Like a large number of the UK workforce, you may have spent the past few weeks working from home instead of going to the office.

When it is sprung on us, it is a matter of making do and it often means compromising our living space.  If it’s not the kids’ shouting and making demands for food and attention, it might be the cat jumping on the keyboard or the dog asking to be let out.  Trying to concentrate when family life continues around us can be nigh on impossible.  Constant interruptions make it really challenging and can result in frayed tempers and a loss of productivity.

Working from the dining table can be a short term solution but apart from the inconvenience to the household, it isn’t ideal for your back health either.  We often spend many hours each day sitting at our computers.  If we don’t have the correct chair or desk for the purpose, it can cause back pain and related problems.


Office space of your own

There is also a lot to be said for having a defined finish time for work at the end of each day.  To be able to close the office door and walk away is an important part of separating work from home life.  Added to that, it’s nice to have the peace of mind that everything can be left undisturbed and ready to pick up the next morning.

None of us know how life will change as a result of COVID-19 and when we will feel safe to resume our commute to the office, which is often shared with others.  Bosses may realize that many of their staff can successfully work from home which is proven to cut down on sick days and stress levels


Time saver

From the business owner’s perspective, staff working from home can dramatically reduce overheads.  If all employees were to change from office-based to home-based, there would be no requirements for office premises, toilets, cleaning costs, car parking, and more.

How many hours do you waste each month commuting to and from work?  The stress of traffic jams and the unexpected challenges of train delays or road accidents.  What would you give to have these hours for yourself to spend as you choose?

Flexible space

Maybe now is the time to seriously consider getting yourself an affordable self-contained office that can be designed to suit your specific requirements.  It can be as small or large as you wish and the size can be adjusted to fit the space your garden allows.  Think of the benefits of having a commute-free working day that gives you a smart place to work, separate from your living space.


Staying safe

The employee would also benefit from no commute time and no travel costs.  Incidental spending like cups of coffee on the way to and from work along with sandwiches for lunch all add up.  Exposure to germs from fellow commuters or work colleagues would no longer be a worry.  If you currently run a car for the express reason of getting to work, that could be sold to give you a substantial and immediate saving.

Thanks to facilities such as Zoom, there are many tried and tested options to connect with people without leaving the comfort of your home.  If nothing else, COVID-19 has taught us to be resourceful and ‘think out of the box’.

Do the sums, and think of what you would stand to gain from this exciting life-change.

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The Study Space

Like many of us, you may be feeling your home is rather crowded at the moment. 

With the kids’ at home trying to continue their education and maybe your parents also working from home, space can be at a premium. 

If you have a garden, you might consider using a small area to create some extra indoor working space. 

Keep it Simple

You don’t need a big or expensive building.  An average work station is 6’ x 4’ and some are smaller.  This would be adequate to house a desk to potentially accommodate a couple of people. 

Something basic that is dry with the facility to run an extension lead in for heat and a desk light would be adequate.  A window is essential otherwise it could feel very claustrophobic but this need not be an expensive glass unit, a Perspex version would fit the purpose and keep the cost down. 


Should you wish to upgrade the building, this can be done to incorporate insulation to either the floor and roof or to include the walls too.  If you are planning to use the building all-year round for working in, it would be more efficient to heat.  Double glazed window/s and door would also be a benefit during colder weather. 

A standard mineral felt roof is a good option but if you are looking onto the building from upstairs windows, you might decide to upgrade to a tile effect roof.

There are endless uses for a building in your garden.  It can be used for storage of household items or garden furniture, machinery, tools and much more. 

A space for everyone

Kids of all ages benefit from space to escape to that is within the boundary of the home.  Youngsters love somewhere to set up their toys and enjoy imaginary games, away from the adults but near enough to be safe and watched.  It’s great for parents too not have to keep clearing up toys that encroach on the daily living space.

Older children enjoy a ‘den’ they can chill out in.  It gives them a level of independence on a manageable scale.  An old sofa, chairs or even cushions on the floor will be part of the fun. 

Teenagers crave their own space and often, we parents need space from them!  To be able to remove them from the house, allowing them to take calls from their mates without feeling we are listening in, can save a lot of rows. 

Give some thought to what size of building you need and what you will use it for.  Remember to think long-term as kids’ grow up and their requirements change.  A decent timber building will adapt to their (and your) ongoing needs. 

