About Me

We are a small family run business located on the Powis Shropshire border. We have been building 'stuff' for over 20 years. Builds range from narrow boats to our family home. We can build great garden structures, including Shepherds huts, Showmans wagons and Caravans, that make great alternatives to the traditional shed. They can be an alternative office, a spare bedroom, an adult wendy house, a potting shed, a bird hide, an attractive addition to a campsite for the new glamping craze, an alternative workshop a home cinema, or even a roadside tea wagon. Will consider building anything really, so ask away! Email davestilthouse@googlemail.com Phone: 01588 620132

Friday, 29 May 2020

Building in situ part 2

This time we have pictures on site. 

This is how we left the outside on the first day. The hut was watertight, first layer of cedar on. 
Doors and windows fitted. 

This is mostly how the inside was left after the first day. The first fix of the wiring was done on the second day. 

The end window and second layer of the cedar now fitted. The hut is coming together now. 
There would be more done if we were staying in the area, however we cannot at this time. 

The two smaller side windows and the finished wall 
The closeness to the hedge on site didn't help the build. 

The end blank end of this shepherd's hut. 
The customer will be fitting their own dresser on this end wall.

The outside is mostly done. There are a couple of pieces to tidy up on the outside and the inside is ready to be lined out. 

We think there will be one more day on site. 
Fingers crossed for further good weather when we can make it down again.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Mini boat - Ninth Post

The mini boat is coming along nicely.

After faring the hull, it is now ready for the undercoat primer  

We are planning to pick out some of the Sapele afterwards.

Then after leaving the undercoat to dry for more than a day we are ready for the first coat of green.

The first coat is done and is now being left to harden,

Blue/grey undercoat and the top coat of white.

The inside finished with the sapele ready for a protective coat.
The seats and floors are all cut, waiting to go in after the painting is all done.

The original plan that this is now loosely based on can be found here:

Monday, 25 May 2020

Building Shepherds huts in situ.

We always prefer to deliver the shepherd's huts complete, however this is not always possible.

Sometimes when there isn't access to the proposed site for a customers Shepherd's hut we have to build our own kit for construction on site. 

In this case we access what we think are the best sized pieces for getting through to the site and try to have the sections as complete as possible. 

We have a dry build at part of the shepherd's hut, allowing us to hang the doors and windows, which then need to be removed leaving just the frames and the screw holes ready for an easier fit on site.

One wall being fitted with door and window.

inside view of the prepared panel

Pre-cut timber ready to be fitted to the shepherd's hut once it is in location

It will usually take us 2 to 3 days when we have to build on site if we have good weather conditions. However it can take longer depending on what is required inside of the hut.

We failed to take pictures during the actual build on site of the first day of this hut, we were too busy getting it done. 

Saturday, 23 May 2020

More trellis projects

We have done two further trellis projects in the last couple of weeks, 

The first is shown just below, and included toppers and curved ends to show where the gate was and to break up the shape of the walls. 

The second was was more of the same style we installed in a previous post, for the back garden of that same house which is in the pictures below.

Thursday, 21 May 2020

The railway carriage roof

After planking the roof of the railway carriage with cedar strips we had to leave it a couple of days to allow the wood settle.

We then spread out the EPDM sheet over the roof and let it sit for a day so to help remove many of the folds and creases. 


We are lucky that the weather has been so good these past few days. The heat first helped remove a lot of the creases in the rubber sheet.

However, we had to make sure that when it came down to the gluing process we did this in the morning or evening when the roof would be cooler,
 as the glue that is used can set too fast if it is too warm.

With relative ease, and the help of a soft brush, we first stuck one half of the sheet down, and then the other and then left it a couple of days under cover to fully go off. 

Folding and then trapping the sheet down the sides of the barge boards helps seal the roof and prevents water from finding a way in. 

The next stages are to fit a facia that will trap the roof sheet and then decorate the ends of the carriage.

The walls are ready for the primer when it gets here and the inside is ready for wiring before we line out the walls. 

This is one of the projects that we have been managing to get along with while observing both social distancing and lock down rules. 

Monday, 18 May 2020

Mini Boat - Eight Post

Both gunwales are now attached.

The next step is to fair the hull.

Hull fairing is a game of patience. Filling and sanding and then filling some more if a smooth finish isn't achieved.

There are many epoxy products available that are all suitable for this process. Fillers of different grades, colours and mixes.

Below are a few pictures of the boat almost ready for painting. 

