Barrel house comes out of the square

"I thought I'd have a crack at it"


Last updated 11:55 24/02/2014

When a New Plymouth [NEW ZEALAND] handyman saw a barrel-shaped garden shed in Chile, he thought he'd have a go at making one back home.

That was about two years ago and now, having perfected a prototype in his backyard, Mike Watson is offering custom-made Barrel Buildings to anyone who's keen to fork out a bit over $5000.

"I thought I'd have a crack at it, and everyone just loved it," he said.

The New Zealand-patented design is something a bit different - it's built like a tipped over barrel.

Made out of tongue and groove pine, the round structures are held together by metal bands and are high enough for a person over 1.8m to stand up inside.

The roof of the 2.7m long, 2m diameter Barrel Building is covered in asphalt shingle, which is waterproof and can tolerate strong Taranaki winds, Mr Watson said

The inventive Kiwi's 2ha Mangorei Rd property is dotted with other creations he's devised and created from everyday cast- offs, such as barbecues and smokers made from old gas cylinders.

His own Barrel Building is used as a sauna, but Mr Watson reckons you could use them for anything from a cabin for sleeping in, to a garden shed.

To make the round buildings, the handyman buys in pre-cut tongue and groove timber and then adapts it with his own machinery so that it will slot together in a circular shape.

Mr Watson said it would take him about a week to prepare the timber and about two days to assemble on-site.

He was able to make a barrel building to any size the buyer wanted "within reason."

Mr Watson said he spent a long time hunting the nation for the right kind of equipment to allow him to "mass produce" the little structures, which look like they would be at home in a Hobbiton.

- Fairfax NZ News