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If the swallows do not make the spring, they make the happiness of Alexandre Bertheau who built a garden shelter in "hard" where they can nest.

How to assemble your garden shed

See the plan of this realization (in pdf): Garden shelter in hard: the plan

Garden: a shelter for swallows

Today, the "slum" swallows is forgotten. Instead there is a hard shelter that has nothing to envy to the cottage type shelters and other similar constructions that are found in the trade.

It is a real building integrated with the construction and realized in the respect of the regional habitat (Eure-et-Loir): frame in oak, country stone, small flat tiles...
"The idea was to create in the same place a stone building with an identical area, while respecting the style of the house and surrounding buildings", explains our reader.
This shelter must allow storage, on one side, all the gardening equipment (clipper, wheelbarrow and tools). And on the other, the firewood protected by the extension of the roof.
Successful integration... to swallow nests: "For a long time, swallows have appropriated the place. It was their presence that motivated the choice to keep the shed open: we wanted them to continue to nest there. "

Good neighbor report

Alexandre Bertheau has taken the same ratings as the old construction. This one appeared in the cadastre. The administrative formalities have therefore been reduced: "It was a renovation of the same surface as an existing building at the cadastre, no declaration of work was required. "
Also easy on the neighborhood side: "The owner of the house adjoining my garden has allowed me to raise the building against the wall of his property, on the sole condition that the blanket comes under his gutter. " A conciliatory neighbor who will even give him stones to mount the walls.
Indeed, one of the characteristics of this site is the use of recovery materials. Among others, the 1,600 small flat tiles typical of the region that had to be cleaned one by one.
Only exception: the blocks and the wooden poles of the structure. In addition to the aesthetic aspect, the recovery of materials has allowed our reader substantial savings. All in all, his shelter cost him 2,400 euros.

Construction in four seasons in the garden

Once the stewardship issues are resolved, the work phase can begin.

Our builder takes all his time. Started in the spring of 2006, the shelter is completed and operational in the fall of 2007.
First stage: move the drying rack. No question of leaving it in front of the new construction (it finds its place in the garden at a more appropriate place).
Second point : lighting. A thankless phase since you have to take shovel and pick to dig a trench of 30 meters: "The electrical connection required to join the electrical panel located in the workshop, opposite the garden. "

Net place

Summer 2006 marks the demolition of the "slum". Exit also the back wall, consisting of stones and hollow bricks, built against the wall of the neighbor.

Stones are preserved, bricks and rubble reused to realize the hedgehog of the future slab and the foundation of the foundations of the façade wall.
The goal is of course to make a clean place, but also to find the stone wall of the neighbor. Wall that will support the new construction. Summer work always: the foundations of the front wall.
Once again, shovel and pick are in order. Then installation of formwork, concrete pouring and stripping. Alexandre Bertheau will spend his last days of vacation cleaning the recovery tiles: brushing, treatment and storage.

Smart bases

Fall 2006 is entirely dedicated to the realization of reinforced concrete footings of the front wall.

Masonry work essential to ensure the stability of the future construction. Concrete still with the realization of the dice (bases). The purpose of these dice is to insulate the wooden pieces from soil moisture and to prevent rotting of the wooden structure. They also serve as a support for the post structure of the construction.
There, our reader is imaginative. The dice are molded into a formwork made from particle board. Previously, Alexandre takes care of equipping the die with a metal piece on which will be installed the post that supports the frame. Tip: he uses a shutter hinge that he drowns in the concrete.
Once the formwork is finished, the concrete is poured. The autumn works are far from complete. Two rows of blocks of the wall of facade are mounted: the passage of the cables for the arrivals of electricity is thus finished before the winter.

Warm in the workshop

Winter 2006-2007: Alexandre Bertheau devotes her time to the workshop, sheltered from the weather. A time he uses to realize the wooden structure: new beams in oak for the three poles and beams in fir and beech recovery for planks dedicated to the lower breakdown and assembly parts. Like a real carpenter, he makes his assemblages flat. To note: our reader works with the old one and assembles its structure with tenons and mortises. At first, he even uses the chisel before his neighbor gives him a precious help: "After I started, I realized that my neighbor had all the necessary equipment (jointer, band saw, etc.). So I worked much faster than expected. "

