Shedquarters: Make Working From Home Work For You
Shedquarters are growing in popularity amongst homeowners across New Zealand, but what exactly is a shedquarter and how could having one benefit you?
The first question you may be asking yourself right now is ‘what exactly is a shedquarter’? Essentially, a shedquarter is just another way of describing a tiny space in your backyard. Unlike a standard backyard garden shed which is typically only large enough to store your tools and maybe a lawnmower, a shedquarter is well constructed and acts more as an office space or retreat room which you can escape to in order to relax or focus.
With COVID-19 forcing many people to work from home and children having to take school classes online, some people found their homes getting a bit crowded and opted to install a shedquarter in their backyard. Despite most of us having returned back to work these backyard offices are still an excellent way to create an inspiring and productive space that is close to home yet totally unique and separate from the rest of your house. They’re great for people who work remotely to have a space to escape to away from the distractions within their home.
When you’re considering the design of the shedquarter it’s important to consider the visual elements including the colour, cladding, personalisations, and how it will fit in with your home and garden. Our environment has a huge impact on our energy levels, moods, and productivity so designing an effective space can be a total game changer.
What style would you want the interior of your shedquarter to be? Is your preferred look cosy and decorative? Or do you lean more towards a minimalist and stylish aesthetic? Do you find yourself captivated by the latest design trends, or do you strive for classic elegance? A good place to begin is by deciding whether you lean towards modern or traditional stylings. If you like patterns, rich velvety colours, and lots of details then a traditional style could be perfect for you. However, if your personal style favours crisp colours, clean lines, and open space then you may be leaning towards modern design.
Your design choices for your KiwiSpan shedquarter isn’t solely limited to the interior. We offer a fully customisable design experience which puts the power of choosing the size, cladding, doors, windows, roofing and colour scheme in your hands. We know that you don’t want to settle for a run of the mill shed, and with us, you don’t have to.
Versatile and functional, KiwiSpan shedquarters are designed and built in New Zealand using high-grade materials and are completely customisable to your needs. With your existing landscape in mind, we work with you to create the perfect space for you to work, relax, and play.
Explore our range of quality steel sheds today
Here’s How to Maintain Your New Shed
No matter the season, shed maintenance is vital but in winter it can be a particularly tough time for your shed. From strong gusty winds to heavy rain and even snow, your shed will need to resist and stand up against harsh weather.
Whether you’re looking after a simple garden shed or a large structure, we have you covered with some handy tips for keeping your shed maintained and prolonging its lifespan:
Check the gutters
KiwiSpan sheds are known for their robust quality and durability which makes them ideal for a variety of purposes. They’re designed to hold up against the elements, making them an enduring solution all year round.
One of the many great things about steel sheds is that they don’t require a lot of maintenance. However, to make sure that your shed remains in tip top condition you’ll need to keep an eye on the gutters. Firstly, you’re going to want to make sure that all of the gutters are still firmly attached to the structure and remove debris including leaves, branches, twigs and other miscellaneous debris that has gotten caught.
Watch out for damage
Whether it’s a cracked window, hole or dent, it’s important to fix problems as soon as they happen. However, sometimes issues aren’t obvious so you need to be proactive with your approach to looking out for future issues in order to prevent them.
As with your home, inspecting the roof of your shed for any leaks or damage is also important. If you don’t keep an eye on this, leaks in the roof could allow water to drip into your shed and damage what’s inside. Even if your roof seems to be in good condition, water can still make its way in so look out for discolouration on the ceiling and walls which may indicate that water is getting in.
Like with the gutters, it’s important to keep the roof of your shed clear too. If you live somewhere that experiences snowfall you will need to keep on top of removing it as excess snow and debris can cause weight issues and the constant presence of moisture can be damaging to your roof.
Keep the pests out
Have insects or rodents made themselves at home in your shed? Not only can this be annoying to you but they can also play a role in the deterioration of both your shed and what you’re storing inside of it.
To keep your shed free from pests here are some handy tips:
- Keep the grass around the perimeter of the shed trimmed.
- Don’t stack firewood against the outside of the shed.
- Don’t store rubbish inside the shed as it will attract insects and rodents.
