Monday, November 30, 2015

Sarah Hadland: Shedworker



The star of the comedy series Miranda and The Job Lot according to a story in the Daily Mail. "I had this office put in the garden last year," she told the paper, "because my two-bedroom Victorian coach house is quite small and I wanted to start writing comedy scripts. It's now my haven as I love being outside in my garden." The garden office was built by Harrison James. --------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Nature shelters


These rather nice shedlike atmospheres based on traditional fishermen's huts from LUMO architects are in fact nature shelters, dotted around 17 sites in coastal Denmark and aimed at enhancing tourism in the area (although they would also make smashing garden offices too). There are 47 of them, with wood chip cladding and covered in wood tar oil, in five different models, each named after a kind of fish. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Beyond Live/Work: The Architecture of Home-Based Work


There are plenty of attractive books about sheds, garden offices and colourful introductions to working at home, but at last there is a book which is not only well illustrated but also tackles the subject intelligently and comprehensively while still being readable.

In fact it's so thorough that it's hard to do justice to the book in a single blog post and Frances Holliss - an architect and Emeritus reader in architecture at London Metropolitan University - will be writing a guest post for Shedworking next month on the subject. But in brief, Beyond Live/Work looks at the history of people working at home (not just in the UK, there's particularly good coverage of Japan for example too) and the types of location in which they do it, including garden offices. There are also many interviews with homeworkers to emphasise the human element in homeworking.

There is plenty here to get your teeth into, from cottage factories (of which I was shamefacedly ignorant), a fascinating list of homeworking occupations made by Victorian work researcher Charles Booth (are there many gold-leaf beaters still shedworking today?), and suggestions for the future (from courtyard workhomes to 'flirting benches' so homeworkers get a chance for romance...).

But it's also a book with several messages, not least that the 20th century idea of 'going to work' is likely to look like a blip in the history of working as homeworking continues to rise. "This represents a radical change in our society," she writes. "It has huge implicains for how we inhabit, think about and regulate our homes, workplaces, and cities."

Frances mentions how many of the people interviewed for the book are the backbones of their community. "All are visible, well-known members of it and generally work long hours in some form of public service." She also strongly argues the case for the eco-friendly nature of homeworking and against the nightmare of commuting.

In short, this is the best book I've read about working from home and you should all certainly buy a copy. For a taster, have a look at Frances's website WorkHome which holds a vast collection of homeworking resources. ----------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Zombie Fortification Cabin




There are plenty of niche garden office products, but perhaps none nichier than the Zombie Fortification Cabin (ZFC-1) from Tiger Sheds. A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in collaboration with Zombie Infection earlier this month did not reach its target but you can still go direct to Tiger Sheds if you're interested in a zombie-proof log cabin (with 10 year anti-zombie guarantee). 

Features include a barbed wired surround, arsenal storage unit, and allotment area to grow your own vegetables. They can also provide water cannons, search lights and flame throwers. And of course solar panels. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, November 23, 2015

Homeworking predictions from 2010 about 2015


An interesting post at Pocket-lint by Chris Hall who in 2010 peered into his crystal homeworking ball to wonder what it would be like in our shedlike atmospheres five years down the line. Here's how it starts:
I love my commute: I walk 3 metres from my back door into my garden office. I've been a home worker for nearly 10 years now, as many more people are. Continued investment and enhancement of the broadband infrastructure has changed a great many things, making working from home more of a reality. It is no longer seen as "bunking", because it can be as interactive as any office ever was. Government pressure to reduce emissions from big business has seen tighter, more efficient, working practises and a huge reduction in commuter culture, fuelled by corporate tax breaks, of course.
Well worth a read. --------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Garden office garage conversions


Research from Sainsbury’s Car Insurance reveals that garages are becoming a less common feature of Britain’s family homes, with an estimated 3.9 million people having 'repurposed' their garage over the past 20 years to provide extra living space (a standard-sized single garage can give you around 14m² of extra space).

The most popular choice is to make it into a workshop (26%), followed by an office (20%), although other ‘converters’ created bedrooms (13%), playrooms (7%) or extended their kitchens or living rooms in to their garage (16%).


Anecdotally, according to property experts, converting a garage to provide additional living space can add up to 10 per cent to the value of your property.

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Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Apocalyptic shedworking

If you've ever wondered how you would continue working from home in your garden office in the event of an apocalypse, then here's the video for you... ----------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Beach hut advent calendar


The fine folk at Beyond Church are once again opening up their beach hut advent calendar in the huts along the esplanade in Brighton & Hove. Regular readers of Shedworking will know that each day in December,  a different hut is open to the public from 5.30pm to 6.30pm, individually decorated along traditional Christmas lines. And there are also mince pies and mulled wine on offer. We'll be featuring some of our favourites during Advent.

