Wednesday 19 June 2024

My Prototype GreenHouse / Storage Shelter made from composite door offcuts featured in Composite Uk trade associations' Sustainability Best Practise Guide 'The Sustainability of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites' for Reuse of composite grp /plastics (page 44)

 The Sustainability of Fibre Reinforced Polymer Composites by Composites Uk 

 'The guide is free-of-charge, subject to the completion of a short questionnaire, which asks about your company’s sustainability emphasis and concerns. Click the link to be taken to Survey Monkey.'

Download guide here

I just remembered when building this (to demonstrate 1 person could build it) I also used salvaged part bent dry wall lining metal framing from a Warrington company.

This metal was screwed to the composite door off cut beams to strengthen them. After several years due to the sun heat, the beams have curved down slightly but perfectly functional .

by paul ridley 




Tuesday 23 January 2024

Proposal for 'Gap Rooms' to Create a Storage Solution to facilitate Reuse for Overfilled Garages in the UK, as an Alternative to Garden Rooms


Proposal to Create a Storage Solution to facilitate Reuse for Overfilled Garages in the UK, as an Alternative to Garden Rooms

Introduction to an idea by Paul Ridley, provisionally called 'Gap Rooms'

Garage clutter is a common problem in the UK, with an estimated 6 million garages in the country being filled with excess possessions. This clutter can not only be unsightly and impractical, but it can also pose a safety hazard. The space in garages is desperately needed for alternative use .

If space was cleared in these garages, they could be used for repair, reuse & remanufacturing workshops, gyms, a residential room to reduce the housing crisis and of course a vehicle store to reduce theft.

Problem Statement

The overfilling of garages is caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Increased consumerism: The UK population is increasingly consuming goods, which leads to an accumulation of possessions.
  • The rise of DIY and home improvement: People are increasingly taking on DIY projects, which often results in excess materials and tools being stored in garages.
  • The changing use of garages: Garages are no longer solely used for storing cars, but are also used for storing household items, sports equipment, and other belongings.

Proposed Solution

I propose an open source, innovative solution to the problem of overfilled garages: a modular storage structure made from metal pallet racking. This structure would be designed to fit over a passageway between or on the side of detached houses and commercial buildings. The structure would have multiple rooms, each of which could be used for storage. 

Furthermore, the option of installing a water reclamation tank to harvest water from the roof could be utilised. This would to be placed on the top of the structure wil be explored 

The structure could be accessed by steps from below, possibly in the form of an attic access hatch and ladder type.  Perhaps the ladder could be designed to form a security gate to the passageway below.

The structure would be covered in insulated metal panels (IMPS) to insulate it. A brick veneer, screen print or wood panel could cover the outisde of the IMPS to be in keeping with the architectural style of the surrounding buildings, which it would also partially insulate.

Benefits of the Proposed Solution

The proposed storage structure would provide a number of benefits to homeowners and businesses:

  • Increased storage space: The structure would provide a significant amount of additional storage space for possessions that are currently cluttering garages.
  • Improved safety: The structure would help to prevent clutter from falling down and causing injuries.
  • Enhanced aesthetics: The structure would be aesthetically pleasing and would blend in with the surrounding buildings.
  • Environmentally friendly: The structure would be made from some reused or new clearance materials and would help to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills.


The proposed storage structure would be implemented in the following phases:

  • Market research and feasibility study: We would conduct market research to assess the demand for our product and to identify potential customers. We would also conduct a feasibility study to determine the cost and time required to develop and manufacture the structure.
  • Design and engineering: We would design and engineer the storage structure to ensure that it is safe, durable, and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Manufacturing: We would manufacture a prototype of the storage structure using new clearance stock & reused materials to reduce the carbon footprint and cost.
  • Installation: We would help supply materials to contractors and DIYers to install the storage structures at homes and businesses

Funding Requirements

We are currently researching how much funding is required for this project and welcome any leads on funding sources or donations.

Investment Opportunities

This is an excellent opportunity for investors to participate in a innovative and socially responsible business venture. The storage structure has the potential to generate significant revenue from both homeowners and businesses in the use of the now empty garage and various function of the Gap Rooms. In addition, the structure would have a positive impact on the environment by reducing waste water and promoting sustainable living.


We believe that our proposed storage solution is a viable if there is no major problems with any planning permission that may be required. 