- Sweep or vacuum your shed semi-regularly. Pests like to settle in places which seem undisturbed so having a regular cleaning schedule will help keep them out.
Okay shed owners now you’ve got some tips and tricks to keep your shed maintained. However, maybe your current shed is in such a state that you’re considering a new one or perhaps you’re considering a second shed. Either way, KiwiSpan offers a great range of fully customisable sheds to meet your exact needs.
Explore our range of quality steel sheds today
An Evolution of a Kiwi Classic – The Garage
The garage has always played a special role within the Kiwi home. Whilst it has been used primarily as the place to store the family wagon, it has also housed old sporting memorabilia, family heirlooms and keen hobby equipment.
But garages have evolved over the years. Today we want garages to not only be super functional but also look stylish, regardless of size – from single and double to triple-bay garages. KiwiSpan can fully customise a garage built to fit your desired aesthetics, in most cases matching your rooflines and cladding for ultimate visual appeal.
More and more homeowners are wanting their garage not just for storage, but also for work and play. The opportunities can include a personal gym or yoga space, an art studio or a wine cellar. The modern garage can even have carpet on the floor, giving it a more polished homely feel. Other things to consider are, should the space be warm? The addition of insulation can create a significantly more comfortable extra living or play space.
Post COVID-19 the trend to work from home has grown hugely in popularity, and a new garage can offer a home office type set up that gives you the professional space to be flexible in this area.
One of the common complaints from homeowners is that their current garage becomes the ‘dumping ground’ for anything unwanted in the home. Taking inspiration from commercial warehousing storage, there is now a range of storage solutions that can get items like bicycles and golf clubs off the floor and properly stored. By doing so, you then have a range of creative options on how to use your space, from a workbench that can double as a table tennis table or bar leaner, or useful household items like hanging wall racks to dry clothes.
By maximising the use of your garage space, not only will this enrich your current lifestyle but also deliver value to your home or property when it comes time to sell. Depending on your use of your new garage, make sure you consider its role in resale and that it can deliver on being a multifunctional space.
The best bit about your new garage? With KiwiSpan, you’re guaranteed it will be built to last. Made with New Zealand fabricated steel, your garage will be built to the highest standard and made to withstand the harshest conditions. You can rest easy, knowing you are getting a functional, stylish and reliable garage that won’t let you down.
Contact us HERE today to get the ball rolling on your next Garage project.
Some Great Things About Buying Kiwi-Made…
When it comes to building quality sheds for Kiwi’s, KiwiSpan sets the standard.
One of the keys to our success since 2003, is that 100% of our sheds and buildings are made with quality New Zealand steel. This means they’re built to the highest standard and made to withstand the harshest NZ conditions. It also means that KiwiSpan is supporting the local community and economy as a true kiwi-made product.
The impact of COVID-19 has seen many local businesses severely impacted. A recent Auckland Business Chamber survey revealed nearly one in three businesses will not survive COVID-19, along with industries like tourism and hospitality being severely affected. On the flip-side, one of the positive trends of the pandemic has been the tendency amongst New Zealanders to support local manufacturers and retailers, in a bid to boost the local economy and jobs. There have also been several local campaigns urging kiwi-shoppers to buy New Zealand goods, which have helped to drive this purchasing patriotism.
A major advantage of being kiwi-made is KiwiSpan’s local know-how. KiwiSpan will deliver a shed, barn or carport that is suited to your needs, but perhaps more importantly, to your local conditions. Built to last, every KiwiSpan warranty is formulated on the basis of your site and its needs. Your local KiwiSpan licensee will supply a tailored warranty that is specific to your build and will work with you to ensure you understand your maintenance obligations and warranty terms.
Perhaps KiwSpan’s most important kiwi-made element is our people. We have a nationwide network of experienced licensees, all fully owned and operated here in NZ. With the increase in online purchasing habits, KiwiSpan encourages all of our customers to do their research online, but also understand that sometimes nothing beats sitting down and talking with the local professional about what KiwiSpan can do for you. With KiwiSpan teams spanning from Northland to Christchurch, there’s a local shed expert around every corner.
