Sheds ahead: research reveals Brits are using sheds as bars, gyms and hobby spots – but aren’t insuring them

  • Over HALF of people might not have insurance for their shed
  • 13% of men use theirs as a “man cave”
  • 8% of Brits have turned theirs into a gym
  • 6% have converted their sheds into games rooms

New research from Go.Compare home insurance has found that 65% of the population currently has a shed or outbuilding at home – and despite the fact that the average UK shed is used to store around £455 worth of valuables, 55% of shed owners didn’t have insurance to cover their sheds or outbuildings, hadn’t thought about it, or didn’t know if they had the right cover.*

The new research quizzed more than 1,300 shed owners about how they currently use their outbuildings – and found they aren’t just for storage. The results revealed that men are the main shed owners in the UK (69%) and are almost three times as likely (13%) to use them as a “man cave”, compared with just 5% of women using their sheds as a “woman cave”.

One in ten shed owners use them as a “hobby space”, and a further 13% use them for their original purpose – as a potting shed for gardening. Eight percent of those questioned have converted their sheds into gyms and 6% use them as a games room.

When it comes to the younger generations, those aged between 18-34 are nearly twice as likely to use sheds/outbuildings as a gym (15%) compared to the general public (8%). And it seems the home bar hasn’t gone out of fashion four years post-pandemic, with those aged 18-24 THREE times as likely to have converted their sheds or outbuilding into home bars.

According to the data, the average value of the contents that UK householders keep in either a shed or outbuilding is £455, though for 1 in 6 people (16%) it’s more than £1,000. However, despite the high value of these items, only 44% of those surveyed are certain they have insurance cover in place.

Ceri McMillan, home insurance spokesperson for Go.Compare, said on the research: “We did a similar survey in 2021, during the pandemic, where we found that UK adults had spent an average of £1,976 on their gardens during the pandemic. We wanted to find out if the way people are using these spaces has changed four years on, and whether or not these former havens were now defunct – so it was heartening to see people are still making the most of these spaces.

“It’s clear many people are keeping quite valuable items in their sheds. But whether you’re using your shed to store gardening tools or gym equipment, it’s important to know if it’s properly protected. Many of us may not think about the value and security of our garden contents in the same way as we do about our homes, but when you start adding up the cost of garden structures, furniture, BBQs, lighting, and ornaments, even the average garden can house several thousands of pounds worth of items. 

“Sheds and other outbuildings are often covered under your buildings insurance – but this just covers the structure, not what you keep inside.   Instead, these items – along with any patio furniture, BBQs, garden planters and ornaments – can be covered by home contents insurance under ‘contents in the open’, which provides cover for loss or damage to contents left outside but within the boundaries of your home.

“While there’s often a degree of cover for gardens and outbuildings in a home insurance policy, the amount and level of cover can vary significantly.  So, if you’re keeping valuable items in your shed, you may want to check your insurance cover and make sure it’s right for your requirements, or even buy additional garden cover.” 

Go.Compare Home Insurance has provided some tips below to help secure your garden and its contents:

  1. It’s a good idea to keep boundary hedges and fences maintained as this will help to deter opportunistic thieves.
  2. Where it’s practical to do so, keep outdoor possessions in a locked shed or garage and consider installing security lighting or CCTV.
  3. You can also secure expensive plants with wire pegs dug into the ground around the root ball.
  4. Use a security pen to mark valuable items that are left in the open with your postcode (e.g. garden furniture, ornaments and trampolines). 

For more information on garden and shed insurance visit:

In June, Blue Light Card holders who purchase home insurance through Go.Compare will receive an exclusive £30 Amazon Voucher. For Terms and Conditions please visit here.

TopCashBack is also offering £36 cashback for customers who purchase a car insurance policy during the week commencing the 24th June and £30 cashback during the week commencing 10 June and 17 June. For more information and to read the Terms and Conditions visit here.


Contact Information

Rubie Barker

Notes to editors

For further information please contact:

Lynsey Walden on, or Kath Chadwick on

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

*These findings are from a study released by Sago between May 10th and 13th, among a random selection of 2,073 of GB adults ages 18+, of which 1,352 own a shed or outbuilding.

The results were weighted by age, gender, region, and ethnicity to match the population, according to Census data. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals when compared to the data tables are due to rounding. Excerpts from this release of findings shsould be properly attributed, with interpretation subject to clarification or correction.

About Go.Compare

Go.Compare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

It does not charge people to use its services and does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. Go.Compare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. It is this approach to comparing products that secured the company an invitation to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) in 2008, and it is still the only comparison site to be a member of this organisation.

Go.Compare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest and works with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

Go.Compare is part of Future Plc and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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