Friday, July 03, 2015

Shedworker Steve Cowell on Radio York

My friend Steve Cowell's post about building your own garden office is the most popular post on Shedworking (55,300 hits and counting). He appeared on BBC Radio York yesterday morning to discuss very elogquently the delights of shedworking and you can listen to it again here from 1 hour 36 minutes.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The distractions of not being a shedworker

A third of workers in traditional offices say they are regularly distracted for up to three hours a day, according to research by budgeting account provider thinkmoney. 

The biggest source of distraction is chatting to colleagues about last night’s television, relationship problems, and plans for the weekend.

Smart phones are also blamed for interrupting concentration, with workers admitting to answering personal phone calls and replying to text messages. The temptation to do online shopping or to browse the internet to look at YouTube videos, book holidays or check  football scores proves too much for many people, the report shows.

Meanwhile, poor office technology, with slow internet connections and systems that crash are a frustrating disruption to the working day, along with uncomfortable chairs and buildings that are too hot. ----------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

HSBC shedworking

HSBC is using a garden office to promote improved work-life balance in its billboard ads. Specifically, it is an OfficePod one which are popping up in many trendy locations. We particularly like this one (below) in the Google UK HQ reception area which is used as a diary/interview room and features a bespoke audio visual facility.

Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, June 29, 2015

National Shed Week starts

The Garden House National Shed Week starts today and new research from Cuprinol shows that the British love affair with shedlike atmospheres continues apace - indeed, one in 10 twenty and thirtysomethings questioned by them claim they would be happy to get married in their shed or garden office. Overall, Cuprinol estimates that 21 million people in the UK have a shed.

The competition received a record number of entries this year, with more than 2,500 people vying for the crown of Shed of the Year 2015.

Average contents of sheds are around the £2,000 mark and the finalists in this year’s competition contain a state of the art telescope, a cinema and a 2,000 sq ft model railway. The 36 finalists have spent a combined total of over £180,000 building and decorating their sheds.

“Since launching the competition I’ve certainly seen a trend towards people getting more creative and viewing their garden shed as an extension of the home," said competition founder and organiser Uncle Wilco. "The response to the competition this year has been unbelievable and it’s been really tough trying to agree on the finalists as there were some phenomenal entries across all of the categories."

The winner of Shed of the Year 2015 will be crowned in the final instalment of Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year on  July 12 on Channel 4. --------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Moated garden office

If you're looking to move house and are also after a garden office surrounded by water, than Richard Savidge estate agents have just the thing,  a four bedroomed detached house in Ravenshead, Nottingham (on for oiro £675,000). It comes with a circular pavilion in the middle of a Koi Carp pond with cascading waterfall, dwarf stone walls and atmospheric bridge.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Shed and garden office insurance: latest figures

Now that we're close to the finish line for the Shed of the Year 2015 competition, is urging owners to make sure they have adequate insurance cover for their shedlike atmospheres.

Sheds and other garden outbuildings are usually covered as fixtures and fittings under buildings insurance. This cover pays out for any damage to the structure arising from events such as fire, vandalism or burglary.

Moveable items such as garden furniture, cycles, garden and DIY tools are considered as household contents. Generally speaking, insurers impose restrictions on the amount you can claim for these items damaged or stolen from your garden outbuildings.

An analysis of over 350 home insurance policies by revealed that:

* 3% of policies don’t provide any cover for contents left in outbuildings

* Of those providing cover for contents in outbuildings, cover ranges widely from £500 to unlimited

* Bicycles are treated separately – with limits on both the pay-out for an individual bike and the total amount payable.   11% of policies exclude cover for pushbikes

* Policies typically have a separate limit for theft from outbuildings (ranging from none to unlimited cover) with most policies providing between £1,000 and £3,000 worth of cover. However, insurers generally only cover theft claims if the items were stolen from a securely locked shed or outbuilding where there are signs of forced entry

Ben Wilson, home insurance spokesperson at, said: “As the Shed of the Year competition illustrates, for many people a garden shed is much more than a place to house the lawnmower, gardening tools, or old decorating equipment.

“But whether you use your shed just for outdoor storage or as a garden pub, a studio or a home gym, you should stop to consider the value and security of your shed’s contents.  When you stop and add up the cost of replacing items housed in your shed, you might be surprised by their collective value. Thieves target sheds because despite some containing a range of valuable contents, security is often overlooked, making them an easier target than a house. 

“Home insurance policies differ considerably in terms of cover, excesses and exclusions for sheds and other outbuildings. To make sure that you have the protection you need, it’s important that you compare product features, not just prices.     

“Insurers will also expect you to take care of your possessions and may only settle a theft claim if the shed was securely locked, with good quality locks and where there is evidence of forced entry. So if you have particularly valuable items, such as an expensive bicycle, you need to check that it is covered by your insurance and whether there are any other requirements such as locking it to an immoveable object inside the locked outbuilding.”       

To help you estimate the value of your contents, including in your shed/outbuildings, you can use’s  new home contents calculator. ----------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Could sheds solve our housing problems?

An interesting short piece in The Guardian by Patrick Barkham suggests that "planners could draw inspiration from the simplicity of the original concep" of the Shed of the Year competition. Here's a snippet:
"Perhaps it is too much to hope that our love for sheds might yet transform our housing industry, planning system and building regulations to allow the creation of simpler, cheaper, low-consumption homes. But that passion should be a start."
Readers may also want to take a peak at something I wrote along similar lines a couple of years ago for The Independent.
Image courtesy Tiny House UK -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, June 22, 2015

Nicola Morgan: shedworker (video)

Author and speaker Nicola Morgan is also a shedworker as she explains in this video filmed by 13-year-old Iona who enjoyed work experience with her in her garden office. The shed and Nicola's explanation of her shedworking lifestyle starts around the 4.50 mark. --------------------------------------------------------------------
Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Shack

Designed by Níall McLaughlin Architects on an old Northamptonshire WW2 reconnaissance air base which had been converted into a nuclear missile site and then abandoned, this is a studio for "photographing wildlife on the surface of an old bomb pond". Here's what the architects say about it:
"The design is intended to capture the different manifestations of light reflected, refracted and veiled as they enter the building. The form of the building makes many references to reconnaissance aircraft, camouflage and the complex history of the site. Locals call it the dragonfly. The building was constructed using a steel structure with a ply and fibreglass roof resting on rendered block walls. The external shade canopies are made from perforated, galvanised steel with stainless steel rods bracing them into the water. The building was made without working drawings from a series of 1:10 models placed in the middle of the site and then built around."