THINK OF IT AS A HOME EXTENSION
It’s not just the global pandemic that’s sparked a new interest in sheds. “Over the last five years I have noticed a significant increase in people wanting to build a timber structure at the end of the garden,” says Mark. As places to work and/or relax, sheds and summerhouses offer more flexibility than your classic home extension – at a fraction of the cost. “With the costs of extensions and loft conversions going up, people are turning to the garden to fill an unused, awkward space that can act as an additional, private spot away from the main property.”
IT’S MORE THAN JUST A STORAGE SPACE
“People don’t necessarily want your average 4ft pent shed anymore,” confirms Mark. “Nowadays, sheds aren’t just for run-of-the-mill uses like storing garden tools and tins of paint. I’ve built sheds for jam making, gin making, songwriting and even chinchilla breeding.” The right shed can be a home office, workshop, gym or just a relaxing spot for a drink with friends. Think about soundproofing if you’re planning to use it as a music studio or workshop; just add a built-in bar if you want a space for entertaining; air conditioning is a good addition if you’re after a home gym.
LET YOUR IMAGINATION RUN WILD
Take time to research your shed. “This is your chance to be bold and think outside the box”, says Mark. Don’t be discouraged by an awkward space: “An odd shape in a garden can always be used and I haven’t come across any situation where we have been unable to fill the gap as of yet.” Head to Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration or explore books like My Cool Shed, Shedworking, Shed Style, Shedonism, and Tiny House, which are brimming with creative, off-the-wall ideas.
IT’S EASY TO ADD ELECTRICITY
With home working an integral part of the new normal, you may want to use your shed as a private office or study space for kids. In which case, it’s easy to set up wi-fi and electricity: “You would just need a qualified electrician to run an armoured cable from the main house to the cabin with its own fuse box,” says Mark. If you do end up returning to an office full time, you can always turn your shed into a workshop, summerhouse or some other kind of chillout space.
YOU MIGHT NOT NEED PLANNING PERMISSION
“Some structures do need it, but others don’t,” explains Mark. If the shed is in the grounds of a listed building or a conservation area, you would need planning permission. If not, the building of a shed or cabin would come under permitted development as long as its overall height is no more than 2.5m. If it’s higher (up to a maximum of 4m) it would need to be built 2m from the boundary on all sides. If you’re working with a designer and construction team, they will help you figure this out. If you’re going it alone, make sure to check with your local council. Right now, builders and construction workers are allowed to work in your garden, as long as they abide by social distancing rules.
For more information and ideas, visit TinyHouseCabins.co.uk
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