Whether it’s a shed, farm barn or carport, KiwiSpan has the solution for you. Contact us HERE today to get the ball rolling on your next project.
Your Barn, Your Way
KiwiSpan has been paving the way in the New Zealand outdoor building and shed market since the early 2000s. Whilst KiwiSpan started out with the kiwi dream of building the very best shed, over the years we have innovated into many different types of outdoor buildings to suit the New Zealand landscape, for example, a growing trend is the popularity of farm sheds and barns.
What is a barn?
A barn by definition is a large building used by farmers to store equipment or crops. Depending on whether it is a hay barn, or machinery storage shed, a barn’s framing system is one of the critical elements to maximising the use of your new space.
The second important element in building a barn in a rural location is that it is made to last. The KiwiSpan range of farm sheds and barns have all been designed with New Zealand’s harsh environment in mind, built with hard-wearing durable steel of a higher spec than many other options in the market, and by expert builders with years of experience. So you can rest assured your KiwiSpan shed will stand the test of time.
How can I customise my barn?
Perhaps the most exciting feature is that your barn can be customised to your exact farming or lifestyle requirements. Optional extra’s include partition walls, awnings, garaports, as well as being able to design a variety of sizes, lengths and heights.
‘Barn living’ has become an international trend overseas, with more and more people leaving their city surroundings for a simpler life. KiwiSpan’s barns can be customised to include a home or hobby office or even a “man” cave. Your new barn can also easily be personalized with different choices in colour cladding, different window and door choices. This trend is growing in popularity because it represents the best of both worlds – a functional working space for your equipment or farm supplies, coupled with space that you can make your own – we’re thinking a man/ she-cave or new office.
Contact us HERE today to get the ball rolling on your new barn project.
No Consents Required
One of the hardest and most complex parts of building or renovating is the consent process and dealing with the council, but there has been some exciting news for homeowners in late 2020.
Recent changes mean that low-risk building work, such as sheds, carports and sleepouts, in many cases no longer need council consent to be built.
So if you’re considering a new addition to your home or property, it’s important to note that in a majority of cases, for the new building work not to require Council consent, these must be built by a manufacturer like KiwiSpan, or a licensed builder. With that in mind here are some options that no longer require Council consent;
- Buildings up to a maximum floor area of 30 metres – (these still can be built by non-professionals but require restrictions on building materials in accordance with the Building Code)
- Ground Floor Veranda’s or Awnings up to 30 metres
- Carports up to 40 metres
- Single-storey pole sheds and hay barns up to 110 square metres (but only in rural zones).
It’s important to note that any plumbing work to a new or current building still requires a building consent, and any electrical work will still have to be carried out by a registered electrician. Different councils can also have different local by-laws but some, like Auckland Council, have a handy online tool to check if your shed needs consent
For property owners, this has been welcome news, as it will save time and money when thinking about a new building or addition with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) predicting it will cut out the need for over 9000 consents and $18m worth of consent fees for homeowners.
However, it is also important to note that KiwiSpan is available to ensure that whatever your building size, shape or usage, that you will fully comply with the local council regulations before we commence building. Because KiwiSpan builds are entirely customised, we can give you a world of possibilities.
Whether it’s a shed, farm barn or carport, KiwiSpan has the solution for you.
Contact us HERE today to get the ball rolling on your next shed project.
The A-Z’s of Sheds
The dictionary definition of a shed reads as simply “a structure on your property that isn’t connected to your home”. By that definition, the options of what a shed is, and what it can do for you is pretty limitless.
With our customised approach, this is a pretty accurate description. We understand that everyone has different needs, and we pride ourselves on our ability to meet those needs, whatever they may be.
However, sometimes, with such a wide range of capabilities and options, it can become harder to nail down exactly what you want (and therefore need) in a shed. So we’ve put together a rundown of the different basic categories of sheds to help you find a starting point for your next project.
For those of you that grew up with parents that had a humble shack in your garden to store gardening equipment – that was technically a storage shed (although nowadays we tend to think bigger).
As the name implies, the purpose of these sheds is to, well, store things. The details of what specific features these sheds have will largely come down to what exactly it is you’ll be storing.
