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Straight to the poolroom

Arts

A PROJECT to build a backyard shack has turned into an Australia-wide business for Jon and Nicola Bingham.

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Ozshacks has been building fully wired and insulated “wooden tents” for caravan parks and camping grounds for the past two years from its base in Adelaide, South Australia.

Their Original and larger Family Ozshacks now accommodate glampers in South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.

But it is the Binghams’ latest design they hope will help them break into the domestic market and gain a foothold across Australia.

The Ozpod is a 15-square-meter outdoor room designed to be used as a guest bedroom, home office, poolroom or rumpus room.

Mr Bingham said there had been a lot of interest in the OzPods since their launch in September.   

“The shacks are ideal for campsites whereas the Ozpods are better suited to people’s backyards,” he said.

“We’re making high quality – they’re not like a garden shed. They’re fully wired and insulated really well – they’re built to last.

“Garden rooms are starting to become more popular, space is at a premium so if you can turn something in your back garden into a spare room or something for about $30,000 it’s a good thing especially with high house prices for families.”

The Binghams moved to Adelaide with their three sons from Manchester, England a decade ago.

Mr Bingham, who has worked as a carpenter and builder for more than 30 years, started the business in 2013 after a family holiday.

 “We were travelling up and down the east coast (of Australia) in the car and we didn’t really want to pay for expensive hotels and cabins – we just needed somewhere to put our heads down at night really without the hassle of pitching a tent,” he said.

“That was kind of the inspiration for it … (Ozshacks) are secure, you’ve got power ­- that was our idea, it’s like a wooden tent.

“That kind of accommodation is quite big in Europe and we saw there was a gap in the market here so we thought we’d give it a go. We built one out in our back garden and it went on from there really.”

The company, which employs Jon, three other carpenters and Nicola part time in sales, is looking for private investors so it can boost its marketing and break into the eastern states.

 “It’s just been hard to get across the space in them and the quality of them but when people actually come down to see them they are blown away and they tend to order,” Mr Bingham said.

“With a little bit of investment we are confident we can have a big year next year.

“I would like to get a workshop where we can send them over half built somewhere on the east coast or in Victoria so we can build them in Adelaide and transport them in a flat pack and assemble them over there because the cost of transport really kills us.

“The ones that we sent over to Western Australia, that was $18,000 just for transport, it’s a lot of money for people so if we could bring the transport cost down a little bit we could start selling a lot more Australia wide.”

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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