So the Megaden is nearing completion. Standing on stilts, it's made from mainly reclaimed timber. The doors and windows we picked up from gumtree, the main supports are scaffold boards from a local farmer and the walls finished with pallet wood.
We did have to buy some new parts for it including the roof, insulation, waterproof builders membrane, the electrics and screws and coach bolts, but I think its still mainly eco friendly from reclaimed tree hugger materials.
It is a whopping 3.6 meters by 2.4 meters inside. Outside has a covered deck which is another 3.6 meters by 1.7 meters.
I have to say I have loved every minute of the build. There is something so satisfying working with wood, and especially nearly free wood at that. Building something is also brilliant and gives a great sense of achievement.
So whats a Megaden? Its a place the boys and me can hang out, play games and chill. It is a hideaway at the end of the garden that is removed from the house.
I had many, many designs in my head before I started, I had it sketched out on paper long before I started. How big would it be? What shape would it be? how would the roof pitch, how does everything join together? How would I get electrics to it? How would I make it water tight?
I have been collecting materials for years, squirrelling away timber round the garden. The doors and windows have been lying under tarpaulins for over a year behind the shed. A length of about 30 meters of armoured cable for the electrics has been hanging on my garage wall for about 15 years. It was left over from a job my Dad did many moons ago.
The main structure sits on 100mm by 100mm by 3m long treated fence posts bolted into fence spikes and hammered into the ground. I used 8 spikes in total, one in each corner and one more each on the two longer outside runs.
With the spike and posts in place the scaffold boards were clamped in place front and back, then drilled and secured with M10 coach bolts. Ratchet straps were used to pull the posts back into square while the top boards were put into place.
With metal joist hangers I fitted more scaffold boards between the front and back boards to create a floor structure for both the inside and deck area. These boards are long and heavy and give a sturdy frame really quickly.
I the used reclaimed timber to make the deck from old fence boards made from pressure treated timber.
For the inside I put down water proof membrane over the joists and laid a layer of 11mm OSB
The walls were made from CLS timber buttons, that were then clad in more 11mm OSB, with a layer of builders membrane and then an outer layer of more fence boards. Inside got some foil backed insulation before being framed inside with reclaimed pallet wood. Pallets are a real pain to dismantle and there are many videos on youTube on how to do it quickly.
I have never had much success and is a very manual process of splitting the board and hammering out the nails. I did come up with a simpler way of taking them apart using an old car jack and spinning it up using a impact wrench. It basically just pushed the pallet boards apart with force rather than hammering. The boards had the nails removed and then sanded using a belt sander before nailing to the walls.
For the electrics, I ordered a shed/garage consumer unit from eBay. It has 2 RCB circuits on it. One for wall sockets and one for a light circuit. Amazon delivered the cable, sockets (with USB) and lights (thanks prime).
The plan was for 3 double sockets mounted in the walls, 2 lights inside and two lights on the deck. The boys wanted the PS3 moved into the mega den along with a TV on the wall. I wanted a mini fridge.
My dad came down for the weekend to help with the installation. He likes this sort of work, running in cables and connecting things. I have some sort of certificate that I gained at university that I believe qualifies me for electrical installation, but that is a while ago now. I'll need to dig this out and check at some stage.
Starting with the consumer unit I had already pulled the wire armoured cable in through the floor and up the cavity in the wall. Black and red and armoured core as earth. We did a quick google on connection as the unit arrived with no instructions. It's basically a common neutral and common earth.
The live goes into a master breaker which supplies the two other breakers for lights and sockets.
With a good days work done, the electrics were commissioned and working.
We have been living with the Megaden for a few weeks now and its brilliant. Thankfully its dry inside too as we have had a couple of sleep overs in it. The Old Sofa fits perfect, and the PS3 has just enough wifi signal from an extender in the house.
One of the nights we camped in it there was a meteor shower and we were up at 2 in the morning with the double doors open and watching the meteors in the sky sitting on the deck in our sleeping bags. If anything it was worth it for that memory alone.
In all I would say the Megaden has cost about £500 to build, which I which I think is quite good as its a bit more sturdy that a run of the mill summer house and hopefully will last for many years. I still need to paint it. I have the paint, but need to find the time now.
Thanks for reading