We've all heard of the man cave. It's where an Aussie bloke can go to escape whatever life is throwing at him and do whatever he loves - be that enjoying drinks with mates, tinkering with tools or watching the latest movies on a big TV.
However, women are not without their own options. The she shed trend rose to stardom in 2015 and has taken DIY garden landscaping by storm. If you're interesting in building your own version, consider these steps.
Step one: Secure permission ... if you need it
As always when putting up a new structure, you need to ensure you have all the necessary permissions to do so. This means jumping online and looking at your local legislation to see which category sheds fall under.
This will differ state to state, as it so often does. In New South Wales, so long as you comply with the Building Code of Australia, it's likely your shed will fall under the exempt development category, meaning you require no council assessment.
Conversely, in Rockingham, Western Australia, almost all construction projects require building permits, which includes sheds.
Step two: Lay the foundations
You'll need a level space to put the shed. At Kennards Hire, we can provide you with variously sized diggers to help move the soil, as well as a range of laser level equipment to keep the work accurate.
You can then construct a wooden floor frame using the timber of your choice. If you want a concrete floor, ensure you pour it first to your exact specifications, rather than construct the walls and then pour as some contractors will do. If you go with the latter, you increase the risk of early corrosion as your frame encounters wet concrete, and the shrinkage could also allow dirt and moisture to seep in between your floor and walls.
Step three: Initial construction
The materials and designs you have chosen for your she shed will define how this process goes. We've seen a number of advantages and disadvantages to different building materials in our time offering equipment hire, so the following two breakdowns will try to help you make an informed purchasing decision. If you have materials already, skip to the next step.
A common trend in she sheds that was revealed in 2015 was the classic wooden look reimagined. Timber sheds with a weatherboard construction were popular, as well as a gable roof style. Timber is aesthetically pleasing and has a classic rustic look to it, which is one reason for its popularity. It's also relatively inexpensive, easy to construct or repair, and is a natural insulator. A disadvantage, though, is that wood is less hardy than steel, and could succumb to warping in humid conditions.
As for steel, a number of companies love this material for its durability and contemporary look. Many consider it a cost-effective material in the long term, too, as it will stand up to the elements for longer in Australia's harsh climate and is less of a fire risk. It is more expensive to buy and repair, though.
Step four: Fill the interior!
With your shell constructed, it's time to fill the interior with she shed magic! One thing you might want to think about is cleaning the concrete before putting in any furniture (if you went with that floor option). A concrete cleaning grinder will remove any imperfections that have occurred during the construction process, so your she shed starts its life spick-and-span.
Now comes the really fun bit. You get to let your imagination run wild, crafting a she shed palace to suit whatever hobbies, interests or desires that you have.
A fun idea for budding artists is to install workbenches with shelves or drawers built into them to hold supplies and other necessary items. A peg board on one or more walls will also give you a versatile space to store tools, frequently used utensils and to hang ideas on. Don't forget a comfortable stool for when you want to sit!
Alternatively, how about using the shed as a space to escape, unwind and forget about your worries? Throw a soft rug over the floor or lay a nice, shaggy carpet in a colour you love. Next pop in either a fold-out couch or bed (or both, if you have space), so you have somewhere to nap or at least recline. With the help of a professional electrician, you can hook your she shed up to mains power in order to get a TV, gaming unit or music sound system in there. This could be an awesome place for guests, too.
Hire a plumber to run pipes to the shed and you could also get your best bathroom DIY face on, lavishing part of the shed in tiled floors and installing a spa or bath tub. It will be much harder for someone to disturb you if you're bathing in serene privacy out in the garden!
Remember to check with your council first before adding electricity or plumbing to see if that changes permission requirements.