Garden sheds are making headlines these days, but not within the world of gardening. Instead, these quaint structures are being repurposed into a variable of rooms. Turns out, they make cost effective additions to your home without the burden of going through a remodel. Homeowners are building sheds and turning existing ones into extensions of their homes—sometimes with practical rooms, sometimes with a room of their dreams.

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They’re using them as home offices, playhouses, guest rooms, craft rooms, studios, pool houses and more. They design them into a retreat of their dreams with a daybed or deeply hued walls, others transform their sheds into a 1950s style soda shop or even a reading room. The possibilities really are endless.

These sheds are perfect for homes where “spare” bedrooms are anything but, and for professionals working from home who want to separate their work and home lives. Some of the more inventive transformations, like the mini kitchens or barrooms, are great if you host a lot of backyard events.

Even just as a cozy spot to retreat from the sun, “Shedquarters” are an innovative addition to your home you’re guaranteed to enjoy. If the idea of a shed-formation inspires you, we’ve compiled a few basic instructions to get you started. The devil is in the details, so it’s really up to you to make this space uniquely yours for however you want to use it!

If You Don’t Have a Shed

If you don’t already have a shed, never fear! You can build one yourself or with a company specializing in pre-made sheds.

1. Call the City

Each city has its own set of codes when it comes to freestanding structures and construction, so be sure to call your city to check which are applicable.

2. Choose a Design

How big, how high, what shape, what material, etc. Most importantly, and this may depend on city codes, you’ll have to decide whether to go with a poured concrete foundation or an elevated floor.

3. DIY or Shed-in-a-Box

Next, you’ll have to decide between building the shed yourself, ordering a customizable, pre-fab shed you assemble yourself or hiring a contractor. This is entirely up to your construction skills and budget.

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If You Have a Shed

If you’re lucky enough to have an existing structure, you have the biggest step done. Now you’ll need to:

1. Clean

Chances are, your shed isn’t the cleanest. And why should it be? You haven’t been spending much time in it aside from the occasional trip to store something. So clean it really well. It’s best to do this first so you can get that initial layer of grime out of the way and keep it off any new construction you may add.

2. Lighting

If your shed is a windowless box, we recommend adding a window or skylight or two. Natural light makes any room look higher end and it’s best for productivity.

3. Wire Your Shed

For electricity, wifi or internet, cable, plumbing, heating or A/C. Whatever you want to use your shed for will dictate what amenities you need in it, especially if you’re intention is to use this for business purposes. The one thing we 100% recommend is insulating your shed, especially if you want to use it year round.

4. Add Flooring

It just easier to do this once all the dust has settled and the nails are hammered in. It makes the previous steps easier and keeps your floors from getting scratched. We recommend using a hard floor type like bamboo which withstands temperature fluctuations well as well has a higher resistance to wear and tear.

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And Now for the Fun Part: Decorating!

Depending of what you’ve chosen to use your shed for, your decor will follow accordingly. But we have a few ideas that will work with any shed.

1. Add Paneling

There are so many types—from shingles to painted panels to brick. Adding paneling to your shed will transform it from a simple structure to a divine getaway.

2. Add a Porch

Giving your shed its very own porch elevates it to a mini-home structure. It makes for a great office retreat, fun place to soak up some sun and adds to your entertaining space.

3. Go Green

Going green can be expensive in your home, but with a shed’s compact space, it makes giving back feasible. Use sustainable materials or add green features like solar panels or a living roof.

4. Space Illusions

Use every trick in the book to make this space look bigger (unless you like the cozy feel!). White or off-white walls are a great place to start because they reflect light, giving the feel of space. Mirrors reflect the room onto itself to make it seem larger, and floor to ceiling bookshelves or art draws the eye upwards for the same effect.

5. Use a Theme

This is a great space for you explore design and have fun! Even if it’s just a pattern you pull through the room or some strategically placed knick-knacks. If you’re creating something like a pool house, bar or backyard retreat, you can go all out and make your vision come to life.

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About the Author: is a full-service home remodeling and construction general contractor serving the greater Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego area. Home improvement is hard, and we make it easier for you every step of the way. That starts by understanding your goals, whether it’s making a space more livable, expanding your home, repairing damage, adding room for relatives, or something completely different. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with the project from start to finish.