Thursday, February 25, 2021

Expensive beach hut klaxon


With the coming of the warmer weather, as sure as eggs is eggs, the media start looking around for very expensive beach huts. Once again the Mudeford Sandbank at Christchurch in Dorset provides a reliable source. The 16ft by 10ft one pictured is on the market with Denisons for £325,000 plus £4,500 rates a year (more photos at the link) but is one of the few in which you can sleep in overnight (March to October), and can technically accommodate up to seven people thanks to a sleeping loft. It also has a nice kitchen, running water and 12 volt power. On the downside, it doesn't actually face the sea, only to the lagoon nearby.

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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, February 24, 2021

How to build a pallet garden office

 

Here's a remarkable step-by-step guide by Roger who runs the Life of Tech website and who built a garden office out of wooden pallets during the first 2020 lockdown. It's a remarkable story and video below, particularly as Roger is by no means an experienced builder or DIY enthusiast. He brought the whole thing in for about £850. A strongly recommended read and watch.

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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.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Coffee shop sounds for the new shedworker

I've spoken to several new shedworkers over recent months who said they're delighted with the move to a garden office, but sometimes feel a bit, not exactly lonely, but lacking in other people around them. If you don't want to play music, then how about this, very mild and quiet sounds from a café.


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Saturday, February 20, 2021

More than three quarters of people are unhappy with their work space at home

A whopping 77% of people working from home are unhappy with their ‘home office’ set-up and only 1 in 5 currently have a dedicated at homework space according to new research by Irish builders' merchants Chadwicks.

The survey of 928 people reveals that 1 in 4 enjoy working from home while half would like to see a mix of office and remote working in the future.

According to the Chadwicks survey, most households do not have a dedicated office space. A quarter say they have taken over a spare room, 17% have relocated to the kitchen, 11% are working from their bedroom while 2% have taken over the garden shed.

Although many of those polled have been working from home for almost a year, over half (56%) say they still don’t have the right office equipment. 72% admit to using common household items to help with their office set up including using their kitchen table as a desk (49%), using a dining room chair instead of work chair (53%) and over a third (34%) using books to prop up their computer. Six people polled even admit to using an ironing board as a desk.

With working from home now the ‘new normal’, it’s perhaps no surprise that almost two thirds (65%) intend to create a dedicated home office in 2021.

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

 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Blue Forest launch new Down to Earth garden office range


Blue Forest is a treehouse specialist but they have now launched a new ground-based range of buildings targeting the rapidly growing garden office market. Its Down to Earth Collection includes models based on their treehouse designs and are all available in bespoke formats. Pictured above is The Cabin, with an interior of 18m2 and high beamed ceilings, clad in cedar with a cedar shingle roof. Below is The Oast. This comes in at 11m2, with cedar shingle turrets and a reading nook.


A third design, The Chalet, is a kind of combination of the two, and below is their largest offering, The Studio, coming in at a whopping 22m2.


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

 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Roald Dahl's writing shed in new film biopic

Out tomorrow is Sky Cinema's biopic To Olivia featuring Hugh Bonneville as Roald Dahl and Keeley Hawes as his wife Patricia Neal as they go through the heartbreak of losing their daughter. It's based on Stephen Michael Shearer's biography about Neal, An Unquiet Life and features Geoffrey Palmer in his last film appearance. If the trailer is anything to go by, then there will be plenty of footage of his recreated shed, interior and exterior.


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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, February 17, 2021

Shed of the Year 2021 entries open

Cuprinol Shed Of The Year is back for another lockdown incarnation of the longrunning competition. More than 100 people have already entered their sheds ahead of the official launch of the 15th shed-off.

Entrants can submit their creations in one of the seven categories for the chance to win the prize of  £1,000 and £100 worth of Cuprinol products. This includes the new Lockdown category introduced last year to recognise the incredible shed-based efforts seen during 2020.

Last year’s winner Daniel Holloway impressed judges with his nature-inspired refuge Bedouin Tree-Shed built around two tree trunks in his back garden and decorated with vintage etchings and specimens of butterflies. Daniel gave his £1,000 prize money to environmental charity Trees for Cities and since winning has continued to develop his shed, using Victorian quarry tiles for a patio, connecting the shed to an area used as a fire pit.

 

Founder and Head Judge, Andrew Wilcox known more informally to the shed world as Uncle Wilco, said: “Since the competition started, we’ve seen some brilliantly creative uses of sheds across the UK. Over the past year, we’ve seen people retreat to their sheds as a place of respite and sanctuary and the imagination going into them has been particularly impressive. We cannot wait to see the amazing ways people have used their sheds this year.”

Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Cuprinol, adds: “Our garden sheds are more than just a place to put our tools - they are a wonderful creative outlet for an individual’s unique artistic vision. Over the years, sheds have become an extension of the home and one of the most important rooms in the house. And this past year we’ve seen people transcend the boundaries of what we think a shed could be and working on them has a much-needed passion project during a time of uncertainty and instability.”

This year’s categories are:

  • Budget 

  • Cabin/Summerhouse 

  • Pub & Entertainment 

  • Unexpected / Unique 

  • Workshop/Studio

  • Nature’s Haven 

  • Lockdown

Entries can be submitted via readersheds.co.uk up to April 12. The shortlist will then be selected by a panel of judges before the public vote opens to select the nation’s favourite shed for 2021. 

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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, February 16, 2021

Treatment room garden office against the odds


An interesting build by eDEN Garden Rooms shows that it's worth going to a reputable supplier in case problems arise. Pictured above is a garden treatment room with sink and other facilities that they recently finished for a client in Sevenoaks, Kent. It has bi-fold doors and a letterbox window to help with ventilation.

This is one of those projects where everything was against them (redundant gas pipes which need disconnecting safely, drains not shown on plans, trees to work around which required the help of a specialist tree consultant when it came to positionin gthe screw pile foundations) but they dealt nicely with the unforeseen problems. 

It's also an unusual design as eDEN had to build around an acer tree the client wanted to keep and a larger protected tree to the rear. So the triangular shed store (where garden furniture is kept) is located back right and accessible from within the rectangular studio, with a nice floor-to-ceiling feature window looking out onto the tree.

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

 

 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Smart's new Evolve range


SMART has today launched its new range for 2021, the Evolve, a redesign of its Classic range but as they put it "brought bang up to date with a new contemporary twist". Features include hand painted vertical panelling, a front overhanging roof, as well as really good insulation. Click the link above for more images and details/specs/prices.

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

 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Snowy garden offices

While the weather this week may not be to all tastes, it has meant that we've come across some lovely images of snowy garden offices. Here are there of our favourites. Above is rare books specialist Travis McDade's pride and joy. Below is the garden office of product designer Andy Purnell.



 He also has almost certainly the finest view from a garden office we'll see all year.

And finally, some actual 'snow on garden office' video footage.

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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, February 10, 2021

Garden offices: tax implications for the employer

With the rise in sales of garden offices there has been a noticeable increase in expert advice from accountants and tax specialists about the various financial implications of becoming a shedworker. The latest comes from financial experts Larking Gowen and here's a snippet:

Firstly, in providing the pod, and in relation to the associated benefit charge, there will be a Class 1A National Insurance contribution charge (13.8%) for the employer. In purchasing a pod, the company would incur a capital expense. Can it make a capital allowances claim to obtain tax relief rather than getting a deduction against trading profits? Unfortunately, HMRC don’t accept mobile prefabricated structures as being within the scope of plant and machinery allowances. Whilst there is now a separate structures and building allowance, this requires the company to have an interest in the underlying land, again causing any claim to fail.

Well worth a browse. 

Image courtesy Plankbridge

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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, February 09, 2021

Shoulder to Shoulder: the first opera about sheds

Swansea City Opera has been working with Men’s Sheds Cymru to produce the world's first opera about sheds. The new work - Shoulder to Shoulder - is still at the development stage but already around a quarter of an hour of music by composer Caradog Williams has been finished, a duet between a daughter and her father before he joins a shed, and a rap by three men working in a shed (see below).

The opera company has a strong history of community involvement and did its research properly, visiting numerous Men's Sheds in Wales and talking to members to guide the storyline - written by Brendan Wheatley - which takes an honest look at the issues that members have faced but also the comradeship which the sheds projects offer. Here's what Men's Sheds Cymruu project manager Robert Visitainer said:

They have been able to meet 'shedders' in person (when it was permissible under Covid-19 rules) each visit they spent time meeting the shed members, quickly putting them at ease and really encouraging them to take part and tell their stories. Brendan took time explaining the project, what they were looking for and plans for the piece. Most importantly the whole process was fun and creative. We're looking forward to doing more together.

To follow up this great start, they are now looking for more funding to finish the work this year and are working towards an August 11 concert date at the Acapela studios in Pentyrch. Anybody interested in taking part or telling their story is very welcome to get in touch with the opera company.

