Prices for finished huts will soar 40% as the cost of wood doubles amid home-building boom


Shed alert! Prices for finished huts will soar 40% as the cost of wood doubles amid a surge in Americans snapping up timber during home-building boom

  • Leading manufacturer stopped making garden sheds due to volatile market 
  • Another warned that prices of sheds are likely to be at least 40 per cent higher
  • Covid has seen rising demand for sheds amid garden and home makeover mania 

Soaring timber prices are forcing the cost of sheds up – just as demand has rocketed.

One leading manufacturer has stopped making basic garden sheds because the market is so volatile.

Another warned that prices of sheds are likely to be at least 40 per cent higher this year after the cost of wood doubled.

Most of the wood for sheds is imported from Scandinavia but mills have diverted a huge proportion to the US

Most of the wood for sheds is imported from Scandinavia but mills have diverted a huge proportion to the US, where there is a home-building boom.

Another factor is poor weather – the felling of trees in Sweden has been hit by successive warm winters combined with heavy rainfall, making it impossible for machinery to navigate muddy logging tracks. 

On top of this, social distancing due to Covid-19 has slowed down mill workers who cut and treat timber for export.

At the same time, the pandemic has seen rising demand for sheds amid a multi-billion-pound home and garden makeover mania.

At the top end of the market, sheds can cost £50,000 – comprising luxury bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and offices.

At the same time, the pandemic has seen rising demand for sheds amid a multi-billion-pound home and garden makeover mania

At the same time, the pandemic has seen rising demand for sheds amid a multi-billion-pound home and garden makeover mania

Retailer Toolstation said its sales of outdoor buildings were up 500 per cent between January and May compared with the same period in 2020. Shed manufacturer Kybotech, which sells via the website billyoh.com, has seen sales of log cabins increase by 142 per cent in a year.

Founder Charles Walton said: ‘Across the entire industry, the price of sheds and log cabins has soared by over 40 per cent.’

Nick Williams, of Olympian Garden Buildings, which recently featured in Country Life magazine, said such is the demand for sheds that he had to take on extra staff to handle relentless enquiries from ‘armchair gardeners’.

Retailer Toolstation said its sales of outdoor buildings were up 500 per cent between January and May compared with the same period in 2020

Retailer Toolstation said its sales of outdoor buildings were up 500 per cent between January and May compared with the same period in 2020

Mr Williams later decided to suspend the manufacture of his basic sheds due to soaring wood prices. Instead, he said his company was focusing on big bespoke sheds, which are more profitable.

‘When I looked at the costings and the way the timber market is going, it wasn’t sensible to continue with (basic sheds) for now,’ he said. ‘Timber prices have virtually doubled since January – these are the typical shed cladding redwood boards. That is having a knock-on effect across the shed manufacturing market in this country. I believe some small firms trading at the bargain end of the market will not survive.’

He said a good quality 8ft x 6ft (2.5m x 2m) shed that might have been just under £700 a year ago would now be £1,000 or more.

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