Tuesday, November 02, 2010

American shedworking

A thoughtful post by friend of Shedworking Lloyd Alter over at Treehugger focuses on the question, will garden offices catch on in America? I've chatted to Lloyd about this issue and, while he's a supporter of homeworking and shedworking in general, as he points out in the article he's still unsure about its chances of catching on in the same way as it has in the UK. Essentially he feels the climate and attitudes to home ownership make it unlikely, despite the obvious attractions. I'd be very interested in your thoughts, especially if you're an American or Canadian shedworker (or indeed if you're in America and Canada and think it's a terrible idea).

It's a timely contribution to the shedworking debate as next month we hope to bring you some news on this very topic. Watch, as they say, this space. Pictured above is an inside shot of Mark Twain's octagonal study in Elmira, New York State.
Tuesday posts are sponsored by The Home Office Company, manufacturers of unique garden rooms since 1998. Now in 10 exciting new colours. Click here for more details.


  1. As a Canadian with terminal shed-envy I find this an interesting topic. Now that I am officially an "empty-nester" I have lots of space in the house, but none of it seems quite right for that perfect artist's studio I long for.
    All the reasons Lloyd gives for not working in a shed are quite valid. The challenge of heating in the winter is perhaps the most compelling. But on the other side of the coin, the ridiculous distances many of us have to travel to work, in road conditions that you could barely imagine in Britain, surely must help to tilt the scale. I drive 12 miles to work every day, on rural roads that are the last to be cleared of snow. Even though I live in Southern Ontario, which is probably the most densely populated part of Canada, I don't have the option of public transport because there simply isn't any.

  2. I live and work in Vancouver, BC, Canada and would love to work from my garage. The problem is the expense of converting my existing garage, but conceptually, I think it's a great idea.

    I know that Vancouver has just amended it's building regulations to allow 'laneway housing' which essentially opens the door for garage conversions into home offices with full facilities.

  3. I actually do think it will take off even where temps may be extreme. The one issue I do see as being a problem may be zoning laws as they pertain to outside structures on property within city limits.

    Time will tell, but I know I plan to have a Shed very soon to work from in my own backyard.

  4. There is no doubt, that the global financial situation, not only lends itself to shed working, but will become more of a necessity as people think more about the work/life balance and their carbon footprints. Everyone needs their own Pod Space.