Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The effect of a garden office on the value of your property

 An evergreen issue this, and an interesting anecdote from Mark Burton who runs Tiny House (Cabins). On the back of Country Living's article earlier in the year which suggested a garden office/room can add £35,000 to your property's value, Mark used the Zoopla tool to compare prices of homes in Surrey with and without garden rooms. And here's what he found:
"A few years ago I built a 3m x 4m cabin at the end of a garden in Surrey.  It had a lofted sleeping area for a double mattress, a small shower room, WC and under floor heating which cost the owners £18,000. The property was recently sold for £521,000. A few doors away is an identical property that I found on Zoopla in roughly the same condition but without extra living space at the end of the garden being offered for sale at £479,950 (that's £41,000 less)."
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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Commuting lengths rising

Shedworkers will be interested that the number of people commuting for more than an hour has risen by 31% since 2011, according to latest figures from the Office of National Statistics. Although men are more likely to make commutes lasting more than an hour, the number of women with long commutes is up by 39%, compared with a 27% rise for men.

In particular, the number of women travelling for more than an hour to work in London has increased by 46% since 2011, accounting for more than half of the overall growth in long commutes for women.

The findings show that men undertake almost two-thirds of commutes lasting more than an hour, while women account for more than half (55%) of commutes lasting 15 minutes or less.

Men are more likely than women to commute by train while women are more likely to walk or travel by bus. The car is the most equal and the most popular form of transport; it accounts for two-thirds of all commutes by both men and women respectively. In contrast, cycling is among the most unequal ways of commuting, with men accounting for 74% of those who cycle to work.

Overall, men are more likely than women to make commutes of over an hour in almost every country or region of the UK. Among those who travel for more than an hour to work in London (where long commutes are commonplace), 61% are men. The greatest disparity is in the East of England, where 76% of long commutes are undertaken by men. The North East is the only region where women make more long commutes than men As well as accounting for most commutes lasting more than an hour, men make the majority of commutes between regions.

Around 9% of all commuters live in a different region to their place of work, and 65% of them are men. This trend is seen across the UK, particularly in Scotland where 77% of those commuting from elsewhere are men.

Women are more likely than men to commute for 15 minutes or less in every part of the UK except for London. The largest gap is among those working in the South East of England, where women account for 58% of short commutes.

Image courtesy eDEN Garden Rooms -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday, November 12, 2018

How to build a garden office (video)

There must be something shedlike in the air as there are various folk putting up garden office 'how to' videos at the moment. Here's the latest by Richard Fearon who runs the excellent Fix Make Create site. Below is the first in a planned series in which he looks at building a wooden garden office in his back garden on a deck, the whole thing coming in at 3m x 6m. More videos to come...

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Boat Pod garden office for sale

We've covered Barney Dearsly's marvellous Boat Pod before on Shedworking so we were delighted to hear via that other shed blog that you can now actually buy it. If you'd like to invest, contact Barney at his site here (it's a really great price). Just to recep here's what he says about it:
The Boat-Pod is a unique space built from the bow section of the Anthony Stevenson, a retired wooden fishing trawler that worked out of Newly Harbour, Cornwall. Shaped by the original massive, curved planks of larch and ribs of oak, this truly magical space can be adapted to a plethora of uses: a retreat, a children’s den, an artist's studio, a writer’s room, a personal library, somewhere to sleep out. Completed with electrics, engineered oak floor and wood burning stove it offers the comforts of 21st century living within a cosy, atmospheric and beautifully crafted structure that was built to withstand the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

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Friday, November 09, 2018

Mental health and working from home

The top emotions people working at least two days from home feel are 'free', 'in control', and 'calm', according to the latest survey from occupational health experts BHSF. The authors of the report conclude these results indicate that more employers should consider extending flexible working to more of their workforce, in order to help manage stress levels and give employees more control over their working day.
However, a significant number of those surveyed chose more negative words to describe their feelings. Just over a quarter said that working from home made them feel remote, a similar figure felt isolated and a fifth lonely. Indeed, the survey revealed that a quarter of employers had made no special adjustments, such as arranging regular face-to-face meetings or providing relevant equipment, to make shedworkers and other remote workers feel part of the team. 
Homeworkers aged 51 and over are the most likely to feel lonely and isolated, yet the same age group
feel significantly more ‘in control’ than those in their 30s (54% compared to 42%).The figures suggest that home working is also more popular among women. Half said it made them feel calm, compared to 39% of men and more than half of women also said it made them feel free.
“The results of the survey clearly show that it is not enough to simply offer flexible working to get the best out of employees," said BHSF Chief Medical Officer Dr Philip McCrea. “Employers must look at how they manage remote workers effectively, supporting their specific health and wellbeing needs to ensure that they get the most out of these employees. If implemented in the right way, home working can have a significant positive effect on employees’ mental health.”

Image courtesy Garden Affairs -------------------------------------------------------
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Thursday, November 08, 2018

Shedworker Peter Zinovieff and the birth of electronic music

We've talked before on Shedworking about the part shedworkers played in the earliest days of electronic music, especially Peter Zinovieff whose garden studio in Putney backed onto the river. Here's a newly-released video from the BBC which shows him at work and takes a brief look at the state of electronic music today and in the future. As they put it: "Peter Zinovieff was the first person to use computers to compose music - which he did from a shed at the bottom of his garden"

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Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Tiny Boundaries

An interesting example of how shedworking/tiny homes work in practice, this mobile workspace and microhouse belongs to Lynton and Pi Davidson who work in the media industry but are now basing themselves on the island of Jura in Scotland's inner Hebrides (where George Orwell finished writing 1984) where the local population is around the 200 mark.

It's designed and built by Dutch tiny house specialists  Liberté and designer Woonpioniers, and serves as both a tiny mobile home and office where the couple can live but also work. The couple specifically wanted a space that they could travel with that could be used as a studio in which to work, as well as a space where they could run events or workshops. And at the same time, they needed somewhere in which to live for short periods.

So it has a kitchen, sleeping loft, composting toilet and shower room plus office space and has a woodburning stove as well as solar power. The video below explains more about the whys and wherefores and is an excellent watch (put together by KLCK). You can read more about them and all involved at

Tiny Boundaries from KLCK. on Vimeo. ------------------------------------------
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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Talent Garden Dublin

It's interesting to see how the garden office ethos is increasingly used in new office setups. Here is the office space of new co-working specialists Talent Garden Dublin which uses greenery spread around the floors and desks to add a nice shedworkingesque touch. A rooftop garden terrace is also in the works. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday, November 05, 2018

The importance of planning permission for your garden office

It's always worth reminding people considering going down the garden office route that it's crucial to get all the paperwork in place before setting up. As reported in the Bucks Free Press, a shed in Chalfont St Peter will have to come down after neighbours of the owner complained to Chiltern District Council's planning committee about how it was intruding on their home life.
 According to the report "numerous phone calls" were being made from the 2.54m shed structure which affected the couple's health and privacy. The councillors were divided but voted to refuse a retrospective planning application because the proximity of the building to the neighbour’s fence “contravenes our general conditions”.

As always, it's a good idea to take a look at the Planning Portal before going to talk to your local planners.
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