DIY 'Human Cave' crowned Britain's best pub shed

DIY ‘Human Cave’ crowned Britain’s best pub shed

Winner (Photo: SWNS)

Made entirely from recycled materials, a garden buzzer has been crowned Britain’s Best Pub Shed of the Year.

John Simmons, 50, has spent over a year building the cool stuff do it yourself Caveman in his garden in Hampshire.

It features a dart board, wooden décor, a seating area, fairy lights and an outdoor beer garden with decking area.

He built the mini-pub—named The Dog & Ball, after his dog Bertie—using as much reclaimed materials as he could find from salvage yards.

Also go to the Facebook page for fans of pub booths.

John supplied, cut, sanded, and repaired every wood himself—plus all 4,500 screws.

Due to his hard work, the father of three won against over a thousand entries to be named the owner of Britain’s Best Pub 2022.

Cheaper pints (Photo: SWNS)

John started building the pub last year and said he wanted a “home retreat” he could enjoy for cheaper than the pub.

John, a safety management consultant who is also an avid DIYer, said the pub cost four figures to build, but it would have been more expensive had he not used recycled materials.

‘It was all a little overwhelming,’ said John, ‘but I’m depressed.

John beat thousands of applicants (Photo: SWNS)
It has a warm ambiance (Photo: SWNS)

“We had 18 friends last night to celebrate the final and it was great to know I won – I was really thrilled.

I started building it last year and wanted to complete it this summer for my fiftieth birthday.

Obtaining the reclaimed material took the most time.

Lots of people were doing this kind of thing during lockdown, so I got inspired by that, and wanted a cheaper getaway at home than the pub.

It’s a place where I can go and enjoy being with my friends and family, and that was really the whole point.

There’s even an arrow board (Photo: SWNS)

“It cost about four figures, which is a lot cheaper than if I had a proper build and had to go to stores to get the materials.”

John, who has been in the Royal Navy for 22 years, said his favorite part of the pub is the oak beams that make up the main structure.

The wood came from an old building that John worked in.

He said: “These three-meter beams that make up the main structure of the tavern lay in a yard for 20 years and then I was able to buy it.

John built the pub using reclaimed materials (Photo: SWNS)
Spent over a year on a DIY project (Photo: SWNS)

It’s a great story.

All my family and friends have been very supportive of the project and it was great that everyone enjoyed the project.

My wife Anita put all the finishing touches to the bar to make it look as amazing as it is.

“I took the name from my Labradoodle Bertie who loves to play with the ball, I really wanted him to be a part of it all.”

Many entries for this year’s awards were created during lockdown – a time when DIY projects and interest in them have boomed.

‘Doing all that salvage of course was a challenge – thank God for the FB market, advice from the cool members of the GSPN UK Facebook page, and a very understanding wife who dragged her around the local reclamation yards by sifting old timber,’ said John.

“Except for the main roof joists, every other part of the building is made from reclaimed, reused or recycled timber and materials.

“Each piece has a different story, from the iron trade that belonged to my late husband’s father from his days as an engineer in the RAF, to the main vertical oak lumber.”

It is estimated that there are more than two million pubs in Britain’s back garden after their popularity surged during the pandemic.

They have continued to grow amid the cost of living crisis after the average price of a pint rose to £4 across the UK and £5 in London.

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