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Plankbridge bespoke shepherds’ huts are carefully based on the proportions and structure of the Victorian originals, but with insulation and detailing usually seen on a modern timber frame house. Plankbridge care deeply about quality and heritage, and with over 100 huts behind us we have the experience to build and deliver to the highest standard.
The Plankbridge shepherd’s hut is the result of twelve years of hut making experience and research. As in the best quality huts of 100 years ago we carefully think about all of the details, from the hand – forged ironwork through to the time capsule hidden beneath the floor. The unique Plankbridge handcrafted metal chassis is based on original designs of local firms such as Lott and Walne, Dorchester and Reeves of Bratton. The solid 2 1/4″ square axle section is machined at the ends to take the wheels, which is far stronger and more durable than a stub axle bolted to timber beam. The chassis is powder coated. Our solid cast iron wheels, made in Somerset from our own patterns, are based on a particularly interesting spoke design we found whilst restoring a hut for a local customer. The tongue and groove sub floor and joists are pressure treated for durability.
The Plankbridge hut frame is made from construction graded Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified softwood from Scandinavia, seasoned and kiln dried for stability. We assemble the frame using timber frame house building techniques.
It is very strong, and weather proof, and is carefully designed to keep the interior a dry and healthy place to be.
The frame is clad in 9mm structural OSB, with a breather membrane under the corrugated cladding and vapour barrier behind the internal tongue and groove lining. The walls are designed to breathe to the outside, with the corrugations of the cladding allowing air flow over the breather membrane.
The Plankbridge hut has a 75mm insulated cavity throughout, a development that any Victorian shepherd would have been glad of, had it been available then.
We have restored a few huts, a roadmens’ steam roller living van in particular, which had a layer of felted horse hair in the roof; an early attempt at insulation. We use Earthwool fleece as standard, a breathable carbon neutral insulation made from 80% recycled bottles.
The floor is solid character grade French oak (FSC certified as sustainably harvested), finished in flooring oil. We fit one cottage style window (which will be made from durable Douglas Fir from the National Trust’s Stourhead estate) as standard, and you are free to specify further windows and their position. The windows are double glazed which adds to the overall thermal and sound insulation properties. We fit the windows with lead flashing all around, dressed over the corrugated cladding for a weather tight seal. The stable door is made from kiln dried, knot free Canadian Douglas Fir – a superb naturally durable timber. The doors are then fitted with solid brass hinges, slotted screws (all dressed with the slots in a line), five lever mortise lock and a hand forged Suffolk latch.