Friday, November 30, 2018

£300,000 price tag for remote beach hut




Beach hut silly season continues as people plan ahead for next summer with the latest hut at Mudeford Spit, Christchurch, hut 180 on with Denisons for £300,000 (plus annual rates to the local counsil of £500 and a licence fee of £2,500). According to the particulars it is "a beautifully presented LARGER THAN AVERAGE hut having the benefit of front and rear UNINTERRUPTED VIEWS."

The hut is 16ft x 12ft with direct access to the beach and was renovated 15 years ago, though there is still no water, electrics, nor lavatory. It does have a kitchen though "luxuriously fitted out with a range of units incorporating limed wood cladding to the walls and ceiling". At a push, the hut sleeps eight and unlike some beach huts, it's legal to sleep here for up to seven months in a calendar year.

One of the advantages of the hut is its isolation (except it is of course a public beach). As the Daily Mail says: "The 350 beach huts on the sandspit are so remote they require a 30 minute walk or a ride on a novelty land train to get to them."

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Former Victorian railway station waiting room garden office for sale


Here's a remarkable shedworking opportunity. The owners of the former 1860s railway station buildings in Coalport, Telford (very close to where the Shedworking staff were born as well as the famous Ironbridge) is up for sale. In recent years, the whole property has been renovated and two mark 1 Great Western Railway carriages restored run as holiday lets - I stayed in one of them five years ago and it was a marvellous experience (the owls outside in the 2.5 acres of grounds were a bit noisy though).

Best of all though, the former brick-built waiting room - pictured top - has been turned into an open plan garden office measuring 6m x 3m.

The whole thing - including the five-bedroom house - is on the market with Strutt & Parker for £950,000 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

David Cameron's shepherd's hut in Private Eye


Find out what happens next in the latest issue of Private Eye, out now.


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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Garden offices, broadband, and living in the country: new report


Millions of city dwellers are being put off relocating to the countryside by concerns over bad broadband and mobile phone reception, while large portions of those already living in rural areas experience these issues to such an extent they regret moving there, according to a new report from uSwitch.com.

This is obviously not great news for shedworkers and those planning to work from garden offices in rural locations and comes despite Ofcom reporting that almost all of the country should be able to access superfast connections. Its research claims that more than 13 million city dwellers would like to live in the countryside in the future - but for the 15 million who wouldn’t, more than half are put off by the thought of poor broadband connections and patchy phone signal.

Although Ofcom claims that 93% of the country can already access superfast broadband services, four in 10 of rural residents suffer from a slow or unreliable connection. And when it comes to using a mobile at home, a third say that their calls regularly cut out, while a quarter say they can’t make any at all. In total, more than one million people - roughly a tenth of all those currently living in the countryside - say they would never have moved there had they known how poor rural connectivity is.

Ernest Doku, broadband and mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, said: “It’s ludicrous that in 2018 broadband and mobile phone signal is a factor influencing where in the UK people choose to live. In recent years there have been massive strides made in the rollout of superfast services and mobile reception provision, so it’s hard to imagine why so many people continue to struggle along on a service that doesn’t meet their needs.

"The only explanation is that providers have been guilty of a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality - simply assuming that their work is done as soon as they have provided the infrastructure for faster services and not doing enough to make sure that their customers are aware that better services are available."

uSwitch encourages consumers to check the broadband speed of any potential property before deciding where to move, which can be done here.

Image courtesy  Cabin Habit  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Monday, November 26, 2018

Green roofs and Shedworking in The Idler


The new issue of The Idler magazine is out now featuring my usual column on sheds and garden offices which this time takes a look at the very popular option of a green roof featuring examples from Rotunda Roundhouses and eDEN Garden Rooms (pictured below). Those interested in snooker too will also find something of interest in my other column in the magazine which focuses on nostalgia and how to choose a snooker partner.


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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Garden office for psychotherapist


A wonderful garden office which rather reminds the Shedworking staff of the one featured heavily in the recent BBC comedy-drama Wanderlust. This one was built by Booths Garden Studios and is owned by psychotherapist Emma Todd as you can see in the video below.

The aim was to make it both completely independent of her house (the reason for a lavatory and kitchen) but also homely so that clients would feel at home. Features include full-length windows with a fanlight window in the bathroom, a flyover roof with gravel in front of the building rather than decking, and movement-sensitive lights to light the way during darkness. An external air conditioning unit is carefully hidden round the side.

