Shed sales soar as buyers seek a change of scenery

Rob Scott of Cabins Unlimited (inset) with one of his timber buildings. Pictures: Rob Scott

Rob Scott of Cabins Unlimited (inset) with one of his timber buildings. Pictures: Rob Scott - Credit: Rob Scott

A cabin business has seen demand increase fivefold since the beginning of 2020 as people seek to escape their homes and families for a change of scenery. 

Cabins Unlimited, which is based in Dereham, is now selling up to 10 timber buildings a week - in the run up to Christmas 2019 they would sell two. 

Rob Scott, owner of the business, said the phones had been "ringing off the hook" with enquiries. 

"It seemed like January 1 hit and every time we put the phone down it would just start ringing again," he said.

"By the time lockdown was announced in March we were just run off our feet.

"People wanted a timber cabin for everything from home offices to gyms. People also needed them to set up business run from home like hair dressing studios or beauty salons. Of course, a few just wanted a cabin so they could have some space from their families."

What was unexpected were the enquiries coming in from sectors such as education. 

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"We've had a lot of schools buying larger frames and buildings as they need more space for socially-distanced teaching and training. It's been similar with offices needing more room."

Mr Scott thinks demand will continue to fly with employers choosing to foot the bill for cabins instead of reopening costly offices.

"We've had some clients charge their employers directly for the cabin and I think we'll continue to see that," he said.

"Businesses have realised with the right management they don't need people tied to a desk. And employees have realised how much time and money they have saved by not commuting."

Mr Scott made six hires during 2020 and will be looking to take on more staff.

A cabin installed for use as a hair salon. Picture: Rob Scott

A cabin installed for use as a hair salon. Picture: Rob Scott - Credit: Rob Scott

"We have to be careful but if demand continues to grow we'll need more of everyone. Realistically we could have done with a few more people during this lockdown because of how busy we were, but the roles require a lot of training which is difficult to do over Zoom," he said. 

With turnover increasing to more than £2m in 2020, Mr Scott took on a new site in Lincolnshire - adding to his existing premises in Norwich, Downham Market and Dereham.