Think about where you would site a work station, given the window and door position.  Consider the direction of the sun and whether the area you are choosing to site the building, is in a windy position.  Ideally, you wouldn’t want the door opening directly into the prevailing wind so you might decide to have the door on a different side.

We can never have enough indoor space so the option to increase it at an affordable figure has to be an attractive one.

View NFF Timber Buildings

Working From Home?

Thanks to advanced technology, it is often no longer necessary to work in the conventional shared office space we’ve been used to.

Why not have a garden office?

It can be a dream come true to ‘commute’ down your garden path to your purpose-built office. Immediately your stress levels drop, your efficiency rises and long hours spent travelling to and from work are eradicated.  Accepted, there is an initial outlay but this doesn’t have to be high and within a few months it will pay for itself.

You will no longer need your dog-walker and when your older kids’ are off school, you will be around rather than relying on costly childcare.

Instead of compromising your living space by finding areas to work which inevitably have to be cleared away each day, you can design your office to be perfect for what you need.  As you finish work, you can shut the door and walk away, knowing it will be ready to pick up again the following day.

When designing your bespoke office space, give some careful thought to your requirements

If possible, allow as much natural light into your office space as possible but protect yourself from the midday sun which could become uncomfortably warm during the summer months.  If necessary, you can always pull a blind across the window.

When considering the position for your new office, think about the view.  Do you want it facing the house or would you prefer it to be pointing in a different direction?  You may have an area of garden further away from your house that isn’t fully utilised at the moment.  Sometimes, an area overgrown with brambles and vegetation can be bigger than you think.

Something else to think about is the view of your new office as seen from your house.  If you are looking down from the first floor onto the roof of the building, would you want the roof covering to be slate-effect or are you happy with conventional felt or a rubber roof?

Use your garden office all year round

For year round use and energy efficiency it is wise to opt for full insulation to the walls, floor and ceiling as well as investing in double glazing.  Sliding doors are the best choice for making the most of your internal space.

Flooring should be easy to clean as the winter months may cause you to tread mud in from your walk down the garden.

For heating you may choose an electric version of the conventional woodburning stove.  These plug-in smoke effect heaters are very realistic and give instant heat without the mess and need to store logs.

Other options are basic plug in ground or wall mounted heaters, readily available from a wide range of suppliers

Give some thought to how you will position your desk.  Ideally you want natural light but not glare.


Accessories your office space

Will you need room for a filing cabinet, a small sofa or book shelves?  Maybe consider some wall shelves for plants for that personal touch.  If you are likely to entertain clients, you might want an area to make tea and coffee and a small table to put your mugs on.  A couple of coat hooks might be a worthwhile addition too.


It’s a good idea to think all this through before placing your order for a building.  The design can be adjusted to incorporate what you need, making the building even more user-friendly and enjoyable to work in.

View our garden offices

5 Ideas for Setting up the Perfect Home Gym

Do you feel the need to join a gym, but shy away from commercial gym contracts, the lack of privacy and expensive monthly payments?

Why not make your own gym at home.   With no gym fees or travel costs, you will also have the convenience to work out in your own time with no excuses. It could be the best investment for mind, body, and wallet this year!

Here are our 5 top tips to hit the ground running with your home gym set up.

1.Choose the right space

It would be very handy if you have a spare room in your home for a gym space, ideally somewhere where you won’t be disturbed while working out. Other options could be an outside building like a disused garage or purpose-built garden building like a log cabin or contemporary style insulated garden room. Preferably space where you don’t need to share it with anyone else!


 2. The Equipment

Gym equipment doesn’t need to cost the earth. There are some great deals on eBay and Shpock for second-hand bench presses, treadmills, cross trainers & bikes. Colourful stability balls and weights are ideal to add some vibrancy and can be stored neatly along walls and in the corners. Ideally, your floor needs to be strong and equipment friendly. Gym equipment can have a harsh effect on floors so it would need to be reinforced with some sound-proofing to form a ‘cushion’. Various options include carpet, inter-lockable foam tiles or a thick vinyl.

