It never ceases to amaze me what people use their garden sheds and summer houses for. It goes without saying that general storage of gardening tools, barbecues, garden furniture, bikes and lawn mowers are the more normal usage of these versatile buildings. These sheds are also called into use as hobby buildings or retreats away from the world or ‘the other half’ (and this applies to women as well as men).However, when I heard that someone was building a F1 (formula 1) car in his shed, this stopped me in my tracks. In all my years in the garden shed business I have NEVER heard of anyone using a shed for this purpose. Just to goes to show how useful the garden shed is.
Kevin Thomas, a normal (ish) man living near St Albans has been gradually building a F1 car in his garden shed, albeit more of a summerhouse, as you do (no you don’t). This crazy idea came to him after seeing a F1 car in a Renault showroom and just a little while later saw an F1 tub (monocoque) listed on Ebay (what can’t you buy on this site?) When this auction ended with no bids he sent the seller an email. To his surprise the seller turned up at his property with a Reynard BAR 01 and a BAR 003 tub. He immediately paid for both and his idea was started.
Although Thomas was not an engineer, he was a hard-core fan, his garden shed was going to be fully utilised to follow his dream. With a tub in place he set about everything else which was required such as the drivertrain, suspension, seat etc. In fact everything required for an F1 car. He soon found that sourcing these items was tricky and it was only after checking Ebay every week and trading with other F1 part collectors did he managed to collect what was needed.
His shed quickly became full with F1 components and the putting together of all these parts become a great challenge – but great fun. He had to learn how to work with carbon fibre and by altering the side pods was able to fit it with a BAR engine cover. Thanks to his resourcefulness it looked like he had accumulated an F1 car for just over $13,000 but he hadn’t.
He still needs a drivetrain as well as many other items and these are unlikely to show up on Ebay. A 600plus hp 3.0 litre V10 engine is what’s needed but he may have to settle on a Formula Renault 3.5 litre engine. He convinced that even with this, if and when he gets his car completed, it will be more than fast enough to scare the life out of him. It proven that a well assembled Formula 1 car can be a wieldy beast but one built from pieces, collected from all over the place, is likely to be a monster.
However that is not the point. It’s the assembly and creation of an impossible dream in his garden shed which counts. The sheer madness, and the bliss, creating this car can not be measured. To be able to do this in his St Albans shed would certainly give him massive bragging rights and stories to tell for the rest of his life.
This just goes to show that the usefulness of a garden shed, potting shed or workshop can be used for more or less anything. Admitted you would probably need a shed larger than normal and maybe a little higher than normal but you can find a large range of buildings to suit your requirements directly from 1st Choice Leisure Buildings. You will also find that Robin Antill, a partner, is a very keen F1 fan and VERY envious of his achievement.
We all know that cut in budgets are necessary in these hard times and the police forces in many areas, including St Albans, being affected. Around the countries they are fighting crime on ever decreasing budgets and manpower and the rise in garden related crime has increased substantially. This could be that sheds are seen as soft targets, generally away from the main activity of the home, these sheds can produce some rich pickings for just a little risk. As the number of police patrols are reduced then the chance of any thieves being caught inside these sheds is very unlikely. The key (no pun intended) is to keep your shed well locked using good quality padlocks on the shed door. A good piece of advice is to ensure that at least one of the screws in each of the shed hinge is replaced with a nut and bolt, ideally a coach bolt. This will ensure even if the shed door is well locked it could be possible to just unscrew the door and gain access to your garden goods that way. Shed windows are equally a weak point, they can be broken so, if possible, replace them with toughened or laminated glass. Another option is to cover with a film, which you can get at car shops, or put bars across the shed windows.
The addition of a garden shed alarm can alert you to any intruders and the noise of an alarm would scare most thieves away as they don’t want to get caught. Also a solar powered garden light with a sensor will light up the area around your shed, again making it less attractive to intruders.
The use for a garden shed is many but St Albans Police have an unusual use for a shed and that is as a crime fighting weapon. The 6 ft x 4 ft garden shed, which they affectionately call a ‘mobile crime prevention resource’ is at the forefront of local garden crime. This shed is touring the county and helping to make gardeners aware of the dangers of intruders and showing how the gardener can protect his own shed against attack. As well as the advice above the police suggest that thorny plants can be a good deterrent as well as good locks and security lights mentioned above.
With over 1400 thefts from outdoor storage sheds and garages in the previous year in the county of Dorset there is a great need for more awareness of this problem. Dorset’s Police, PC Chris Nutt, said that burglars see sheds, gardens and garages as easy targets as they know they often contain valuable machinery, garden tools and equipment. Only recently Gloucestershire Police were also warning of increased threats showing this problem is not just a local one.
As well as increasing the security on your garden shed it may be worthwhile upgrading your shed or adding a security shed to protect your valuables. The SafeStore steel sheds come with their own metal bases and feature high security garden shed locks as standard. You can examples of these secure garden sheds at this display site in Surrey. These actions will help to ward of burglars from attacking your shed and stealing your property.