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.

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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. --------------------------------------------------------------------
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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, Gocompare.com 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 Gocompare.com 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 Gocompare.com, 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 Gocompare.com’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. --------------------------------------------------------------------
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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."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sir Harrison Birtwistle: Shedworker (video)

We've mentioned Sir Harrison Birtwistle's garden office before but here's a marvellous short video by Gripping Films showing him at work in it. Here's what they say about it:
"To coincide with my godfather Harry’s 80th birthday, the website Sinfini commissioned Gripping Films to produce a ten minute film about him composing a piano concerto, at home in his shed in Wiltshire. Shot over a few days last summer before I set off for Mexico and edited a month ago after we finished editing bats with my long-time collaborator editor Sabrina Burnard, we’re thrilled with the film. It premiered at the Barbican Centre in London as part of a festival of Harry’s work. It was a great thrill to see so many people who love Harry’s music, and watch them gripped by this new window into his creative process and life."
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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Amazing Spaces: Shed of the Year, Sunday 8pm, Channel 4

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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 15, 2015

Stay in a beach hut


Enjoy a shedlike holiday in one of these huts in an excellently-subbed article in The Independent - there are featured huts for overnight stays in the Isle of Wight, Mudeford Spit, Esses, Devon (this one's been on George Clarke's Amazing Spaces series), Mersea Island and Berwickshire.

Shaldon Beach Hut 5 
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hoxton TREExOFFICE: treehouseworking


This marvellous treehouse/pod - TREExOFFICE - is now open for business in Hoxton Square, London, as part of the Park Hack project. Built around a tree, groups and individuals can book it from now until December (£15 per half day for a desk, £120 for the whole thing, free for community groups at the weekend) and work inside on its wooden workbenches and using it Wifi (there's eight desk spaces which need to be booked via park.hack@groundwork.org.uk - see @HOXTONxTREE on the Twitter for daily updates). It's built from compressed paper and wood and covered in translucent plastic and polycarbonate slat. The whole thing was put together by architecture studio Tate Harmer, working with architecture firm Gensler and artists Natalie Jeremijenko and Shuster + Moseley. All profits go back into funding Hackney's parks and other green spaces.





Thursday, June 11, 2015

Geodome garden office (video)

Paul Roinson shows us round his eco-friendly Shed of the Year shortlisted garden office.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ecocapsule




 
 
The slightly egg-ish shaped ecocapsule from Nice Architects is technically a low-energy house with off-grid potential but would also make a cracking garden office, with room for co-shedworkers.
Features include a built-in kitchenette with running water, flushing toilet and hot shower with lots of storage space. It's all powered by a built-in wind turbine and solar cells with rainwater and dew collection elements.
 
The body of the ecocapsule is covered with high-efficiency solar cells and a retractable pole holding a 750W wind turbine which Nice claim creates an energy system that can support you for almost a year in off-grid locations.
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Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Artist’s studio in Girona




A lovely shedworking atmosphere in Girona, designed by Arquitecturia around a large ash. Here's what the architects say about it:
"In order to keep the magnificent tree and to avoid seeing the house from the inside of the studio, two main windows will focus the views to the corners of the garden. The plan of the studio is cross-shaped, where the main working space is double-height while the other four wings that gravitate around accommodate the entrance, the storage, the sink and the living area."
Photographs by José Hevia -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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 08, 2015

Entries open for Home Business Awards


iHubbub’s home business community is on the hunt to find the top shedworking and other home-based businesses across the country and award them for their achievements in the Top 100 Home Business Awards.

Having previously run The Remote Worker Awards (of which I was a judge some years ago), Ken Sheridan and Paula Wynne have long championed home business owners. Once again, they are on the hunt to find the most inspirational businesses who have overcome challenges to pursue their dream of running their own business at home.

“As home business owners ourselves we understand the challenges home business start-ups face," said Paula. "Running your own business from home is exciting yet demanding, so being able to receive recognition for your achievements is a huge incentive to continue on the path to success."

In their search for the top 100 businesses across the country, iHubbub have several award categories and are looking for: the Most Flexible Home Worker, the Best Family Business, the Best Home Based Business Team, the Best Online Business, the Best Direct Sales Business, the Best Freelancer, the Best Home Based Franchisee, the Best Home Blog and the Most Inspiring Business Person.

For more information or to enter the awards go to www.ihubbub.com/awards --------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Surge in homeworking numbers




Around 800,000 people have become shedworkers and homeworkers over the past 10 years according to new research to mark National Work from Home Day. More than four million Britons have now abandoned the traditional workplace in favour of working from home.

