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If You Want a Job Done Properly, Do It Yourself!

Well, what a fiasco - it had become evident that we'd not see Donovan's team again [much to our relief]! After ruling out a self-build, it ultimately ended as one! Granted most of the work had been done, albeit to a very poor standard, so it was now a matter of ripping things off, correcting many of the bodges and finishing things to a better quality using the correct fixtures and fittings, all while keeping the cost to a minimum after being ripped off by Donovan and his outfit(s).

The first major issue, and probably the start of all the trouble, was the cladding; it was too short! First option was to replace the short planks with longer ones. This meant sourcing the exact profile of cedar and finding the company that supplied it. It didn’t take long before was found on the Internet and matched the cedar to their Western Red Cedar 18 x 144mm Channel Groove ST6 profile. 18 lengths of this would be required, that’s unfortunately where the cost is. Some L-sections and additional cedar would be required for the corners and window reveals. After some procrastination, a solution was settled on that didn't involve the purchase of additional cedar cladding, but would need uPVC fascias to be sourced and installed. All in all, this solution saved around £300.

Cheap Shiney Fascias!

One of the main issues to resolve were the cheap fascias slapped on the side of the roof [upside down]. It gave the build a really cheap look, they didn't fit properly and did nothing to stop water pouring off the side of the roof when it rained. Then there were the little quality issues such as the polypins not lined up or equally spaced - simply bodged with no sense of pride. These fascias had to go!

Treating the Cedar

When the cedar was installed, it wasn’t treated. Furthermore, Donovan’s team didn’t use stainless steel nails and the nails they used, soon began to rust and stain the cedar [grrr]. The cedar was also beginning to grey, especially where water poured off the side of the roof due to a non-existent kerb system. In an attempt to rectify this, some Osmo Cedar Finish UV Protection Oil 428 was purchased to treat the wood. This stuff was pretty expensive and when opening it, it was evident it contained a wood stain, despite it clearly saying it was transparent. Nether the less, the UV Protection Oil was applied and in most cases, hid the stained cedar pretty well giving a lovely rich colour to the wood.

Treating the Cedar


The first major issue was the electrics. While I have an electrical engineering background, I am not qualified to certify electrics so after the HDMI cabling was resolved and some PiR uplighters for the outside sourced, we resorted to a trusted sparky that we'd used before. It was evident there were issues with the electrical installation and it was likely new cables would have to be run through. In anticipation of this and really looking for one final excuse, the awful fascias were ripped off to allow access to the void above the ceiling. As expected, the sparky ran new cables through, found a couple of earth faults, sorted the wiring, replaced the consumer unit and installed the PiR uplighters and signed off the electrics - the first milestone achieved!


A quality finish was required but without spending too much. The re-use some of remaining materials was a means to achieve this. With a newly acquired circular saw and a piece of the original black shiny fascia left lying around, a thin slice of it was cut to form an edging corner for the rear of the She Shed. With a bit of black Hammerite painted over the cut and the recovery of black polypins that had been used to secure the original fascias, the gap between the cladding on the rear was closed.

Clad Corner Piece

Fascias and Roofing Kerbs

The next and major challenge was addressing the fascias, roof kerbs and roof rubber that draped freely in the gutter at the rear of the building. Having watched many YouTube videos from the company Oakwood Garden Rooms, a uPVC fascia system they use led the way to a solution.

After attempting to remove the cedar cladding, it became obvious it was likely to be damaged [split]. A solution formed that would minimise the need to replace perfectly good cedar and give a clean and professional finish. The solution would require a quality anthracite wood effect uPVC fascia and a roof kerb system to edge the roof rubber. With the roof rubber already installed and cut, options were limited and the building of a slim fascia was opted for. First, a frame to accommodate the fascias had to be built over the existing cladding, not ideal, but necessary. Unfortunately there wasn't enough roof battens left on site to do this, so a quick trip to Wickes was required.

Fascia Frame

After a fortuitous break in the weather, the fascia frame was constructed around 3 sides of the building. The front side didn't need a frame, and it couldn't accommodate one because of the cedar already installed on the under surface; the fascias would be secured directly to the OSB board on the front to form a clean edge around the cedar cladding.

Once the fascias were cut down to size and with a bit of assistance, they were manoeuvred into position and secured to the building with anthracite polypins. The roof rubber needed a further trim before the roof kerbs were installed. With the fascias and kerbs installed, the rubber roof now looked complete. The final finishing touch required the installation of corner pieces. After several attempts securing them with Super Glue, one of which resulted in my finger being stuck to the roof, I resorted to 40mm polypins [my finger print and skin still remain on one of the corner pieces!].

The final piece of the puzzle was the gutter at the rear. Unexpectedly, this was the most challenging part of the build and needed careful consideration as the rubber had already been cut short by Donovan's team and left draped in the gutter. This limited what could be done but an additional batten needed to be installed to ensure there was adequate over hang for the gutter to slip in neatly under a drip strip that also had to be installed.

