Shed of the year 2018 – How garden sheds are the key to backyard business ideas

How Garden Sheds Are Sparking Big Business Ideas

We at have always supported businesses that started as an idea in a shed – from workshops to garden offices to studios – so it’s great to see this trend is increasing our friends at Cuprinol have been looking at the stats

  • More than half of Brits ( 55% ) now use their shed for hobbies such as beekeeping, growing vegetables and even bottling wine according to new research from Cuprinol Shed of the Year
  • Start-up sheddies are even turning their garden sheds into successful businesses – from young musicians finding stardom to entrepreneurs running creative businesses in their back gardens
  • These side hustling sheddies are making as much as £5,000 a year from their sheds and contributing £29.7 billion to ‘shed-economy’

Small-scale producers are cashing in on their backyard businesses, with side hustling sheddies growing plants, vegetables, keeping bees and even rearing animals from their sheds, according to new research from the Cuprinol Shed of the Year competition.

Hard working UK sheddies are making as much as £5,000 a year from their shed produce and this ‘shed-economy’ is booming with an increase of 270% in money being made since 2012. This is now worth £29.7 billion to the UK economy, up from £8 billion in 2012*.

Entrepreneur Rachael Taylor from Liverpool took advantage of her extra garden space to make a creative hub for her flourishing pattern and design business. Rachael’s business is going from strength to strength and her quirky and colourful studio is bursting at the seams with potential for success – a far cry from the average tool shed!

Young musician Sam Fender laid down his first single in his garden shed and is now named as one of the top artists to watch out for in 2018 according to Radio X. Sam is on his way to stardom thanks to his shed-turned-music-studio.

Sam and Rachael aren’t the only ones to realise that shed loads of success is waiting at the end of the garden. Workspaces with daylight, views of nature and natural ventilation can improve productivity, well-being and comfort with more than half the population saying that being in a garden workspace improves brain activity and helps them concentrate.

Founder of Cuprinol’s Shed of the Year competition, Andrew Wilcox (Uncle Wilco) said: “Since the Cuprinol Shed of the Year competition started twelve years ago we’ve seen some amazing and inventive uses of sheds from all over the UK.

“We’ve always had a lot of hobbyists and workshops shed entries, but in the last few years there has been so many more start-ups and small businesses using their sheds to make a little extra money or start a new career. It’s fantastic to have so many entries like Sam, Rachael and George using their sheds for such different side hustles!”

Many people are also using their sheds as extra room to relax, with more than half of Brits ( 55% ) using their sheds for hobbies, with 23% admitting they use it as a retreat to escape the stresses of everyday life. Almost 20% of people feel like their shed is an extension of their home and a similar amount (16%) say that spending time in their shed lifts their mood.

Sheddie George Smallwood has transformed his shed into an eco-system for local wildlife. He enjoys gardening and was looking for a space to pursue his passion, while helping the environment. His “Eco Shed of Efficiency” includes bee-keeping, vegetable growing and flowers on the roof, a bug house in the main shed and was briefly even home to a fox!

Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Cuprinol said: “As more people make the most of their home’s space, we have seen a trend towards people turning to the garden as an extension of their day to day living and more people are finding amazing uses for their sheds beyond storage and DIY.

“This year’s sheds really show the range of amazing hobbies people are enjoying, escaping from everyday stresses and growing their passions, talents and even businesses.”

The Cuprinol Shed of the Year competition for 2018 is now officially open for registration. To register your shed, visit and fill out the form.

Behind the shed

Buy Shed Solar
Buy Shed Solar
Buy Shed plans
Buy Shed plans

Support us via Paypal or Buy me a Coffee

Categorized as Shed News

By Andrew Wilcox

I love sheds Founder & judge of Shed of the year - Wilco writes mainly about sheds. About the blog Enter your shed into #shedoftheyear