3. Accessories

Once you’ve decided on your equipment you can have fun adding the final touches with some clever accessorising. There’s no reason why your home gym can’t have the same appearance as a professional gym. A mirror is a good addition if you like to see how you are working or just like posing!  You may consider adding some shelves for a bottle of water, towels and a stock of protein bars. Why not use the wall space for a TV, speakers and a fan.  For the winter months, you may spoil yourself with a heater timed to turn on half an hour before your gym session.

4. Inspirational impact

There’s nothing like some words of wisdom to change your mindset. If you feel you need some motivation, you could add some words of inspiration with some positive wall art phrases.

5. Use it   

Having set up your home-gym, you can set to work toning and losing weight.  Start off slowly and build up into a regular exercise routine.  You will be amazed how quickly you will see a difference.  If you start now you will be ready to show off your body with confidence this summer!

Christmas Shutdown


Welly Boot Store

We've launched a new product...a handy welly boot store. Made here in our workshop in Horam.

It's great for storing wellies and some garden tools.

• Pressure Treated Timber
• Redwood Shiplap Panels
• Internal Pegs for Handy Storage
• Heavy Duty Mineral Felt Roof
• Pressure Treated Timber
• Choice of Stencil Design

Size: 166cm (H) 62cm (D) 72cm (W)

Boot store supplied unpainted.

Only £273 including VAT (Collection Only)

Ex-Display SALE

Our Ex-display building Sale has started at Merriments Garden Centre in Hurst Green, East Sussex TN21 7RA

Log cabins, Summerhouses, Sheds, Stables and Field Shelters with massive discounts.

Visit us at Eridge Horse Trials 15th -16th July 2017

Eridge Horse Trials 15th-16th July 2017

This weekend (15th-16th July) we will be exhibiting at the historic Eridge Horse Trials & Country Market.

Eridge Horse Trials have been going for 24 years, as well as the horse trials there is a lovely country market on both days and a dog show on Sunday.

We’ll be there with our new cottage garden office, The Retreat, and our beautiful ornate stable.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Airbnb in your garden?

The Flimwell Log Cabin
The Flimwel

Airbnb is big business nowadays. It all started with a couple of guys in the US renting out 3 blow up mattresses in their flat to help pay their rent.

You may have considered renting out one of your spare rooms to strangers but do you mind sharing your home with people you’ve never met?  The ideal option is to use your garden instead.

If you have some outside space, why not install a smart timber ‘shed’ or a beautiful Scandinavian-style log cabin to rent out.  These buildings are sympathetic to the environment and don’t need to cost much.  They are quick to install enabling your business to be up and running within a few weeks.  If you want them to be appealing for all-round use, a wood-burning stove will be a good selling point.

Building an investment

The building will be an investment and won’t take long to pay for itself as the guests start rolling in.  It will add value and market appeal to your property as it could serve as an office or granny annex as well as a revenue stream.

Things to consider

Many guests are happy to pay a premium for self-contained accommodation as most people like having their own space.  Staying in someone else’s home can feel awkward and restrictive.

If you don’t have space for a kitchen, you could offer ‘breakfast in a bag’.  A fresh croissant, piece of fruit and a juice with maybe a cereal bar would be a nice touch.

Who to target

Business travelers are a good market to focus on.  Wi-Fi is essential if you want to attract corporate guests, ideally free of charge.  They also require a workstation, chargers for laptops and phones and a smartphone docking station.


Regular travelers appreciate a comfortable bed and peace and quiet so they can relax and wake up fresh for the next day.

Room with a view

Nice views are another consideration.  If you site a building in your garden, consider what the outlook is.  Unless you have natural views to enjoy, a pretty flower bed or some flowering tubs lift the spirits.  Bird feeders are another popular addition to help relax your guests.

It is best to keep the inside of the building simple and easy to clean.  A few personal touches such as fresh flowers and maybe some tasty biscuits are always appreciated.

If you would like any ideas for creating your own Airbnb ‘shed’ or cabin, contact our friendly team at NFF Ltd…..


Airbnb is a fast-growing industry, ticking boxes for both the traveler and the host.  It is reported that 88% of Airbnb’s reservations are for groups of 2-4 people and 60% for the entire home/apartment.

If you are starting out as an Airbnb host, you need to consider whether this a casual arrangement for earning a bit of extra money or whether you are looking to ultimately make it your main source of income.  You can start off in a small way and look to build on your success as your reputation as a good host grows.

When you think about it, what could be easier?