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Want to Build Your Own “Shed-quarters?”

In 2015, more and more people aren’t going into an office to work. Telecommuting is clearly on the rise. You might think most people that work from home are millennials, or even just stay-at-home moms. But according to the U.S Census Bureau, now the typical telecommuter is a 49-year old man or woman – who earns an average salary and belongs to a company with more than 100 employees. That number seems to be growing. Since more and more people are working from home, they need a place to actually work. We all know that the house just won’t cut it sometimes. You need a secure space where you won’t be interrupted.

That’s why one of, if not the biggest building trend this year is some sort of “Shed-quarters,” or “Pub Sheds,” as they are called. We’re talking fairly small spaces, perfect for a home office, man-cave, artist workshop or place to relax during the day. But these types of buildings only look small on the outside. Inside, there’s plenty of room for anything you need. And it can be accomplished with steel.

shed-quartersWho would have thought garden sheds would be grabbing headlines these days? These types of buildings don’t take up much space in your backyard, but are everything you might need in a backyard oasis. You won’t need to spend money on an expensive remodel to your actual home. This is a cost effective way to redesign your style without having to change the look or the house.

A shed-quarters is the perfect place to operate when you want to avoid the spare bedroom, but you still want to separate your work from your life. Plus, if you’re into hosting outdoor events at your house, this could be the ultimate solution for accommodating your guests.

So how do you get a shed-quarters? Start with a steel building.

I think this trend isn’t going anywhere. Many people can benefit from this type of building, no matter how they intend to use it. Need a centerpiece for the yard? The modern look of steel gives the owner the appearance they want, with all the functionality and purpose they need.

You’ll want to go into your backyard, and measure out a spot for your shed-quarters. A 10’ x 10’ space might suffice, but you can definitely go bigger. Be sure to check with your Homeowners Association before building, because you might have to follow some strict covenants. Each city and county will have their own set of building codes when it comes to backyard buildings and construction.

Next, it’s time to call a steel building supplier. You could decide to go with a wood shed because of the initial cost, but you’d have to worry about the constant upkeep and maintenance every year. Rodents, insects, termites and mold can’t harm steel. Do you want to spend the money to replace paneling every year because it rots, twists or warps? Your shed-quarters will be a huge source of pride and quite possibly the centerpiece of your backyard. Anyone can buy a tuff shed or cheap wood building, but this shed isn’t for storing your lawnmower. It’s going to be the place for the guys to get a drink after a round of golf, or for the ladies to enjoy a good book. It’s really an extension of the house, not a place to dump your tools. Of course, if that’s what you want to use your shed-quarters for, then you can do that too.

You might want to work on a design that matches the general theme of your house. Go for the contemporary look of distinguished steel, or talk to your project manager about a different exterior. Basically, you can have your steel building look any way you want it to look. Pick a stucco finish or a faux brick veneer. It’s your choice. When I stay steel building, I’m not just talking about a structure covered in steel sheeting. I’m talking about a steel rigid frame configuration with a 50-year structural warranty.

423085458_3573476a70_mOnce you have a shed-quarters, it’s time to decorate it. When you put your shed on a concrete foundation, think about adding a porch or an extra sitting area. The porch really advances your building to another level. Now it seems more like a place where you’d actually like to spend your free time. Maybe your shed-quarters will serve as a pool house? Design a space for all your pool toys and equipment, plus an area for people to change clothes.

In the design process, you’ll also need to think about your framed openings and doors. I’d recommend a self-framing window for your shed-quarters. The difference between a self-framing window and traditional windows is the self-framing window doesn’t need to alter the frame of your building. A regular window might require the frame of the building to support the entire window. A self-framing window could lower your building cost because you don’t have spend more money to accommodate a specially designed space for your openings.

Steel buildings come in every shape and size, and serve many different purposes. If you’re looking to spice up your backyard with your very own shed-quarters for work or for play, talk to a steel building expert and they’ll get you on your way to some good backyard living!

Photo courtesy: Solar Decathlon 2007, Jeremy Levine Design, Mark Barry