January 14, 2017

Bay in the way?

So many terraced houses with angled bays seem to have a similar layout, with a 1.5m gap between the front garden wall and the front of the bay window. And 0.9m is typical between the neighbouring garden side and the edge of the front window. 

This gives a footprint of 1.5m width x 0.9m depth, not enough for bikes, which are around 1.8m in length. Except it is enough if the triangular space left over is used up. This often extends the overall width of the shed to 2m or more. Plenty for bikes!


We have been building increasing numbers of 'bay' sheds, which are a bespoke version of our Classic. If you have a bay in the way of a standard Classic bike shed just drop us an email and we'll send a guide on measuring up your bay space (it's not hard to get right) and we'll send a quotation. Generally the cost is around 5% more than an equivalent sized Classic (see products page).



January 07, 2017

A bespoke 2016

A very Happy 2017 to all our readers!

The year 2016 was a loaded with some very interesting bespoke orders so here is a flavour of them. Looking like 2017 won't disappoint either with an giant Vertical shed for a primary school and a made to measure Classic for a mobility scooter in Brighton among some of the made to measure orders we are currently building in our workshop...

Early in 2016 we built this variation of our Slot-in. The taller shed is to house a motorbike and the lower shed fits 5 bikes plus has an open side canopy for logs. The shed is clad in Western Red Cedar and has cedar roof shingles to complete the look. 



 The planter roof concept is popular with garden designers and this was our first one of 2016. It is our Classic design with a robust planter built to fit over the top. With enough depth for eight inches of soil this can be planted up with herbs and grasses to create a beautiful, as well as very functional, feature of the garden design. 



A variation of our Vertical shed with an extended porch for bike repairs, with a green roof. The front is supported by 2 posts clad in matching larch. Open out the doors and give those bikes a service, come rain or shine!



The client wanted a lot of storage and this is exactly what they got! Luckily there was space to run 3 side to side Classics (built as one extra wide unit, but with internal dividing walls) and still find space to fit a bin store. Clad in Red Cedar and topped with a green roof, it adds style and practicality to this front garden.



Another extended Vertical design. But this time sideways, to allow for a bike shed, a storage compartment and a separate side canopy for storing logs. 



This was another dual roofer completed at just before we closed for Christmas 2016. The lower roof for bins and the taller roof for bikes. The slatted cladding was painted in a grey that matched the new driveway. 



We built a garden room in June. This was frame-only project where we built the structure, fitted the doors, windows, roofing, guttering, cladding and decking. We made it fully weather-tight and then the client arranged the internal fit-out.



Slatted Cedar fencing. We have built miles of this over the years. This is a project we completed in Brixton in May. If you are looking to get cedar fences built let us know as we can offer good rates on supply only or supply and fit.



A client has an inherited garden room which we re-clad in Shou Sugi Ban larch cladding. This is a Japanese technique that preserves the timber through the charring of the timber. We used a gas torch and sealed the boards with Tung oil. It looks amazing and expect to see a few bike sheds clad in it soon...


So, 2016 has been a lot of fun and we are hoping to add to our versatility further in 2017. Just contact us with your projects!

October 03, 2016

Sizing up a Classic Bike Shed?

The best location for a Classic bike shed is at right angles to the front window. Great for viewing the green roof and practical for accessing the bikes. Also discreet. First check dimensions: depth and width.


If there is a little more space, we can build a wider shed. The images below show an extra metre available, and a 3m wide bike shed.


Because there is now increased width the depth can be reduced a bit - and the same number of bikes can be stored. So a 2m x 1.15m floor plan for 4 bikes could be 3m x 0.85m and still fit 4 bikes. The bikes just load in 2 deep, overlapping wheels.


Or the added width could also be a separate compartment for storing other items with its own door. Or a bin store, or plenty of other possibilities...


The versatility of a Classic bike shed is that is can be built on any particular footprint.

If your space looks like it requires a non-standard Classic, the best way to work out your best fit is by literally taking your bikes outside and standing them together as if they were inside the shed. Allow 150mm, or 6" wiggle room either side and the same back and front. 

