Garden sheds 'worth £5 billion to the British economy'
Latest research underlines nation's obsession with sheds in run up to annual Shed of the Year competition
Alex Johnson has been part of The Independent's online team since 2007. He has been writing about microarchitecture on his internationally-acclaimed Shedworking blog since 2006 and is the author of Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution. His latest book is Bookshelf, published by Thames & Hudson.
Monday 31 March 2014
New figures suggest around 14 million people in the UK own a garden shed and that sheds are worth £5 billion to the economy
The research from Cuprinol, sponsors of the annual Shed of the Year competition, is based on the average cost of a shed (£281) plus the average cost of doing up a shed (£94).
Its survey also reveals that one in five people admit to spending time in their shed to avoid their partners, while a quarter would prefer it to seeing their in-laws - another eight per cent would even rather spend time in their shed than be intimate with their partner. Overall, the average ‘sheddie’ spends almost a year of their life in their shed.
Sheddies are also using their shed as a place to keep secrets from their partner - nine per cent store secret unhealthy snacks there, eight per cent keep secret cigarettes hidden inside, four per cent hide secret love letters from an ex-partner and 11 per cent admit to using their shed to make secret phone calls.
Meanwhile, garden sheds are enjoying makeovers around the county with 35 per cent now featuring electric power - seven per cent have a television - and five per cent have a sof (two per cent even have a hot tub). The average shed now contains around £460 worth of items.
So enjoyable is shedlife that 12 per cent of people say they feel at their happiest when they spend time in their shed. A fifth add that they are at their most creative while shedworking and a quarter of men claim that spending time in their shed makes them feel more masculine.
"It’s clear the nation are fanatical about sheds and view it as an important extension of the home, with many using it as a secret getaway to store secrets or avoid loved ones," said Kathryn Ledson, Cuprinol Marketing Manager.
The research also showed that:
* a quarter of Londoners have spent time in their shed to think about their relationship problems compared to just four per cent of people in Wales
* more than a third of those who live in the North West claim that spending time in their shed lifts their mood, compared to a fifth of those in the East Midlands
* The Northern Irish spend the most on their sheds at £658.70
The national Shed of the Year competition was launched eight years ago and features special categories for Tardis sheds, garden offices and pub sheds. You can enter your shed at www.readersheds.co.uk from now until 5 May. Last year’s winner was Alex Holland from Machynlleth in mid Wales whose shed is made from a recycled upturned boat for a roof and built 750ft above sea level in the Cambrian Mountain range.
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday
Life & Style blogs
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 3 Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' on Antiques Roadshow by Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
- 5 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: As the Programmatic Business Dev...
£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ma...
£110 - £130 per day + TBA: Randstad Education Reading: Geography Teacher neede...
£50 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Preston: This role has arisen due to inc...