Have a shed that’s currently housing old junk or sitting empty in your backyard? Converting the shed into a room could be a great way to add more living space to your property. Depending on your needs, it can serve many different uses, from a work-from-home space to a “she shed” that rivals your husband’s basement “man cave.”
What Goes Into a Shed Conversion Project?
Depending on what transformation you want your shed to undergo, there are a few major components that will need to be tackled, such as plumbing, insulation, windows and electricity.
Plumbing and Insulation
Insulation is a given for converting your shed into a livable space, but before you tackle that, you’ll need to decide if you want plumbing. If you plan to spend a lot of time out there, you may want to have access to running water or even a working toilet. If this is the case, you need to create a blueprint of your ideal layout and have the plumbing installed before starting on any insulation.
“Plumbing your shed requires additional expense and permitting. You can do this successfully as long as you abide by your local rules and use a professional.”
Erika Kotite | She Shed Living
Since most sheds have open framing, blown-in insulation is the simplest way to go. Blown-in insulation will run you about $1 to $1.50 per square foot according to HomeAdvisor, and if done by a professional, only takes about 4-5 hours to complete. Once that is installed and dry, you can put up drywall or reclaimed wood siding to finish.
For any space to be comfortable, having a window that lets natural light and fresh air into the room is a must. A window or two will also allow for a window air conditioning unit in the hotter months. The most energy-efficient option for installation is double-paned windows, which will help you save on future electricity bills when you are heating or cooling your shed.
“Pay careful attention to the sun path in your backyard. Try to keep the shed’s main windows south-facing and avoid a blazing western exposure during hot summer afternoons.”
Erika Kotite | She Shed Living
In order to use your air conditioner, space heater, lamps or a computer, you will need to set up electricity. When creating the blueprint for your shed conversion and mapping out the plumbing, make sure to include how many outlets you’ll need to install to accommodate the space. Hiring an electrician is recommend to make sure your shed is up to code and all of your needs are met.
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Shed Livable?
Converting your shed into a living space can run from $1,500 up to $30,000, depending on the following factors:
- Material cost
- Cost of professional installation services
The overall cost to make your shed a livable space will vary if you are converting an existing space or buying a new one. It will also depend on the size of the shed and what amenities you plan on adding.
5 Shed Conversion Ideas
Turn Your Shed Into a Guest Bedroom
Creating a shed guest house is the perfect solution for having company over the holidays or any time your family comes for a visit. Before getting started on this project, check with your local municipality to see what you are allowed to have in your yard and if you will need a permit. Some areas may prohibit a full guest house with water and electricity.
If the shed isn’t far from the main house with access to a bathroom, you can keep your shed bedroom conversion project simple and just make it a cozy place for sleeping. Install floating shelves to save on floor space, a soft rug and a queen size bed with comfortable bedding. Other amenities you may want to consider include a nightstand by the bed, a storage solution for the guests’ clothes and toiletries, a TV and a mini refrigerator.
Turn Your Shed Into a Home Office
With more businesses offering a work-from-home option, having a designated home office space outside your main house can help keep some work-life balance. Converting your shed to an office will help create the mental distance you need to keep work and home separate, even if your commute is just to the backyard.
Arrange your office furniture based on where the outlets are, so you know exactly where you’ll be able to plug in your laptop and phone charger – ideally somewhere near a window with natural light. A comfortable chair, cozy rug and a plant or two can really help set the mood for you to have productive days, all while never leaving your property.
Turn Your Shed Into a Classroom
Much like having a separate home office to work in, a distinct space for schooling can go a long way. Whether you are homeschooling by choice or necessity, a shed conversion to a classroom is an easy way to make learning fun.
Depending on how many children you are homeschooling, you can create a unique workspace for each child based on their grade level and interests. Add bookshelves for a mini-library with bean bags or soft rugs, designate one corner for art and use kid-friendly storage solutions to swap out different activities based on your lesson plans.
Creating this designated learning space helps make school exciting, and who doesn’t love shopping for school and classroom supplies?
Turn Your Shed Into a She Shed
Create an oasis for any time you need to get away by converting your space into a she shed. Deciding how to build a she shed depends on your personality and your hobbies. Are you a bookworm? Give your shed a mini-library filled with your favorite books and a couple of novels you’ve been meaning to scratch off your reading list. Have a flair for the arts? Set up an easel and canvas. A she shed is a reflection of your interests, as well as a place for all your favorite possessions.
“Take plenty of time to think about what you want to do in your shed before you do anything else. Will you be reading? Maybe you need to add some windows or a skylight. Want a place for craft projects? Include plenty of storage and counter space. Want to be able to chill in your shed year-round? Consider if you want to install heat or fans to make your space more comfortable.”
Peter Welti | Kloter Farms
Pinterest is filled with she shed decorating ideas, making it a great place to start looking for inspiration.
After you’ve decorated your she shed, it’s time to sit back and relax. Find a spare moment during your day to spend some quality time away from life’s responsibilities. Leave a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the doorknob to deter your spouse or tiny people from disrupting your quiet time.
“The she shed can house anything from a beauty room, with nail polish and face masks for an afternoon of pampering, to sewing or craft supplies so you can DIY to your heart’s content.”
Lily Dunn | Modernize.com
Turn Your Shed Into a Storage Workshop
If you are an outdoor sports lover, a DIY project connoisseur, a lawn and garden enthusiast or a mix of all of the above, you can elevate your shed into a more attractive and functional storage space.
When you have multiple passions and/or a growing family, keeping your gear organized is a top priority. Adding a workbench and superb storage space is the first step in your shed conversion. Tools should be kept at easily accessible heights using wall hook and peg boards. Purchase or build a storage rack for any sports equipment and hang equipment such as bicycles, kayaks or surf boards. Use a shoe rack for your work boots and athletic shoes.
Make the Most of Your Square Footage
Whichever route you choose for your shed conversion project, the space should ultimately be functional, organized and a reflection of your personality.
Looking for more ways to maximize useable space in your house? These posts will help you out: