Friday, January 28, 2022

Okra land cabin


You don't see many pentagonal-based garden offices, nor ones which are inspired by plants, but the Okra from Sussex-based Tree Tents is both. Based on the SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) build process, it comes in three sizes and while it is aimed more at the glamping/holiday cabin market, they would still make tremendous garden offices. The Compact model in particular caught the eye of the Shedworking staff who liked the large windows and mezzanine level. Outside, cladding options inclue wooden slates, shingles, corrugated metal (pictured above) and green, living membrane. They also have some remarkable other products including the eponymous tree tents so it's worth having a good look around their site (link above).

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

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Step-by-step studio build

It's been a while since we highlighted a step-by-step homemade garden office build. Design and brand expert Rich Carter is the latest to very generously give us the benefit of his first hand experience in an excellent series of four posts that take us from early thoughts (pictured top) to finished office, a fully illustrated pandemic build. Here's a snippet:

This building project has taught me so much, from practical skills to problem solving. But most of it has taught me patience. Things will go wrong. Accept it, take a deep breath and think about how I can work out a solution. I’ve also learnt not to expect so much of myself all the time. When the weekend would come around I had about ten tasks I wanted to complete – when in reality only one or two, if I was lucky, would get done. That’s ok though. I was moving forward and I can see that now with the benefit of hindsight. This long and at times stressful project has given me a new perspective, a new confidence in myself that I’m excited to take forward into future projects.  

If you're planning something similar, it's an absolute must-read, and even if you're not it's really interesting.

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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, January 26, 2022

Entries open for Shed of the Year 2022

It's that time of the year again folks. Yes, Uncle Wilco has announced that entries for the annual Shed of the Year competition are now open. As in previous years, to be in with a chance of winning you need to upload at least two (but as many as you want) images of your shed, plus some details about it. Closing date is April 19 so if you only have one image in place, your shed will not be in the running.

Full details at the link above, but you do need to be resident in the UK and Ireland to win the top prize, although there is an International Shed of the Year category. The judges will put together a shortlist of entries, these will then be voted on by the public, and then the judges will choose the overall winner for 2022. It's a bit like Strictly, except we sadly don't get to see Uncle Wilco dancing the charleston.

Below are some of the early entries...

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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, January 25, 2022

Ceramic garden studio



 
 
A marvellous garden office studio built from spruce (exterior) and birch plywood (interior) for a ceramicist, jeweller, and painter in Portugal by Madeiguincho (lots more enticing photos at the link) replacing two unneeded parking spaces. The inspiration of the project was the concept of 'Hygge' and features include a rather nice round window, a fibre-cement floor, and a translucent polycarbonate facade to increase the amount of light entering the workshop.

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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, January 24, 2022

Garden studio with fire pit


Some nice eye candy for Monday morning, a fully landscaped garden studio with pergola, decking, and fire pit in Swindon by Bristol-based Vivid Pods.

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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, January 23, 2022

Small garden offices in new issue of Idler

In the first issue of the Idler magazine this year I use my regular column on microarchitecture to focus on small garden offices, both historical and present day (including an intriguing telephone box-sized idea that didn't really take off). For those reader who also like their studio, I rigorously examine the ways other people can put you off your game. More at the Idler where you can also subscribe (highly recommended) and read a great article by fellow contributor Graham Burnett about fun with pallets.

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Sunday posts are sponsored by Henshalls Insurance, specialists in insuring garden offices and other garden buildings. Click here for more information.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Claiming tax relief on your garden office


No apologies for returning to this perennial issue, especially at this time of year when tax is on our minds. The latest experts to examine shedworking taxes are Oxford-based Ridgefield Consulting. Particularly useful in their roundup is what you can't claim as much as what you can. Here's a snippet on the plant and machinery allowance:

Although there is no allowance that will help cover the initial cost of the garden office, the cost of instillation for utilities such as electrical wiring, plumbing or thermal insulations can be covered as a capital allowance. This means that the cost of these can be deducted from your company’s profits to reduce your corporation tax bill. The plant and machinery allowance does not apply to anything that is not outrightly owned by the company, so if you hire any equipment such as air-conditioning just over the summer months, this cannot be claimed for. Other capital allowances that can be claimed include furniture such as desk, office chair, shelving, floor lamp etc.

But as we always advise, please do talk to your own tax adviser before taking any action.

Image courtesy eDEN Garden Rooms

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Welcome to your new teak garden room from Moonalabs. Unparalleled quality at an affordable price.

