5 Everyday Hobbies You Can Take to the Next Level with a Custom Shed

It’s not only the woodworkers and the sheep shearers that benefit from having a trusty shed around. A shed that’s customised to facilitate your specific hobby is the perfect way to get the most out of your free time activities.  

 

Home Gym / Yoga Studio

 

We all know the hardest thing to do at the gym is turn up. The second hardest thing is having to wait for your favourite machine to free up. So by having your very own personal space nearby to get your sweat on, you’ve already made keeping in shape that much easier. 

Pumping irons not really your way of keeping active? Our sheds can also serve perfectly as home yoga studios for you and your favourite stretching buddies. Not only do you get to choose the music (every time), you can also talk to us about setting up some kitchen facilities too (because every yoga studio needs a juice bar).

 

 

DIY and Upcycling

 

If Pinterest has taught us anything, it’s that one man’s trash is another man’s really trendy (and often profitable) new conversation piece. 

A shed makes for an ideal workshop for those looking to take their old furniture/pallets/beer crates (and so on) to the next level. It’s also a great place to use your inventive, upcycled creations if your significant other isn’t into the whole “pallet coffee table” trend. 

 

 

The Arts

 

The cliche about the noisy next-door neighbour who always decides it’s time to practice the violin during the worst possible moments exists for a reason. 

A custom shed can make the perfect space to practice your art of choice. From experimental interpretive dance to your own personal painting studio, KiwiSpan can help you build the ideal place to express yourself, without gaining the neighbour’s ire.  

 

Car Restoration

 

There’s nothing quite as cool as the art of taking a run-down car and injecting new life under the hood. And whilst this popular pastime of the mechanically inclined has typically taken place in the garage, this can cause issues when it’s already occupied by other vehicles (and to be fair, ones that actually run). 

A larger shed can serve as an equally suitable holding zone whilst you restore your latest find at the scrapyard to its former glory. It’s also an ideal venue for the big unveiling party, so that’s a bonus. 

Furthermore, there are quite a few custom features KiwiSpan can offer you – such as footings for a hoist to take on some of the heavy lifting involved.

 

 

Socialising 

 

Having your nearest and dearest around for a cold one (two, three and four) is possibly the most iconic of all the great kiwi pastimes. And having a backyard bar on-site only makes it greater. Not only does it provide you with a space to host an event, but you’ll also get a bar to serve the drinks and a space to store them between get-togethers.

More and more, folks around the nation, and beyond, are getting trendy outdoor entertaining spaces built in preparation for the long summer evenings. And it only takes a quick google for inspiration to see why.

 

Do you indulge in any of the above hobbies?  Perhaps you’ve been inspired to take another pastime to the next level with a shed? Feel free to peruse our wide range of shed plans here, and get in touch to talk through some of the personalised options we can offer you. 

How to Make a Small Shed Feel Bigger

When it comes to sheds (something we’d like to think we know a bit about), there’s this idea that short of owning a multi-acre section, sheds are just a place to store tools and collect lichen. 

Frankly, this is something of a tragedy, as there’s nothing quite like owning a shed. Whether it’s a man cave to escape too or a sleepout that provides your eldest with a small brush with independence (and more you-time for you) or a place to spend some quality time on a passion project.

The bottom line is, just about anyone, with any sized section (yes, even city folk) can own the kind of shed worth spending time in. However, if size still seems like an issue for you, here are a few tips you can use to make any small shed feel bigger.

 

Colours

Interior designers have been using colours to manipulate how big or small a room seems for years. Whilst dark colours tend to create a cosy and intimate (or simply put, a smaller) atmosphere, lighter, more neutral colours have been shown to make indoor areas seem instantly more spacious.

Our favourites lighter neutrals include Zincalume, Tatiana, Cloud and Gull Grey. You can make further use of this trick by incorporating the chosen colour of the walls into your furniture (i.e. a similarly painted workbench for a workshop, or by using the same shade in your furniture upholstery for sleepouts), as this will strengthen the feelings of extra spaciousness.

 

Invite in the Natural Light

Whilst aiding the “largening” effect that neutral colours create, natural light is also a reliable tool unto itself when it comes to making smaller spaces feel bigger – due to the airy and relaxed atmosphere it creates. 

