Craftsman David Jevons barely stops for thought when he’s asked about his work.
“I absolutely love it,” says the 40-year-old father of two.
“It’s just so satisfying.
“Creating something from scratch and then seeing the reaction of my customers.
“I can’t imagine anything more rewarding.”
David’s business, The Dorset Hutmaker, centres around building traditional shepherd’s huts.
He’s been passionate about craftsmanship since his teens, studying design and then carpentry, but only launched out on his own four years ago.
David said: “I love shepherd’s huts; their design, their functionality, their history and their presence.
“Although I started The Dorset Hutmaker in 2016, I’ve spent years learning how to build them using the best of traditional and modern techniques.
“They are authentic shepherd’s huts, combining traditional building methods with modern design ideals and knowledge.”
The term ‘hut’ – while accurate – doesn’t really do David’s work justice.
In fact, they’re bespoke wooden works of art which can take anything from 12 weeks or more to build with an average cost of around £21,000.
The Dorset Shepherd’s Hut comes in a range of lengths – 12, 14, 16 and 18ft being the most common.
There are two different widths, the more traditional 6ft 6ins and wider 8ft 3ins.
Key features of a hut include:
- Corrugated or timber cladding
- Traditional steel rolling chassis with hand forged design features
- Sustainable cladding
- Single or double stable doors
Then it’s down to you on how to customise your space by selecting the bespoke fixtures, fittings, and finish to create your hut.
Available extras include bespoke lighting and electrical options, hand-made furniture and interiors and a fully installed wood-burner.
Reclaimed and British grown timber is used, where possible.
David works with local artisans and one of the UK’s last remaining manufacturers of traditional ironmongery for the bespoke detailing.
Planning permission is not required for home use as long as the shepherd’s hut is on wheels and portable.
“Every hut is different for each customer and that’s what makes it so special,” said David who is married to Stephanie.
Stephanie has her own business, Floral Design by Stephanie Jevons, and the couple share the same workshop in Tarrant Launceston near Blandford.
They’ve been married nine years and have two sons, Brody, aged seven, and Ted, two.
So what sort of uses do David’s customers have for their shepherd’s huts?
For the home it could be a stylish guest bedroom, a dedicated home office, a creative writer’s space, an artist’s studio, a children’s playroom or just a peaceful retreat.
And, of course, if you ever decide to move, you just take the hut with you.
Businesses, from spas, hotels and salons to farms, pubs and glamping/campsites, can use the extra space for treatment rooms, an outdoor bar or perhaps a food trailer.
David said the first lockdown had been tough for his business.
However, since then, there had been lots of interest and various projects had come in to keep him busy.
The launch of a new range of bespoke furniture items on Etsy had also been successful.
He said: “The combination of the staycation and working from home has definitely had a positive effect on sales.
“With current restrictions on travel, it seems people are choosing to invest in their home and garden.
“It’s a very enjoyable, and satisfying, way of making a living.”
By: Andrew Diprose Dorset Biz News