What one feature do you wish your shed had?

Just a quick poll to find out what’s missing (or not) from your shed.

Some great examples of sheds that have these features already

Solar Power

The Shack - andy hope - in a field


power shanty - Bruno Van Opstal - Regina

Green Roof

Allotment Roof Shed - Joel Bird - London


eco bike høøse - marcus shields - Camden Town



The Ootback Inn - Michael - Back Garden


Shenanigans - Darren - Garden


Tv/Games/ Entertainment

Strachan's Arcade - James Strachan - Garden




Posh shed - Ian - Back Garden


my sewing shed - Artemis Russell - Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

The Americans have finally GOT what you do – plus Pub Sheds

We have loved sheds for years and years but it’s great that our American cousins have finally started to realise that a garden shed is not just for storing stuff but for enhancing your whole life.

A few sites have picked up on the Pub Sheds – as if they are a NEW thing – the more the merrier we say.

View the latest sheds photos added for Shed of the year

Even if you have not entered shed of the year 2015 yet (Why not!)

You can view the latest photos added to the sheddies shed pages by following @readersheds on twitter – every time new photos are added the power of shedautomation posts a new tweet (using the excellent @ifttt)


Some recent examples

Amazing Spaces Shed of the year 2015 TV show – four episodes this year!

Calling all sheddies! I have some exciting news to share with you.

Following the success of last year’s TV series for Channel 4, ‘Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year’ is officially returning for a second series and will be airing this summer! Even better, this year will consist of four episodes instead of three.

So there’s no better time to get your entries in before the closing date of 7th April 2015 for your chance to be on this year’s TV show.

There’s also a slight change to the competition that I wanted to notify you of. Following the entry closing date, this year, myself and the Channel 4 team will be judging the best four sheds in each category which will become the shortlist. It will then be down to you, the great British public, to vote for the sheds that you think best deserves to win a place in the final.

The 2015 overall winner will be chosen by myself and George Clarke and his team, and will be announced on ‘Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year’ this summer. Stay tuned for more details.

Shedonomic report 2015 – and what you need to know about Shed of the year 2015

Dead rodents, retro cassette tapes and World War 2 gas masks are just some of the bizarre items that Brits are guilty of hoarding in their garden sheds, according to the annual Shed’onomic report.

The new research released by Cuprinol today reveals that the garden shed is worth over £8billion(1) to the British economy, with over 21million(2) people in the UK now owning a shed. The research forms part of the annual Shed’onomic report – an in-depth study of the nation’s shed behaviour, to mark the start of the annual ‘Shed of the Year’ competition, sponsored by Cuprinol.

The report also found that ‘Sheddies’ will spend nearly a year(3) in their sheds during their life, but that nearly three quarters of Brits (71 per cent) are hoarding useless items in sheds, with nearly a third (32 per cent) admitting their shed is so messy they can barely get through the door!

Whilst the latest Shed’onomic figures certainly supports the notion of Britain being a nation of shed lovers, it seems shed neglect is a problem sweeping the nation and endangering our garden staple.

Given this, Cuprinol is urging sheddies to clear out the junk and cheer up their sheds in to a garden sanctuary and enter it in the Shed of the Year competition. The best sheds of this year will also feature in the second series of ‘Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year’, produced by Plum Pictures, airing on Channel 4 in the summer. Following its success last year, this year’s show will feature an extra episode.

However, it’s not all junk that we are storing, the shed has really become an extension of the home with the average shed-owner filling their shed with contents worth over £458. 32 per cent of Brits also have electricity, 41 per cent have heating and lighting in their shed allowing them to house expensive game consoles (6 per cent), TVs (7 per cent), a sofa (5 per cent) and 3 per cent even have a sunbed.

And it’s no wonder we’re investing time and money in our sheds, as 5 per cent of Brits admit to using it to partake in sexual activities, while 12 per cent of Brits use their shed to get away from their partner and 9 per cent revealed it’s the preferred place to make secret phone calls (9 per cent). Most Brits, 30 per cent, will also use the shed to hide items from their partner, including things like presents.

Jane Yelloly, Cuprinol Senior Brand Manager, comments:
“It’s clear from this year’s report that the nation are still fanatical about their sheds. Both ownership and value figures are up on last year, which is great for the annual Shed of the Year competition, which keeps growing in popularity year on year. We really do hope it will inspire those who are hoarding useless items to clear out their sheds and show them some love.

“Whatever you use your shed for, the annual Shed of the Year competition celebrates the best of British sheds and Cuprinol are proud to be the official sponsors for the fourth year running. If you think your shed deserves the worthy title, make sure you enter via www.readersheds.co.uk from now until 7th April.”