However, regardless of what you put in them, these sheds need to be able to protect your stored goods and keep them in pristine condition (read how we protect your valuables from NZ’s harshest conditions here.
Another shed type that says what it does in the name – habitable sheds are sheds that can serve as short term accommodation or as an extra, detached bedroom for your main residence.
These sheds can also be combined with other shed types (such as garages and workshops) to serve as an area to relax in between long hours on the workbench (read: mancave).
We’ve all got an image of an old, red farmhouse when someone mentions the term “barn” (and we probably got it from a painting or childhood storybook).
Unsurprisingly, a barn has traditionally referred to a shed that is specifically for agricultural use. Their trademark shape and design actually come from this original usage, as they were built to accommodate for windy days and getting the most out of the passing sun.
Nowadays, barns can be used for general storage, and their trademark design is more for show (as weather mitigating technology has advanced a bit). With their aesthetically pleasing appearance and spacious interior, they are a great general-purpose asset for storage and vehicle housing, as well as continuing to excel in their traditional agricultural usage.
Has this helped clear things up? You can always contact us for further info or to discuss your next project here.
5 Everyday Hobbies You Can Take to the Next Level with a Custom Shed
It’s not only the woodworkers and the sheep shearers that benefit from having a trusty shed around. A shed that’s customised to facilitate your specific hobby is the perfect way to get the most out of your free time activities.
Home Gym / Yoga Studio
We all know the hardest thing to do at the gym is turn up. The second hardest thing is having to wait for your favourite machine to free up. So by having your very own personal space nearby to get your sweat on, you’ve already made keeping in shape that much easier.
Pumping irons not really your way of keeping active? Our sheds can also serve perfectly as home yoga studios for you and your favourite stretching buddies. Not only do you get to choose the music (every time), you can also talk to us about setting up some kitchen facilities too (because every yoga studio needs a juice bar).
DIY and Upcycling
If Pinterest has taught us anything, it’s that one man’s trash is another man’s really trendy (and often profitable) new conversation piece.
A shed makes for an ideal workshop for those looking to take their old furniture/pallets/beer crates (and so on) to the next level. It’s also a great place to use your inventive, upcycled creations if your significant other isn’t into the whole “pallet coffee table” trend.
The cliche about the noisy next-door neighbour who always decides it’s time to practice the violin during the worst possible moments exists for a reason.
A custom shed can make the perfect space to practice your art of choice. From experimental interpretive dance to your own personal painting studio, KiwiSpan can help you build the ideal place to express yourself, without gaining the neighbour’s ire.
There’s nothing quite as cool as the art of taking a run-down car and injecting new life under the hood. And whilst this popular pastime of the mechanically inclined has typically taken place in the garage, this can cause issues when it’s already occupied by other vehicles (and to be fair, ones that actually run).
A larger shed can serve as an equally suitable holding zone whilst you restore your latest find at the scrapyard to its former glory. It’s also an ideal venue for the big unveiling party, so that’s a bonus.
Furthermore, there are quite a few custom features KiwiSpan can offer you – such as footings for a hoist to take on some of the heavy lifting involved.
Having your nearest and dearest around for a cold one (two, three and four) is possibly the most iconic of all the great kiwi pastimes. And having a backyard bar on-site only makes it greater. Not only does it provide you with a space to host an event, but you’ll also get a bar to serve the drinks and a space to store them between get-togethers.
More and more, folks around the nation, and beyond, are getting trendy outdoor entertaining spaces built in preparation for the long summer evenings. And it only takes a quick google for inspiration to see why.
Do you indulge in any of the above hobbies? Perhaps you’ve been inspired to take another pastime to the next level with a shed? Feel free to peruse our wide range of shed plans here, and get in touch to talk through some of the personalised options we can offer you.
How to Make a Small Shed Feel Bigger
When it comes to sheds (something we’d like to think we know a bit about), there’s this idea that short of owning a multi-acre section, sheds are just a place to store tools and collect lichen.
Frankly, this is something of a tragedy, as there’s nothing quite like owning a shed. Whether it’s a man cave to escape too or a sleepout that provides your eldest with a small brush with independence (and more you-time for you) or a place to spend some quality time on a passion project.