The gunwales will be masked off and will be picked out with varnish or stain.

The original plan that this is now loosely based on can be found here:

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Mini Boat - Seventh Post

More progress on the mini boat, 

The first Sapele gunwale is being glued in place and two buoyancy tanks have been fitted at the bow and stern. These are filled with expanding foam for added buoyancy in case the boat capsizes.

The gunwale helps give the boat rigidity and structure.

Also added breast hooks (the reinforcing triangles) at the bow and stern to help keep the shape of the boat.

Another sunny day.

The original plan that this is now loosely based on can be found here:

Saturday, 9 May 2020

The Cedar Lid in place

Yesterday we were able to place the Cedar lid in its final resting place.

Now that it is surrounded by grass the cedar colours are really showing up well.

The hills in the distance are Earl's Hill and Pontesford Hill which are marked upon the lid itself.

We currently have an idea to make another of these as a garden table. 

The customer is in the middle of re turfing and building up the ground around where the tank is as it has settled a bit, however we think it looks good already.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Why be building two boats when you can start three mini-canoe

For the last couple of  weeks we have also been working on another plywood build a bit at a time,

A plywood canoe.

The main bulk of this boat is again made from a single sheet of 4mm plywood, and was cut out on the CNC machine.

Plywood laid out on the CNC machine bed.

Starts to cut out the pieces

all pieces of the Canoe

The next step is to clean up the edges of the pieces and then epoxy and tape the panels together.

The masking tape helps to make a neater job of the epoxy.

Nearly done

These longer joined pieces are necessary to be able to make a canoe longer than 8ft.

The epoxy was left to go hard over night and then the tape was removed, then more tape was added as below

This is to make taping the seems when the canoe is all together a much easier and less messy job. In theory anyway. The masking tape is stepped in to accommodate for the epoxy and cloth tape that will be used on the seems.

The design of this canoe is from:
And is the Little Guide. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Misty, the Shepherd's hut, delivered

With careful consideration and by observing the social distancing guidelines, we were able to get the Shepherd's hut, Misty, to the Customer.

They will now be able to fit out Misty ready for next season if nothing else and will be able to have ample time testing out how they want to set the shepherd's hut up, install their own bed, and perhaps test it out a couple of times themselves. 

We went around the shepherd's hut with some disinfectant before leaving the site, and left them with instructions to not use the Shepherd's hut for three days. 

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Mini boat - sixth post

Both the outer and inner faces of the hull has now been epoxied. Woven fibreglass cloth has been used on the plywood hull inside and out to add strength to the boat and to completely waterproof the plywood. 

The floors and other pieces are being shaped for the boat and we have a feeling that we will be able to get it to row, sail and motor. That is the plan anyway.

This will involve some more pieces than those shown. 

All the hardwood pieces are sapele, 

The original plan that this is now loosely based on can be found here:

Prices and info

Shepherds Huts

There is a 6 to 8 week turnaround on the huts. Each Hut is individual to you, built to your requirements using locally sourced timber. They are fully insulated with recycled glass rock wool with a breathable membrane on the outside. As standard in all huts are the following:
  • Small wood stove 4kw fitted
  • Double bed
  • Electrics, 240v. 12v alternative available
  • 2 double sockets
  • 4 Recessed Low energy LED lights
  • Consumer unit
  • External hook up point
  • Table: free standing or fold down
  • Shelves
  • Fully painted, choice of colours
  • Double Glazing
  • Fully insulated all round with 100mm glass wool (made from recycled glass bottles)
  • Stable door
  • Solid steel 40 mil axle
  • Painted Steel rim wheels made locally by Cambrian Foundry
  • Turning axle
  • Draw bar
  • Steps
  • Solid treated timber chassis
  • Clad in Western Red Cedar
  • Up to five opening windows
  • Solid Oak Floor
  • Exterior Carriage style outside light
  • New galvanised corrugated iron roof, plastic coated
  • Traditional forged window and door furniture.

From £10,450 for 12ft Huts.

Prices start from £7,500 for standard unpainted huts,

Delivery is now charged at £1 per mile.

Internal furnishings can be altered to suit, beds replaced with a desk for an office space, less windows to create a unique home cinema.

If required hut can be built on a steel road going chassis, with pneumatic tyres, brakes etc, price on application.

You can even hire a hut for your event!

Coming soon:
Half sized huts for the smaller garden!

Can Export to Europe, and will consider further afield!