Gutters, Before and After

With the fascias and roof now finished, the final touch was to mitre and treat the cedar L-strips and fit around the windows and door-frames. Some advice recommends against mitring these due to shrinkage in the wood, but that mitred look was sought so the cedar was pinned and secured with no-more nails [we'll see what it looks like in 6 months time].

Window Reveals and Mitres


As the finishing touches were made and I dangled from a ladder, one of the neighbours called up from their garden to acknowledge how much better and professional the shed looked [there was probably a sense of relief too as Donovan's team's effort was shabby and ugly at best!] - these comments were very much appreciated and reinforced that age old saying, "If you want a job done properly, you're better off doing it yourself!". Careful what you wish for, the inside still needed a floor to be laid and the outside, a deck!

Edge Corners Installed

With the outside now completed I could enjoy a weekend off before returning to work on Monday!

The Completed Outside

The Inside

With the outside completed [ignoring the currently non-existent deck], it was time to focus on the inside. With the electrics now completed it was now just a matter of levelling the floor, laying flooring, adding some skirting boards and a general touch up and clean.

Flooring and Skirting

After receiving a quote for close to £1,000 to lay vinyl flooring [ouch], the trusty DIY hat was once again adorned. It couldn't be that hard, could it? I'd never laid vinyl before, but after reading all the guides it didn't look to be too much of an issue. Having ordered 'just enough' vinyl to keep the cost to a minimum, there wasn't really any scope for mistakes!

Vinyl Floor Laying

After experimentation with cutting the vinyl with a standing knife and snapping it along the cut, resulting in some, shall we say, unpredictability, I resorted to a trusted jig-saw. It took longer, but gave the desired results!

To finish it off, it was a matter of fitting skirting. Unfortunately, This has to be ordered so work paused. A week later, a very long delivery arrived and with a reasonably priced mitre tool from Amazon (Wolfcraft Bevel and Mitre Box), I cut and mitred all the skirting and glued to the wall. With some sealant around the bottom and cauk filling the odd gap along the top, it was now ready for glossing.

Completed Skirting


To tie everything neatly together, a composite deck would be laid around the front and side of the shed. Past experience with wooden decks had shown how slippery and discoloured they become if not regularly treated, hence the preference for composite. It was important that the deck sat just below the garden's retaining wall. To achieve this, a low level deck frame was required. A quick Internet search yielded Travis Perkins had just the right grade of treated wood and with free home delivery, an order was secured.

The composite decking turned out to be quite pricey and with a 4-5 week lead time, there was plenty of time to build the deck-frame. With further time booked off work over the Easter break, I set about constructing the frame, painting it with a black wood stain and raising it off the ground with plastic props to provide protection from the elements and to provide adequate stiffness ready for the decking boards to be installed.

A week after the deck frame was completed the composite deck boards arrived. Unfortunately, the edge trims were on back order and one of the deck boards damaged. It would be the end of May before these would be delivered. Nethertheless, there was sufficient material for the decking to be cut [with a handsaw] and installed. After a solid weekend on an usually hot spring day, the decking was completed.

The Finished She Shed

With the decking down, albeit with a few little bits to complete when materials are delivered, that marked the completion of the build. The build started on the 19 October 2020 and was completed 18 April 2021; a build that was supposed to take 22 days took almost 6 months!


I wanted to keep track of our spend on materials and consumables in the likelihood that legal proceedings would be taken against Donovan, Garden Room Space or One Call Home Improvements Ltd. Below is the inventory of what materials were purchased to complete the build, where they came from and most importantly, cost [my time and labour have not been included].

Item Supplier Cost
Treated Roof Battens, 25x50mmx3.6m Pk8 Wickes £35.09
Roof Kerbs and Drip Strips Rubber4Roofs £214.00
Osmo Cedar Finish UV Protection Oil 428 - with Biocides 2.5ltr Amazon £66.77
PiR Uplighters Auraglow £69.98
Sill End Caps (Pair) - Anthracite Truly PVC Limited £4.20
Anthracite Dark Grey Fascias Building Pastics Online £214.33
Cedar Wood and Nails etc Southgate Timer Company Ltd £338.40
deleyCON HDMI Wall Boxes Amazon £31.29
35mm Dual Gang Fast Fix Dry Lining Box For Plasterboards Amazon £13.41
Skirting Cutting Edge Skirting £74.26
Vinyl Flooring UK Flooring Direct £424.98
Cloaking Fillet Architrave (5m) 20mm, Anthracite Grey (Grained) Truly PVC £36.16
Wood for Deck Frame Travis Perkins £198.34
Deck Supports Roofing Superstore £289.80
Composite Decking Ultra Decking £763.15
Fixtures and Fittings Screwfix £49.14
Gary Wood - Electrician (NAPIT Approved) Gary Wood [NAPIT Approved] £325.00
TOTAL : £3,148.30

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