KiwiSpan offers a range of window configurations and translucent shed roofing. Consider making use of this natural resource when designing your next shed.

 

Choose Multi-Functional Furniture

One of the simplest ways to keep a smaller space from feeling claustrophobic is to keep it from becoming overcrowded, either due to excess clutter or by having too much furniture. 

The easy fix for this is to simply opt for multi-functional furniture when possible. A common example of this would be to use a workbench that also has a compartment for storing your tools. Other common examples include a sofa bed for sleepouts.

 

Have any of these tips inspired you? If so, feel free to check out our website and custom shed designers to explore what possibilities may be available to you as a future shed owner.

Design it Yourself: KiwiSpan’s 3D Design Tool

Looking to build a shed? Have an idea of what you’re looking for but unsure if it’ll work? We’ve got the tool for you. 

Our 3D Shed Designer allows you to build a visual representation of your perfect shed from the comfort of your home or office. Once done, simply submit it and we will be in touch to make your vision a reality. 

 

What is it? 

Unlike others, KiwiSpan offers prospective buyers the opportunity to create and visualise their ideal shed early in the investigation process. 

We do this with our unique online 3D Design tool. This tool allows you to virtually create the shed of your dreams, to the exact specs and with all the trimmings you require. It allows you to factor in everything from your roof pitch, number of windows and doors, number of external walls and shed colour. 

The end result, a digital representation of your shed, ready to be sent to our licensees. 

 

Benefits for you

Our 3D Designer is the perfect tool for people interested in building a shed. Whether you have your ideal shed already in mind, need inspiration or are unsure if your requirements are possible, the tool will answer all your questions. 

  • Build exactly what you want 

No matter what your requirements are or purpose for the shed, you will be able to visualise how these requirements will come to life. Ultimately, letting you know what is possible and not, and what is not possible is very small. 

  • Experiment with different variations

Considering roller doors? Or, not sure if you need lean-tos? With the 3D Designer, you have the freedom to experiment with every aspect of your shed. 

  • Super simple process

Above all else, using the 3D tool is unlike any other. The whole process is super easy and user-friendly. There is a logical step-by-step flow to the tool that guides you through all the key components of your shed. Allowing you to focus on designing your ideal shed, not getting angry at the screen. 

We the 3D Designer, you are able to factor in the exact dimensions of your land. Allowing you to see how you shed fits into that space. 

 

Benefits for our licensee

While the benefits for, you, the user are endless. For your local licensee, it gives them the perfect starting point. 

  • We know exactly what you want 

When you submit your completed design to your local licensee, they receive it and instantly know what you’re seeking. 

It gives them the perfect platform to initiate a conversation with you around your specific requirements and wants. From there, it is really a simple process. Together we work out the small or quirky requirements, and then we get seeking approval and breaking ground. 

  • Speeds up the approval process – getting to the building process faster 

Because we are able to move through the initial design stages a lot quicker than many, we are able to start the process of gaining approval and consents a lot quicker than many others in the industry. 

And, the real benefit of this? You get to start using your shed a lot sooner. 

 

For us, the 3D Designer is truly a game-changing platform. The success stories of customers using the tool and getting their dream shed are countless. 

Make sure you experience the benefits of using the tool today. 

The Perfect Garage: Why You Need a KiwiSpan Garage

The classic Kiwi garage. For many New Zealanders, they are a staple of our lives. 

Whether at home or at the batch. Whether a simple one-door slider or a three-door with a room. Whether controlled chaos or the source of ‘have you seen my…’ questions. Garages are a much-loved part of the Kiwi story. 

Our team understands that for some, garages aren’t just a storage unit outback, but one of the most important rooms in the house. Because of this understanding, we are the leading provider of garages in New Zealand. Come see why. 

 

Fit to your needs 

Like most things, there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to garages. We understand this. 

Our team understands and appreciates that a garage built in the far north will have different needs from one built-in the Hawkes Bay and again in Southland.  

With that in mind, KiwiSpan garages are highly customisable. Regardless of whether you require two-doors, bay dividers, windows or clear lights, KiwiSpan can provide it. 

Want to get started? Check out our 3D designer tool and start building your dream garage today.

 

Understand your requirements

Understanding your requirements is the key to building a garage that you can be proud of. 