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

Monday, February 08, 2021

Which? guide to garden offices

As you would expect from the Which? team, their new guide to garden offices is an excellent place to tart for anybody looking to research the subject. There are sections on buying and building a garden office, as well as key information on planning. There are multiple entry points to the articles but 'How to buy the best garden room' is a good place to start.

Which? also recently ran a survey of members about their garden rooms which revealed that 'multi-purpose' was the most popular use, followed by entertaining/socialising, hobbies, office, and home gym.

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

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Can a limited company pay for a garden office?

More advice on the financial side of garden offices from accountants Churchillknight which specialises in working with freelancers and self-employed workers. Here's a snippet (commenting on the question in this post's headline:

"The short answer is yes, it can. However, it’s unlikely you will be able to claim tax relief on the office itself as it would be classed as capital expenditure. And, as a structure (even if it’s only a mobile one), it doesn’t count as an allowable expense against your business profits. If you are considering building a garden office be prepared that any costs relating to design, planning, building and installation will need to be paid for in full. This doesn’t mean that your limited company can’t pay for it, just that any of the costs listed above will not be tax-deductible."

Well worth a look. 

Image courtesy Warwick Buildings

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

 

Friday, February 05, 2021

How to build a garden office for under £2,000


 
Continuing our rebuttal of the BBC article earlier this week about expensive posh sheds, here's Phil Thane's garden office in Wales (sadly he moved in 2016 and couldn't take it with him so the lucky new owners also won a fabulous handmade garden office).
 
"I'm retired and downsized now but when I was a freelance I worked from a DIY garden office that cost less than £2k," he explains. "It was insulated, boarded, carpeted, and had a wood burner, power, and internet. And all on a 'challenging' site in Llangollen."
 
Phil has also put together an excellent step-by-step diary on how he put it all together in 2009. It starts on his personal website at  pthane.co.uk/diy/the-office/ followed by pthane.co.uk/diy/the-office and than change the final digit by +1 up to 8 to see how it all comes together.  

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

Thursday, February 04, 2021

How to repurpose a shed


Following yesterday's post about the BBC's odd reporting of garden offices as being hugely expensive, we're going to finish the week with a couple of examples of how you can create a great shed atmosphere without spending £30,000. So to start things off today, here is Misa Buckley's shed in Manchester above, before and after.

"Recently, Covid has been making things extra difficult," says Misa. I’ve been stuck with necessary outings only. I needed somewhere to escape to, and my eyes fell on the shed. So my lockdown project is to repurpose the shed."

Here's a rough rundown of costings:

* The job has required a few trips to B&Q for wood paint, roof felt, carpet tiles (£25 for a box of 10) Ronseal Cornflower and Bluebell paint for the exterior, Ronseal Elderflower paint for inside

* Plywood panelling for the floor and walls inside cost £80 via Facebook Marketplace.

* Outside heart-shaped lights were £5 from B&M 

* Inside fairylights came from Amazon. The stapler to fix them was £6 from Aldi.

Misa is delighted with the results and it's not cost her £30,000.

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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, February 03, 2021

BBC's strange report into the rise in garden offices

A day late and a dollar short, the BBC has finally caught up to the idea that people are working in garden offices in increasing numbers. It's gratifying to see that the suppliers they talk to have got overflowing order books, but it's a strange angle to take that only the wealthy can afford to go down the shedworking route and that you need to spend £30,000 to get a good garden office.

The article by Dan Ascher also features a garden office belonging to a £7.2m house in London which is for sale but not that helpful. And claims like "Once the domain of gardening glove-wearing, trowel-wielding pensioners, the garden shed has now become the scene of smart-casual Zoom calls" are just a bit glib and bizarre. 

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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, February 02, 2021

Garden office wall colours

There's not a huge amount of choice of colour when it comes to the exterior walls of your garden office. With a few exceptions, it tends to be either black or some kind of wood. When it comes to the inside, then there's a veritable wonderland of possibilities, but which one should you choose?

Radiator-specialists Stelrad asked 4,325 people about the colour of their garden/home office working space and it turns out that white and grey are the most popular colours, while men claim to be least productive when the walls are orange or purple. Here's the full rundown:

Home office wall colour

% of people surveyed

White

31

Grey

23

Cream

17

Yellow

13

Blue

5

Green

4

Lilac

3

Orange

2

Red

1

Brown

1

Pink

0

Metallic gold/silver

0

Black

0


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