The house that Coast community built

Liam Hancock, right, with his building mate Troy Sharp.

The shed taught the teens a lot about construction and both are keen to pursue a career in the trades.


Two teenagers with a natural talent for building have constructed a shed in Manly, with support from the community.

Liam Hancock, 13 and his friend Troy Sharp, 12, have almost finished the shed they started work on last August in Liam’s family’s backyard.

It was constructed with found and donated materials. Around 10 people provided materials and helped in various ways, including some local tradespeople, but apart from the wiring (Troy’s father is an electrician) and putting on the roof, the boys completed all the building work themselves.

Donated items included roofing iron, insulation, timber, cinder blocks and a window.

Pallets were often acquired from the side of the road. The ceiling beams are made of decking timber nailed together and the carpet consists of off-cuts found in a skip.

The fully insulated building measures 2.2m x 2.5m, with a little loft big enough for Liam to sleep in, accessed by a ladder.

Both boys are home schooled and Liam’s mother Hanna says the project is an example of what can happen when young people get off their screens.

Liam appears to have soaked up the building work that happened around him as the family lived on site while their Manly home was constructed.

As well as advice from his father and others, Liam says he found YouTube how-to videos very helpful.

“We found it was better not to step in and offer too much advice,” Hanna says. “When he made a mistake, he would work out a solution himself and learn from that.”

Liam says the build cost around $100 in total, including paying for expanding foam, nails and silicone.

Both boys say the build was so much fun that they can’t wait to do it again.

“If there was room in the backyard, I’d make two or three more,” Liam says.


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