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.