Otley father-and-son with no carpentry experience up for Shed of the Year award with fantastic A-frame design

A man from Otley has been shortlisted for a Shed of the Year award after creating a stunning summerhouse

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:45 pm

Kieran Bentham, 51, had never taken on a DIY challenge of this scale but decided to put his skills to the test during lockdown.

He worked tirelessly on the build, with the help of his son Hugo, now 17.

Mr Bentham said: “I did a bit of clearing in the garden and it needed something so we kind of looked around and thought 'I'll put a shed there' but everything seemed a little bit flat packed.

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Kieran Bentham who built his shed himself at his home in Otley, which is up for the Shed of the Year award. Picture Tony Johnson

“I'd rather something a bit more unusual, a bit more bespoke, so I started looking on YouTube at different kinds of sheds, and I just came across these basically big triangle A-frame sheds.

“You can't buy one off of the pegs so I thought ‘right I'm going to have a go at building it’.

“I've got absolutely zero carpentry experience so I had to start from the ground up and I had no decent tools so it just kind of grew organically.

“It ended up being a huge amount of work. I've not totted up the hours but hundreds, probably well over 500 hours work.

Kieran and his son Hugo, 17, spent a year working on the shed. Picture Tony Johnson

“I just did it slowly over a year and my son helped me with it a lot so it was a bit of a father and son project.

“It ended up being quite the epic shed probably because of my inexperience.

“I put a base down and then I had to put a top bit on which matched the base so it ended up being six metres tall. It's a big unit.

“It was all YouTube and trial and error. If a joiner came round, it would stress them out, some of the angles aren't right and it's a bit wonky but the overall effect is pleasing.”

Now it is used by the whole family as a space to work and relax.

The quality of the shed inspired Mr Bentham to enter the Shed of the Year 2021 awards - though he joked that the inspiration did come after a few glasses of wine.

Mr Bentham, who is the managing director of a software company, said: “I was looking on Instagram and Shed of the Year kept popping up.

“Because my son had helped me I thought 'right, I'm going to submit a picture of ours' as a bit of a joke and then tell him that I had submitted it.

“It started as a joke and it kind of still is, it is a bit of fun, but that's how it happened - after a few glasses of wine I thought 'these sheds look good but mine would be up there' so posted it and the rest is history.

It even has a mezzanine bedroom for guests. Picture Tony Johnson.

“I thought nothing of it and then got an email a few weeks later to say I'd been shortlisted and now it is one of 22 finalists.”

Mr Bentham said: “It's a really good space now.

“Summer evenings are great if you've got friends round for a barbecue and then when it gets a bit colder, open the doors and you've got that sort of inside out space.

“It's a really good, versatile space.

“During lockdown, I was working predominantly from home and I worked in there, though I had to put a wood burner in.

“My wife uses it in the summer as well, and she works from home so as a social space and office space it's handy.

“It's got a little mezzanine bedroom as well so if the kids have friends around it's a really good asset and well used.

“It can be a curse though - 20 teenagers rocking up at 2 in the morning, so it has got to be carefully managed.”

The Shed of the Year 2021 awards are sponsored by Cuprinol.

Entrants were whittled down to just 22 finalists, with three sheddies shortlisted in the Budget, Cabin/Summerhouse, Pub & Entertainment, Unexpected/Unique, Workshop/Studio and Nature's Haven categories.