From a hobbit house to a secret bunker: The best sheds of 2017
A hobbit house, a Doctor Who-style Tardis, a secret underground bunker, and a flight simulator all feature in the 2017 Cuprinol Shed of the Year. The competition highlights the cream of the British shed scene and this year's finalists are made up of 32 weird, wacky, and ingenious sheds made by passionate hobbyists.
As we noted in our coverage of last year's competition, those not familiar with the British shed scene can think of it as a little similar to the tiny house movement. Where a tiny house ends and a shed begins isn't very clear, but sheds are usually stationary and not intended for full-time living.
Without further ado then, here's our selection of standout shed favorites. Be sure to head to the gallery to see each of the 32 finalists in full and we'll be back with the winner in a few months.
Colin Furze Secret Bunker
This self-built shed by Lincolnshire's Colin Furze – yep that Colin Furze – is playfully named the Colin Furze Secret Bunker. At first glance, it looks like a typical garden shed, with its four walls and roof storing tools, family bikes, and the like. However, hidden under a rug is a trapdoor that offers access to what Furze calls his man cave.
Inside the concrete-lined space, Furze has installed a band practice area, complete with drum kit and assorted guitar amps. There's also a TV, Sony Playstation, assorted supplies, and other electronics.
The Colin Furze Secret Bunker is an entry in the Not A Shed category.
Avoch Boat Shed
Peterborough's Matthew Lynn based the Avoch Boat Shed around an old wooden sea scout boat sourced from Avoch, Scotland, hence its name. Reminiscent of this previous winner, by Alex Holland, it was built as a retreat to relax and have a good time with family and friends.
Inside, the Avoch Boat Shed is nautically-themed, with lots of shipping memorabilia, including oars and propellers. The owner describes it as fit for sleeping in, so presumably the couch pulls out into a bed. Neat porthole-style windows complete the look he's gone for and heat comes from a wood-burning stove.
The Avoch Boat Shed is an entry in the Cabins & Summerhouses category.
The aptly-named Tardis Shed wears its Doctor Who inspiration proudly on its sleeve. Designed by Paul Foden and located in Tunstall, it shows a remarkable attention to detail in the attempt to recreate the time traveling Police box from the cult British TV show.
Opening the old-fashioned phone booth doors and stepping inside reveals a larger indoor space that includes a replica of the Doctor's console. Other notable props include a life-size Dalek, a Cyberman and a K9.
The Tardis Shed is an entry in the Pub & Entertainment category.
Not many people can boast a flight simulator in their back yard, but that's exactly what Bedfordshire's Captain Mark Lowen has tucked away in his shed.
Lowen extended an existing shed in the garden to accommodate a full-size commercial Boeing 737 flight simulator. It's in full working order and has all the necessary technology intact. When he's not using it himself or letting friends and family have a play, Lowen rents out the flight experience to both novice and qualified pilots.
The Garage Simulator is an entry in the Not A Shed category.
We're big fans of hobbit houses here at New Atlas, and this one ranks up there with the nicer examples we've come across. Owned by Susan Price and located in Bristol, the Hobbit House was a labor of love and features as many local and reused materials in the build as was practical.
The summer house is made of wood, stone, cob and straw, and serves as a multi-use space for Price's family, including sleepovers with her grandchildren. Inside, the decor is very authentic-looking, with wooden furniture and a wood-burning stove all contributing towards a suitably cosy appearance.
The Hobbit House is an entry in the Eco category.
Source: Readers Sheds