Monday, January 18, 2021

Inside Cressida Cowell's shed

Writer Cressida Cowell is excellent at keeping us updated with photos of her path to her garden office throughout the year and also regularly records videos inside her writing shed, but here's a treat, a close-up of her writing desk. Note the lucky horseshoe.

---------------------------------------

Monday posts are sponsored by eDEN Garden Rooms. Stunning, bespoke high quality garden rooms, to suit your unique space and style

Friday, January 15, 2021

Ricky Boleto builds his Newsround garden office shed


BBC Newsround presenter Ricky Boleto has been charting the makeover of his garden shed into a television studio on Twitter (see above for the before and after shots). Here's what the BBC says about it: "It's kitted out with power, internet, neon lights that change colour, a massive TV screen and lots of other gadgets to help him report on the latest stories from home." 

He's now put together a great little video about his new garden office which you can see on the BBC's Newsround site here

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


Thursday, January 14, 2021

The importance of the garden office commute

 

We've often talked about the 30 second garden office commute here on Shedworking so we were interested to read in the Wall Street Journal (£) that people are developing fake commutes because they miss the routine. Here's a snippet:

It can be a walk around the block. It can be a stop at your local coffee pickup counter or your favorite drive-thru. Many workers have replaced their pre-coronavirus commutes with allotted time around work shifts where they break away from what can be the monotony of working from home, also known as the pretend or "fake commute." One woman told the Wall Street Journal she missed having a "clear dividing line in her weekday." Researchers recommend this practice as a means to fend off burnout.

Shedworking believes this is one of the important things to consider when shedworking, that although you don't have to fight your way through traffic jams or a crowded underground, it's still good to start the working day with a ceremonial commute. While it’s not usually the highlight of the day, it does at least effectively mark the border between home and work. So instead of cracking straight into it after breakfast, nip outside and have a brief wander. Not too long, this is merely taking the air and getting yourself in work mode, not exercise. It’s your 30 second commute.

The Guardian has an interesting gallery of articles about how the pandemic has affected commuting in the UK.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Garden office tax planning: business ownership

In the third and final part of this excellent series by Helen Thornley, Technical Officer at The Association of Taxation Technicians on accountingWEB (see here for the previous two) she looks a a wide range of issues including structures and buildings allowance, VAT, and what happens when you come to sell your house. Here's a snippet, talking about 'benefit in kind':

One approach would be to view the pod as an asset which has been lent to the director and is available for their use, but to which legal title has not been transferred. If the pod does not fall within the special rules for living accommodation, then the general rules will apply. The HMRC view is that living accommodation is something that gives the occupant the necessary facilities to live domestic life independently without reliance on others to supply basic needs, so offices and workshops are excluded.

In this case, unless the pod is hired, the cash equivalent of the pod to be assessed each year as a benefit will be 20% of the market value of the asset when first made available – most likely the cost of the asset when new. This is likely to be more significant than the benefit in kind for living accommodation and, if the pod is to be kept long term, it might be better for the director who wants personal use to pay to install it privately. In the first tax year, this benefit can be apportioned so the individual is only taxed on the number of days since the pod was first made available.

As with previous blog posts, this is well worth reading.

Photo courtesy Warwick Buildings

--------------------------------------

Wednesday’s posts are sponsored by Norwegian Log Buildings  - Log cabins and garden buildings for a better quality of life. Click here for more details.

 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Straw bale garden office

A tremendous garden office meeting room built for and by Outpost architecture and design studio based in London. Here's what they say about it:

"Our straw room is a self-build project that highlights the ease of building with natural building materials making it an affordable and accessible solution for the UK’s housing needs. The walls are solely load bearing straw bales, with then lime render to both the inside and outside surfaces. This construction technique creates a building envelope that has high thermal mass, high U-value of 0.1 and fantastic acoustic qualities. All the materials we used (straw, sheeps wool, lime render and timber) are low embodied energy materials that create an architecture with health and well-being benefits over traditional construction methods."

More details and images at the link above. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, January 11, 2021

Waiting times rise for garden offices in Ireland

An interesting article in the Belfast Telegraph reveals that prospective shedworkers in Ireland are in some cases having to wait up to 10 months for their new garden office as waiting lists grow.

Although there are plans to increase the numbers of co-working spaces, the garden office route remains a very popular one. The article gives a brief survey of garden office specialists and their waiting times including Shomera (pictured above) whose waiting list is now up to the end of October, Timber Living Log Cabins (May), and  Ecohome Log Cabins Ireland (August).  More details at the link above.