When you have decided the optimal width and depth just make an enquiry, (add your post-code, type of roof and cladding) and we'll send a quotation.



September 20, 2016

Glad to Clad

An exciting new development just launched - cladding options. We were already using Scottish larch as standard, and this continues to be our most popular choice. And it meets all our criteria too: durability, aesthetics, affordability and sustainability.



As well as larch we have been cladding bike sheds in other types of timber by request since we started in 2013. The most requested of these are now available to browse on our web shop. Here is a little summary of them:

Slatted cladding:

  • Western red cedar batten 19x38mm, vertically fixed, 6mm gap
  • European treated pine 19x38mm batten, vertically fixed with 6mm gaps

A slick and contemporary look that can be achieved in either treated pine battens or cedar battens (both 19x38mm) applied with 5mm gaps. Along garden boundaries this is usually applied horizontally but on a bike shed it works best vertically as this allows any driven rain to run straight down to the ground.

Cost-wise slatted cladding is the same as larch if treated pine battens are used. Cedar costs more, adding £200+ depending on the size of bike shed. And yes, cedar does look very refined. But both will weather to silvery grey in a year or two. So treated pine slats are the cost-effective choice for a similar look.



Tongue and groove (T&G)

  • European treated pine 16x112mm tongue and groove, vertically fixed

  • European treated pine 16x112mm tongue and groove, vertically fixed, painted in exterior eggshell (x 2 coats)

  • Western red cedar 19x137mm tongue and groove, vertically fixed

A more traditional look that is hard to fault and that takes paint superbly. We use a 112x16mm treated pine T&G cladding that is also applied vertically to shed rain well. It is durable and long lasting and you can order this cladding painted or unpainted.

The pricing is as follows: unpainted it is the same as larch or treated batten. Painted it costs more and we give it 2 coats in the workshop and a final touch up on site. We also offer T&G cedar, which costs the same as cedar batten.



To round up...
This, we hope, is a good menu of cladding options. Offering a good balance of the traditional, the rustic and the contemporary. They all carry off a green living roof equally well. And we are always happy to hear any suggestions for other timber or some other kind of material that will look great on a bike shed! For further reading check our Cladding Options page.


December 01, 2015

To bespoke or not to bespoke...?

We do bespoke... In fact many of our orders are bespoke to some extent. Our standard range of bike sheds is designed to cover almost all bases and spaces: you can slot-in your bikes, hang-in your bikes, or stack-in (Classic). These three designs work well in themselves, but are often ordered with little tweaks, variations and special requests. We really enjoy designing and building these extra details and they make your bike shed unique to you! Some examples here:
  1. Side store. A very popular request. Sometimes partitioned off with a separate lockable door, sometimes not. Often they are for bins and recycling boxes and sometimes they are designed to fit car-top boxes, bike carriers, buggies, golf clubs, lawn-mowers, logs, tools, BBQs, etc.
  2. The canopy. A small extension to the roof which can also include a deck and connected posts. These are often added to our vertical sheds to be able to work outdoors on bike repairs, but can also be for log storage, BBQ storage, etc.
  3. Slatted fences. We are often asked to clad sheds in slatted timber battens and then extend the cladding along the top of a wall or across a fence to match in with the shed. Not strictly a bespoke detail of the shed itself but a very popular request.
  4. Non-standard cladding. Sometimes non-standard cladding is requested. Such as cedar shingles, charred larch (the black shed above)  and cor-ten weathered steel! 
  5. Planter roof (last image, above). This is where the roof is replaced with a deep planter suitable for herbs, or deeper rooting plants. The resulting shed is quite tall (1.6m), but is a good solution in a back garden, and looks spectacular with a full bloom standing tall!
  6. Built-in bike sheds. When space is really tight we sometimes build from scratch on site, building in the elements of the bike shed between brick walls, or around the side of a bay. This is perhaps the ultimate in bespoke: the fully made to measure solution!
  7. Add-ons. We often add some shelves or hooks on request. Or we leave out a bike hook and add shelving instead... So many possibilites here!
  8. Innovate. Some innovations over the years to suit a customers individual needs... the parcel slot (a very over-sizes letterbox for packages that arrive during the day). The slatted floor (for mountain bikes that come back drenched) wet suits and surf-boards. 

