Backyard Escape Studios is a London business that specializes in custom backyard structures from modern sheds, studios and even offices.
They provide a cost-effective solution for artists, musicians and other home-based workers looking for affordable studio and office space, as well as well-built, secure storage for people who want more than a flimsy steel shed.
Their product is pretty ingenious – rather than pay rent on office space or studios with limited access, Backyard Escape Studios builds fully detached rooms that can be installed right on the customers’ property.
The result is a customized, comfortable and inexpensive work space for people stuck between home offices and shared workplaces.
And it all began when owner Sebastian Kellner wanted his own office.
Kellner, who emigrated from Germany five years ago, was working for his family-run business in Germany, which makes prototype products for manufacturers. He had continued with the business after moving to Canada, however, his home office was growing smaller thanks to his growing family.
With three young kids, it was getting tough to focus on his work so he decided to seek his own office space.
He looked into shared spaces, but it wasn’t what he was looking for. Like home, the constant in-and-out nature of shared workspaces was something of a distraction. So, he looked around for an affordable office space.
“Office prices were reasonable for London,” he said. “But it was around $1,000 a month for something that wasn’t a dark box.”
After researching potential solutions, he came across the idea of garden offices, which are quite popular in the UK. He decided it would be worthwhile to build one, even though he never actually got to use it.
While his first model was on the roadside waiting for the crane to move it to London, he got a proposition from a passing motorist.
They wanted to buy it.
That happened again with the next model, and Kellner knew he had the makings of a successful business on his hands. Over the next three years, business grew thanks to the demand for something different.
“I don’t build regular sheds as you’d see at Home Depot,” he said. “All of them have a little twist.”
Those twists are entirely customizable.
In fact, everything is.
A la carte
Layouts, materials, lighting – Backyard Escape Studios allows the customer to choose how their office, shed, or studio will be set up. They also have standard models to choose from as well. The units are built in London, shipped to location, and assembled on-site.
Because they are essentially sheds, there are no zoning applications, no permits required and no other worries than where you are going to set up shop.
When it comes to clients, Kellar says freelancers and home-based workers like consultants, musicians and artists are the most common. The reason being – it is far more cost-effective than renting an office.
Backyard Escape Studios is just a two-person operation at the moment. Sebastian works the business and design aspects, while he employs a full-time builder and a contract worker for insulation. They build and insulate the walls, install windows and doors, and get everything ready for on-site installation.
They also provide opportunities for local tradespeople as well.
Customers can decide on local contractors to complete the electrical and drywall on-site. BES will get everything ready for installation by a licensed electrician. Drywall is also installed on site, which is more cost-effective for the customer.
BES operates out of a workshop in an industrial park on Falcon Street in East London. It’s a location that works well for his business, as it has easy access to Highway 401 for shipping. Kellner has shipped studios across the province, from nearby Goderich and Toronto all the way north to Sudbury.
The models may be different, but the reason clients choose Backyard Escape Studios is the same – wanting a home-away-from-home office or studio that’s unique, affordable, and one-of-a-kind.
Check them out for yourself.
Backyard Escape Studios
120 Falcon Street (off Trafalgar)
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