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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, November 16, 2015

Dome shedworking



 
Way back in 2009 we featured Hugh Thomson's design for a domed garden office. Hugh recently got back in touch to let us know how his thinking on the design has changed (it's still in the planning stage):
Recently a renewed interest in Geodesics uncovered an interesting design of a habitable polyhedron by a Columbian architect named Manuel Villa. I was intrigued by this design and at the same time recognised a number of features that had potential for improvement. So I decided to develop my own version of this shed with improvements to the fascia around the main front frame and also to the integration of services within the structure itself.

The main polyhedral frames are held together by a series of wedged shaped blocks which double as a support for internal conduits that can be used for drainage or power supply. The fascia is a now a continuation of the roof surface with a 30mm dowel lining the edge to facilitate folding of the roof flashing to the edge of the window frame without compromising integrity of same.

The roof has a built in gutter following the perimeter of the roof dome which I have partially covered to minimize the amount of water collected, being mainly from the dome itself. 

The other reason why I decided to look at this design was one of perceived cost. In the articles in the Architectural forums; where Manuels shed first appeared; a number of comments related to the perceived high cost of building something like this. Other than the dome, which can be replaced with something cheaper; the main elements of the design are quite simple timber construction with minimal complexity in the joints. I have substituted a plywood cover to the roof in lieu of planking, though admittedly planking would certainly look better internally. The roof finish could either be felting or shingles.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Richard Lovesey: Shedworker



Regular Shedworking reader Richard Lovesey is a specialist fine pencil artist based in Louth. A shedworker for some time, he has recently extended his original garden office studio and print works (pictured top). An interesting photo gallery of the building work can be seen at his Facebook page.



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Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Muji huts





Muji is moving into the garden office/tiny house market with these prefab huts designed by Konstantin Grcic (a two-storey build with a mezzanine), Jasper Morrison (with separate kitchen and bathroom) and Naoto Fukasawa (features include a bath). They are built out of cork, aluminium and wood and should be on sale (in Japan at least) in early 2016. ----------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beach hutworking: 'One and All: A voyage through sight, sound and sea'


‘One and All: A voyage through sight, sound and sea,’ is a National Trust-funded project put together by sound artist Martyn Ware (of Heaven 17 and Human League fame). Martyn spent the summer wandering around the UK coastline, recording sounds from his portable beach hut. He and visual artist Tania Kovats, and poet Owen Sheers then worked on projects exploring the theme of seaside landscapes. You can see and here the results in an exhibition at Somerset House in London which runs until 13December and online here (a really atmospheric digital experience).
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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, November 09, 2015

Shedworking features in The Ladybird Book of The Shed


The whole of the Shedworking staff are delighted. More details about the book here. --------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Ecocapsule



The egg-ish Ecocapsule from Nice Architects is technically a 'portable house' with off-grid capability but would be great for shedworking. As well as a desk, features include a kitchenette, lavatory, and shower. The whole thing is powered by a built-in wind turbine and solar cells which cover its exterior. Should be available at the start of 2016.



 Thanks to Colin Shelbourn for the spot ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Christmas crafters worth £376 million to the UK economy


New research from small business insurer Direct Line for Business suggests over three million people in the UK plan to use their home offices (and homes in general) to make goods to sell this festive season.

These ‘Christmas crafters’ are set to generate sales of over £376 million, selling items such as homemade gift cards, candles, and wine glass charms. With consumers increasingly looking for unique, original, handmade goods, there is huge demand for home produced craft items as an alternative to mass produced high-street merchandise.

‘Christmas crafters’ devote long hours to their home enterprises working on average 19 hours a week from October to December, despite many of these shedworkers and entrepreneurs also holding down full time jobs. Seven per cent of those selling festive items will work over 40 hours a week in the run up to Christmas making their wares.

Despite the festive season offering a relatively small sales window for seasonal merchandise, 17 per cent of Christmas crafters make items all year round. The most popular channel for Christmas crafters to sell their wares is through Christmas markets (59 per cent) and also online auction websites (53 per cent) such as eBay. Other entrepreneurs are using online marketplaces such as Etsy and Not On The High Street (21 per cent) or their own website (14 per cent). ----------------------------------------------------
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Map of tiny houses around the world


There's a great map of tiny houses around the world which will be of interest to shedworkers too as each entry has links to more details about each build. Obviously it's not exhaustive, but it is interesting to browse and confirms that while the US is well ahead globally in terms of numbers,  tinyhousers are increasing in numbers in western Europe too.

Found on the excellent MiniMotives site which has a vast array of personal experiences, tips, pictures, and general sound advice about living small. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, November 02, 2015

How to build your own workshop


Nick Abson converted his selfbuild garden room into a workshop and has blogged excellently about the experience over the last three years from the intital build right up to the present at The Small Workshop. It's extremely thorough and a definite must-read for anybody thinking of doing something similar. Here's what Nick says:
I did the building work myself, with some help on the heavy lifting, and it took a while (about a year), with the slow progress mainly down to my complete lack of relevant experience. The designs were done in Sketchup, and the building is constructed with the materials typically used in commercially available garden rooms: structurally insulated panels, cedar cladding, ‘mini plinths’ footings and epdm rubber on the roof. Now the building is done I am focused on the inside and turning it into a small but useful space.
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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.