What about the costs? We don't have price list for all the above but we keep them affordable and we simply charge pro-rata for extra doors, volume, and extended elements. Just send as much info as possible on any of your bespoke ideas and we'll send a full itemised quotation.



October 11, 2014

Built to last

Brighton Bike Sheds are built to last. Stand on top of one to find out how solid they are! We have carefully considered all design details and in particular that great enemy of sheds: rain... We get a lot of it in the UK and it seems to be more severe of late; heavier and combined with strong winds. We have developed our sheds to stand firm against the rain for many years. In every aspect of the build, starting with the cladding:

Cladding orientation, type and thickness: we fix the boards vertically, this sheds rain straight to the ground. Horizontal shiplap (on most standard sheds) creates a long path downwards and water tends to get trapped, which rots the timber. On our larch-clad sheds the 2mm gaps between boards allow good cross ventilation meaning the sheds contents stay fresh and mildew free. Larch has a high natural tannin content, making it a durable and water resistant timber for cladding. We use 20mm thick planks, which are almost double the thickness of the shiplap cladding you find on most sheds.

Gutter and downpipe: most sheds aren't equipped with a gutter and downpipe. They simply rely on rain water to run off the lower edge of the roof in drips. This water gathers around the base and often is blown over the back wall which is why a lot of sheds rot out there. We always fit a gutter and downpipe and direct the water away from the shed to a plant bed or gulley. In heavy rain the shed structure is only ever coping with rain on the ground or hitting the sides which are well protected.

Roof structure: Above the doors and for the rafters we use 75mm beams and 100mm beams on our green roof models. Most sheds use 25-38mm timbers throughout which is why you see a lot of shed roofs with a pond in the middle! The roof sags. When we construct a roof it is the strongest element of the unit, after all it is the main form of defence between your bikes and 9 months of rain! We have also designed our roof with a 10 degree pitch which makes sure the rain does not hang around.

Roof covering: Our roof is first clad in ply on our felt roof models. A 45 degree timber fillet is fitted around the 2 side and front edges to direct rain into the centre. A heavy duty felt is fitted, well fixed down and into the gutter. It overlaps the edges before a fascia board is fitted to finish the roof detail. On our green roofs a sheet of ply is over-laid with a sturdy EPDM liner and filter fleece to prevent the soil washing into the gutter. In either case drainage is the overriding consideration on all our roofs.

Floor: a good hat and a good pair of boots... the old saying about good house design. We provide a soild timber floor base which is built from 50x50mm treated timber frame with ply glued and nailed to it. No movement in that! That is levelled on site on rubber pads which keep it well away from surface water. On bare soil we install concrete feet to level the base. So no rain from underneath...

Main structure: with rain often comes a lot of wind and gusts especially compromise the structure of sheds. Movement weakens junctions and fixings and this then lets the weather in so its a vicious circle! We brace walls diagonally or using sheet materials. We double up timbers on corners. We glue and nail sheet materials. We designed a web of ply into either side of the door opening. Wind loading is covered with a Brighton Bike Shed!

Fixings: All nails, hinges and other ironmongery are galvanised as is the secure bar. External screws are stainless steel or coated to be water resistant.   

So, sheds get a hard life... Little buildings out there in the weather; all alone and pretty exposed. A lot of sheds are still standing only due to their contents holding them up! The contents of your bike shed will be a loved and much used item so roofs caving in or walls rotting out won't be an option... This is why we have thought long and hard about every single detail and designed a building that works hard to keep rain away from your bikes. 





May 11, 2014

Our Green Roofs

We have developed our Green Roof range of bike sheds to be little eco-systems adding colour, visual appeal and a habitat for pollinators. And because a bike shed only needs to be 1.4m high, they are a living roof at the perfect height for viewing, enjoying, and watering cans (occasionally!).

