A converted black cab, an upturned fishing boat, an Irish pub and a Tudor playhouse are among the brilliantly bonkers constructions doing battle to be named Shed of the Tear 2018.
With Nearly 3000 entrants for this years Shed of the Year only 24 have made the short list. You can see them in all their wacky glory below!
Lee Connelly has converted an old London Black Cab into a unique outdoors bedroom. He had to smash through the back wall of his garage to drive it through into his garden, where it has naturally become the focal point.
Piano Raft, owned by Ben Cummins in West Yorkshire, Saltaire, is a shed on skis, built from reclaimed materials found while travelling between Liverpool and Leeds for five years. Ben plans to turn it into a floating arts platform, having recently started hosting musical events abroad.
Poolside cabin Bricks and Water is owned by Lego addict Geoff Pike in Wiltshire, Salisbury. His obsession started six years ago when his wife gave him a set for Christmas. He also loves trains, so building a Lego train set shed seemed obvious!
Boat Pod, owned by Barnaby Dearsly in Exeter, Devon, is made from the upturned bow section of a decommissioned fishing trawler. Perfect for use as a writer’s retreat, garden folly, artist studio or children’s hideaway, it has a bespoke stove and electrical sockets.
This unusual shed/yurt combo is owned by Jack Fetherstonhaugh in Abergele, Conwy County, who built it himself. It can sleep up to five and features a pretty rose stained glass window. Tongue and groove timber walls give the place a cosy feel and the loo has views of the surrounding Welsh countryside.
Scaffold Board Summer House in Thruxton, Hampshire, was featured on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces TV series. It has two innovative walls that rotate to open up the space in good weather. It has previously been used as an office-cum-cinema but currently houses designer, builder and owner Scott Stickland’s rowing machine. “I call it my palace of pain!” he jokes.
Owner David Morris describes his bar Noah’s in Blackwood,Caerphilly as “a place where many a good night is had with good friends and neighbours”. It features a covered seating booth, large drinks fridge and a BBQ.
Rugby-themed Irish bar O’Smithers is found in Blackpool, Hambleton. It has a 25ft replica of Blackpool Tower on its roof. Owner Doug Smith built O’Smithers three years ago before doubling its size last summer to cope with the number of guests. “We use it for socials with good friends and also to hold get-togethers to raise money for local charities,” he said, adding that most of the memorabilia has been bought on eBay.
Owner Lee Carrie build the Victorian ship-themed Admiral’s Head pub in Essex, Chelmsford in just under a year in a limited space (four by three metres). The chalk board signs are all handmade, bar the Horatio Nelson pub sign, and it has a TV, large drinks fridge and an electric fire decorated with beer bottle tops. The bar top was made from reclaimed wood from an old Naval nightclub’s tables.
Bottle Shed, owned by Lauretta and Philip Denton in Scarborough, is made almost entirely from reclaimed materials and is the result of a 35-year-old childhood den dream. Built over four years, it’s a homage to the way light can transform a space. The Dentons describe it as a “labour of love”, built for friends and family to enjoy. They have recently listed it on Airbnb for others to experience.
Bristol owner Daisy describes Shed and Breakfast as “a sunny little haven”. The B&B with a twist featured on The One Show last year and is now a successful Airbnb let. It is filled with colourful Indian fabrics and paintings by local artists. Young homeless people are offered the bed once a month and a percentage of every booking goes towards the Nightstop homeless charity.
George Smallwood in Sheffield is constantly trying to make the most of his space. His Bee Eco Shed has a spiral staircase to the roof where he keeps beehives and a giant bug house. The roof is covered in flowers and vegetables and when water reaches the gutters, it flows down to water a herb garden, with any left over watering the rest of the garden.
Great Glass Propagator, owned by Andy Ramsay and Kate Spencer in London, is a half-greenhouse, half-summerhouse handmade with stained glass reclaimed from local Victorian houses. “Designed as somewhere to retreat with a cup of tea (or gin…), neighbours have commented that it looks stunning lit up at night,” they said.
This octagonal play den for kids owned by Steve Burrows in Longcot, Oxfordshire, has a built-in blackboard, shelving, hammock, multi-coloured floor and circular light box covering the entire ceiling. There’s even a built-in rabbit hutch and pen under the playhouse, with a secret door that allows the pet to come up into the den to play!
London owner Mike Allport transformed his shed into an open-fronted summerhouse full of light. Nearly all the materials were scavenged (with permission) from the ice-cream factory next-door, or from local skips. It was developed gradually with no real plan, and is now “a great place for an afternoon sleep, having drinks with friends or getting cosy by the fire”. The shed was named after Mike’s late grandparents’ house, with the sign taken from their actual home.
Rainbow Dream, owned by Rachael Taylor in Liverpool, Merseyside, is a testament to colour and pattern. Rachael designed every inch of her shed/studio herself and now spends “tons of time” in there, running her independent print business. “I hope it brightens your day as much as it does mine,” she says.
This shed in Great Ellingham, Norfolk, is made almost entirely from off-cuts, including bits of stained glass and even a broken microwave plate. Owner Mark Humphrys stores his sea kayak in here and also uses it as his carpentry workshop.
Viking Bauhutte, owned by Chris Walter in Hampshire, gets its name from the Middle Ages, when all the craftsmen would stay in a shed – a Bauhutte – on site to discuss their ideas and drink mead. Chris uses his as a camera design workshop but has found it overrun by his two young daughters, who love the dragon handles on the doors.
Buenai Vista was built in Gwynedd, Wales by owner Hywel Jones for relaxing, reading and guitar practicing. It is made from recycled or repurposed materials, including a steel frame from an old bridge. Inspired by the surrounding landscape of woods, a stream and the Menai Strait, it took a year to build “on the odd weekend and evening”.
Paul Martin was inspired to build his Suffolk yurt after attending Bestival 2008, which was hit by a hurricane. Only the yurts survived. Armed with £400, hand tools, a local pound shop and a DIY superstore loyalty card, he set about building his own over nine years.Outside it’s a black barn but inside it’s a canvas and bamboo Mongolian yurt.
Tudor Playhouse was built by owner Craig Clavin in Norfolk for his two twin boys. It is again made from reclaimed materials, including old scaffold boards and fence posts. Craig was inspired by previous Sheds of the Year after realising that money and competance need not be barriers to DIY fun.
The Temple in Kirkharle, Northumberland, is the creation of plant and history obsessive Angus Robert Thompson. Inspired by Greek design and Gothic colours, it took just over six months to build using salvaged wood. Angus uses it as a plant shop and a base for the historic walks he runs around the hamlet.
John Parks built his “shed” in West Sussex, Hull to form part of a wartime Kent village called Trentham. It offers members of the public an insight into home front life, with drinks served in period glassware and true veterans often visiting to swap real war stories. It takes two van-loads and two days to erect it on different sites, with all fixtures and fittings dating back to the 30s and 40s.
Greg Whale from Dorset asked his wife of 25 years whether she would like a Chevy Truck or a Shepherd’s Hut for her anniversary present – and she instantly chose the hut. He set about making it for her from scratch, despite having no carpentry experience. Inside it is a snug dream, made cosy with sheep skins, rugs, cushions and a wood-burning stove.