Garden shed do I or don't I?

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Garden shed do I or don't I?

Postby Yeoman » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:19 pm

I need to build bigger! The only space available is the garden :?
I have tried to consider the pitfalls and would welcome advice please.
The plan is a timber shed on a concrete base. This would be insulated.
The questions are:
Would the insulation stop track expansion in a hot summer?
Do I have a window?
Will I experience rusting during the winter months?

So my question is do I or don't I? Will it work or will I be setting myself up for an expensive failure?

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Re: Garden shed do I or don't I?

Postby Dad-1 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:41 pm

The loft, if accessible is a better bet.
If not, what choice do you have ......... None ?

I've not had problems with heat, but certainly it's better to plan in some expansion gaps, although
this will depend on the ambient temperature when you're laying your track.
Rust ? What are you intending to have that rusts ? That is not to say high humidity isn't a problem
as Peco track will get an oxidised surface, but that cleans off easily and sometimes will run O.K without
a 'spring clean'
I'd always store stock and control equipment indoors during winter time. The only other downer is
card buildings can suffer, a reason why I tend to have scratch built plasticard, or bought resin.

That's about it from me.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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Re: Garden shed do I or don't I?

Postby b308 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:43 pm

I've tried them but don't like them as I feel "disconnected" from the rest of the family... A well instated reasonably sized shed, though, is a good investment, check out your local planning regs first so you don't clash with them - you shouldn't, but always worth checking... And get the biggest you can afford!

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Re: Garden shed do I or don't I?

Postby alex3410 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:59 pm

I have mine in a shed, i used to have it in the loft before we moved and to be honest both have their pros & cons.

The shed for example made life so much easier when building etc as i could use the garden as a workshop :lol: & can also stand fully upright the whole time (paid extra for 2" extra height). The downsides are mainly if the weather is poor it can really discourage you from wanting to go out! I have my modelling table in the spare bedroom for that very reason. Other things to watch out for is the moisture - card for example has not worked well.

The loft was a right old pain to build in as there was very limited room (although if i was to do it again would probably pre assemble it and take it up in sections) & standing room was an issue. The heat in the middle of summer was a killer ( the shed gets hot but can cool it fairly well with the door open and a fan taking in cool air) & the cold in the winter while not bothering me would get me intro trouble with the better half as opening the hatch made the whole house cold. The biggest plus about the loft was the amount of space, i ran 3 loops all of the way around the edge of the loft and had lovely long running lengths. The baseboards also give you storage under them as well which helped maximise the space.

Out of the two if i had my choice i would opt for the loft (running distances) - would make sure to get it insulated first! however the shed is not all that bad in comparison just get the largest one you can as every inch will help when planning the layout.

As to rust - its something i am concerned with but at the moment (18 months +) the only things to be effected are tools, nothing railway related yet shows any signs of having an issue.

Final bit of advice is to think about what you really want from the layout - when i moved into the shed i thought i wanted something more realistic & as such limited the amount of track and ended up with a single loop. Recently i have pulled up 2/3 of it so i could rearrange it to have two loops and am much happier with the result.

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Re: Garden shed do I or don't I?

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:04 pm

My Layout is indoors, but we do have a "garden cabin" which serves as an office. The walls are three inch thick interlocking pine so the walls have not needed insulating, the roof is only 3/4" T&G boards so needed insulating above a plasterboard lining. A carpet on the floor and a couple of computers left on continuously has seen it through eight winters so far. I'd say a layout could live in there quite happily. Whatever sort of shed you use, make sure it has a proper weather-tight door and door frame not a traditional shed door (5 planks and three battens.)
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Re: Garden shed do I or don't I?

Postby flying scotsman123 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:06 pm

I'm a shed dweller and I haven't had any problems either. Well insulated and even in freezing conditions inside is not too bad, a quick blast with a heater makes it rather cosy. In the summer, as Alex has said, it can get hot, but opening doors usually helps. I haven't had problems with warping due to heat apart from one ratio plastic fence which pinged out of its holes during that really hot spell last year. I haven't noticed any problems with card warping myself, but they will need a protective coating to prevent fading if they face the sun.
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Re: Garden shed do I or don't I?

Postby Emettman » Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:35 pm

One other option for a shed layout is to put the main terminus or through station there, but take plain track running lines out into the garden and open air.

I had a 16ft 16.5 gauge layout all in the garden, with a removable control panel that went in my bike shed.
It did well enough for a couple of years but a house move prevents me reporting either way on its true potential for durability.

Any alternatives to the shed that you might not have considered?
Changing to a smaller scale? (not easy if stock and buildings have been built up)
Across the back of a garage, or all round the edge of it?

Something on several boards that only comes fully to life at exhibitions?
I had that for 14 years: I could work on 1 or 2 boards at a time at home, but all 4 together took exhibition space.
(or the whole lounge with the furniture pushed back for rare special test sessions.)

"It's his madness that keeps him sane."

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Re: Garden shed do I or don't I?

Postby RailwayRobbo » Mon May 09, 2016 3:15 pm

Hi Yeoman.
I've had experience of both building a layout in a loft and shed. The current version of PETERSDALE is in my 'layout shed' that I purposely built for it. My first version of Petersdale was in the loft of a house I lived in way back in the mid 80s.
There are pros and cons with both situations. The loft was a good area but due to the slope of the roof the height of the baseboards (24") had to be lower than usual to get a decent width of baseboard(18"). This combination of height and width of course meant that after each session I had in the loft I also had an aching back. If you've only got access to the loft through a hatch then of course you have to build your baseboards to fit through. The main downside to my layout in the loft was track buckling/lifting due to the heat. I had to remedy this by putting in a roof window. That's an expensive extra if you're on a tight budget.
The shed on the other hand has a lot going for it. Downside was smaller space available (16' x 8' shed to approx 24' x 12' loft) but you can work standing up. As far as the weather affecting a shed layout I've had mine in my shed for around 8 years now with no adverse effects on the track work at all. The shed is fully insulated and double glazed and if I get the urge to do some modelling in the winter I've a gas heater which warms the place up in about half an hour. In summer, such as today where the temperature is around the 26/27c mark it's still cool to work in. This may be something to do with where it's positioned in my garden and I did install an oscillating electric fan as well which comes in handy. Of course the cost of a timber structure could be a bit on the high side. After all if your loft space is a good area and can be used for a layout you've already bought that so to speak. I was lucky that at the time I was a woodwork teacher and had the use of the school workshops and all the heavy duty machinery to make the process of manufacturing the shed easy. If you take a look at the beginning of my thread on Petersdale you'll see the full story.


Shed or loft? I think I'd go for the shed every time. I just wish I had a bit more space but I'm more than happy with what I have.

Hope this helps you make your decision a little easier. Pete.

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