Tiny sheds, big ideas: The amazing designs of 2020's Shed of the Year
The finalists for the 2020 Cuprinol Shed of the Year competition have been announced. A record 27 sheds have made the cut, with highlights including a greenery-covered retreat, a tiny classroom used to provide online schooling, and a backyard bar complete with hot tub.
The UK shedding scene is a lot like the US tiny house movement, but with a boatload (sometimes literally) of British eccentricity. The passion shown by the amateur builders is genuinely inspiring and there are some fantastic designs each year.
The 2020 Cuprinol Shed of the Year competition is split into nine categories, which is up from seven last year: Pub/Entertainment, Cabin, Unique, Workshops, Budget, Unexpected, Nature's Haven, and the coronavirus-related Lockdown - Repurpose, and Lockdown - New Build. Public voting is open until August 14 and a winner will be announced later in the year.
"More than ever, the events of recent months have shown us what a valuable role sheds can play in our lives," says head judge and founder of the competition Andrew Wilcox. "They are spaces where we can help our NHS heroes, educate our children and care for our family. They highlight all that is great about Britain - our ingenuity, our eccentricity and our determination to help others."
We've selected a few highlights below, but head to the gallery to see each project in full and, as always, we'll be back later in the year with the winner.
Built by Northern Ireland's Trevor Carswell, the Cosy Cabin consists of a clay base, with cement blocks and a salvaged steel frame supporting timber and composite panels. Its roof is also covered in greenery. Loft insulation and a salvaged wood-burning stove help keep it comfortable year-round, and it boasts a TV, sofa, bed, and even a bar inside.
Following the closing of Britain's schools during lockdown, London teacher Ashley Bates created the Shed School from an existing garden shed. He modified it with a false floor and a small work table made using found materials and then rigged up a camera and uses his laptop to stream free school lessons, such as Math and English, onto the internet.
Old Bill, by Eastbourne's A.M. Backshall, is based on an old railway cart and designed to resemble a Wickham trolley, which was an engineering personnel carrier used on British railways. It's situated on rails in Backshall's garden, allowing him to move it up and down a small incline. The interior has seating and a wood-burning stove, as well as 12-V power.
Mark Killick's Pallet Hollywood is a bar-style shed in Hampshire that's made from pallets and two old sheds that were falling apart. It includes a large TV, dartboard, fridge, a place to play 80s vinyl on his record player and "loads of booze." Additionally, Killick recently installed a hot tub hut to enjoy a refreshing drink.
West Yorkshire's Pat Crook conceived Respite as a beach escape at a time when it was not possible to visit the coast due to lockdown. The project is largely built from recycled materials and is an invaluable refuge for the sheddie's father, who is 92 and lives with dementia. He sits surrounded by shells, pebbles and seaside paraphernalia listening to soothing sounds of the sea.
Source: Readers Sheds