Some examples of the great entries this year

The shed of the Year competition sponsored by Cuprinol, is the brainchild of shed-fanatic Andrew (Uncle Wilco) Wilcox, who launched the nationwide competition eight years ago to celebrate the best of British sheds.

Andrew (Uncle Wilco) Wilcox said:
“Since launching the competition I’ve certainly seen a trend towards people viewing their garden shed as an extension of the home. We’ve had some brilliant winners over the past few years, from a Roman Temple shed and Pirate shed, to pub and music themed sheds. With the TV series launching last year it’s great to see the great British shed getting the recognition it deserves.”

Last year’s winner was Joel Bird from London for his Allotment Roof Shed – Built from scratch using recycled materials and used to grow an array of vegetables. Eco-friendly lights, powered by a solar panel, are used to light the inside and when winter sets in, a wood burner keeps the fire alive and heats the shed without the need of a gas supply or radiator – proving its eco-friendly credentials.

  • How can sheddies enter their sheds?

Sheddies have until 7th April to enter their sheds, so if you think your shed has what it takes to be crowned the Shed of the Year 2015, you can enter it via www.readersheds.co.uk and you may find yourself and your shed appearing on this year’s TV show.

  • How can people vote for their favourite and when are the winners announced?

This year, myself, Amazing Spaces presenter George Clarke and his team and last year’s winner Joel Bird will decide the shortlisted sheds. This will consist of the top four/five sheds in each category which be announced in May when public voting opens for the Great British public to decide the winning shed in each category.

  • What is the prize for the best shed?

As well as the prestigious title of Shed of the Year, the winner will receive £1,000 from sponsors Cuprinol plus an additional £100 worth of Cuprinol products, a winner’s plaque and a crown for their shed.


Top five useless items kept in sheds:

  • Old tools (77 per cent)
  • Rusty bikes (39 per cent)
  • Old house furniture (34 per cent)
  • Broken deck chairs (34 per cent)
  • Old sports gear (33 per cent)

Most unusual items people admitted to having in their sheds:

  • Dead rodents
  • Relatives ashes
  • Ex-husband’s old footwear
  • Old bird food
  • A stuffed owl
  • Punctured paddling pools
  • False teeth
  • School memorabilia
  • Hamster cages
  • Cassette tapes

(1)Based on Shedonomic research showing the average cost of a shed (£316.05) plus the average cost of doing up a shed (£67.95) (which equals £384) multiplied by the estimated number of sheds in the UK (3)

(2)The UK adult population is 64,100,000, according to the most recent figures provided by the Office of National Statistics and the average household has two adults. 21,153,000 is an estimation based on 66 per cent of the total UK adult population owning a shed and each shed being owned by an average household of two people

(3) Based on Shedonomic research showing Brits spend an average of 1.7 hours per week or 3.75 days per year in their shed, multiplied the average adult life expectancy of 79.5 years – 18 for children)

I love the sugru little videos

I’m a big fan of the super rubber thing Sugru but their little videos show what it can do in a few seconds.

5th Feb More amazing #randomsheds

Been a quiet shed few weeks for me due to non shed things so here are a few random sheds you should look at.

Q & A with author of Shed Decor: Sally Coulthard

A brief Q & A with Author and sheddie Sally Coulthard , who’s new book Shed Decor: How to Decorate and Furnish Your Favorite Garden Room is out on the 19th of Feb.

Q) Shed decor is the 2nd book on sheds you have written – are you as obsessed about sheds as we are?

I think I’m getting worse.  And it’s not just sheds – I’m fascinated by lots of different small space buildings.  One of the most exciting things is seeing how people carve out and decorate spaces for themselves, without massive budgets or complicated materials.

Humans are endlessly creative, especially when it comes to living spaces – kids instinctively build shelters and hideaways, but we often lose that drive when we get older.  It’s a pity because there’s nothing more satisfying that building your own den.  There’s the old saying that everyone has got a book in them.  Well, I think everyone has a shed in them.

Q) Is your book aimed more at female sheddies or can us male sheddies get some inspiration as well?

Shed Decor – it’s not a very blokey title really – but don’t be put off.  This is definitely not a girlie book – there’s a really good balance of sheds and styles. There are some really cool shed interiors – from railways carriages to treehouses – and my take on it is that good design appeals to both sexes.

It’s telling that over half the case studies in the book are sheds that belong to men – from architects to product designers, furniture makers and garden designers.


Q) what trends have you seen while writing the book?

