Close Icon
Freds shed case study exterior

Just outside of the city of Hereford, lies a gorgeous single-storey barn conversion perfect for a couple or two to escape to this picturesque part of the country.

Now refurbished into a wonderfully characterful dwelling, Freds Shed is sure to be a home away from home for your next holiday

Owners Paul and Sarah Jacobs talk to us about their experiences with holiday letting so far and whether holiday letting is what they expected.

Can you please tell us your name and profession?

My name is Paul Jacobs and I’ve just taken early retirement from being a firefighter.

My name is Sarah Jacobs, and my profession is a florist.

Can you tell us about the meaning behind the name of your property?

Sarah: The meaning of the name behind the property is quite and interesting and funny one. We found this barn and absolutely loved it and it had a cat. The owners asked us before they left if we would look after him because they did not want to take him with them, so we said yes absolutely. Fred lived in the shed for 5 years and basically as we started working on it, he moved up the property, moved his chair, moved his blanket. We named the barns after that special cat so therefore it was called Freds Shed.

Fred Shed Interior Sign

We named the barns after that special cat so therefore it was called Freds Shed.

What was your motivation to get into holiday letting?

Paul: Our motivation to get into holiday letting was to utilise the buildings that were empty. We wanted to restore them and convert them and give them another use. I think the guests enjoy the countryside, enjoy the peace and quiet. In fact, some guests come and stay and don’t leave the property until its time to go. Were very lucky because locally we have walks right outside the front door, I have put maps in for guides and we are very lucky that we have historic homes nearby, National Trust properties and lots to do.

Fred Shed Interior

In fact, some guests come and stay and don’t leave the property until its time to go.

How did it feel when you welcomed your first guests?

Sarah: When we first opened doors to guests, it was an amazing feeling, we’d worked so hard doing it and we were so proud of what we have achieved and also to hear people walking and just literally say wow.

How long did it take to get the property ready to let out?

Paul: So, it took us approximately 5 years in total to complete the renovation and have it ready for rental. The challenges were many I faced during the renovation, one I can think of is the building is tapered from front to back and that posed all sorts of problems for me. One of the biggest challenges we faced was to satisfy the Grade II listing and the building control inspector. The planning permission took a long time to come through, from the time we first applied for planning permission to the time we got it, must have been 6 months.

Fred Shed Exterior

One of the biggest challenges we faced was to satisfy the Grade II listing

Why did you choose to let with an agency?

Sarah: We decided to let with an agency because we were new kids on the block and we did not really know how to go about it. We did actually set up a website but we could not get people to the website so therefore we decided to go with an agency.

What do you think makes your property stand out?

Paul: I think the property stands out because its unique, we feel we have paid homage to the cow shed and we’ve tried to keep some of the rustic charm. We tried to use as much of the materials that came out, recycle them and put them back into the build, the bricks for instance were cleaned and reset. As much of the beams we could reuse we did reuse.

Fred Shed Kitchen

We tried to use as much of the materials that came out, recycle them and put them back into the build

What kind of holiday makers come to your property?

Sarah: We have a lot of different holidaymakers that come into the property, we’ve had couples, we’ve had brothers and sisters, we’ve had families, people with dogs, people without and people of all ages. It appeals to a wide variety of people.

Fred Shed bedroom

It appeals to a wide variety of people.

Can you tell us about any special or unique features of the property?

Paul: The sign in the bedroom that says Freds Shed was made up of all the metalwork we dug out the floor and ironwork we took off all the doors and original fittings we welded together.

 

Is holiday letting what you expected?

Sarah: I think when we started holiday letting we weren’t expecting the volume of people that have come to the property. I think the reason we are getting more bookings because we are with an agency is because we are with Sykes. Sykes came up top in our research, because we did quite a lot of research on who to let our property with and with marketing, they take care of the marketing and also the payments and anything else that needs to be done. It just takes it off your shoulders and you can just enjoy the holiday let.

Paul: It’s turned out far better than I hoped, there was so many challenges along the way I didn’t think I could overcome. But in the end, its more than I imagined.

Fred Shed Exterior Sign

I think when we started holiday letting we weren’t expecting the volume of people that have come to the property.

Having gone through the whole process, is there is anything that you would do differently?

Sarah: If we were to do it all again, possibly we would do it slightly differently, we would do a little bit more research into what we are going to do with the building and using various different mediums as well.

 

Do you have any tips for prospective owners thinking of getting into holiday letting?

Paul: My tips if you want to get into holiday letting are, do your research on your local area and give yourself time for the conversion because it takes longer than you think.

How has holiday letting changed your life?

Sarah: Holiday letting has changed our lives, in a good way. We get to meet a lot of new people. With Freds Shed its been an incredible journey from start to finish and I suggest that anybody thinking of doing a holiday let, to go for it because it’s a very rewarding experience.

Fred Shed owners

Do your research on your local area and give yourself time for the conversion because it takes longer than you think.

View full version of Freds Shed Story


Let your property with Sykes and earn up to £125,000 per year*

  • Join over 15,000 holiday properties already working with Sykes Cottages
  • We welcome over 26 million web visitors a year
  • Many of our owners achieve more than 45 bookings a year
  • We specialise in turning your holiday property into a profitable year-round income for you

*Based on a 7 bedroom property in the Lake District with bookings between October 2017 to September 2018.

holiday let owner pack

Get involved in the Discussion

Sign up to receive discounts, exclusive offers, travel tips and guides.