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Shepherd's Hut Buyer's Guide

Your 8-Step Check List

When it comes to looking for a shepherd's hut for sale, it’s easy to fall in love at first sight. Your plans for a bijou home-office or romantic holiday let can easily mean the practicalities of hut purchasing and ownership get put on the back-burner.

With over 20 years of designing, manufacturing and installing our handmade snugs and cabins, we have unrivalled knowledge about shepherd’s huts. From planning permission and insurance to material choices and maintenance, we’ve compiled a checklist to ensure you’re ready to start your shepherd’s hut adventure.

Do I need Planning Permission?

Before you get distracted by paint finishes and interior options, look into planning permission. Some people require planning permission for a shepherd’s hut, and most don’t. If your hut is going to be placed in your garden and privately used, planning permission isn’t generally required, which makes them a great alternative to an extension.  If a material change of use occurs, for business use on a field for example, then planning permission will probably be required, although we haven't heard of many problems achieving it.

If you intend to use a hut for rental purposes or holiday accommodation, or there’s a permanency to the structure (i.e. your hut has plumbing connected to the drain or septic tank) it may be viewed as less portable. If in doubt, remember that the shepherd's hut itself doesn't need planning permission, it's what you are doing with it that might.

What type of chassis is best?

The chassis that your hut is built on is something you should think about.  It is crucial to preserving the hut’s longevity, and makes transporting the hut much easier (which is ideal if you need to relocate in the future). Some huts are made on wooden frames, and are more likely to suffer from the weather. Our huts are supported by a solid steel chassis and cast-iron wheels, which is why they last for generations.

What interior features should I choose?

We’ve made plenty of unusual huts – moveable spas, party pads and cinemas rooms – so you need only be limited by your imagination, however a good starting point is to consider the intended use. If you’re utilising the hut as guest accommodation or a B&B retreat, you’ll need a bed, shower room and kitchen facilities. However, if your hut is being used as a garden office or playroom, you might want more seating and plenty of storage. Either way, consider your ideal interior and let our designers bring your vision to life with CAD drawings and illustrations. Traditional craftsmanship combined with unrivalled technical know-how means a Plankbridge hut will always feel wonderfully sumptuous inside.

What happens if I move house?

One of the many advantages of a shepherd's hut is that, being portable, you can take your hut with you when you move, or if it was a particularly tricky installation you can sell it the new owner and order a new one. If you simply want to move the position of your hut in your garden – for example to a summer or winter resting spot – our huts have a draw bar on the steering end, meaning they can easily be pulled around using a small tractor or 4x4.

What heating options should I choose?

Before you think about heating, check the hut is well insulated. We use British Thermafleece sheeps wool, which keeps our huts warm in the colder months and cool in the summer. It’s a sustainable and environmentally friendly material too. We can fit traditional wood burning stoves or cast-iron radiators, ensuring your hut remains cosy.

How long should I expect my hut to last?

A Plankbridge hut is built to last for generations and we are one of the only manufacturers that offers a 20-year structural guarantee. We can do this with confidence because we only use quality (and often locally-sourced) materials. When it comes to design and craftmanship, we continue to innovate and invest, meaning a Plankbridge shepherd’s hut will have been authentically built by a talented team.

How environmentally friendly will my hut be?

We’re firm believers in buying less and making things last. It’s one of the reasons why Plankbridge shepherd’s huts are made to design principles that are good for both people and planet. Before you buy your hut it’s worth asking a few questions about the materials and manufacturing process.

For example, our workshop is run to low-waste and energy consumption principles and we have a carefully curated supply chain, featuring predominantly British business. We also only use timber and sheet materials which carry certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) who promote sustainably managed forests worldwide. We are also the only shepherd's hut makers to be endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society.

How much money could I make out of a shepherd’s hut?

With the rise in popularity of glamping staycations, more and more people are using shepherd's huts to utilise available outdoor space and generate an income. A shepherd's hut is a great investment and with sites such as Airbnb advertising huts for between £70 and £175 a night, even with 50% occupancy at a low nightly rate you could generate over £12k a year. Your hut would quickly pay for itself, whilst also offering a handy bolt-hole for you and your family to enjoy.