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How to Turn Your Shed into the Perfect Den: For Big Kids

Remember the dens we built as children out of our parents’ bed sheets, cardboard boxes, old sacks and whatever else we could find? The amount of time we spent crafting dens with our siblings and friends could take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, especially during long school holidays. If there is one thing we learned to appreciate from creating these elaborate DIY dens, particularly during rainy weather, having a dry and comfortable hideaway to sneak away to outdoors helps to keep us sane, as well as giving us the peace and quiet we all deserve. And when it comes to making the perfect den for big kids, there is something primeval about having a personal space, possibly due to the basic human need for privacy that men and women choose to share with only a select few. 

However, at our age, our standards have drastically changed from when we were children. The majority of us have moved on from bed sheets and cardboard boxes to intricately-crafted, personalised “man caves” as their home-away-from-home, with one of the most popular trends involving transforming simple sheds into elaborate dens. 

Step 1: Connect the Shed with Electricity Safely

Unless you want to spend your “me time” in candlelight, you’ll want to make sure that you connect the shed with power. While this job is not recommended for DIYers without electrical experience, Tommy Walsh, handyman extraordinaire recommends that “the transfer of power from the house to the shed should be done via armoured supply cable buried in the ground at least one foot deep. I would recommend connecting this to a small consumer unit in the shed.”

On the other hand, if you have a garden and aren’t set on destroying it, there is another option that doesn’t require digging into the ground. Pyro is a popular alternative for many homeowners who have gardens as the pyro can be mounted on a surface, preferably on a surface as high as a garden wall or perimeter fence. 

Whichever option you choose, be sure to contact a licensed handyman or electrician to fully carry out this task if you do not have experience yourself.  

Step 2: Insulate & Sound Proof Your Space

Once you have the power hooked up to the shed, you’ll next want to insulate the walls, ceiling and floor. Whether the walls are made of rock or blown-polyurethane, Walsh recommends using adhesive, mechanical fusing and plasterboard for proper insulation. Make the finishing touches by filling the dryline joints, taping them, and sanding them down. 

Don’t forget to clean up that dust the sander left behind! 

Step 3: Personalise & Make it Your Own
So now you have a clean space to work with, all hooked up and ready to be claimed as your man cave, reading room, craft space, etc. Let’s throw around some ideas for inspiration:
  • The Ultimate Man Cave
    Without a doubt, one of the most essential components of any man cave is an excellent audio-visual system. After all, what better way is there to enjoy a weekend afternoon game or weeknight action movie? Depending on your budget, consider investing in a flat-screen television as well as a proper surround sound speaker system to go with it. Be sure to also include a DVD or Blu-Ray player, as well as extend your digital cable or satellite TV to your newly transformed den. 

    If there is enough room, install a portable bar or fridge. If you’re planning to have company over at one point or another, be sure to also invest in some comfy chairs. The great thing about having a big kids den is that you can choose to decorate it however you please, so feel free to hang those posters and neon signs up that you’ve never been allowed to in the house! 
  • The Perfect Crafty Getaway
    On the other hand, for those looking for a way to escape from all the hustle and bustle of life to spend time with their more creative side, many DIYers choose to transform their sheds into personal hobby and craft spaces. 

    When creating a craft room, accessibility is key, which means all the materials you need for your projects should be well within reach at all time. Make sure to utilise all the space within the shed and install shelves to help store and organise your craft supplies. Use clear glass jars and mobile containers to be able to quickly find what you’re looking for.

    Having a sturdy, comfortable and portable chair will also be a must. It would be ideal to find a chair that also serves as a stepladder in order to have easy access to shelves as well. 

Step 4: Secure Your Space
After successfully transforming your shed and you are proud of the way you’ve decorated and accessorised it, the last thing to do will be to determine how to secure it. A padlock is one of the simplest security solutions, but if you plan on storing expensive equipment or other items in your big kids den, consider investing in CCTV. 

If you have a log cabin, take a look at our video below to see how you can turn that into a den.
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