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Case Study - DIY Shed Observatory using Western Red Cedar Shingles, Decking & Trim

Products used:
Decking: Western Red Cedar Cedardeck 40 x 140mm
Roofing: Certigrade No. 1 Grade (Blue Label) Western Red Cedar Shingles
Door and trim: Western Red Cedar Boards (various widths)

Ben Fillmore’s childhood dream of building an observatory was realised when he finally had a garden big enough to build one in. Ben quickly realised that buying a shed from a local DIY store was out of the question.

When researching options it became clear to me that any off-the-shelf solution would be terrible quality and wouldn’t last very long. With very expensive optical equipment going inside, it had to be a humidity controllable environment. You also can’t buy sheds with moving roofs so I had to design it myself.

Western Red Cedar Shingles used for Garden Observatory Shed

With very little DIY experience, Ben decided to use materials that were easy to work with. Looking for something that looks polished, yet rustic, wood offered the flexibility and appearance that he required.

I loved the look of Western Red Cedar shingles, so the roof was quickly decided.

Western Red Cedar Shingles provide excellent insulation to keep the structure from getting too warm or cold. Western Red Cedar is also extremely lightweight – a bonus when designing a moving roof.

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Western Red Cedar Decking used for Garden Observatory Shed

Bevel timber cladding, finished in opaque white contrasts with Western Red Cedar as well as helping reflect heat. Western Red Cedar was also used to build the door and all of the trim around the roof, windows and door.

Ben did not fancy the idea of having cold, unwelcoming paving slabs underfoot that might not stay level over the years.

Having used Western Red Cedar throughout, it was only right to also use it for decking. The 40mm thick decking that Silva Timber provide gives fantastic stability underfoot. It was a joy to install, taking less than a day to install 30m2.

At 40mm thick, Western Red Cedar Cedardeck decking is an outstanding material that will last for decades, whilst being surprisingly affordable.

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Western Red Cedar Trim used for Garden Observatory Shed

The “Shedservatory” leaves its visitors in awe when they are told that Ben built it singlehandedly without any previous knowledge or experience.

I learnt a lot during the build. It was such a fantastic experience that buying off the shelf is no longer an option for me. You generally only have one shed in the garden – make sure it’s how you want it!

When asked about the Western Red Cedar products supplied by Silva Timber, Ben had glowing reviews…

The quality of the cedar throughout was excellent. From the moment I walked into Silva Timber’s warehouse, the aroma hit me. The price and uniqueness of cedar meant that I was able to install a very high end product at an affordable price. It is much more stable than traditional treated softwoods, so I know it will last much longer and hold its shape throughout its life.

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  • FSC
  • PEFC
  • Trada member
  • tdca TIMBER DECKING AND CLADDING ASSOCIATION
  • Responsible purchaser
  • Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau
  • nbs plus
  • Secured by