Last modified: November 20, 2023

Building Your Own Pub Sheds in the Comfort of Your Garden




Building Your Own Pub Sheds in the Comfort of Your Garden

Written by Emily Bradshaw
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Pub Sheds The New Man Cave

Pub sheds are quickly becoming one of the nation’s favourite DIY garden projects, with more and more Britons every day turning their backyard storage into somewhere to kick back with a cold pint. Going to the pub is a time-honoured ritual, but with more and more pubs closing every year it’s getting harder to gather at your local on a weekend. Enter the pub shed: a place for you and your loved ones to spend time, right in the comfort of your home. Coming in all shapes and sizes, take a look at these videos to see if you can picture yourself in one of these classic pub sheds.

The biggest and likely most famous example is probably Doug Smith’s Lancashire pub shed, O’Smithers. Smith made the news last year for his backyard project where he built a 24-square-foot classic Irish pub behind his house, complete with swimming pool and a replica of Blackpool tower on the roof.

O’Smithers is decked out in rugby memorabilia and can seat 33 people (not including a party in the pool). Over the last ten years, Smith has spared no expense to make his little garden hideaway into a genuine boozer, including authentic stools, slot machines and — of course — Guinness on draft. When asked how long it takes to build a pub shed, Smith tells us ‘it never stops. It gets developed. As long as it’s the right price, it gets added.’ Smith’s work might never be over, but at the work is clearly something he loves.

But your pub shed dream doesn’t have to be as grand as O’Smithers. Check out this video, where Christopher Eates shows you around his pub The Beg and Borrowed, which he put together for less than £100.

Eates’ pub is a great example of how pub shed projects can bring people together. Friends and family got together to donate bits and pieces like decoration, appliances and furniture, and now they all have a space they can share.

That’s why building your own pub shed is a perfect way to get to know your neighbours. Kelvin, Sam, Rob and Helen live next door to each other and are the proud owners of the Outback Inn, a pub shed built between their houses in Willenhall, West Midlands. Now, instead of arguing about who’s driving home from the pub, they can all have a peaceful drink together, knowing that bed is only a few steps away.

Just like the Beg and Borrowed, the Outback Inn was a team project. The four owners searched charity shops and car boot sales together, building this cosy tavern with recycled materials. They started with the idea of a small bar, but the project grew when they realised they wanted a space to sit, listen to music and relax together. Then again, the Outback Inn would fit well in your average suburban garden, meaning the pub shed dream doesn’t have to be just for those with acres of space.

A pub shed project is also a perfect way to spend more time with friends and family. Eva and Phil Avery moved to Cirencester, Glostershire, to raise their daughter Millie. Not wanting to give up their social life, they decided to build a space where they could still have a few drinks with friends without having to find a babysitter. The Avery garden shed pub is also a great place for the family to spend time together, in a truly personal place.

So how can you get started on your own pub shed project? Here are a couple of tips for getting that cosy, personal feeling without breaking the bank. Firstly, try and find recycled material. Charity shops, car boot sales, gifts from relatives; really dig deep to find that perfect stool, or build up that collection of beer mats. If you’re looking to build your shed from scratch another great tip is to use building pallets, which you can get from local scrap yards or building sites (if you ask nicely). Of course, if you want the shed without so much hard graft, Garden Buildings Direct provide beautiful, well-built sheds, ready to kickstart your pub shed dreams. Above all, make sure you get other people involved. Ask your neighbours, family and friends to chip in with the building, you can promise them a beer in their new local to say thanks.

Once you have the structure, it’s time to decorate. What’s your idea of the perfect pub? Maybe it’s like Mark Stringer’s pub shed The Peaky Builders, designed like a classic 1950’s American diner, complete with lifesize Blues Brothers models relaxing out front.

Or maybe you prefer a bit more of a classic feel. The Spitfire is a fantastic example of a classic British design, decorated with Union Jacks and model fighter planes.

Of course, decorating isn’t just the next step in the build, it’s a lifelong hobby. As Doug Smith says, a shed landlord is never finished developing his pub, it just gets bigger and better. Hopefully, these videos have inspired you to build a place of your own, where you and your friends can relax, and where you’ll never hear the dreaded shout of “last orders!”

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