 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Garden office green roof

Green roofs suddenly became very popular on garden offices about 10 years ago and then interest appeared to die down a little, although recently we've had a lot of queries about how to install them and our social media team have noticed increasing levels of interest online too. A green roof is a win-win feature, and this image from Green Roofs Direct shows how marvellous they can look a couple of years after installation. The company's YouTube page also features some useful, and not too long, videos on the subject.

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

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Garden office for an opera singer


It's only the middle of January but it'll be a remarkable design that beats this to our favourite build this year. An early entry for the 2022 Shed of the Year competition, it comes from Brighton-based Luna Spaces, a special new project from FAB Architects. Here's what they say about the 3m x 4m project located in London's Maida Vale:

This project created a multi-use studio space at the rear of a carefully curated garden. Taking cues from the client’s background in opera, the project references galleries, stage curtains and balconies found in traditional opera theatres and combines them with high quality modern materials.  The space becomes part rehearsal studio, part office and part entertaining space.

The SIPS on ground screw foundations spec includes kebony timber, cork flooring and the delightful dome skylight pictured above. Lots more images at Luna Space where you'll also find a range of other models featuring ceramic cladding, slim arched windows, and wing-like canopies.

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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, January 19, 2022

STUDIO by Green Unit

Launched this week is a new garden office model, STUDIO, from Green Unit. It comes in a variety of sizes from 3m x 4m to 3m x8m, has all the must-haves (insulation, electrics, etc), and is built entirely offsite and then delivered complete, with foundations installed by the company's team on delivery day. It's the latest in Green Unit's offering which includes the intriguing Arc 1, pictured below, as well as numerous large units used as offices and often at hospital sites (see the case studies section here).

What's particularly outstanding about Green Unit is its commitment to eco-friendly building. There are plenty of examples on the website where it says "the company has exciting growth plans as it looks to position itself as the go-to provider of low carbon, modular buildings" - this includes impressive biodiversity at its 6 acre production site (composting, allotments, pro-bee approach), and using 100% renewable energy to power production/office needs, with site-generated solar PV and district heating systems.

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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, January 18, 2022

Garden offices top most desired home addition list


A new report from Money.co.uk underlines how important shedworking and garden offices have become in the UK. Its Renovation Nation Report out today examines how much homeowners have been spending on their properties, with one in five UK homeowners reporting that they ahve spent the majority of their home improvement money on their garden.

When asked what home projects they’d invest in if money were no object, a third of people said a garden office or summerhouse and nearly a fifth went for the shedlike greenhouse.

Overall, the survey found that over three-quarters of UK homeowners have spent money on changing or improving their properties over the past year, spending an average of £1,473 on projects. Just over a quarter of the 2,000 people polled said that spending less money on going out had given them more money to spend on their homes and over a fifth cited wanting to increase the value of their home.

Image courtesy Smart 

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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, January 17, 2022

Men Don't Talk: play readthrough

Men Don't Talk is a new play -slightly fallen foul of lockdown - by Claire Prenton put together in collaboration with members of  the Peebles and District Mens Shed. There will be a professional rehearsed reading directed by Clare on January 29 at 4.30pm at the Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre in Peebles (free tea and biscuits with every ticket beforehand, which can be booked here). Here's more information:

Three men who have never met before find banter, bird boxes and biscuits in a fictional Men’s Shed in this play created in collaboration with Peebles and District Mens Shed. The one act play was created in early 2020 when Peebles shed members explored male isolation and mens’ mental health and wellbeing, to inspire the writing of a new play about camaraderie, companionship… and custard creams.

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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, January 16, 2022

Garden office sustainability

Sustainability issues are right at the centre of responsible shedworking, whether that's using decently-sourced materials, adding a green roof to the build, or simply not leaving everything switched on all the time. Since Shedworking started more than a decade and a half ago, we've seen a massive increase in interest in these issues from readers and to be fair an equally dedicated response from most suppliers, and certainly the reputable ones you will seen namechecked on this site regularly.

But it's still good to continue to bear these issues in mine and Property Reporter has put together a nice, and short, selection of five issues to consider when going down the garden office path including location, building materials, construction, utilities, and usability. Well worth a read via the link above.

Image courtesy Warwick Buildings

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Sunday posts are sponsored by Henshalls Insurance, specialists in insuring garden offices and other garden buildings. Click here for more information.