Vintage is losing its grip and that’s no bad thing.

There’s only so much bunting I can take.  I’ve enjoyed seeing some of the more contemporary shed designs but I think the real difference has been people working out ways to make sheds genuinely liveable, even in cold climates.

There’s been some interesting developments in insulation and solar technology – people want their sheds to be comfortable, not just a cool room at the end of the garden.

Q) what one thing would you say to a sheddie if they wanted to just make their shed look chic on a limited budget?

If it’s cheap orange timber, paint it.  If it’s nice timber, leave it. Oops that’s two things…

Q) What’s your favourite item in a shed you have seen while on your travels

I’m going to cheat a bit and say that it’s not an item, it’s the attitude of the shed owners.  One of my favourite places was a hunting hut deep in the Swedish forest.

The owners leave it unlocked all year round – for passing travellers to rest, make a fire and brew a cuppa – I just think that’s so civilised.  It’s also a gorgeous piece of simple, rustic architecture, which always helps.

Q) what’s next in the pipeline

Busy busy.  A large part of my day-to-day life isn’t book writing, it’s designing gardens and building garden rooms for clients.  I’m about the embark on a big shepherds hut project – which I’m really excited about – and part of the fun is working out how I’m going to build them.   Further ahead, another book.

About Sally

Sally Coulthard I Went to Oxford to read Archaeology & Anthropology, where I became slightly obsessed about all the fascinating ways people have built homes around the world and throughout time.  Ploughed all that passion into a working life that combines making and designing living spaces and then writing about them.  Live in North Yorkshire in a ramshackle farmhouse that I’ll never get round to finishing with a long-suffering husband – who’s a gardener – and three tiddlers.

Some brilliant #randomshed this week

Here is the round-up of this weeks Random sheds – wish I could do a theme but the power of random is just that.

These sheds will blow your mind and redefine what you think is a shed

I love sheds (you all know that by now)- and I have gone past the point where I think nah that’s not a shed that’s a folly – but does it matter as long as it’s an amazing shed like structure and you get a lot of joy out of it then that’s all ok in my shedbook.


THE QUEEN EMMA - GALLEON - Clare Kapma - Garden
 The Queen Emma is modelled on HMS Victory and HMS Warrior in Portsmouth.


Tin Shed Experience - Andrew Isaacs - Laugharne, West Wales

In a small corner of west Wales a crazy germ of an idea has come to fruition over the last three years.


Moville Anti-social Club - Tom Evans - Lean-to in back yard.
Part storage, part microbrewery, part bar.


Simon's nightclub - Simon Steele - Garden in Chobham
There is a bar area, chill out area that feals like something from Thailand but you really have to see the shed to believe it.


Clarkson Mk1 - chris crowley - Ickenham, Middlesex
“Every invention that has ever mattered in the whole of human history has come from a man in a shed in Britain” says Clarkson in the sunday times


Rammed Earth Eco-Shed - Michael Thompson - Potter Heigham, Norfolk
This shed is constructed out of Rammed Earth and has a Living Roof.


Disco Shed mkII - Paddy Bickerton & Aidan Larkin - Secret cotswold hideaway
Remember, if your gnome’s not down, you’re not coming in…


Duck End Thunderbolt - Peter Strange -  Oxfordshire
Originally built in 1883. Withdrawn from railway use 1928. Used as a dwelling until 1960. Used as a garden shed until 1997.


Rowhaus - mark Rowland - field
It is on wheels,Only one in the country,Tardis like interior,good acoustics,very calming atmosphere,a large telescope.


Camper Shed - Phillip Western - Selly Park Birmingham
Modified for my 50th Birthday… just the thing for romantic weekends away!


The Roman Temple - Tony - Berkshire U.K.
The Roman Temple is a Folly. All the best stately homes can look across their estate and see a temple in the distance. It’s just that this one is a bit nearer to the house, that’s all !


Bostin Betty - Paula - Landlocked in Birmingham
‘Bostin Betty’ – The Birmingham Beach and Bathing Machine (still searching for a sea view!)

The most amazing #randomsheds you will see this month

I tweet random sheds every other day if I remember – but it’s not me picking them it’s the random shed picking algorithm over at readersheds.co.uk/random

Here are a selection that this secret shed picking machine has chosen the past few months, enjoy

Welcome to our shed world the SolarWorkshop

I get asked every week “how can I get some lighting in my shed”, “how can I charge my phone in my shed” – and I tend to point them to Kevin Holland of the Solar Shed as that’s what he knows.