It's an effective way to address the problem of overfilled garages in the UK. We are hopeful that our product will be in high demand and that it will have a positive impact on the lives of homeowners and businesses. We are committed to developing and supporting the manufacturing of a high-quality product that meets the needs of our customers.

We are seeking funding to bring our vision to life. We are confident that with support, we can make a real difference in the lives of people and businesses across the UK

Research / Ref. Links of some similar designs in this area

2.  Knauf and Space Box are two companies that make modular buildings designed to fit above alleyways between houses.Knauf is a German company that manufactures a variety of building materials, including modular buildings.
 They offer a line of modular buildings called "Living Units" that are designed to be installed above alleyways or other narrow spaces. Knauf Living Units are made from lightweight materials and can be quickly and easily assembled. They are also energy efficient and sustainable.
Space Box is a UK company that manufactures self-storage units and modular buildings. They offer a line of modular buildings called "Space Box Pods" that are designed to be installed above alleyways or other narrow spaces. Space Box Pods are made from durable materials and can be customized to meet the specific needs of the customer.  

3. Narrow Apartment
Below is a shortened Press release about Gap Rooms  


Community Group Unveils 'Gap Rooms' an Innovative Plan to Reuse Space Between Buildings Above Passageways

  • New "Gap Rooms" Could Ease the Storage Crunch and Create New Opportunities
  • Design Ideas Range from Storage Units, Water Harvesting Tanks, Greenhouses, Work and Pet Spaces

Saltney Uk 1-Jan-24

Cabinz CIC, a UK social enterprise is proposing a solution to address the issue of underutilized space in urban areas. Their idea? Build small, multifunctional rooms in the narrow gaps between existing detached houses and commercial buildings with passageways below.

The Gap Rooms are an alternative to garden rooms, and can be used to free up space in millions of garages that are full up with storage, for alternative use.  

"We see these 'Gap Rooms' as a way to utilise a hidden potential in our urban areas without using extra land," says Paul Ridley, Director of Cabinz CIC. "With millions of garages overflowing with clutter and a growing need for both storage, work space and housing, these rooms offer a reusable and relocatable based solution to utilize urban space and free up space in garages for a variety of other uses."

The rooms would be constructed from lightweight materials like steel framing, such as pallet racking and clad with insulated metal panels (IMPs) or fire proof cement boards, finished with colours and textures in keeping with adjoining buildings . Different designs could cater to various needs, including:

  • Storage units: Freeing up garage space for secure car parking or using them as workshops, hobby spaces or housing.
  • Water harvesting tanks stored on the top: Water could be harvested from adjoining roofs with tanks, leaving rooms below
  • Greenhouses: Grow fresh produce year-round in a compact, urban environment.
  • Micro-work spaces: Provide affordable working options in areas lacking in commercial space.
  • Secure space for Pets : such as Birds, Rabbits or Hamsters, away from predators 
  • Space to store possessions for flood victims: above flood water.

The rooms could also incorporate additional features like retractable stairs that double as secure alleyway gates. A similar 'Limpet Room' could be added to the end of a building for an extra family room, accessed by converting an existing window into a door.

"We're encouraging manufacturers, architects, and community members to get involved and help us develop these rooms into a viable solution for our buildings, or do their own thing as there are many possible designs and uses." says Paul Ridley

Cabinz CIC is already in talks with potential partners, including manufacturers of IMPs, businesses and local community groups. There will be planning issues, so local council departments have been contacted for advice. It may be possible to install these rooms on the end of buildings as well.

They encourage people to build their own gap rooms with reusable materials like wood and composite plastics and offer a wide selection and large stock of low cost, high quality new screws & fixings to builders and DIY'ers.

About Cabinz CIC

Cabinz CIC is a social enterprise based in Saltney, N. Wales UK They work with local & international communities to develop and implement innovative shelter projects and promote reuse, repair & remanufacturing generally.


Paul Ridley

Director Cabinz cic email

0743 2315470 

Saturday 23 December 2023

Global Reuse Marketplace, charity & company resources / links

A list of global countries that have a large online marketplace that sells used goods as well as new that is equivalent

CountryMarketplaceWebsite Link
BrazilMercado Livre
Czech RepublicBazoŇ°
FranceLe Bon Coin
GermanyeBay Kleinanzeigen
MexicoMercado Libre
New ZealandTrade Me
South AfricaGumtree
United Kingdomebay