Can buying a shed save you money & give you the living space you need? Tiny living in sheds or portable buildings is becoming more and more popular over the past several years. With rising house prices and smaller family sizes, living in smaller spaces is more economical and practical for many. Is buying a shed the right economical choice for you and your family?
Turning a Storage Shed Into a Home
One can easily turn a shed into a home by running electricity and adding some plumbing. You can add a shower, a toilet, a kitchen, a loft bed and even stairs to some sheds.
Small spaces, as small as 150-200 square feet can be enough for one or even two people, depending on the amount of room needed.
There are some sheds that are closer to about 700 square feet, large garage sheds can be purchased pre-made and turned into a miniature home.
The Advantages of Sheds for Everyday Living
The most obvious advantage to miniature living is the cost saving nature of this way of life. One can buy a manufactured shed large enough to live in from anywhere to $3,000-$7,000, give or take. Since there are so many sheds and so many size options, it’s hard to say a good range as individual needs will vary. But I think the price factor is obvious. Where else can you get a home for $7000?
Add in the cost of running electrical and plumbing, and you’ll tack on several thousand more dollars. But it’s easy to see just how much one can save over the years when the average rent in some parts of the country can be as much as $1500 per month. Plus, you get the added satisfaction of home ownership.
One of the advantages of using a manufactured shed for a tiny home is the ease with which you can building permits and most sheds will easily pass code. Building your own tiny home, not only may cost more, but it may be harder to get permits for you to live inside it legally.
The Disadvantages of Turning a Shed into a Home
One of the disadvantages to using a shed for a home is the plumbing factor. It seems that many miniature home owners use composting toilets. And while I love the environmentally friendly factor of composting toilets, the smell, in such a small space might get a bit overpowering at times. In some areas, you may be able to hook into the septic system easily.
Another disadvantage to tiny living is that it is hard to get zoned. You should check with your city’s housing codes to make sure you can legally live in a small house on your property. Check with any HOAs as well to ensure that your neighborhood allows for it.
Creative Ideas for Miniature Living
Miniature homes may not be for everybody, but there are many people who may benefit from living this way.
College students/young adults:
Young adults may wish they had their own place, but maybe they can’t afford it. Building a tiny home on your parents property may be the way to go for your four-five year stint in higher education. Think of the money you can save on rent or dorm fees. That’s money that can go toward paying off student loans or perhaps you’ll have enough to pay for college outright. What a novel idea! If you’re fresh out of college and want to save up for a bigger home, this could also be a great way to get started out in life.
The unemployed: It’s no secret that the U.S. has one of the highest unemployment rates in history, currently. While employment is getting back on track, many adults, some with children, are being forced to move in with extended family while they get back on their feet and reestablish their careers after a job loss. Temporary housing in a shed on a family member’s property may just be the best way to live comfortably and maintain some sense of independence.
The elderly: Back in the old days, elderly parents moved in with their children. This is no longer a popular way to live. But again, with the downtrodden economy, many elderly parents are forced to find more creative ways to live out their golden years. Building a tiny house for your parents, often called “mother-in-law quarters,” in your backyard can give your family the space they need, all the while, keeping family close and safe. Just think how awesome it might be to let your children run over to Grandma’s, right through the backyard.
A guest house: While some people may not want to live full-time in a miniature house, it’s a pretty cool idea to build this extra addition in your backyard for house guests. If you like to entertain out-of-town company often, this just may be the most economical way to build that additional space for your guests.
A pool house: Using a shed to turn into a pool house can also be a fun way to add space to your backyard. Of course, you need the pool to go with it!
Save Money and Buy a Shed for a Living Space…
Using sheds as housing may sound strange to some, but there is a growing population of the young and environmentally savvy who are coming to realize all the advantages of living tiny. If you’re thinking of going tiny, a manufactured shed built and shipped straight from a family friendly company can be the way to go.
Our sheds are very economical and come with two-year warranties. Buying a home requires huge investments such as home insurance and mortgage. For less than $10,000, you could get a shed installed right in your backyard! No other strings attached.
Check out this video of Chris and Malissa Tack, living in their tiny home.
Read more about tiny living on The Tiny Life blog.
There are tons of blogs and Pinterest boards about tiny living or miniature living. These listed above are just a little to get your interest peaked. Feel free to leave some that you like in the comments section!