Reno Diaries: Down at the bottom of the garden

Does anyone else have the Poddington Peas theme tune running through their head? I do apologise!

One of the bigger (ie dreamy) projects on our ever-growing to-do list is to completely renovate the building at the bottom of our garden, giving it a new lease of life and making it more purposeful.

summer We call it a garage for convenience sake but it’s bricked up all the way round and is fully carpeted so I don’t know if it was ever used as a garage or even when it was built. What we do know is that right now it’s an incredibly useful storage facility with a sauna that we don’t use, but that’s about it.

the garage plan

You can see from this beautiful artistry how the space is currently used. Right at the back is a gate from our garden onto the access track, this runs behind all the houses but very few people actually drive down here on a regular basis, with most of these buildings having been turned into workshops or summer houses.

The people who lived here before the previous owners extended the garage slightly but not in a massively convenient way, it’s a kind of lean-to shed style storage space but there’s no door into it from within the garage so to use it you have to go out of the gate and round the back where there are multiple tumble down doors all padlocked up and quite a bit of graffiti. We don’t use this space at all.


Inside the actual garage itself is the sauna, again installed by previous previous owner (a nightclub DJ who clearly fancied himself a bit!). The entire inside is wood panelled with a deep red-velvety carpet and the roof is also panelled in wood so there’s very little head height. There is electricity and an alarm system so it’s got potential for a very functional space.

We lay awake one night a few months ago discussing what we could do with it to make it more useful and add value to the house. Pete wants a gym, I want a sun room/summer house so we think we can compromise and have both!

Our plans would be to brick up the back wall completely, getting rid of the crappy old wooden doors and make it more secure. We’d then put an entry door into the shed off the path in our garden to save us having to go outside. We’d then use this space for all of our gardening and DIY stuff which is currently in the main garage.

the new plans

We then take out the sauna and strip out all the wood panels, separating the space into thirds, with one third being used for the gym and two thirds for the summer house idea, building a wall to create the separation.

The existing door would remain as access for the gym and then we’d put some bifolding doors facing the garden as access for the sun room. Chuck in a couple of sofas and tables and it would be the perfect garden relaxing spot, using all of the space and keeping both of us happy! We’ll see if it ever happens…

Do you always agree with your other half on renovation plans? What big projects would you like to complete?

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  1. September 11, 2015 / 4:56 pm

    Ooh, sounds great! I would love to have a dreamy garden building – our’s currently looks like an Anderson shelter (it probably originally) and is slowly sinking in to the ground!

    • Lins
      September 12, 2015 / 10:59 pm

      Thanks Lizzie, I think the problem is with our respective house projects that outdoors doesn’t always get priority treatment. One day! X

  2. September 13, 2015 / 10:29 am

    Uh, why on earth would you want to strip out the sauna??!! 😉 I’d love a nice big garden like yours. Our house is a new build so the garden’s really small. Well, not small, but definitely scary when my boys are kicking a football around and it only narrowly misses the windows.

  3. September 13, 2015 / 7:45 pm

    sounds like a great space to have – and a lot of good ideas too. We have a storage space at the side of our home which is where we put all our bits that don’t really have a home in the house!

    • Lins
      September 15, 2015 / 12:27 pm

      Haha Sarah places like that are invaluable, currently our space is crammed full of Pete’s stuff, he needs a sort out 😉 X

  4. March 6, 2017 / 1:09 pm

    It seems like the list if plans only grows and grows, as we struggle to put anything into action! I think your summer house looks like a great space!

    • Lins
      March 11, 2017 / 9:22 pm

      You’re so right Amanda!! If the list of plans runs out its time to find new ones 😉 X

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