A MALVERN snowboarder is celebrating making it into the finals of the 2021 Cuprinol Shed Of The Year competition after creating a cosy ski lodge in his back garden.
Paul Richardson laboured on his five-sided creation, dubbed The Pentagon, throughout the winter months of lockdown.
Its unique design combines scaffolding planks, old pallets and reclaimed windows found on eBay.
The striking black exterior was the result of following an ancient Japanese art of charring wood.
Paul said: “It has been a proper lockdown project for us.
“We kept looking at the space in lockdown one, then in that gap in the middle of the lockdowns we managed to buy some random windows on eBay which we collected, then we started to design the shed around what we already had.
“Then it was Lockdown two and we had nothing to do on our days off work other than building the shed.
“It was a true family effort, our son’s first ever building design, and the three of us on the tools for days and weeks as we learned all the trades you need to build a shed like ours.
“Building the Pentagon stopped us all from going stir crazy during the lockdowns.
“It’s given us a cosy space to use on cold wet winter evenings and we’ve also had some great nights already just sat outside around the fire with some beers.
“All we need now is the all clear to invite family and friends!”
The interior of The Pentagon contains a unique ‘legless’ desk designed by Paul’s son as well as a wood-burning stove.
It is one of three on the shortlist in the ‘Lockdown’ category.
The competition sees the 22 finalists go shed-to-shed across the nine categories. A winner from each will be decided by public vote, before a panel of shed experts decide which overall winner will be awarded the giant golden crown.
Alongside eternal shed glory, the overall winner will also receive £1,000, a plaque and £100 of Cuprinol products.
Head judge and founder of the competition Andrew Wilcox said: “The past year has been an incredibly challenging time for all of us and, now more than ever, we’re aware of how important the humble shed can be.
“Sheds are not just unloved, brown structures at the bottom of the garden that house tools and household junk, they are vital spaces where you can go to relax, work on a project or burn off some steam.
“The high-calibre entries this year really prove why we set up the competition in the first place – to highlight the valuable role sheds can play in our lives, in our businesses and the positive impact they have on our wellbeing.”
Kirsty Woodbine, Marketing Manager for Cuprinol, added: “We are overwhelmed by the amount and quality of entries we’ve received this year.
“The sheds were of such a high standard that narrowing them down to just 22 was an incredibly difficult task.
“The level of innovation, imagination and creativity we’ve seen has been incredible, as has the number of people using their sheds as dedicated spaces to help others in their community. This year’s contest has been truly life affirming.”
Last year’s shed-building superstar Daniel Holloway walked away with the coveted title of Cuprinol Shed of the Year 2020 after wowing judges with his nature-inspired refuge Bedouin Tree-Shed, built around two tree trunks in his back garden.
Ashley Bates took home the competition’s first ever Special Commendation in 2020, after setting up The Shed School to help educate children while lockdown closed classrooms.
Public voting for the 15th annual competition opens on Wednesday, June 2 and will close on Monday, July 12.
And now, after all the hard work, Paul needs Observer readers’ help to win the competition.
Click here to vote.