TRADITIONALLY, they come in shades of brown or green and hold little more than compost, gardening tools and old pots of paint.
But contenders in the UK-wide Shed of the Year competition are far from the old staid image of a place to store weedkiller and rusty bikes – this year’s shortlisted sheds include ones modelled as a teapot, a “Pool Hoose” and a 60s tiki-style bar.
Almost 2,000 amateur “sheddies” from across the UK entered their inventions into this year’s competition which range from colourful and cute, to plain odd, to the off-the-scale.
More than 20,000 members of the public voted for their favourites in eight categories, with each of those winners going through to the grand final.
One of the Scottish entries is a replica of a teapot shed built by Ian Hunter, 59, from Melrose, the original of which was sold earlier this month to a woman in south west France.
It is constructed entirely from reclaimed materials, with the bottom half used for drying timber and the upper level accessed through steps built into the teapot handle.
Also in the running is a “Pool Hoose” built by Peter McLaren, 50, from Fife, made entirely from recycled materials such as telegraph poles, scaffolding battens, roofing tin and glass.
While it serves as a studio, it is so named because it links the view between two pools, and is furnished for passing cyclists.
Another environmentally friendly finalist is the Bottle Dome, created by Richard Pim from Pembridge in Worcestershire. Made with some 5,000 glass bottles set between crossed arches. Some part of the glass hemisphere directly faces the sun at all times of the day reflecting the light into an interior pool.
For those of a more retro leaning, Renee & Albert’s Diner, owned by Anne and Ian Bate, from Sutton, south London, is a 1950s-themed shed designed as a tribute to Mrs Bate’s late parents.
Another yesteryear shed has been created by Darren Stride, from Great Yarmouth, who entered his Anderson shelter Blitz Street Museum, which transports visitors back to the 1940s. It has a life-size display made up of five different sheds, all depicting scenes from the Second World War
The sheds will now be judged by Channel 4 presenter George Clarke, Shed of the Year founder Uncle Wilco, last year’s winner Alex Holland, craftsman William Hardie, architect Laura Clark and industrial designer Max McMurdo.
The categories include eco shed, pub shed, garden office, cabin/summerhouse, unique, workshop/studio, Tardis and normal shed.
The overall winner will be announced on 7 August, with the victorious designer receiving £1,000 for their efforts.
Clarke, who hosts the TV show Amazing Spaces, said: “The nation’s love for transforming their garden shed to an extension of the home is really trending right now. The TV series reveals some of the most creative, beautiful and unusual shed spaces, as well as meeting the talented people behind them.”
Kay Bartlett, from competition sponsor Cuprinol, added: “Every year we’re amazed at how creative ‘sheddies’ get with their beloved sheds and how many wonderful entries come through.”