Cash strapped Brits could be sitting on a goldmine in the shape of their humble garden sheds, according to new research.
A study by industry giant GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk has found home owners could rake in a small fortune by turning their garden sheds into a micro business.
As well as offices, sheds can serve as creative places, warehouses for goods, workrooms and storage for tool rentals.
Stories abound across the UK of successful entrepreneurs who made use of sheds to bring in cash. Some of the more innovative ideas include businesses that enable people to rent out their little-used tools, and hen keepers who converted sheds into chicken coops.
Sheds are also popular warehouses for merchants, and for creative types who need a space to work and store their materials.
Perfect specimens can be used for promotional photography, and photographers can save themselves a fortune in studio rental by converting their sheds.
A spokesman for GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk said: “Everyone has an idea of something they could be doing if they just had some space and so many of them have forgotten about the spare room in the garden.
“The UK is full of cases where people made use of their shed – or got one for the purpose – and it proved to be perfect for their business to take off, or to make money another way.
“If repurposing your shed seems daunting, remember that there’s a good chance it’s already perfectly functional and just needs to be cleared.
“There are some ways to make money, like tool rental, that don’t require any further work to be done to the shed at all.”
Ten ways to monetise your shed
As a warehouse
Whether you’re an eBay reseller or wholesale purchaser, you’ll need somewhere safe to store your goods and keep them separate from your household belongings. Lots of entrepreneurs use their sheds for this purpose.
Writers and artists need spaces to create. The shed is quiet, free of household distractions and you’re more likely to find your muse in the view of the garden than the road. It also saves the house from paint fumes.
Anyone who lives with a knitter, seamstress, jewellery maker or other crafter will tell you that their materials soon start taking over the house. The shed is the perfect place both to keep your craft materials and tools, and to use them.
If you’re a sole trader or small business, there’s really no need to rent out an office; your garden shed will work fine, and indeed does for many people.
High-street based photographers can spend a fortune renting out their premises. A photographer using their shed as a studio cuts these expenses while still having control over light and backdrops, and a place to store props.
Businesses have been set up to enable people to rent out their tools or other household belongings locally. It’s a great way to make money from things you don’t use often, and you don’t have to do any work to the shed.
If your shed has the right conditions, or better yet if you have a greenhouse, you can use the space to grow vegetables to sell on. You can also use the shed to make and store preserves.
Purpose-built hen houses are expensive, but many people convert their sheds into coops. Look online for some comprehensive guides; you’ll need to create features such as a run, air vents and nest boxes. Remember to make the necessary checks with your council and house deeds to make sure you can keep chickens.
Rent it to photographers
Garden goods businesses are often looking for attractive places to take promotional shots. If your shed is already a work of art, join a website so photographers can find it.
Clear it out
If your shed is too cluttered to be of any money-making use, clear it out. You might be surprised at what you find in there in sellable condition. Then the space is clear for one of the other options in this list.