For many years the shed was seen as a place for men to escape to and potter, or simply as a place to store those half-empty pots of paint that you always say you will get around to using. But we are increasingly seeing both the value and the potential of these small plots of real estate at the end of our gardens. DIY outlets offer special pastel shades of shed paint for that beach hut feel, Chelsea Flower Show had designer Orla Kiely kit out a shed and more of us are moving our home offices into them.
Homeowners wanting to add a little more space and some value to their home traditionally looked to the simple rear extension as the solution, but the upscale garden shed is increasingly becoming an alternative to this. The bog standard model from the DIY superstore may not set an estate agent’s pulse racing, but the log cabins, prefabricated outbuildings and modern summer houses offered by a growing number of businesses are certainly something to consider.
In fact many of these new businesses have even rebranded the shed as a garden room, reflecting our need to find more space at home and the fact that we won’t be sticking the lawnmower in there. Many designs offer flat roofs and there is an increasing trend towards the green roof, which means that your shed’s footprint need not be at the expense of nature and wildlife in your garden. Have a look at Tetra-Shed and Room Works for some inspiring designs.
Obviously these modern sheds cost a little more than the one that you might pick up for £99.99 at your local retail park, but the investment can change the way that you use your garden, as well as how potential buyers view your property. A high quality outdoor room will start from about £1,000, but the best are likely to cost upwards of £2,000 and can cost as much as £15,000.
Designs vary from the traditional to the modernist, with something to suit all tastes and budgets. Although, you can always commission a bespoke design from a specialist shed and garage builder if you don’t find anything that suits your needs.
A good shed supplier will be able to advise you on issues such as foundations, planning permission and getting power to you new pride and joy. But a local builder should also be able to answer your questions. In most cases you will not need planning permission for a shed, which can make it a quick, attractive and cost effective way of boosting your floorspace.