As the exodus from cramped properties in major built-up urban areas continues at a frenetic pace, many people are now turning their sights towards other types of properties to call home, specifically log cabins, also known as Shedrooms.
Recent data shows that the affection for home life in major built-up areas is waning at an alarming rate. Recently published data from Rightmove has shown that in the last quarter of 2020, many major urban areas are experiencing significant falls in demand for rental properties, with many tenants choosing to opt for a quieter, less frenetic pace of life with more open space.
2020 has been a year like no other in recent memory and for obvious reasons has produced significant changes to the way people live. It’s not just home life which has been impacted; work-life has also needed to be reassessed with many people now conducting business from the comforts of their own homes.
For some, working from home was simply a case of requisitioning a spare room or using an existing home office. However, others have had to be more creative by erecting sheds, summer houses and external offices in the garden.
If you have the budget to do this, it’s a smart move as these new external spaces do boost the value of one’s property. In addition to being a great place to work from, they are also an ideal way to add extra living accommodation. It’s the financial benefits of using these spaces as extra living accommodation (also known as Shedrooms) we’ll be focusing on in this article.
What is a Shedroom?
Forget the image you’ve just conjured in your mind of a common or garden shed with just a bed sat in the middle. Shedrooms are properly constructed and versatile standalone cabins with all the ‘bells and whistles’ such as decent insulation, internet connection, electricity, plumbing and in some cases, bathroom and kitchen facilities.
To throw some further light on why shedrooms are the way forward for many renters, Whatshed.co.uk, has shared with us their analysis of the cost of studio flats across the UK and compared them with the price, (per sq ft), to a shedroom property.
They decided to conduct their research following a spike in enquiries from customers looking to buy log cabins or sheds to use specifically as living spaces. They found that approximately two-thirds of the queries were for younger members of a family who wanted their own space and were unable to afford to rent or obtain a mortgage.
It is little surprise that their research found that a studio flat in central London costs more than 200% more, per sq ft annually than living in a ‘shedroom’.
Whatshed made the above discovery after assessing the average cost of a studio flat in ten major cities across the UK. They then estimated the cost of transforming a log cabin into a liveable space (plumbing, heating etc.) The research was based on a 161 sq ft log cabin priced at £2409.00, with an additional cost of £2500.00 to cover transformation costs, they then calculated the annual cost, and the yearly cost per sq ft of the ‘shedroom’, and compared it against the studio flat data.
The list below shows the cities, their costing and price increase in comparison to a ‘shedroom’, per sq ft annually:
- Central London – 312 sq ft studio flat – 203% higher
Annual cost: £28,596.00
Cost sq ft annually: £91.00
- Oxford city centre – 193 sq ft studio flat – 149% higher
Annual cost: £14,460.00
Cost sq ft annually: £74.90
- Edinburgh city centre – 500 sq ft studio flat – 108% higher
Annual cost: £17,424.00
Cost sq ft annually: £62.45
- Leeds city centre – 236 sq ft studio flat – 90% higher
Annual cost: £13,476.00
Cost sq ft annually: £57.10
- Brighton city centre – 226 sq ft studio flat – 89% higher
Annual cost: £12,840.00
Cost sq ft annually: £56.80
How do the above costs compare to constructing a Shedroom?
- Luxury ‘Shedroom’ – 161 sq ft
- One-off payment: £2409.00
- Cost of renovation: £2500.00
- Total annually cost: £4909.00
- Cost sq ft annually: £30.00
On average, converting a luxury log cabin or shed into a living space is two fifths (43%) the cost of renting a studio flat in the UK, based on the sq ft per year. With a Shedroom there are no monthly rental costs, so the annual costs decrease with every year lived in the cabin.
When you look at the above cost savings, it’s still hard to fathom why some would want to continue living with the monotonous noise of banging headboards and doors, heavy footsteps and lungfuls of polluted air.
If you’re paying a large amount of money for a cramped studio flat in a city and you’ve got friends or relatives with a decent-sized garden in the suburbs or a little further afield, I’d get on the phone if I was you and explain how they can earn some extra income by building a shedroom and help you out in the process!
WhatShed.co.uk is the leading independent guide for gardening and garden buildings in the UK. They offer advice on a range of topics including purchasing garden buildings, how to spot a shed from a cabin and how to preserve your plants.
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