Brits escape to the shed during lockdown

05 June 2020

Shed blue

With holidays on hold and people spending more time with their loved ones than perhaps ever before, a sixth (15%) of UK adults are turning to their sheds as a place to escape, a study from Co-op Insurance reveals.

Whilst over two thirds (68%) of people who own a shed use it to store garden equipment and furniture, almost a tenth (8%) are now using the space as a reading room and one in ten shed owners (7%) have created office space to work from home. Meanwhile one in 20 shed owners have turned their sheds into pubs, with others creating places for their children to play.

With over a quarter (27%) of UK adults taking on DIY projects during lockdown, it’s perhaps no surprise that a sixth (16%) of shed owners are using their humble abodes as a place to do DIY. Two thirds (65%) have spent up to 10 hours per week on such projects.

Furthermore, the shed itself is not exempt from a DIY makeover, with a third (32%) of shed owners saying they have decorated their shed in some way.

Over four fifths (86%) have painted their sheds, almost a quarter (24%) have added wall art and pictures and a third (32%) have invested in fairy lights.

Others have even wallpapered the interiors of their sheds, making them the ideal place for escapism during lockdown.

The research also reveals how much people are willing to spend on their sheds. Of the three fifths (62%) of people who own a shed, almost half (48%) spent up to £500 and a further one in ten (8%) have spent over £2000 on buying or building a shed.

Of those people who bought a shed during lockdown, almost a fifth (18%) say they afforded it with their lockdown savings and over a tenth (13%) used funds which they’d recouped from cancelled events such as festivals and weddings.

Caroline Hunter, Head of Co-op Home Insurance, said: “As we spend more time at home to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, it’s good to see that so many people are using their sheds as safe places to retreat to, from DIY workshops to places to read.

“As people adapt their sheds to suit their needs it’s important that they make sure electrical and other expensive items are safely secured away when not in use.”


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Notes to Editors: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2137 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 20th May 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

About Co-op Insurance: Co-op Insurance is part of the Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance, legal services and health. It has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates 2,600 food stores, over 1,000 funeral homes and it provides products to over 5,100 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited. It has more than 63,000 colleagues and an annual revenue of over £10 billion.