A slab for posterity

Crocuses are in bloom, spring is coming. After polishing and assembling the wooden structure with acacia pegs, it is time to resume the outdoor work. Place to the masonry.
This is the moment to perform the hedgehog and the formwork, then to pour the slab "I could not have speeded up without the precious help of my father and two neighbors, Guy and Olivier. "
Essential for future generations, the inscription "2007" on fresh concrete in a corner of the slab: "It's important for future archaeological digs! ", throws our reader with humor.
● Summer program: masonry, masonry and... masonry. A little electricity also at the end of the summer.
Previously, Alexandre Bertheau has a lot of work ahead: doubling the cinderblock walls with reclaimed stones, then sealing the awning, the wooden structure, the canopy, the bastings and the rafters. Then comes the finishing with the realization of the joints for which it uses a coating your stone.
Cry of the heart of our mason: "It's a long way to go! "

A waterproof cover

In the fall of 2007, Alexandre Bertheau wears the clothes of a roofer. To ensure the tightness of the cover whose slope is limited, it takes no risk. On the rafters, he installs water-resistant paneling themselves covered by a rainscreen. To maintain the whole, joists are nailed to the right of the rafters. On the joists take place the lintels, the tiles, the strips of sewer and the gutter. Finally, a little electricity to light inside and outside. That's it. Not quite... Now, you have to put away the wood for the winter and wait for the spring so that the swallows take possession of the place again.

Hedgehog and sitting

use rubble following the demolition of a wall

After the demolition of the hollow brick walls, the rubble is used to form the hedgehog of the future slab and the foundation of the foundations of the façade wall. Nothing is lost...

A mold to make the three dice

concrete base for the realization of the 3 dice

To make the three dice (concrete bases) on which the poles of the wooden structure will be supported, our reader made his own mold from falling particle board. Ingenious, the handles for demolding.

Isolate and support the load

pouring concrete dice

Placed at the front of the building, the concrete dice will be partially embedded in the slab. They insulate the posts from the ground and support the load of the frame.

A dowel for the liaison

connection between post and concrete dice by dowel

The link between post and die is provided by a stud (a method formerly made with cut stones). For practical reasons, the lime peel (bottom wall) is made before mounting the structure.

The slab

pour a slab under an awning

For the slab, the team work premium: manual damage of the hedgehog (addition of sand on the rubble), realization of the formwork, laying of the film and the welded mesh, leveling with cleats and pouring.

Solid frame and tiled roof

Assemble the wooden load-bearing structure

The wooden support structure is prepared and assembled at the workshop. The mortise and tenon joint gives it a traditional look totally integrated with the local style.

Assembly of the awning

to mount an awning

The shelter begins to take shape with the assembly of the awning that will store the wood. An oak structure (poles), fir and beech recovery (planks).

Assembly of the structure

wood treatment of a garden shed

The parts of the structure are assembled with acacia pegs. To ensure effective protection and aesthetics of quality, the surface is fully stained.

A fully sealed structure

seal a shelter on the wall of a house

The lumber arrives on the site. The whole, including the structure of the marchioness at the entrance of the shelter, is sealed in the adjoining walls. The sand pit fault has its place on the front wall.

Dress the walls of breeze block

cladding of concrete walls

Unsightly, the cinderblock walls are dressed with stones bought or recovered on the spot. A long work because you have to re-cut some diamond disc. To ensure the maintenance of the stones, the seal includes reinforcing bars.

An overflowing cover

cover a roof

The structure and walls of the shelter are now in place. Then starts the roofing work, with the implementation of structural elements: sandpit failure, intermediate failures and rafters.

Ridge line

seal the ridge line in the wall

The ridge line is supported (its right end), on the wall of the bottom and on the wall gable. Its left end is sealed with mortar in the wall.

Intermediate breakdowns

breakdowns: roof construction

Same method of attachment for the first intermediate failure, whose right end is sealed in the formwork at the top of the gable wall. The next builds on the front wall.

Harmonize the walls

fix two walls

Outside, the cinderblock wall is concealed behind a stone wall. To harmonize the whole, it will be joined to the lime mortar (like the other walls of the shelter).

Rafters and concrete base

laying rafters of a shelter

The rafters are laid. Their role is to distribute the weight of the roof over the purlins. They are arranged in the direction of the slope with a regular spacing (50 cm). The last finishes are made to prepare the setting up of the cover: the concrete screed on the back wall, the bank and the front wall.


waterproof a roof

To ensure the perfect watertightness of this roof with low slope, water-repellent panels and rainscreen are required. The paneling also ensures the interior finish.


to build a roof: tile laying

The tiles of recovery have found a second youth after an effective cleaning. Roof tiles provide ventilation on the underside of the roof.

Bottom ventilation

ventilate the roof

A clever system: fixed on the ground, two smooth (long flat ruler with rounded profile) protect the firewood from moisture and allow ventilation of the logs from below.

Video Instruction: Man Cave - She Shed - Garden Office