Those still looking for suppliers have ample resources to do so here on the Shedworking site but over the weekend Kat Burroughs at The Sunday Times put together a nice piece 'How to create a garden office' which also has a useful list and thoughts (£).

---------------------------------------

Monday posts are sponsored by eDEN Garden Rooms. Stunning, bespoke high quality garden rooms, to suit your unique space and style

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Snowy sheds 2021

Here's our first snowy garden office post of 2021, belonging to friend of Shedworking teacher Tracy Goodyear. If you've got a photo of your snowy shed, let us know!

-----------------------------------------------------

Saturday posts are sponsored by woowoo waterless toilets, the best toilet for your garden office

Friday, January 08, 2021

Lockdown garden office bothy build

Peter Montgomery transformed his Cambridgeshire garage into a garden office bothy during lockdown last year and below is the video showing the transformation plus a tour of the shedworking space. You can read more about how Peter did it, including his use of recycled materials, on readersheds.

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

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Mobile Office Support Hub​


An  interesting concept here from Jack Carter Architects, what they call a "mobile office support hub", a kind of halfway house between a garden office and a traditional office which aims to help the health and wellbeing of people working from home. Here's what they say about it:​​

During the pandemic, the focus has been on technology, making remote working secure but if this is to become a long-term option, we feel more needs to be done on supporting staff outside the office. The Office Support Hub is based on new proprietary electric vehicle technology which is being rolled out across the logistics sector. JCA propose designing bespoke mobile office support vehicles, for medium to large organisations across the country.

The whole thing is an electric vehicle, with a metal chassis (what JCA call "a skateboard-style bed") and a timber frame. There's a modular feel to the interior which can easily be reconfigured where necessary. It features all the normal must-haves and features of a garden office with space for two people to work plus ergonomic working arrangements, as well as a break out space, audio-visual room, workshop space. The idea is that each van has a 500km range and can drive out a local area providing services for local employees who can book its services via a mobile app. At the end of the day, it returns to the main head office to recharge.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Scottish Men's Sheds offer crisis grants

As part of the Scottish Government's package of funding to combat isolation and loneliness, the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA) has been awarded 30,000 to support Men’s Sheds in Scotland. The money will assist sheds that are suffering financial problems with running costs such as rent and heating, and which face shutting because of the pandemic. 

“SMSA is delighted to have secured this crisis grant funding for Scottish Men’s Sheds through the Scottish Government," said Jason Schroeder, SMSA’s Executive Officer. "Covid-19 forced our Sheds to close temporarily, calling a halt to much of their fundraising activities and this is impacting heavily on their income generation.  This fund will support new and existing Sheds, large and small, to cover core running costs to offset this lost income.  We will aim to help those Sheds in crisis to give them the peace of mind to ensure they are still here in the future when Sheds will be needed most.

“A huge area of concern is how this pandemic has impacted on people’s health and wellbeing and we need to ensure the survival of our Sheds for when men can attend them again, hopefully in the spring time. This funding has the potential to do so much good.  We will strive to stretch it as far and wide as we can to prevent any closures.”

The SMSA will start to release funds to successful applicants later this month.

--------------------------------------

Wednesday’s posts are sponsored by Norwegian Log Buildings  - Log cabins and garden buildings for a better quality of life. Click here for more details.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Lovely garden office green roof

A little something to brighten up the start of your new lockdown. Here's what the owner, consultant planner and architectural designer Ian Gunter-Jones says about it: "My first green roof on top of the studio in our previous cottage garden. Chantry row, Aldbury. We planted the roof with sedum plugs, but I made the substrate a little too rich and so the wildflowers soon took over, a happy accident."
 


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Tuesday posts are sponsored by Garden Spaces, suppliers of    
contemporary garden buildings, offices, gyms and studios, many of which do not require planning

Monday, January 04, 2021

Lockdown garden office build in new Idler magazine

The new issue of the Idler magazine is out. My regular column on sheds is particularly interesting this time round as it includes a detailed interview with architect and designer Damon Webb of Feral Studio who is based in Powys. We talked about how and why he built the rather lovely garden office above during lockdown, and there are some lovely images of it too, inside and out. For snooker fans, there is also my regular column, this time about snooker between lockdowns.

---------------------------------------

Monday posts are sponsored by eDEN Garden Rooms. Stunning, bespoke high quality garden rooms, to suit your unique space and style