Blog: August 2015

How we made a country retreat from an old lorry trailer
Paul O'Leary, director of Loughborough-based deVOL Kitchens
I wanted a place to have fun with the kids, which was the motivation for this cabin. It's near the river, close to deVOL's Cotes Mill showroom in Loughborough. It was made by me and my colleagues Phil, Dean and Josh. It cost around £30,000 all in and and took about four months to build. 
 
I wanted every decision about materials to be based on function, cost and ease of fit. We used the metal frame of an old lorry trailer and studwork timber insulated with rockwool and lined with membrane roofing laths and OSB (oriented strand board)
 
The wooden cladding is made up of green oak boards that we left outside for three months to be rained on, dried and bleached in the sun. The roof is made from ply and rubber and the edges are lined with lead. 

The cabin is roughly 390 sq ft (40x9.5). We used tongue and groove on the walls and cheap clip together flooring on the ceiling and instead of tiles in the shower, we used Corian. The kitchen was made of some unused deVOL furniture taken from the Mill. Everything was designed to take movement. How did we get water and electricity in - well, we used a water pipe and power cable running underground to the showroom. There's also an ex-Army water bowser from eBay, perfect for waste water and effluent. And yes, we can sleep there. There's a lovely bedroom with a big double bed as well as a sofa in the living room. Phil, our estates project manager, actually spends a lot of his weekends at the cabin.

You might be wondering 'What about the planning?' Yes, well I wondered about that too. I read every planning policy I could find and was pleased to find out that you can park up to four mobile homes in your garden. This was pretty much a mobile home - though there was a question as to whether this was a garden.. But I figure that as we have a house and residents and it’s all on the same title that it does count. And so far no one's come knocking to tell us to take it away...

Tags:
eco friendly, eco home, garden sheds, self build, upcycling