Shepherd Hut / Gypsy Wagon

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a little while now and haven’t quite had the time since my family and I bought and built one of the popular Shepherd Hut / Gypsy Wagon we supply. (Update – NEW Version with Doors in the side: Shepherd Hut Deluxe)

We’ve got a small field away from our home that as a family we all like to muck around in, it’s great fun for the kids and you can’t beat cooking sausages on an open fire. I’ve always had a hankering for a slightly different style of home office than is the norm. I work a great deal from home and I have always wanted somewhere different from my usual spot away from the daily bustle of family life.

The field makes for a perfect location but the trouble is I would never get planning permission for a log cabin on it as it is designated ‘agricultural use’. I need something totally portable and truly temporary, the Shepherd hut / Gypsy wagon fits the bill perfectly. I wouldn’t want to move it too far but with the aid of the tractor it will move and that’s good enough for me and is indeed a ‘temporary structure’.

We built this during Easter and still haven’t got around to making my perfect office from it. In fact it is still a bare shell but over the winter when work is a little quieter I intend to replace the glass with double glazing and insulate it. I’ll then make some fitted units; a desk, sofa, cupboards etc and with a wood burner installed it should be very cozy. Electricity will come from solar panels and battery storage back up. When I do get around to finishing it I’ll update this post but for now here’s some pictures and a short video at the end. I hope you find this useful if you are considering one of our Shepherd Huts / Shepherd Hut Deluxe

Shepherd hut chassis and base construction

Chassis and base construction takes the most amount of time in the build, the wheels and metal chassis are built first, then the timber frame and then the floor and veranda area. This part of the build took about three hours with my wife and two helpful children.

Chassis and base construction

Be careful when you lay the floor as their is a start and a finish floor board. We made the mistake of not identifying it and had to cut the final board. It wasn’t a problem but annoying I hadn’t spotted it sooner ….. as I always say …. READ the plans …. doh!

The shepherd hut has panelled walls.

The walls are all made of individual panels and are simply screwed together. It does help to have a couple of G clamps handy to clamp them together before you screw them. Also pilot the holes first. All the screws are Torx and you get a couple of spare bits but don’t drop them!

You'll notice my slabs supporting it are just laid directly on the ground, I didn't want to disturb the ground at all and with the adjustable feet it's not a problem getting it level.

You’ll notice my slabs supporting the Shepherd hut are just laid directly on the ground, I didn’t want to disturb the ground at all (planning) with the adjustable feet the chassis has though it’s not a problem getting the building level.

Roof trusses on the shepherd hut

The roof is supported on pre-curved trusses. When you fit these don’t rely 100% on the measurements given as at my first attempt I wasn’t exactly in the middle of the roof board sections. I found it easier in the end to use the roof boards for each section as a template.

Roof boards on the gypsy wagon

Each of the roof boards are individually nailed on. Like the floor there is a start and an end board, watch out for them and identify them first as they will catch you out. It is also a good idea to measure the boards across the arch to find exactly where to start it. We put the small section on fist and only tacked it to get this part right and exactly even both sides.

painting the shepherd hut

Once up the painting went on long into the night. When it is first built it is very white and we wanted to hide it amongst the trees quickly hence the camouflage green paint.

Finished Shepherd hut / Gypsy wagon.

Finished Shepherd hut / Gypsy wagon. Yes the painting isn’t that great but we wanted to make the shepherd hut as unobtrusive from the road as possible. The window sections on the side can be put in either wall but only in the middle section of the building. As you can see we put both windows in the right hand wall as that will be the final position of my desk with a sofa on the opposite wall.

Gyps Wagon

With a couple of friends to visit it really did look more like a gypsy wagon! Neighbours actually thought we had bought an original wagon, they thought it was an antique and the genuine article!

Gypsy wagon and pony

This is going to be an ongoing project for the family, hopefully we’ll have time over the winter to finish it off and update this post with the details. Here’s a quick video I took of it.

UPDATE

A year on and I still haven’t lined the inside as I wanted to,  I’ll get there in the end and post here when I do.

BUT I now have sheep, I’m the very proud owner of eight Hebridean sheep who enjoy sleeping under the shepherd hut at night.

dgd

A little dream of mine come true …  a shepherd hut complete with sheep!

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About Richard

This blog is my personal platform which I do enjoy. It is my own viewpoint and my own ideas. I may not be right and other installers / experts may offer a different view point or a alternative way to do something. I welcome contributions from anybody experienced to do so.

All my blog writing is MY OWN personal opinion ONLY and is NOT always the opinion of TUIN | TUINDECO as a company.

Log Cabins and Garden timber have a myriad of intricacies , I love to give away the secrets, there are a lot!

I enjoy using this blog to expose them so you know what you are buying. I love to know I am causing a few problems in the industry as it can be on occasions less than honest.

I actively encourage everyone to install their own buildings. So many times I would fit and the company I was working for would charge loads for my time, only then to be faced with the embarrassment when the customer says 'I could have done that' and YES you can without paying hundreds of Pounds!

I have over 19 years experience within the garden timber industry. I have particular expertise in garden buildings including the manufacture, design and installation from sheds to log cabins and all the way up to timber framed houses.

In my time I have been involved with virtually every manufacturer and supplier of garden buildings. I have also installed pretty much every make of Garden Building there is from ALL suppliers and manufacturers.

Prior to my career change I was a Watch Commander in the Fire Service with particular expertise in chemical incidents, training, technical design / technology / IT /Procedures / ISO Systems and road traffic accidents. I retired due to a nasty injury after 20 years service.

During my time in the Fire Service, on my days off, I was a self employed fitter for any type of garden building, I worked with most of the well known companies as a subcontractor.

I now work with Tuin | Tuindeco in the UK, supporting and advising on the vast range of products. I keep an eye out for help requests when we a supposed to be closed and can usually get back to you out of hours via email only (wife and children permitting on my days off).

In my private life I consult as an independent expert assessor for companies or private individuals when a dispute is present over their structure which results in producing an impartial report and assessment for whoever requires it. This is often higher valued than a structural engineers report born from my credentials, experience and widely recognised as an 'Expert' in the field.

I am a freelance writer for numerous companies, publications and blogs as well as an independent expert and fault finder for parts of the Industry and consumers with a particular emphasis on timber structures, both framed and of an interlocking design such as log cabins.

I produce numerous articles about timber in general, information on general timber products and specific guides when needed. I hope you enjoy and find my writing useful.

Please contribute and comment to my posts as you would like and I will try to respond as best I can.

Thank you

Richard.

4 thoughts on “Shepherd Hut / Gypsy Wagon

  1. Richard,
    Great blog thanks.
    I am about to build one of these. As the ground is a little damp in the field, I was intending to sink some drain pipes and fill them with concrete, to have a slightly more solid base than concrete slabs. I can not work out from the technical spec where I should position the supports and the technical team seem bemused by my question. From your experience do you know where I should sink the supports so the legs of the hut will rest on them?
    If you can give me some guidance I would be most grateful.
    Ayleen

    • I’ve asked the support team to revisit you question and offer advice. On each of the shepherd hut pages you should find a dimension referred to as: ‘Center of supporting pins’ this will be the dimension you need for supporting slabs, concrete.

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