Shepherd Hut as Tiny House?

Shepherd huts are synonymous with spending a few days out in nature and a great alternative to a caravan or camping holiday. It’s great for a getaway, but could it also be used as a tiny house?

The tiny house movement has been gaining interest for several years. There have been many creative ways of building a home, from kitting out vans and boats to building whole homes from scratch in the most space-efficient ways to maximise the living space while keeping them as compact as possible.

Furthermore, there has been high profile headlines about the UK being ‘Net Zero’ by 2050 and the increasing focus on moving away from fossil fuels to more renewable energy and resources. Interest in electric cars is increasing as people are wanting to reduce their reliance on petrol. This desire to live in more sustainable and environmentally friendly ways is also influencing our homes. In addition to plans to replace house gas boilers with alternative methods to help the environment, people are also thinking about how they could further contribute to the environmental effort. As a shepherd hut is a small home, it would take far less heating than a bigger house and therefore could be far more sustainable than a traditional home. Another big draw is that these homes are often mobile and means rather than having to move home, you can move your home there.

So how useful could a shepherd hut be in replacing a full-time house?

Firstly, would you need planning permission for a shepherd hut? If it’s a garden house that is an addition to your home, it’s unlikely you would need planning permission, but if it was on land which deemed it ‘a change of use’ you may need planning permission. This would be something you would need to look into in your local area.

Layout and Liveability

A home is where you feel safe and can shut out the world and relax. While the advantage of a bigger house is more space for things, there is something to be said about having what we really need and keeping our space decluttered (I’m sure Marie Kundo would approve). What would you say are the essentials in a home layout?

  • A bed?  Check.
  • A Kitchen?  Yep!
  • A bathroom/toilet?  Of course…
  • A place to sit?

A shepherd hut has you covered!

A shepherd hut can be built to different lengths and specifications, so if you need a bit more room, no problem. Though it is not without limitations, if you are more into minimalistic living then there is enough room for two people. It might get a bit crowded with more full-time residents though…

Environmental Factors

Wells shepherd huts are lined with insulation that makes use of sheep wool, which is a natural product and an amazing insulator. This makes your shepherd hut naturally climate-controlled and helps to keep the temperature inside the shepherd hut comfortable. As a natural product, it is good for the environment compared to man-made insulation materials.

As far as heat goes (which will differ depending on if you are the type who likes to wrap up or to live in a sauna at all times) a shepherd hut will warm up faster than a traditional house. Its smaller floor plan and insulated walls will assist the wood-burning stove to get your desired temperature while using less fuel.

Photo by Skylar Kang


Shepherd huts are built on a chassis and have wheels. Although they will need to be towed to their next destination, you can move them around. If you were moving a large distance they can be put on the back of a haulage truck (unless you fancy your chances of moving it with balloons like in ‘Up’). Ideal for people who hate having people viewing their house or the hassle of selling before they can move. No chain. No delay. Just move your home to your new location!



Like many things in life, how much does it cost is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string. It is all going to depend on your specifications and your budget. But realistically, while you are likely looking at tens of thousands for your new shepherd hut, it is also likely to be significantly less than most houses.


Yes, a shepherd hut could be a full-time home. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you are environmentally conscious, enjoy minimalistic living (or you can put up with falling over your partner’s stuff and not falling out) then this could be for you. If you like to go against the grain a bit (I have a friend who lives on a houseboat and never tires telling people about it) then having a shepherd hut on your own piece of land could be a great addition to your lifestyle. At the very least, it could be an alternative to a studio apartment until you are ready to buy a bigger house and maybe even have your shepherd hut join you by becoming a garden summer house.

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