If you’re feeling cramped in your current home and need more space, but aren’t quite ready to move or do a major addition remodel… I have another option for you that is less expensive and easier to live through than a home addition remodel.
After doing a lot of research we decided getting a shed and converting it into an office was our best bet. It seemed like it wouldn’t take nearly as long to get it done, no workers would have to come inside our house, we wouldn’t have to give up our bedrooms and camp out in the living room for months on end, and we would not be without a bathroom due to the remodel… ever. Seemed like a win all the way around. Oh and it was about 10% of the cost compared to the remodel addition we had planned.
So, I started off by contacting a company I already knew about and had seen a few they had built over the years. I was pretty sure I was going to use them to built my she shed office, but after meeting with them twice they dragged their feet in even getting me a quote. It was pretty frustrating to be honest. So I set out to find other options. These options are what I’m going to share with you in this video along with some important things to be aware of if you’re considering building one at your home.
Option one was to order a wooden kit shed from Homedepot, lowes, or costco. If you’re an experienced handyperson this is by far going to be your most economical option. You order the kit shed, assemble it, then add insulation, electrical, lights, drywall, etc.. finish the interior, and you’re all set. If you’re not a handy person you can still choose this option by finding a local handyman to assemble your kit shed. I know there are a few people in my area who specialize in shed assembly this.
Option two was to order a shed from one of the big name shed companies who build your shed onsite. For example Tuff shed, which is sold at Homedepot, will build the walls of the shed in their shop then assemble it onsite at your home. We had a tuff shed built in a previous home years ago and it was a very easy process. The only issue is they build just the shell. You would still have to do the interior finishes, insulation, flooring, walls, lighting, electrical, etc… but it’s a great option for a semi-DIY project and they are very fast at the installation process. Tuff shed has a few models that are designed more for office conversions than storage sheds. Plus they have an easy to use website where you can adjust the size and configurations options and see the price. Keep in mind at least when I was exploring this option for myself they did not offer any finishing options, they essentially build you the shell for your office she project and the rest is up to you.
Option three is to hire a company who specialized in custom building sheds, she sheds, detached spaces. Like I said earlier the company I thought I was going to go with was just too much of a challenge to work with, couldn’t even get me a quote after almost two months of asking, and I gave up on them. In the end I found another company who actually does a better job so I’m glad it didn’t work out. The company I ultimately used was more of an all inclusive option with nearly unlimited customization. They don’t just offer one or two sizes and shapes to choose from, they will custom design and build a shed to fit your space. So if you have an odd shape space and need it to fit into a corner or want it to look a certain way to match your existing home, they can do it. Or maybe you need it 1 foot taller or even shorter … or you want to have electrical outlets in specific places. These customizations weren’t an option when getting prefab. Of course the down side is of the three options this was the most expensive, but still drastically less than a full home addition.
Regardless of which option you choose there are some things you need to be aware of. First of you’ll want to start your research at your local building department. You need to find out what the requirements are in your local area. Your city or county likely has guidelines as to where a she shed can be located on your property. How far from the property lines must be. The height limits. If you need a concrete pad foundation or not etc… Again, every city is going to be different so ask the building department in the city where your property is located.
If you’re going to add electrical you may also need an electrical permit. Be sure to have an electrician come out and assess your current electrical panel to be sure you have enough space on your main panel to accommodate your additional electrical needs. If you need to replace your main panel this can be an unexpected expense and you don’t want to be surprised by it after you already have the shell of your new shed up.
You’re going to want some sort of heating source in your shed and if you live in a place where it gets hot in the summer don’t skip out on getting an air conditioner. Now you can always do a space heater and wall a/c since it’s a small space it won’t take much. But, if you’re going to keep anything inside your shed that might be temperature sensitive you might want to consider a smarter heat/a/c system that you can control from an app on your phone and program.
My last bit of advice is don’t skimp on insulation, double pane windows and doors, or good flooring. My she shed is probably more insulated than my home and it still gets hot inside on a hot day. Also if you choose a floating floor make sure you get one that is very thick. I went with a pretty thick vinyl floating floor, but I wish I had gone with the thickest I could find. When it gets hot and I haven’t had the a/c on it tends to warp a bit until the temp cools down. Of course, carpeting is probably the safest option to avoid this problem… along with doing a thicker subfloor. If you live in a hot place or somewhere the sun doesn’t come out much you might want to pay more attention to the placement of your windows and doors and also where your trees are located.
If you need more space than a she shed can give you and you don’t want to live through a remodel…. I can help you sell your home and find a new one. If you want to explore your options get in touch!
Maria D’Aura, Realtor® | eXp Realty | 925.400.8488