Cladding on original shepherd’s huts
We often think of corrugated iron as being one of the fundamental features of a good shepherd’s hut. It is a wonderful material that is practical, strong and very long lasting. Even old corrugated that has started to fade and rust has a beauty and character to it. My school art teacher used to specialise in watercolour and gouache paintings of old corrugated iron buildings, often depicting very derelict barns and other outbuildings which were ancient and being gently absorbed back into the landscape. He was an eccentric, wise old chap. Maybe that’s partly why I am so drawn to the material to this day.
There are several places where you can explore the history of corrugated iron buildings. There are great examples at St Fagins Museum in Wales and the Weald and Downland Living Museum in Sussex. Looking at previous examples is a good way to learn about the detailing, fixings and build methods of corrugated iron, not just of shepherd’s huts but Victorian modular buildings which were manufactured in Britain and shipped throughout the World.
Some shepherd’s huts would have been wooden clad, simply because the workshop or village blacksmiths that made it used the materials they had available.
Cladding a Plankbridge Shepherd’s Hut
Today we offer three types of cladding:
- Authentic corrugated iron, which we paint in a colour of your choice
- Black timber weatherboarding (which I really like, it can make for a very classy looking hut
- Oak weatherboard. This is left to weather to silver which isn’t to everyones taste. Silvered oak is very beautiful but it does take two or three winters to weather evenly. Sometimes weathered oak sits really well in the landscape, as does black weatherboard, particularly where it is in keeping with the local vernacular
Choosing your cladding colour
To help the decision making process when a painted finish is required we have developed our own range of thirty nature inspired colours. We can also paint your shepherd’s hut in any colour of your choice.
The most popular colours are Plankbridge Green (a dark, almost black green) and several more earthy colours such as Hurdlemaker Green and Coppice Smoke. For a neutral off-white interior colour Lady’s Bedstraw or Oxlip are popular choices.
Bare galvanised metal is tricky to paint so we source it pre-painted in a durable finish ready for us to overpaint. The roof sheets are in a low maintenance plastisol coating. But if you do want to paint plain galvanised metal then you will need a mordant solution to cut the shine before priming and finishing. The mordant quickly achieves the equivalent of a year or so of natural weathering, which helps the paint to key.
The paint we use, an industrial brand from Finland, is durable and requires a recoat every 8 to 10 years, or some people simply let it weather through over many years.
Some more avant-garde finishes include Cor-Ten (a durable but rusty weathering steel that doesn’t require finishing) and even painting on a mix of yoghurt and manure and letting the lichens and mosses grow!