 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Garden offices and party walls

Dull but important are planning issues. One that is not mentioned quite so often is the hoo-hah over party walls. Novello chartered surveyors have a good explainer here, but here's a snippet:

To find out whether your project will be affected, the first point to consider is whether there are any shared or adjoining structures within 3 metres of the foundations of your new office. This would include garden walls and brick-built sheds but not timber fences or sheds. If there are, and the foundations of your office will be deeper than those of the existing structure, notice would need to be served to your neighbours. Similarly, if the external walls of the new office will be up to or on the property boundary, notice will again need to be served under Section 1 of the Act.

Also well worth reading on the subject is Justin Burns from Peter Barry chartered surveyors. The official information from the government, unless they're all out at a work event in the garden, is here where the key takeaway is "Your neighbours can’t stop you from making changes to your property that are within the law, but they can affect how and when your works are carried out."

Image courtesy Garden Affairs

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Welcome to your new teak garden room from Moonalabs. Unparalleled quality at an affordable price.

 


Friday, January 14, 2022

Hampton Row garden office for sale

A slew of homes with garden offices for sale has swamped across the desks at Shedworking HQ in the last month or so, but this one attached to an early 19th century Grade II listed two bedroom detached house in Bath is one of the loveliest and at £600,000 (on with Inigo) is only slightly dearer than some beach huts. The timber garden office is in a delightful 200ft long garden which leads down to the river Avon at the bottom. Here's how the agents describe it:

"The garden studio provides an idyllic space for homeworking, a creative studio or workshop, fully fitted with electric heating, naturally insulated walls, and fast broadband."

 There's also a glasshouse and a potting shed for extra microarchitectural interest.

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

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Drew Campbell: shedworker

Awardwinning voice actor, audio editor, and sound designer Drew Campbell has put together an excellent video showing us around his garden studio. Here's what he says about it:

"From the age of 15 I dreamed of having my own studio for recording my music and that dream came true just over 12 years ago. With the help of my stepson Lee and his friends we built a 22ft x 8ft brick built out building at the bottom of the garden with 8 feet allocated for my studio, that I built all by myself. Soundproofed and includes a floating floor and it and originally it was floor to ceiling carpet off cuts, looked very ethnic lol. It has since been treated with acoustic foam, home made bass traps and home made Wooden defusers on the ceiling and a home made wooden Skyline defuser on the back wall."

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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, January 12, 2022

Polhus: Swedish garden offices



We regularly feature Sweden on Shedworking because of their long history of building sheds and other shedlike structures such as Friggebod. Here's an update on garden offices there from our regular Swedish correspondent:

"In Sweden we are again advised by the authorities to work from home as much as possible. The pandemic has not resulted in a big boost of shoffices, but there is a clear demand for bigger flats and houses so homeworkers can get the extra space needed. But now one producer of tiny houses and cabins seems to have spotted a possible new market. Polhus is selling these cabins with - I guess - references to wellknown Swedish writers - August [pictured above] for Strindberg, Hjalmar for Gullberg and Selma for Lagerlöf. The August cabin is readymade and just needs a lift into the garden, the others you buy in a kit and assemble yourself."
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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, January 11, 2022

George Saunders: shedworker (part 2)


We've already talked about novelist George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo, A Swim in the Pond in the Rain) before on Shedworking, but now we're delighted that he's shared an image of his writing shed in Corralitos, California, for the first time. He talks about it on his substack page where he is also launching his new excellent-sounding Story Club programme. Here's a snippet about how he felt while writing A Swim in the Pond in the Rain:

I’d come flying/stumbling down at the end of the day from a little writing shed I have up on the hillside in Corralitos, California, feeling, not that I’d “taken a break from” the current difficulties, but that I’d, well, girded up my loins for a deeper, less fearful engagement with the world.

He also talks about it in an interesting interview with the Guardian

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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, January 10, 2022

Sarah Beeny tips garden offices as 2022 trend

Property expert, television broadcaster (most recently seen on Renovate Don’t Relocate, and Sarah Beeny's New Life in the Country), as well as one of my former co-judges in an early Shed of the Year competition, Sarah Beeny is also a big fan of garden buildings as she recently told Ideal Home. Here's what she said:

"If you can just get that sense that you leave the house, even if it’s four steps, it’s really good for your mind to separate your work and your home."

She also points out that a garden office is also a marvellous way of enjoying your garden on the many non-sunny days that the UK 'enjoys'. "A garden room," she says, "is a really good way of doing that."

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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