Inside Britain's most incredible sheds from treehouses to boats and cabs as lockdown sales frenzy send prices rocketing
SHED prices could be about to become completely unhinged this summer.
One shed maker says a global timber shortage and a rise in demand for home working spaces could lead to price hikes as big as 50 per cent — but some Brits have been spending thousands on their sheds for years.
Consecutive warm winters are thought to have led to drops in the amount of timber being felled at a time when sheds are enjoying a big upswing in demand.
Kybotech, one of Britain's biggest shed makers, says log cabin sales have also risen by 142 per cent over the past 12 months while the market for outdoor living and storage space had also increased, The Times reports.
You can normally pick up a bog standard garden shed for a few hundred quid — but some aficionados have been forking out a fortune on their creations, transforming ordinary sheds into their own personal pubs, workshops and party houses.
Each year, Cuprinol's Shed of the Year competition seeks to find the most incredible structures gracing gardens across the country.
There's still time to enter this year's awards if you think your shed is in with a shout.
And if you're looking for inspiration, here are some other entrants to the contest — including ridiculous rafts and black cab cabins.
Nothing could get in the way of Daniel Holloway's ambitious shed design — not even two trees.
His 2020 Shed of the Year-winning entry sweeps around twin trunks in his back garden in Blackheath, south London.
The breathtaking three-tier masterpiece began life as a simple garden shed which has been expanded and modified over eight years.
It's filled with artefacts from expedition leader Holloway's travels in Africa and is heated with a wood-burning stove.
Ben Cummins floated a unique entry into the competition a few years ago with his "Piano Raft".
His buoyant structure was designed to deliver a piano from Liverpool to London.
Cummins set off with the barge, which is made from salvaged and donated materials, without an engine, pulling the floating shed by hand along towpaths.
At the time of its entry into Shed of the Year 2018, it was moored in Leeds where it was being used as a centre for yoga and art.
Off the rails
Adrian Backshall also had a moving entry — by building his shed on rails.
The retired railway worker from Eastbourne, East Sussex, wanted to let off some steam with his locomotive creation.
"I've collected lots of old railway stuff over the years and wanted to reuse it for the shed," he said last year.
"It's kept me busy in my retirement and I've had it all to myself, but I've spent so much time and money on it I thought it was worth showing off."
When David Morris started his grand shed project in 2015, neighbours asked him if he was building an ark.
But the electrician from Blackwood, Wales, had timber piling up on his drive as he put together his masterpiece featuring a tiki bar, TV, and dining area.
"I just wanted somewhere to stay dry and have a beer with friends at the beginning," Morris told the Caerphilly Observer about his £4,000 shed.
"We love entertaining our neighbours, we are always having barbecues and every New Years Eve we have a party."
Raising the bar
Arguably even more mind-blowing is Doug Smith's Irish pub shed, O'Smithers.
The rugby-themed boozer in Blackpool even has a 25ft replica of the Blackpool Tower on the roof.
It also has electric roller shutters on three sides to allow it to open up completely in nice weather — Smith says he has "no clue" how much he's spent in total.
But he had to double the size of the shed pub after a couple of years to "cope with the amount of people who frequent it".
Black cab bedroom
Lee Connelly from Colchester, Essex, added a spare sleeping space to his home in one of the most unlikely ways possible.
He gutted a London black cab and turned it into a shed in his garden, complete with a bed inside.
Getting the old taxi into his garden wasn't easy though.
"We had to smash the back wall of the garage to drive through," Lee says.
Jane Moyle built her personal paradise with her "She-Shed" in Gloucestershire.
The luxury summerhouse draws on a Japanese design and offers a spot of personal tranquility.
"I wanted a quiet place to read and relax," retired company director Jane said of her shed, which cost over £1,000.
"With the folding doors and the decking outside, it is ideal for outdoor meals, sunbathing, reading.
"But above all, the summerhouse is surrounded by a magnificent huge weeping willow tree, bronze and green Japanese acers, a yellow Robinia and a purple smoke shrub."
Slice of paradise
Colin Naylor's Pizza Folly really takes some topping.
Complete with a wood fired pizza oven, Japanese plunge bath, and whiskey bar, the cabin is even kitted out with fibre broadband.
Colin built his elaborate shed over the course of a year using recycled pallets and salvaged ocean liner parts, racking up costs into the thousands.
And the Buckinghamshire-based shed even has space for two double beds and a sofa bed.
Mark Killick's spectacular shed claims to be a "bar and spa", going beyond the usual garden pub offerings.
It began life as a "pile of pallets, two sheds that were falling apart and a few old fence panels".
But now the structure in Hampshire has its own hot tub, as well as a "proper bar fridge" gifted to Killick by his wife.
Not bad for something which he says "sort of grew" without any real plan in the first place, and ending up costing over a grand.
Alan Beresford says his "Bemusement Arcade" grew out of a childhood fascination with the "slightly disturbing" animated machines and waxworks he saw in seaside arcades.
He built his shed, which cost over £1,000, when he retired as a place where he could have a bash at making some "disquieting things" of his own.
Since putting his workshop together, he's filled it with contraptions including a fortune telling machine and a diorama.
But he says his hobby has meant his creations quickly took up all the space in his shed, spilling out into his garage and house too.
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