Fully proof: how our huts make light work of heavy weather

You can’t always have the proverbial red sky at night. Plankbridge huts are weatherproof, climate controlled and sound insulated. For a living space that’s a joy in all seasons. Right as rain, whatever the weather.

From Snowdonia to the South of France…

A soggy promontory high up in Snowdonia. A windswept archipelago on the west coast of Scotland. A sun parched village in the South of France. We have delivered Plankbridge shepherd’s huts to many areas with unique climate challenges. Time after time, they stand up to whatever the wildest weather can throw at them.

A temperature that’s just right. All the time.

Imagine it. You’ve spent a winter’s night cosying up in your shepherd’s hut – drifting off to the sound of rain tapping on the window. As morning breaks after a restful sleep, you fling back the curtains to find your garden covered with fresh snow. It looks beautiful. But you can’t even feel the cold – until you open the door of your hut to behold the snowscape that used to be your back lawn.

The point here is simple. Plankbridge shepherd’s huts are built to exacting standards to provide a comfortable indoor environment, regardless of the outdoor temperature. When it’s cold, generous layers of Thermafleece wool from hardy British hill sheep in the Lake District– an underutilised and sustainable resource – keeps the inside warm. And when it’s warm outside, a one-inch cavity between the exterior and interior walls vents heat up and away from your hut – before it radiates to the inside.

It’s all in the design…

Creating a strong structure that is naturally climate controlled requires forward-thinking design and materials use. Form outside to inside, we think carefully about each layer of our hut structures.

  • Corrugated iron cladding
  • Breather membrane to prevent moisture ingress
  • OSB ply
  • Timber frame with one inch cavity
  • Thermafleece sheep’s wool
  • V-grooved MDF (MEDITE – the leading brand, made in Ireland)

This design creates a rigid, breathable, sustainably insulated structure that works to keep the entire hut naturally climate controlled. A standalone box built with the same approach to durability as a house.

Beyond this you can choose from a selection of heating and cooling options for your hut – including log burners, cast iron radiators or a low wattage air con and heating unit that can be run on a green tariff.

It might struggle with a hurricane. But it will cope with everything else.

Back in the Victorian era, shepherds would position their huts in meadows with their back to the wind. Plankbridge huts are so sturdy that you can position them in any orientation and be confident that they will stand strong. After all, have you ever tried blowing over something that weighs up to 3.5 tonnes? You can’t – and the wind can’t either.

Yet it’s not just the weight of our huts that helps them withstand the wind. The body of the hut stands two feet off the ground – and the roof is curved rather than pitched. Wind simply passes over and below the hut, rather than the hut getting broadsided. The rolled barrel roof has additional benefits too. It uses less material and gives your hut a lower profile, making it more manoeuvrable. So if you want to avoid long treks to the bottom of your garden in the winter months, just move your hut closer to your home.

No rain, no rainbow

Rain: part and parcel of UK living. The winter months bring hail too. That’s why we make sure Plankbridge huts are fully protected from rust and material degradation caused by wet weather. The cast iron wheels are primed and painted black. Meanwhile every steel chassis is sent to a metal finisher, powder coated with zinc primer and passed through two ovens to prevent rust and corrosion. It’s an incredibly durable finish – and can be galvanised if needed.

The paint we use for our hut exteriors is made by Tikkurila – a leading Nordic paint company and pioneer of sustainable surface treatment. It’s incredibly resistant. That’s why it’s used for the inside of digger buckets and the outside of lifeboat stations. As for the windows, they are fitted with a lead dressing that includes a lead tray to prevent water ingress. There’s also a breather membrane in the walls, floor and roof to repel moisture. A properly protected refuge from the rain.

Not just weatherproof, but soundproof too

Speaking of heavy rain and hail, you may think a tin roof would warrant the need for ear defenders every time there’s a storm. But as well as being weatherproof, Plankbridge huts are soundproof too. Our standard noise insulation reduces the sound of heavy rain to gentle background noise. But we can also offer full, pin-drop silent soundproofing. (We recently built a hut for a professional sound engineer to use as a recording studio.) And, of course, soundproofing works both ways. So your noisy hobby needn’t disrupt the neighbours. Put down the ear defenders, pick up the guitar.

Your refuge from the rigours of modern living

You need your hut to stand up to the weather. To provide good noise insulation. But that’s just the start. We challenge ourselves to design huts that provide a peaceful sanctuary for our customers. A place to shelter and seek refuge from the rigours of modern living. To rest, recalibrate and recharge – and indulge in the escapism that you deserve. Yes, Plankbridge huts are weatherproof and soundproof. But the real benefit is having a space that’s lifeproof.

A small piece of Plankbridge in Piccadilly

Speaking of refuge from modern living? Head for St James’s Church in Piccadilly, London and in the grounds you will find a beautiful yet unassuming shepherd’s hut – built by Plankbridge. It’s used by the Centre for Counselling & Psychotherapy Education to provide a free facility for drop-in counselling. Anyone can visit to talk about any issues that are troubling them. Or simply experience a little respite and human warmth. It doesn’t get much more nurturing than that.

Hunker down with a Plankbridge hut

To discuss your requirements and get your project started, please make an enquiry with our customer liaison team.

You may also be interested in:

>> Designed for living, built for life: about our shepherd’s hut lifespans
>> How a shepherd’s hut puts more pleasure in your leisure time
>> Shepherd’s delight: the joy of sleeping in a shepherd’s hut bed
>> Working wonders: the joy of a shepherd’s hut office

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