The bottom line is, just about anyone, with any sized section (yes, even city folk) can own the kind of shed worth spending time in. However, if size still seems like an issue for you, here are a few tips you can use to make any small shed feel bigger.
Interior designers have been using colours to manipulate how big or small a room seems for years. Whilst dark colours tend to create a cosy and intimate (or simply put, a smaller) atmosphere, lighter, more neutral colours have been shown to make indoor areas seem instantly more spacious.
Our favourites lighter neutrals include Zincalume, Tatiana, Cloud and Gull Grey. You can make further use of this trick by incorporating the chosen colour of the walls into your furniture (i.e. a similarly painted workbench for a workshop, or by using the same shade in your furniture upholstery for sleepouts), as this will strengthen the feelings of extra spaciousness.
Invite in the Natural Light
Whilst aiding the “largening” effect that neutral colours create, natural light is also a reliable tool unto itself when it comes to making smaller spaces feel bigger – due to the airy and relaxed atmosphere it creates.
KiwiSpan offers a range of window configurations and translucent shed roofing. Consider making use of this natural resource when designing your next shed.
Choose Multi-Functional Furniture
One of the simplest ways to keep a smaller space from feeling claustrophobic is to keep it from becoming overcrowded, either due to excess clutter or by having too much furniture.
The easy fix for this is to simply opt for multi-functional furniture when possible. A common example of this would be to use a workbench that also has a compartment for storing your tools. Other common examples include a sofa bed for sleepouts.
Have any of these tips inspired you? If so, feel free to check out our website and custom shed designers to explore what possibilities may be available to you as a future shed owner.
Your Space: How to Create the Ultimate Mancave/Sheshed
The idea of owning a room just for yourself – and no, we aren’t talking about your bedroom – but a room specifically designed for you, and only you, is something just about all of us have dreamed of owning.
What we’re describing has historically been known as a “Mancave” – and if you like that title, by all means, stick with it – but regardless of whether you call it that, or a SheShed, a MeShed or just “My Room” – here’s how to put together the ultimate space to elevate your spare time to a new level.
Planning is never the part of a project you most look forward to, but it’s vital to ensuring you end up with the best end product. You don’t have to have every detail down, but there’s a few things to consider before you start.
What are the features you absolutely can’t live without? How much space do you have to work with? Do you have enough power sources available? Is there adequate lighting? Will you need to install some form of climate control (i.e. heating or air-conditioning)?
Basically, what you’re ultimately figuring out is “how will you be able to achieve the space you’ve envisioned for yourself given the space you’ve got to work with?”
Filling it Up
Now comes the fun stuff. The only right way to create the ultimate “you space” is to fill it up with whatever works best for YOU. However, should you find yourself needing a little creative nudge, we’ve got you covered with some hints, suggestions and a few general must-haves below.
- Comfort – regardless of what you’re into, your space should be a place of relaxation, so comfortable seating should be your no.1 priority. Grab more than one, because sometimes the best ‘you time’ is spent with your best mates.
- Mini-Fridge – in the spirit of relaxing, an easy beverage should always be nearby so you aren’t constantly having to get up and leave just to have a drink. What those drinks are – beer, soda, or good old water – is largely immaterial, just as long as what you want is always nearby. Same goes for snacks.
- Coffee Machine – And whilst we’re on the subject of having your favourite beverage nearby, for many of us – that’s a good cup of coffee. Thankfully, the days when paying a barista was the only way to experience a warm cup of quality espresso are gone, as the user-friendly home espresso machine market is blooming. Making it incredibly easy and not too bank-busting to make your own café favourites without the café. So where better to enjoy some homebrewed caffeine than your private space?
- Themes – Make this place truly yours. The traditional image of a man cave often involves a big TV to catch the game, and if that’s what you’re into, have at. If you’re more of a movie buff, consider said big TV but with a surround sound system and a few movie posters to boot. If you have a particular passion, why not go all out with it? Fill it with maps, books, hang guitars on the walls – Whatever you’re into. You could even put up some relevant memorabilia on the walls. Create a place to totally immerse yourself in what you love.
Have we given you mancave (or she-shed) brain? Why not browse some of the sheds we offer.