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Size matters, but so do good looks

Philip Solomon has years of experience putting up large sheds and his top tip is that shed aesthetics are important.“A lot of people just focus on what they want to put in the shed until it goes up and then they say, ‘Oh, I don’t like that’,” he says.

DEVELOPER PHILIP SOLOMON HONED HIS SHED DESIGN BEFORE BUILDING THE ULTIMATE SHED
By Ian Parkes
Photographs: Brennan Thomas


The shed had to look ‘right’ in the landscape

Philip Solomon has years of experience putting up large sheds and his top tip is that shed aesthetics are important.
“A lot of people just focus on what they want to put in the shed until it goes up and then they say, ‘Oh, I don’t like that’,” he says.
Philip has installed three large sheds on different properties that he’s developed so, when it came to designing and building a large shed on his own property in Gisborne, he had already developed firm ideas about what he wanted. That included making sure it looked right in the landscape and complemented the house.
He needed to drive a truck and trailer straight in, which set the width and span at 12m. He also needed a bay for a boat on a 9m trailer, and both the boat and the truck needed high doors. He settled on 3.2m, and a stud height of 4m.


The building team: Terry O’Neill, Max O’Neill, and Shawn Smythe

More than just a shed

Another part of the plan was to build in some accommodation, an office, a lunchroom, and a sleepover, complete with a bathroom at one end of the shed. As you can see in the pictures, that was built separately inside the shed later. Philip preserved the shed’s full useable floor area by building the ceiling of the accommodation strong enough to be a mezzanine floor. He says the 4m height gives just enough headroom to use that space for storage without making the building too tall.

He chose the colours and also window and door frames to match the 355m2 house that he’s going to build on the same site — because shed aesthetics are important. So much so, according to Phil, that in each of the three developments he’s done so far with big sheds, he’s built the shed first.

We ask Phil how he decided which steel shed maker he was going to go with and he says he’s gone with KiwiSpan every time. KiwiSpan offers the choice of colours that tie in with house designs. “Also they are dominant as far as strength goes,” he says.

“If you are building in a high wind zone, like we are here, you need something substantial, something designed and engineered so it’s not going to be a problem.”

Building for strong winds
Builder Terry O’Neill of KiwiSpan Gisborne says Philip knew exactly what he wanted, so speccing the building was straightforward. KiwiSpan’s design programme selects the correct-sized portals and framing to suit the span, height, and the wind load.
Being in a high wind zone meant that the shed had to be strong to avoid flexing, which would cause issues with the Gib-lined area. The large roller doors are industrial strength and the aluminum windows are all double-glazed.
The programme allows for different roof angles to be chosen to tie in with other buildings on-site. As the shed sits 200mm higher than the house will, Phil chose to keep the roof pitch shallow at 11 degrees, again to avoid making the shed look too big. Adding the verandah roof to the end gable, over the ranchslider door, was also a simple task.
“Phil is pretty experienced and did a good job of the site works, so that was straightforward too,” Terry says.
Phil says that that included capturing water from the roof from both the shed and the house and diverting it into two 30,000-litre tanks alongside the shed.
Provisioning for water was important, as the house will have a lap pool that will need to be topped up.
Phil is now keen to get on with the house build and, as in the previous properties that he’s developed, having a big shed already on-site with storage space, a workshop, and plumbed-in facilities — and even a shady spot to have lunch with a view over the neighbour’s vineyard — is going to make that so much easier.

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