If you think trailing vines over the prefab garden shed you picked up from a DIY superstore is creative, then think again. Shed enthusiasts across the nation are vying to have their structures crowned Cuprinol Shed Of The Year, with some, frankly genius, entries that range from up-cycled taxis and backyard bars to converted fishing boats.
If the range and quality of entries is anything to go by, sheds are no longer just places to stash tools. They now serve as creative studios, guest rooms, dining rooms, gyms, kids play zones and even backyard bars. A record 2,971entries have been received for this year's annual shed showdown, with just 24 hopefuls remaining in eight categories including Eco, Pub & Entertainment, Workshop & Studio, Cabin & Summerhouse, Unique, Historic, Budget and #NotAShed/Unexpected which celebrates those that challenge convention.
Now voting is open to the public to decide on the eight category winners, which will then go head to head in the final round, where a panel of shed experts will decide the overall winner.
Either way, it looks like the UK has, er, shed loads of talent. Here are five chic favourites from the shortlisted entries...
This impressive shed was built painstakingly during a period of heavy rain by owner David Morris - which led to neighbourhood jokes about arks. Once complete, David’s neighbours came to visit as couples two-by-two, and from there came the name, ‘Noah’s’.
This uniquely designed shed was mostly built of reused and recycled materials.
2.SCAFFOLD BOARD SUMMER HOUSE
This sleek and modern shed is a polyvalent space for the whole family to enjoy.
'Sheddie' Scott Stickland build this modular structure by himself, with a keen eye for detail and design, using LED strip lighting to accentuate the shed’s geometric aesthetic.
Two of the walls rotate when the space needs to be opened up, and the cantilever roof then floats above the space.
This piece of craftsmanship is named after a time in the middle ages when craftsmen and artisans would hang out in a shed on a building site - the Bauhutte - and discuss their building and design ideas over tea (or mead). Somethings never change...
This version shed is a workshop, an artists' studio, a family craft room and a space where owner Chris Walter can design and build cameras. The Viking motif came to life as the shed took shape and began to look like an upturned boat (and as a result of Chris’ two young daughters watching "How to Train your Dragon" on repeat).
4. BOAT POD
Built by Barnaby Dearsly as a writer’s retreat, garden folly, artist studio and children's hideaway, Boat Pod is built from the upturned bow section of a decommissioned fishing trawler, originally built in 1945.
It's fitted with electrical sockets, a bespoke stove, engineered oak flooring and a sail canvas door.
5. THE YURT LOCKER
From musical festival to shed, this back-garden haven has a truly amazing story. Paul, the creator, was at a festival in 2008 which was hit by a hurricane, and to his surprise only the glamping yurts survived. Inspired, Paul set out to study traditional yurt construction and then tried to buy one - only to find they were financially out of grasp.
Underfunded but not discouraged, he decided to go the "non-traditional" route and see what he could produce with only £400, hand tools, a DIY superstore loyalty card and a nearby pound shop. After nine years, four trial versions and a £76 overspend - "The Yurt Locker" appeared.
It was originally planned to be used as a man cave and a shed for other DIY projects but it has since been hijacked by his family as a glamping venue and trampoline gym - the removable sky port awning affording the necessary headspace.
Public voting to determine the category winners is open from August 13th 2018 via www.readersheds.co.uk. The UK public will have until midday on Tuesday 28th August to cast their vote on who they think deserves the winning title of Cuprinol Shed Of The Year, along with a winner for each category.