Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Shedworking in the US - your views please

A regular reader from the US contacted me yesterday saying that they were fascinated by the shedworking trend in the UK, but asking why it hadn't caught on in the US, suggesting maybe it was because of permits or small backyards. It's certainly an interesting question, especially in a country where prefab, eco-friendly and modular structures are all the rage at the moment. I'd be very interested to hear the opinions of other readers, especially those in the US.


  1. It is catching on in the states and Canada but there are a few restraints; most bylaws exempt structures under 100 square feet so that sets the maximum limit, and for most North Americans 100 square feet is their bedroom closet, not a habitable space. The other issue is cost; Everything is calculated in a meaningless dollars per square foot and they compare the price of a decent shed to the home depot rubbermaid special and guess who wins. Money trumps design every time.

  2. In my neighborhood we have restrictions preventing us from building any unattached outbuilding. Almost everyone I know wants one, but the neighborhood covenants still say no. For some reason the majority of residents never unite against the few who like dumb rules. I see that happen over and over in suburban American communities.

  3. Actually, I'm currently trying to put together something of this sort after moving my father in with us -I've decided working at home, in the house with 3 men and 4 dogs is no longer viable. I'm planning on constructing "an office in the back of the garden" as my British Boss calls it.

    I'm fine for permitting, zoning, and budgetting, but having trouble finding a good plan that will be ecologically groovy, reasonably afforable and fairly quick. At the moment, I'm working in a tend in the woods with wireless internet and a power cord for my lap top. Any ANY suggestions are welcome!!