If you’ve investigated the possibility of building your own shed with a kit, you may not be aware that there are actually shed kits designed with the lady of the house in mind. Some are shed kits that can easily be turned into a she shed without much effort. Many styles advertised as being good for she sheds look like barns.
There are a few, however, that actually look like she sheds right out of the box, so to speak. Some look like mini houses, complete with windows, shutters, and even skylights. Some even have gingerbread trim and other amenities that make it look almost like something out of a fairy tale. Some include a loft space for storage or perhaps a mattress for a quick snooze.
It would be a good idea to take time looking through the options from multiple sources, checking prices along the way. There’s always the chance that something marketed as a she shed kit is not much different than similar styles, except that it may be priced higher because it’s sold as a she shed.
Unless you have your heart set on something that looks like a fairy hideaway, you can add your own trim and white picket-fenced porch later, probably saving some money. You can get a regular shed kit that has windows and skylights. Just do your homework.
There are some she shed kits that include insulation in the walls, floors and ceilings for comfort. Some come with electric wiring and even a ceiling fan. However, these don’t usually come in the form of kits, but are either pre-built or built on-site by the company personnel.
Actually, this is probably best, as building a shed with electric wiring, even if it’s included in the kit, may require an electrician, depending on the building codes in your area. At the very least, it will mean getting a permit and inspection to sign off on the build.
Do She Shed Kits Come with Bathrooms?
She shed kits don’t come with a bathroom or half bath. However, many people do install one on there she sheds or outdoor office. As with the electricity, you’ll probably need to get a permit for this.
If you’re on a septic tank system, you may need it checked to see if it can handle the extra plumbing. You may also have to have a plumber do the actual installation. At the very least, an inspector will have to check out the connection you make to your existing water and waste lines.
Even with all the bother, if your she shed is large or long enough, putting in a half bath is a great addition. The only big job would be if your she shed is built on a concrete slab. Having to break up concrete to install the piping can be a big hassle. If you think you may want a bathroom in your she shed, it’s best to install it while you’re building the shed instead of adding it later.
Since many people are now using sheds not only as a peaceful getaway but as a working office, putting in a bathroom is getting to be more and more popular. Outdoor office space is becoming the rage these days.
With more people working from home these days, having that separate office space tells the kids that Mom or Dad is not to be bothered when they’re in the office (unless there’s blood on the floor). It really breaks up the mental flow if you have to go back to the house for the bathroom, especially if the kids start tattling on each other as soon as you hit the doorway. Having a bathroom in an outdoor office or she shed is almost a necessity.
Just keep in mind that you not only have to plan to have sufficient space for the plumbing fixtures, but you also will need some kind of dividing wall for privacy. If your bathroom will take up one end of your shed, as many do, you’ll also need a wide enough space to include a door.
5 She Shed Design Ideas
Playhouse kit – If you’re looking for that really unusual look or you have one in mind, one source not often thought of is looking into a playhouse. While most playhouse kits are fairly small, there are some that are as large as some regular sheds, being offered in sizes such as 8 x 10 or 8 x 12. Some of these are of the fairyland variety mentioned earlier. Some include little porches with a fence around them, and of course, fanciful window and door trim. You may find just what you want when you see what’s available in a playhouse kit.
Glass door – If you have kids, especially smaller ones, think about getting a sliding glass door in your she shed kit. The large glass will make it easy for you to keep an eye on your kids playing in the yard with just a glance. The natural light will enhance whatever you’re doing, especially if you’re working on a computer or doing any kind of art or craft project.
Loft space – If your she shed kit features a gable or pitched roof, think about putting a floor in that space. You can put a futon or mattress up there to provide a quick cat nap, or just get away from your work for a bit to collect your thoughts. It makes a great storage space as well, especially if you use your she shed for crafts. It’s a convenient place for storing larger things, such as extra fabric for future projects, clay and paints if you’re into pottery or painting, or other things. Once you start using it, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.
Porch – Many she shed kits or playhouse kits come with a small porch in the front, usually fenced in for safety. These provide a peaceful place to rest your eyes from the computer or eye-straining work such as sewing or jewelry making. Sit out there and enjoy a cup of coffee, feeling the breeze and listening to the birds.
Heating and cooling – Don’t forget the basics of comfort if you plan to spend a lot of time in your she shed. There are many ductless options available for both heating and cooling available these days besides the tried-and-true electric heater. Not only are there many types of heating units, but also cooling units that can be installed by just about anybody.
Your comfort starts with insulation when you’re building your she shed. Many shed options come with insulation included in the kit. Keep that in mind when you’re looking at options. A window or two, especially if it’s on a different wall from the door, will provide fresh air and natural cooling.
