This is a bit off-topic, so apologies for that, but I wanted to document a personal project of mine that has triggered some interest among the many media people who work from home some or all of the time.
I work from home quite a lot. Not that I need to - the main DWPub office is in Croydon, only just over an hour from home by train, and I also have an office in Brighton (we operate this as serviced offices), which is around 40 minutes from home by car, or less than half an hour by motorbike.
I work from home for two reasons. One is that I am lucky enough to live on a rural smallholding I call 'The Farm' that I often struggle to leave behind in the morning. The other is that I like a bit of peace and quiet every now and then. The problem is the latter has been difficult to achieve at home with three kids, especially in a house that is extremely inneficiently planned, being part 18th century with mostly disasterous 20th century additions. The house will be eventually knocked down and replaced, but not for some years.
When my partner became freelance, pressure on space in the house became an issue too.
So the shed idea was born.
Inspired by the book Shedworking, written by journalist and blogger Alex Johnson, I set about buidling a shed that could accomodate two desks and plenty of space for books and other work-related junk that was filling the small study/guest bedroom in the house. As we plan to eventually make considerable changes to the accomodation to The Farm, I did not want to create a beautiful, modern masterpiece of which many are represented in Shedworking. There would be too much risk it could eventually contradict with the new house. But neither did I want some flat-pack shed from a DIY shop that would fall over with the slightest tractor impact (I do have a habit of crashing into things with the old Massey Furguson).
I didn't have time to research and specify a the perfect shed, I just wanted it built and ready for use by Christmas 2010.
So I contracted a local Sussex shed builder to put up a 4.2m square bespoke, but traditional, timber structure with a half-glazed door and three windows. The shed would be insulated and lined with a mixture of plasterboard and timber. The only bits I would need to arrange is the electrics, decorating and furnishing. The thing would go on a timber rather than concrete base so that in theory (and a large crane) the building could me moved at a later date in order to fit in with changes at The Farm.
Keith the shed man turned up on Tuesday 2 November, a month earlier than planned as another job was delayed. So we're looking good to be in well before Christmas. I'll be tweeting pics as the thing goes up and will blog again as the project progresses.
The early start has caught me a bit unprepared though - I may end up doing the electrics myself (there will be a momentary pause in the construction for the 'first fix' of the electrics, and it will have to be done then so as not to delay the project), then I have to decide on paint/stain colours and get some furniture ordered. Then there is the technical challenge of getting the wireless network to work when the router is 50 metres away in the house.