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Friday, November 23, 2018

Last year for the Beach Hut Advent Calendar


After a decade of opening beach hut advent calendar doors every day during advent along the promenade at Brighton and Hove, Beyond Church have announced that this will be the last year they do so as they will be developing other projects. It's had a good run - one year I did a daily update for The Independent when they first started - and we've been delighted here at Shedworking to preview and report back on each year's beach huts.

It was created to remind people of the Christian roots of the season of Advent. Over the years they have served more than 4,000 warm drinks and 3,000 mince pies. You can see this year's timetable at their site here and we'll be highlighting some of our favourites during December, This year the theme is #FollowtheStar which links to the Church of England's Christmas campaign.

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Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

How bet365 started in a hut


bet365 is in the news this week thanks to its founder and owner Denise Coates who, it emerges, paid herself a £265 million salary last year, up from £217 million the year before. The rights and wrongs of this aside, it is interesting to note that the Financial Times mentions that the business was started from a hut in a car park in Stoke. Actually, in a rare interview with The Guardian half a dozen years ago, Denise Coates revealed that it was actually a Portakabin near one of their betting shops. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thursday posts are sponsored by Cabin Master: garden offices and studios to fit any size garden. Top quality contemporary or traditional buildings.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

eDEN Garden Room's free festive upgrades

eDEN Garden Rooms are running a promotion, offering a free upgrade on new garden rooms booked in one of their build slots in December this year and January 2019. The four people who get these slots can choose from:

* Wireless heating and lighting control
* Bose wireless speaker system
* £500 off their garden room order

Confirm your preferred upgrade at the time of confirmation and they will add it to your order. Terms and conditions here.  ------------------------------------------
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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Garden shed DJ gets BBC Christmas radio special


Here's a lovely story about Stevenage shedworker Deke Duncan. He's been broadcasting his own radio station, Radio 77 (essentially only to his wife Teresa because of licensing issues) for decades from his garden shed, pictured above.
Watch the short video above for more details about what happened 40 years ago, then the one below for the latest update...
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Monday, November 19, 2018

How to build a garden office - part 2 (video)


Continuing the series by Richard Fearon which started last week here.

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Bespoke garden office with furniture



This garden office by eDEN Garden Rooms was for a shedworker in a terraced house in Balham, London. It was an interesting build as it had to be specially designed to fit the built-in office furniture that the client had already planned for the room. Additionally there was no side access so everthing was built on site and materials brought through the house.

It measures 2.5m x 6m - built to the boundary so includes fire retardant panelling to thee sides - and as well as a home office also includes a shed store. Features include French doors and an extra floor-to-ceiling window for added views of garden. eDEN usually use screw piles as foundations for new garden rooms but here there were concrete slabs already in situ so in the end the entire thing was built on a concrete base.
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Friday, November 16, 2018

A short history of garageworking


Garageworking is the twin sibling of Shedworking - as readers know, many great ideas came from garageworkers such as Walt Disney and companies such as technology giant HP first set up shop in a garage. A nice little article on the always excellent Atlas Obscura Why There’s No Place Quite Like the American Garage, looks at the garage phenomenon and points out for example that garages are "a perfect stage for rebellion", going on to list:
"...the one where Jeff Ho shaped surfboards and skateboards and, by extension, modern skate culture; the one where No Doubt practiced and had their first house show; the one where the Sisters of the Valley, an order of secular nuns, grew weed; the garage of dominatrix Selina Minx; and the home of Franklin Bell’s Blues Workshop, held on Sundays in a one-car garage in Los Angeles."
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Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Exterior shed paint


Although Cuprinol is often the name associated with sheds, at least partly because of their sponsorship of Shed of the Year, it's worth remembering that there are other options out there. Shedworking has just been sent a heap of photos from exterior paint experts Sadolin and Sandtex (sister brands of Crown Paints) of their product in action, including the above. These were launched at the company's press preview last week which they say "showcase the range of vibrant masonry shades and beautifully natural wood stains". Here's the rest of their bumph:
"Sandtex offers a range of rapid dry products that can be used on a wide variety of surfaces, allowing you to insert colour into your home exteriors through metal and wooden furniture, including front doors and accessories. For durable wood stains, the Sadolin products enhance the natural beauty of wood in decking, fencing and exterior furniture, providing a superior finish whilst ensuring they’re protected from the elements."
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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 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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 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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Monday posts are sponsored by garden2office, the Swedish garden office specialists. Click here for more details.

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

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  Libert├ę 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 tinyboundaries.com.

Tiny Boundaries from KLCK. on Vimeo. ------------------------------------------
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