But Kevin asked me late last year if I fancied helping him out on a small shed based business venture – he sells large scale solar panels to companies and he builds solar sheds for people – but he knew there was a need for smaller scale solar power to sheds that was aimed at the right people – YOU SHEDDIES.

so SolarWorkshop was born – I set up the website and will promote it
to you sheddies and Kevin takes cares of all the orders and any tech information that people need to know.

Currently there is a select number of products to see how it goes, if there are any products you would like to see us carry then let me know

Spot lights and flood lights


to Solar panels and lighting kits that can power most sheds


add a battery and an inverter and you can then charge most phones or tablets.

Here Kevin showing off the product range

and showing off one the the GEO Solar kits in a Horse Stable.


Some American Sheds that will take your breath away

Yes Shed of the year and the humble shed is mainly a British thing. (if anyone wants to licence it for elsewhere talk to me ;) )

But it’s great to see the innovation happening overseas in the USA – I have always been in awe of their Tiny Houses but now looks like our cousins are “getting” sheds as well.

Here are some examples added to readersheds.co.uk that will make you think twice about shed like structures.

LanternShed - Jennifer Watson - Amherst, Virginia


The Shippey Shack - Derek Diedricksen - Waltham, MA (right outside Boston, MA USA)


The Dog House - Jason Arney-O'Neil - Minnesota, USA


PV Lawn Cube 2011 - Bradd Crowley - Prairie Village, KS USA


Red Shed - Edward Garland - Warwick, RI  USA


House of Fallen Timbers - Fallen Timbers - Illinois, USA


The Shed - Matthew King - On lower property, garden overlook.


The HammerSmith Brewery and Alehouse - Christopher Bowen - Pennsylvania


1930's Husbands' Shed - Kepa Askenasy - San Francisco, California, USA

If you like this site why not treat me to this book Rock the shack.

A quick Q & A with #shedoftheyear 2014 winner Joel the Allotment Roof Shed owner

You all saw Joel win Shed of the year 2014 with his excellent Allotment roofed Shed on Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces – now hear from the man himself.

1) So it’s been 6 months since you won Shed of the year 2014, how’s it been

What a 6 months it’s been thanks to you and the amazing spaces team.

I’ve had so many messages from people through my website and on twitter, all positive about the award and the tv series, it’s actually quite hard to reply to them all.

The messages come from all over the world as well, which was surprising.

As well as being in pretty much most of the UK press and on lots of local TV, there’s been a Chinese lifestyle magazine an Australian DIY magazine, bloggers and self builders from America to Japan.

I’ve also had so many requests to build something similar for other people.

2) What’s changed in your shed world since the win

Because of all the requests to build something similar for other people, I’ve basically been doing a lot of this.

I’ve had to take on a couple of carpenters to help me, so in many respects I now have an up and running business and the requests aren’t slowing down, so I have to decide how far I want to take it.

3) What is the best thing in your opinion about your allotment roofed shed

The allotment roof, is probably what makes it different and a little bit special, it’s so nice to sit up there all the year round, it’s like a little countryside in the city of London.

But I’ve always said the best thing ultimately is what the shed does for my life.

I could never have afforded a music studio and art studio in London, so it is the shed which has given me the opportunity to do these things, I’m sure this will resonate with lots of sheddies and as I said in a rather corny fashion on the show.

‘The shed defines my life really!’

4) What future plans do you have for your winning shed

I’ve already had a shed party after the show. I’m going to have a few open days, so people I don’t know can come and visit.

The shed will just function as always and I will always spend most of my time in it. I’ll being working on a new painting collection and a new album next year.

I’m also going to write a little book for people explaining the build because I can’t reply to all the requests.

5) What three bits of advice would you give to a potential sheddie looking to build their own

Most of the time, planning and preparation will be a great help.

Write down what you are hoping to use it for and simple things like what am I going to put in it and how will I get it in, can save you a lot of grief later.

Then when it comes to building, you have to think about structure, you don’t want it to be dangerous.

After that, you can let you imagination go, it doesn’t have to be an extension of your house, it can be what ever you want it to be.

And you can always contact me, I’m happy to give advice if I can, I am proud to be a part of the sheddy community.

6) As a judge* for 2015 what sort of thing will you be looking for in the entrants?

I’m trying not to have any pre conceived ideas about what is good and bad, but I want to get a sense of the person in the shed, I want the personality to show through.

I suppose I will always have a soft spot for the self build, but that doesn’t mean an adapted pre-fab can’t be a special shed.

It’s all about celebrating sheds and the eccentricities of the British public, this is what will make a certain shed shine through.

*last years winner automatically gets to be a judge for the next year.