/put off potential thieves?
5. Do you apply anything to make your shed fire resistant (I'm thinking of potential yob vandals here etc) as I have seen some sheds being burnt down (from that BBC allotment wars programme lol).
6. How do you light your shed without electricity?
7. Any ideas to make it nice and comfortable inside?
Sorry for so many questions but I just want to be sure and have a nice place which is comfy and safe and will be less at risk from vandals.
1) Building one usually works out mroe expensive, but you can end up with a much much higher quality building. Most of the cheap pre-made sheds are made with really thin wood, and building one (there's various plans on the net for sheds made from old pallets and things) could result in a much mroe robust and long-lastign structure (this may also depend on your building skills though...)
2) Put the shed on blocks? Either raise it up a bit so the wood isn't in contact with the damp earth, or put a conrete floor down (which probably won't be allowed on an allotment)
3) Polycarbonate windows are much harder to break- they don't shatter like glass. You could also have a ridged polycarbonate roof instead of windows? Our chicken coop has this. It means you still get light, and depending on how you build the shed you may not be able to see the roof much from the ground.
4 & 5) In our case a really hefty fence/spiky hedge works.. but our allotment space is only 100m from the house and nowhere near any footpaths.. so I'm not much help with this, sorry.
6) Solarlights! Its not very often we're down there in the pitch black or in winter, but the solar lights recharge quite well in the summer and give enough light.
7) Fishing/camping chair, and a camping-stove with a kettle! To be fair our chair doesn't get much use, I mostly just sit outside on the ground (I am possibly the only person who goes down the allotment to read a book), but a kettle and a stash of tea bags goes down well. Milage may vary if you like your tea with milk, or have no potable water (we have a 25litre jerry can that gets filled from the nearest tap periodically- its not killed me yet)