Humidity may be another concern. If you live in an area with a lot of humidity, you may want to invest in a portable dehumidifier, especially if the work you do in the she shed requires keeping the humidity down. After all, you don’t want to find that the box of extra quilting scraps has become mildewed in your attic space.
Can You Turn an Existing Shed into a She Shed?
Of course, you can turn any existing she into a she shed. You can add insulation to the walls, put flooring planks across the upper joists, and decorate it any way you want. You can even install a window or two to allow more light into the shed and provide fresh air.
You can even install electricity and a bathroom. As has been noted before, you’ll have a bit of trouble if your existing shed sits on a concrete foundation when installing plumbing, but it can be done.
Just make sure to see what permitting and inspections and approvals you may need before you start any work on running electricity or plumbing to your she shed. Both will most likely require permits and an inspector to check your work. Both may require hiring professionals to do the work.
How to Pick a She Shed Kit
When looking at kit options, pay attention to the build quality. Some of the best kit companies will list their materials’ qualities on their website. If not, it doesn’t hurt to call and ask questions. This is especially important if you’ve fallen in love with a large playhouse kit.
You want it to last as long as any shed, so the quality of the various elements is important. It’s vital to help you assemble your she shed as well, as you need all those pre-cut parts to fit together solidly. Try to stick to companies that have been in business for several years.
Some companies list several styles and sizes of shed kits, while others also will let you add options such as electricity and insulation. Do have some kind of a budget in mind before you start looking, though. It can be too easy to add this and that to the kit, then have a conniption once you find out the cost.
It helps to figure out what you can’t live without. Then, if you have budget leftover, you can add a couple of extras. Remember that once your she shed is built, you still have to furnish it. Even with second-hand furniture, that means more money.
Can You Live in a She Shed?
It’s certainly possible to live in a she shed as long as it has a half bath and electricity. In fact, many people use there she sheds as an extra bedroom for unexpected company. A good-sized she shed can be seen as a studio apartment. With the proliferation of middle-aged people caring for an elderly parent, it would be a good idea to have a larger she shed in case it needs to be converted to mother-in-law quarters sometime in the future.
A she shed can be tricked out just like a tiny house. The sleeping space can be in the loft, but be mindful that if you may have an elderly parent move in, the sleeping space needs to be on the main floor. You don’t want Mama fighting her arthritis and bad knees trying to get up a ladder every night.
Where’s the Best Place to Put a She Shed?
A good place to put a she shed depends at least partly on your local zoning requirements. Any outbuilding will have to be a certain distance from property lines, other buildings, and any overhead or underground utility lines. If you’re planning a two-store she shed, there may be height restrictions as well.
It’s very important for you to follow the restrictions and permitting regulations. You run the risk of fines, which may escalate until the problem is corrected. You may even have to move the she shed.
If you live in an HOA, there may be other restrictions as well, such as keeping it out of sight of the street and color or outside decorating choices. If you already have a storage shed, you may not even be permitted to add another outbuilding.
Choosing a location for your she shed will incorporate many of the things you need to consider when placing a storage shed. You want a fairly level space that isn’t in a low spot that will collect water or be in the path that heavy rain usually runs through the yard. You want it on solid ground that will hold up the shed’s weight without sinking.
With a she shed; you’ll want it placed so that you have a decent view of the rest of the yard so you can keep an eye on your kids. It also needs to be fairly close to the house, so you don’t have to run a long way through a downpour or plow through a lot of heavy snow when you need to get back to the house. If you live in the south, you won’t want a glass door facing the sun all day, making the interior too hot.
Having at least partial shade on your she shed will make a big deal of difference. Shade will allow you to utilize the windows more often for natural cooling and fresh air. There’s also the unusual fact that on a hot, humid day, there will often be a breeze under trees even if the air is still elsewhere.
Do be a bit cautious when looking for a building site under trees, however. Any tree near your she shed should be healthy, with no dead or dying branches to hang over and threaten your she shed. Of course, branches do die occasionally as the tree ages, so it’s not possible to avoid this forever, but just be mindful of what’s overhead your proposed site. You may want to situate the shed near enough to trees to get shade part of the day but not right underneath.
A she shed is not only useful for the purpose you originally had in mind but also can be used for other things as your life changes along the way. It can give you a peaceful working space for crafts or working from home, a place for overnight guests with privacy, and eventually a place for Mom or Dad to come to live out their days without having them feel like they’re in the way.
Give some thought as to what you really want out of your she shed and plan for enough room for changes in purpose along the day. You’ll wonder what you ever did without it.