A specialist joinery business has received a pandemic lockdown lift with diversification into staycation cabins which have attracted strong interest from estate owners, farmers and caravan park operators.

East Lothian-based Carberry Cabins has been spun out of long-established RF Slight, whose owner Ferrier Slight has family links working in carpentry dating back several generations.

The environmentally friendly pod-style cabins are being launched at The GWCT Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace (24-26 September) and are being targeted at businesses which require luxury holiday accommodation, following a huge spike in demand for vacations in rural settings which also offer the comforts of home.

Ferrier Slight was inspired to launch Carberry Cabins following the success of the firm’s design-build of smaller garden rooms which have been supplied to homes across the UK. Since the start of the coronavirus epidemic, the company has built and installed more than 50 stand-alone garden rooms, which are typically in demand for use as home-offices or as independent accommodation for elderly relatives.

The Carberry Cabins management team has been strengthened with the appointment of two new partners. Derek Brodie, owner of successful building company D&G Developments Ltd, will oversee on-site construction, while Willie Kinghorn, who was construction operations manager for a leading Australian and New Zealand building products provider, will be responsible for design and sales.

Carberry Cabins management team, l-r Derek Brodie, Ferrier Sleight, Robert Sleight and Willie Kinghorn. Photo: Scott Louden Photography

The eco-friendly timber-framed cabins have an expected lifespan of up to 50 years, are manufactured to order at Carberry Cabins’ Tranent yard, and can be assembled on-site in less than one week.

The designs vary from one-bedroom/living room cabins with bathroom and shower facilities, up to three bedrooms, but can be extended further to suit available space, with prices for a 4.8m x 7.2m one-bed cabin at around £65,000 (plus VAT), depending on specification.

The Carberry Cabin template ensures there is minimum material wastage and all pods are largely manufactured using home-sourced timbers which require no treatment or finishes, including Thermowood Scottish larch, Siberian larch and cedar.

Ferrier Sleight of Carberry Cabins uses tradtional carpentry methods. Photo: Scott Louden Photography

Insulation materials will include Jablite expanded polystyrene, glass wool, sheep’s wool or PIR rigid insulation board, while timber cladding is FSC or PEFC certified and doors can be accoya, hardwood, softwood timber or UPVC.

Roofing materials will carry a minimum 10 year guarantee and up to 20 years, depending on the materials used, and can include sedum living roofing, while each cabin will have a choice of hardwood flooring or carpeting.

Ferrier Slight said: “Our core joinery business, RF Slight, is busy and continues to grow, and this provided us with the opportunity to diversify and to look at the design and manufacture of bespoke garden rooms. This service has proved extremely popular and we have gone from supplying one unit per week to building five garden rooms per week, as working from home took hold, or families sought different caring solutions for elderly relatives.

“We are continuing to supply garden rooms but the next natural step was to move up a level and launch Carberry Cabins to satisfy a demand for high quality staycation accommodation.

“Carberry Cabins are ideally suited to estate owners and landowners, including farmers, who are looking to increase revenue streams by offering UK holidaymakers a rural holiday, but with all the comforts of their daily home life.

Father and son Robert and Ferrier Sleight of Carberry Cabins. Photo: Scott Louden Photography

“We have also had interest from caravan park owners who see this as an addition to their core caravan offering, and we believe there is a market for housebuilders, with a Carberry Cabin being the ideal structure to serve as a marketing suite and office at new homes development sites.”

A core Carberry Cabin module measures 2.4m x 4.8m and its uniquely shaped roof ensures the pods are an attractive addition to any landscape or rural setting. Onsite installation from date of order will typically be between six to eight weeks.

Carberry Cabins can be viewed at The 2021 GWCT Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace from 24-26 September