From the moment you first get in touch to the time you start using your garage, our aim is to understand exactly what you are after and execute that. Your local licensee takes the time to know what your goals are, what type of land you have and the restrictions this may cause, and even your colours preferences.

 

Built for New Zealand conditions 

We’re blessed with an amazing country. But, we are also blessed with some pretty extreme weather conditions. From the winterless north to the deep south, our garages are built to withstand and thrive in the varying New Zealand conditions. 

Whether it is the 0.40 gauge steel we use for our roofing and cladding or the 0.55 gauge steel we use for gutters and flashings, KiwiSpan garages are built to last. 

 

Passionate licensees

Above all else, it is your local KiwiSpan licensee and the excellent team behind them. When you decide to build your garage with KiwiSpan, you are not just buying a garage, you are buying experienced professionals, an unrivalled network, and ultimately a mate. 

Our team is passionate about creating industry-leading garages that stands the test of time and meets your expectations. Our aim is to make the entire process a seamless and enjoyable experience. 

To discover the KiwiSpan difference, get in touch today.

When Everything Goes Right

A new shed in steel complements a new home in timber

 

David Thompson is a builder. When he wanted a new shed big enough to fit a car hoist you’d imagine he would knock one up himself. Not so.

Once he’d checked out the options and the pros and cons, he decided to go with a steel frame shed from a local supplier. He was used to working with timber but he said a wooden-framed building would cost virtually the same, and he expected to have fewer issues with steel framing in the years ahead.

“And it was up fairly quickly,” he says. “Three big frame portals with some rails around — you don’t have to frame a complete wall.”

Another consideration for David was that he had retired and he didn’t fancy clambering about on roofs any more. He decided to turn almost the entire project over to KiwiSpan’s local Taupo agent and builder, Dave Frazer.

“I shopped around a bit and he seemed to be good to deal with,” says David. “He had a sketch in my hand pretty quickly with an estimate. It was quite easy.”

 

The perfect match


Apart from specifying the height needed to provide clearance for the hoist, David simply wanted the garage to match the house, which already had a built-in double garage at that end of the house. The right look was easily achieved by making the roof pitch the same, which also provided enough height inside for a car on the hoist with a standard 2.8m stud height. “It worked out well,” says David.

The Coloursteel roof could be exactly the same as the roof on the house, and the Coloursteel wall panel was also available in the same shade as the house. Owner David says going to the same composite weatherboard as used on the house would have been too expensive but he reckons the shed, with its ribbed steel wall panels, looks right and the different finish probably complements the house better.

He also points out the new shed could be literally tied into the house as the finished wall heights of the house and the shed are the same. This means he could run the roof straight across and make a carport between the two.

There’s one more detail that ties the two buildings together visually. “They added a white bargeboard to match the one on the house,” says David. “It was a good idea.”

 

Nice touch


Once builder Dave had got the roof and cladding squared away he realised he could match the look of the white barge boards on the house’s gables by adding an extra flashing. This white flashing would sit under the barge flashing to create the contrasting white lines that matched the look of the house

“It’s the finishing touch,” says David. The build had only one minor change to the original plan after David realised he didn’t need a double garage door to match the one on the house. There was enough room to drive through the same entrance, past the hoist, to get another car into the space alongside it. But that change was made before the concrete floor was poured, so moving the pillar wasn’t an issue. 

Heating may be added for winter but too much heat in summer was a bigger problem. As David didn’t want windows for security reasons, it was important to block out the extra heat that poured in through the clearlite roof panels. “It was just too hot in summer,” he says. 

So Dave came back and lifted the clearlite panels to install some white building paper behind them, which did the trick. He says it’s a solution that has worked before. Apart from installing the electrics, owner David says the only work he did on the shed himself was to line it with plywood, a straightforward job with its uniform 2.8m stud height.

 

Shakes change plans


David is highly satisfied with his new KiwiSpan shed. He says it was a straightforward job that went up fast, and he expects it will keep performing well for years to come. 

The only issue he has had is a geographical one. He decided against leaving cars on the hoist when a recent spate of earthquakes was running its course in the central North Island. “We had a 5.2 the other day. We felt that.”

 

Written By: Ian Parkes, The Shed.

Photography By: The Shed.