Garden sheds are used mainly for general garden duties or for home workshops however, increasingly, many are being used for living in which can cause problems with the local council as generally this is frowned upon. If permission is granted the shed owner would need to ensure that the building meets all the local building regulations, which can be stringent. Why are garden sheds being using for this purpose? Well the cost of homes as sky rocketed with many children unable to find their own homes due to the cost and the struggle to get a mortgage. Renting and living in a shed is sometimes their only option.
Having said that most decently made 16×12 garden sheds can have the walls and roof insulated and then lined. 1st Choice Leisure Buildings can offer this as an option on most of their Platinum garden buildings. With the addition of internal lining and electrics and, ideally, double glazing these can be ‘home from home’ (nearly). Just ensure you meet the required building standards which your local council will be able to advise you about.
Hopefully as time goes on the children will be able to save up and obtain a mortgage and a property of their own. The converted 16 x 12 shed will then be able to be used as a guest room, garden home office or recreation room – all of which will increase the value of your property. So in the long run can be a good investment as well as helping your off spring.
If you are thinking of renting your converted shed to an outsider then you need to be a little more careful. The implications are a little more involved and need greater consideration as the council are not normally very keen on this sort of development. This is why, quite often, that these lettings are kept secret much to the council’s annoyance. They actually have officers looking out for this sort of thing, so beware. The silliest thing you can do is to advertise your shed for renting as this will be picked up on very quickly.
When these type of renting outs are found the occupants are evicted onto the street, which in some ways (most ways) a great shame as they often don’t have any where to live. All the council has done is to put these previously homeless people back onto the streets, which can not be nice. With no help from the council these people have to end up struggling to make ends meet – and we are supposed to live in a caring society!
Other sheds often let out are the bathing huts found at many seaside locations, usually painted in bright colours such as the ones at Cromer. Available for the day, week or month this gives the people renting a base for the day where they can change into their swimming costumes, prepare and eat picnics as well as sheltering from the weather, if need be. Even when it is raining at the seaside it can be nice looking out onto the sea from a dry building – or you can go home – your choice.
However some garden sheds owners are being successful in utilising their sheds and making some income from them. An example was an owner in Manor Park in London advertised their 16×12 converted garden shed for £150 per week. Being close to the local railway station was a big plus and the shed, complete with bathroom so it completely self contained. This shed was professionally converted by a building with a glazed front door, windows and with a tiled roof – so is clearly more than a ‘run of the mill’ garden shed found in most gardens.
The garden shed is a perfectly functioning building which serves its purpose down to the ground, however, even the best shed can, in some people’s mind be a little dull. So what can you do about it if you have a large 16×12 shed? You can treat the shed as a blank canvas and have flower and shrubs set in front. This will allow them to stand out against the brownish back drop even from a distance making the shed a focal point of your garden. Another idea is to train flowers such as plants and flowers – such as roses – to grow up the front of the shed and this can create a stunning display of colour. However it can sometime be a little tricky to get them to climb up depending of the type of plants as there are five different types of climbing plants. These are scramblers, stickers, twiners, tendris and stem root plants. By researching the type of plants you want to use you can ensure they will grow up and over the garden shed (or fence or wall) and hide the bland and plain appearance. Some of these categories will require vertical support, some horizontal support where as some won’t need any help at all.
Tendrils will require thin horizontal support so the plants have something to grab onto. 50mm x 50mm netting will serve this purpose as will horizontal strings hanging from poles. Stickers are similar to tendrils however their tendrils come with their own glue, so to speak. This enables them to climb up more or less any surface. These only require the surface of the shed to stick to and don’t require any vertical supports.
Twiners tend to have intertwining leaves or stems and require something vertical to attach itself to, so in this instance a trellis work, a fence post, string or wire will do the trick, however, ensure it is horizontal. Scramblers need help to grow up the side of a building so you need to secure these in place and the ideal materials is twine, wire or strong string. As they grow the thorns help the plants to adhere to the wall of the shed.
The final category are the stem root climbers. These have very clingy roots which can attach to more or less any surface. As these as so strong I can’t really recommend them to be grown up the side of your garden shed as it could damage them. Steer clear.
The Royal Horticulture Society reports that rambling roses are one of the most popular plants for growing up walls, fences or sheds and they suggest these should be grown horizontally as this will ensure the greatest amount of cover. By keeping a careful eye out for diseased roots or stems they recommend these should be removed as this will allow fresh and newer shoots to flourish. At Wisley Gardens they would prune their ramblers in the Autumn or before Winter after securing the summer growth. All shoots which had flowered should be cut back in readiness for the following year.
By training these plants to climb over your 16×12 shed you can ensure an outbreak of colour throughout the year. Even during the bleak winter months these plants will take away the plainness from the garden. It’s also possible to add hanging baskets to the shed and these can accommodate even more flowers and colours. However to me, in the garden shed business, nothing beats the sight of a well looked after garden shed. This just goes to show that every one is different and should be different, otherwise it would be a very boring world.