- The chalet is five meters wide and four meters deep and has space for furniture
One savvy man spent months converting his old garden shed in his own back garden into an impressive Alpine-style ski chalet.
Alex Dodman, 37, from Saffron Walden, Essex, wanted to make use of his old garden shed and decided to build a Scandinavian masterpiece on a budget.
A ski chalet that brings a touch of the Alps to its neighborhood is something you don’t typically see in a garden in an Essex suburb, but NHS ambulance worker Alex knew exactly what to do with his old garden shed , which was once an unused home gym.
The father of two, who does not shy away from extreme projects, built his own swimming pool in his garden last summer, which is now overlooked by his ski chalet. He also previously built a home theater and gym.
He explained: “It’s definitely not your typical summer home, that’s for sure.
“We had a big shed in the garden and it was a gym but it was never really used. I joined a local gym and the shed just became a dump.
“Since the pool is there, I wanted the garden to look nice. There are big fir trees and having a big ugly shed down there looked awful.
“The ski chalet idea came from the Scandinavian countries with A-frame buildings and trees all around. I thought it would look so nice and I had quite a bit of space up there with the patio so we could have plenty of space and sit outside by the pool.
“The space is used much better than in a big, ugly shed.
“All in all the chalet took four months to build, but a lot of time was spent dismantling the old shed and putting in the fencing so the actual chalet took three months to build.
“Building the A-frame was the most difficult part of the process due to its shape. I had to spend a lot of time working out the Pythagorean theorem and I had to get my father to help me as it was quite difficult to figure it out. I can’t believe I finally had to use Pythagoras.
“The frames are all made of wood and the roof is made of four and a half meter long galvanized sheets. I did everything myself. I didn’t get any help, so everything was very manual.
“I went into it blindly as I had never done roofing work before. It took me a long time to figure out how to cut the angles.
“I’ve drawn on the DIY experiences I’ve had over the years, but because I knew I wanted a specific A-frame shape, there aren’t that many videos showing how to do it, so I have I learned most of it from looking at photos on Instagram and went along with it.
It took four months to build alone, the project cost Alex a total of £2,500 and he bought his materials from B&Q and builders merchants and sourced materials as giveaways from Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.
He has also outfitted it inside to be the ultimate summer home with a TV, fireplace and sofas for the family to enjoy summer and winter in the chalet.
He adds: “I got the front door from Gumtree for free and then the windows came from Facebook Marketplace. Got three for £10 which was a bargain and made the frames myself.
‘It looks really good. I’m so happy with how it turned out and I think it makes the garden look so much better now.
“Inside it is five meters wide and four meters deep. It has rattan chairs and a sofa and it’s all isolated with a TV connected. It’s like a real man cave.
“The garden has changed so much – it’s very different now. Before it was an overgrown mess and I managed to transform it.”