The analysis of Government figures by the TUC, to mark NWHD shows that the total number regularly working from home is now 4.2 million, up from 3.4m in 2005 while the proportion of people working from home is13.7 per cent of the workforce. Northern Ireland has the lowest proportion of home workers at nine per cent, while South West England has the highest at 18.3. More than 60 per cent of homeworkers are male.

"Although organisations that have embraced homeworking often say that it has improved retention and productivity, there are still too many employers who are afraid to let their staff try out this way of working,” said TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady.

Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK who promote NWHD, added: “Thanks to modern technology, introducing efficient flexible working processes can be done both quickly and easily, but trust in transition remains a major issue."

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Antique Boulton and Paul ‘Tudor’ style summerhouse for sale


Shedworking reader Neil McQuillan has written in with details about a renovation project he has just completed.
"This rarest and most sought style in the Boulton and Paul revolving summerhouse range has been professionally restored by the highly respected restoration carpenters ‘Mushroom of Farnham’. Since its recovery from a vicarage in Tunbridge it has undergone a full deconstructed restoration. All wood panels have had all old lead paint fully removed to bare wood. It has then been primed, undercoated and painted in Farrow and Ball paint. (Interior ‘Borrowed Light’ exterior ‘Cornforth White’).

"The doors and windows have also been stripped of all lead paint and primed, undercoated and painted with Farrow and Ball ‘All White’. All glazing has been removed and replaced with safety glass using putty in the traditional method. All hinges and catches are original with all screws replaced with new slot head screws that have been aged to look original. The original door lock is in place and now has two new keys. The turntable mechanism works perfectly; it has been greased and now sits on two inch thick oak boards. The old roofing felt has been removed and replaced.

"The measurements are 8.5ft across the front, 6.5ft across the side and 9ft high to the internal apex. The price of £12900.00 includes transportation and erection to anywhere in England and Wales. Delivery to Scotland would incur additional cost. A photographic account of all restoration undertaken will be made available to the purchaser. To view and discuss delivery etc. please contact nmcquillan@btinternet.com."

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Cath Kidston Bournemouth beach huts




Nice shedlike stuff from Cath Kidston in Bournemouth where they've refurbished five beach huts in their iconic designs. It's part of their summer competition - take a summer selfie, share and tag on Instagram with #randomactsofkidston and you could win £250 to spend in one of their shops (you don't have to include one of their beach huts but I suspect they would be happy if you do). ----------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Shedworkers need to stand up more to get healthier


Shedworkers, homeworkers and indeed anybody who works in a 'traditional' office should be on their feet for at least two hours every day during working hours, according to recommendations in the first ever UK guidance designed to curb the health risks of too much cumulative sitting time.

Published online today in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the authors of the report say that this daily quota should eventually be bumped up to four hours a day, breaking up prolonged periods of sitting with the use of sit-stand desks, standing based work, and regular walk-abouts.

The guidance was drawn up by a panel of international experts chosen by Public Health England and Active Working CIC) comes in the wake of the growing body of research linking prolonged periods spent seated ― as opposed to being generally physically inactive ― with a heightened risk of serious illness and premature death.

“For those working in offices, 65-75% of their working hours are spent sitting, of which more than 50% of this is accumulated in prolonged periods of sustained sitting,” says the report. “The evidence is clearly emerging that a first ‘behavioural’ step could be simply to get people standing and moving more frequently as part of their working day.”

They recommend:
* 2 hours daily of standing and light activity (light walking) during working hours, eventually progressing to a total of 4 hours for all office workers whose jobs are predominantly desk based * Regularly breaking up seated based work with standing based work, with the use of adjustable sit-stand desks/work stations
* Avoidance of prolonged static standing, which may be as harmful as prolonged sitting
* Altering posture/light walking to alleviate possible musculoskeletal pain and fatigue as part of the adaptive process
* Encouraging staff to embrace other healthy behaviours, such as cutting down on drinking and smoking, eating a nutritious diet, and alleviating stress,  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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 01, 2015

Garden offices on the increase

Shedservatory Almost one in 20 of those who are planning a garden upgrade this year will build a garden office, according to figures from the latest report by Houzz.co.uk.

“A good garden building can help to increase living space without the hassle, cost and disruption of a traditional extension,” said said John Langley, Director JML Garden Rooms. “Families can use in so many different ways. Offices and art studios are popular, but they can also be used as a cinema, study space for teenagers, guest bedroom, or even a gym.”

The report also found that:
·people spend four to five hours a week in their outdoor spaces
·just over a third believe it is important to include garden features that attract wildlife
·a half plan to grow vegetable or other edibles in their garden
·Lavender is the most popular addition to a new garden, followed by roses and daffodils --------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.