The humble garden shed is undergoing something of a makeover. No longer just a place to store your gardening equipment safely and securely, it is increasingly being utilised for more unusual means, allowing households to get even more use out of the building.
From hiring local electricians to transform the structure into a home office, to painting it in bright and cheerful colours and allowing your kids to use it as a playhouse, there are so many options to choose from. Here are a few of our favourites.
A home office is one of the most obvious options if you're looking for a way to get more use from your summerhouse. Thanks to advancements in remote technology, a growing number of us are able to work from home.
There are a few key things you need to create the perfect working environment at home: privacy, peace, power and internet access. Finding a space that provides all these elements can be tricky. You may be lucky enough to have a safe room you can use solely as an office, but if you don't have this available you might find your only option is to set up a desk and computer on the landing, or in the hallway, kitchen or living room. The trouble with this is that you could be disturbed by the other members of your household.
Rather than despair, you could turn your attention to the garden as the perfect spot to work. Luckily, there are large sheds and summerhouses available today where you should have all the space you need in which to work. Speak with an electrician about installing all the wiring you need and you could also contact a heating engineer to install radiators so you are able to work out there all year.
If you are purchasing a new shed for the project, lookout for a summerhouse with large windows so you get plenty of sunlight while you work and can enjoy views of the garden. When the weather is warm, there can be few better things than being able to open up the patio doors and bring the feeling of the outside in as you type.
To complete your garden office, fit some shelves to the walls where you can arrange all your books, folders and papers, purchase a secure filing cabinet for anything valuable and invest in a comfortable chair.
Exercise is something many of us would like to do more of but often find there seem to be obstacles standing in our way. Paying for a gym membership can be expensive while attending exercise classes or going swimming can often take a long time, which we simply don't have available. Of course, you can always go out for a bike ride or a jog, but when the weather is bad this is rarely an enjoyable experience. Furthermore, during the winter when the evenings get dark early you may have little time to go for a run after work before the last of the sunlight vanishes.
Again, your garden could be the perfect answer. Cabins and summerhouses offer a large area in which to set up a gym, which is rarely broken up by internal walls. This means you can use the entire inside to lay out your equipment. You will also have more space to do floor exercises like stretching and cooling down at the end of a session.
On a sunny day, you can open the windows and door to enjoy the fresh air as you exercise, but if it starts to rain you won't have to worry about getting soaked as you race home because you'll already be sheltered.
Remember to purchase a radio so you can work out to your favourite music and ask a locksmith to secure your door so that everything inside is safe. After all, exercise apparatus can be expensive.
If you have kids, you'll know how important it is to them to have their own space as they grow up - especially if they are teenagers. However, you might be reluctant to sacrifice a spare room to them, even if you are fed up of them monopolising the television.
Again, a shed could solve your dilemma.This is the perfect space in which to place a television and a few comfortable armchairs, so your kids can go there to relax. Best of all, because it is in the garden you won't be disturbed by them.
Younger children will no doubt prefer a playhouse to a den, and you can perfectly accommodate their wishes with a shed. Paint it a bright colour, put up shelves inside and invest in boxes for them to store their toys in, while also putting out a small table and chairs where they can play house.
Alternatively, you could keep the shed a strictly no-kids zone, by reserving it as your own den where you can enjoy some peace and quiet every once in a while.