Green roofs and bike sheds are the perfect combo! The living layer protects the roof, soaking up all that rain and keeping the bikes inside dry. It provides a beautiful little bio-habitat which helps replenish the green in the urban landscape.

We use rolls of pre-grown sedum, which is a hardy alpine with a mix of flowers. The maintenance of sedum is very minimal once the roof is established. Mainly watering for the first 2-3 weeks to prevent the turf drying out. After which just the odd soak in prolonged dry periods.

The sedum flowers will grow to between 10-15cm in height. We use a specialist substrate laid to a depth of 5-7cm and drainage layer which is lightweight. This all sits on a EDPM (rubber) liner which discharges into a gutter/drainpipe.


March 30, 2014

Classic, Tall or Slot-in?

Choosing the right bike shed... there are loads of possibilities. So this post should help iron out the differences between each type we offer.


There are 2,3,4,5 bike solutions for Classic, Vertical and Slot-in, so the number of bikes you need to store won't influence the choice, just the location of the bike shed itself.


The Classic


1. Low roof, great for front gardens

2. Compact, mimimal sizing also good for small front (or back) gardens


1. The need to take out bikes to access others

The Vertical


1. The ability to access bikes individually

2. Easy walk-in access


1. Not suitable for front gardens

The slot-in


1. The ability to access bikes individually

2. Low roof, works well in front gardens


1. Slightly larger footprint than a Classic



So, pros and some cons for each type. For a lot of people the front garden is the clincher, in that the bikes are so handy to reach there when commuting to work or heading out for a family cycle. The front garden is quite often underused anyway, so a beautiful bike shed that enhances the local character as well as offering some crucial extra storage makes perfect sense. Security is well provided for across all the ranges so the fact that the bike shed is more visible in a front garden shouldn't be a limiting factor. 

Others prefer to site their bike shed in the back garden. The additional space available in many back gardens mean that the choice between models is unlimited. A 6-bike Slot-in or a 5 bike Vertical? Fine. The only limitation being that a Vertical bike shed requires a tall-ish fence to stand beside. The main issue with back gardens being the fact that the bikes need carting through the house or down the side return or back gate. 

We have designed our ranges to be as flexible as possible, allowing you to be in full control of how and where you store your bikes. The fact that they look good and last for years is a pre-requisite of course, but every space is different and we aim to make cycle storage as flexible and enjoyable as we possibly can.







March 19, 2014

Bespoke projects

Brighton Bike Sheds started out designing and building bespoke bike storage. Mostly built-in and usually as part of a larger landscaping brief.

The first one was in Forest Hill and included an integrated bin shed, a light inside and some more outside, a secure bar and some matching slatted fences...


This one was about as bespoke as they come! 

Now most of our orders are from our range: Classic, Slot-in, Tall, all of which have been developed and conceived during earlier bespoke projects. The range is designed to be both optimally sized for bike storage, and adaptable in that there will be a format for most types of space.

The bespoke projects keep coming too though! It is always good to build them and we enjoy the element of collaboration with the client. There are several on our order list right now. An extra wide shallow plan shed, with 2 sets of doors. A black shed. A bike/bin shed built on a L-shaped plot with painted cladding and a cedar shingle roof... If you have a bespoke bike storage requirement then get in touch and lets find a great solution.



January 23, 2014

Eco design @ Brighton Bike Sheds

The Brighton Bike Shed ‘look’ is all about longevity, and ageing gracefully. The natural weathering of the homegrown larch cladding, which fades to silvery grey. Discreet subtle beauty. The green roof models have a wildflower meadow providing beautiful colours through the year and provides a little habitat for wildlife. And then there's the cycling....


As well as being quicker (during rush hour), healthier and cheaper than driving; it is also 100% greener, saving 3 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually driving 10,000 miles per year. Not to mention carbon monoxide, sulphur oxides, hydrocarbons and fine particulates.


Check your own car emissions try the Department for Transport Car Fuel calculator at  www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/search/search.asp  simply fill in your car details and you can find out your CO2 emissions in grammes per Kilometre.


Eco designed cycle storage by Brighton Bike Sheds