Does it seem like you have no place to escape and have some alone time? Even if you have a good sized house, it might seem like there’s something going on in every room and there’s no place for you to sit and relax or gather your thoughts. Here’s an interesting and very different idea: convert your garden shed into a garden bedroom! While it might not be possible with every shed, it can be done. It could even be transformed into a small living space if you can run power to it! This is a great way of adding an extra room on a budget.
If you already have a shed you can modify, then the largest expense is already out of the way. If not, you’ll need to purchase one. Metal sheds are going to be more difficult to convert than wooden ones, so if possible, purchase a wooden shed. You’ll want a fairly good sized one, too: a ten by ten shed should be adequate, but if you’re planning on someone actually living in this area, you might want a slightly larger one.
Why wood? Besides looking nicer, it’s easier to modify and insulate. It’s easier to install windows and modify the interior of a wooden shed. Metal sheds are often made of fairly thin metal that won’t offer any protection from the heat or cold, and if you’re going to be living in this shed, you’re going to want to be comfortable.
Make a Blueprint
Before you start working on your new home or refuge, you need a plan. Measure out the interior and everything you plan on putting in it. If you’re going to make it into a garden bedroom, you’ll obviously need to decide where your bed is going and make sure there’s plenty of space for it. You probably won’t be able to fit much more than a full-size bed in a shed, especially if you want to add living space. If your shed is large enough and you have the money and time to devote to it, you could even add a small kitchenette or even a toilet. Don’t forget to mark a few places for installing electrical outlets and windows.
If you know what you’re doing, you can modify the shed yourself with your own tools or those you’ve borrowed or rented. If you don’t, you’ll need to find someone to assist you. Since making a shed into a house involves carpentry, installing electrical wiring, and possibly even adding in plumbing, chances are you’ll need to consult with someone on at least one aspect.
Make Your Basic Modifications First
One of the first things you’ll want to do is cut out the areas for your windows and install them. Then you’ll want to install installation in the walls and the ceiling and construct any interior walls you’re planning on adding. You’ll also want to install your electrical outlets and plumbing.
When adding insulation note that if your shed has open framing, it’s fairly easy to add insulation and then cover it with your interior walls. If the studs have already been covered, you can add blown-in insulation. Be sure to insulate the walls, ceiling, and floor.
Add Your Appliances
If you’re installing a kitchenette or a bathroom, your next task is installing your appliances. Since you won’t have room for a large stove or refrigerator, look at space-saving techniques. How much cooking will you really do? Many people can get by with a hotplate, microwave, and half sized refrigerator. If you’ve installed plumbing, you can put in a small sink. One good idea is to look for appliances and items used in motor homes. You will be working with a similar-sized space, so make use of the same tricks to effectively use every inch.
Air Conditioning and Heat
You’ll probably need to rely on a window unit for air conditioning and a space heater for heat. Since your space is so tiny, though, this should be more than enough to keep you comfortable, especially if you installed a good amount of insulation. Depending on your time and budget, you may also be able to install a ceiling fan.
Here’s another place where you can draw inspiration from motor homes and make everything as functional as possible. If you don’t want to sit on your bed all the time, get a futon or a sofa bed. Take two short bookcases and place a nice tabletop across them—you now have a table or desk with storage on either end! If you do get a regular bed, look for a frame that has drawers in it. Depending on how tall your shed is, you could even get a set of bunk beds and use the upper one for extra storage space.
Make it yours!
Finally, once you’ve finished converting your garden shed into a bedroom or small home, it’s time to put your own personal touches on your new bedroom. You can paint the exterior, add some flower beds around it, and decorate the inside. Turn your fun new living space into a reflection of who you are.
Author bio: Scott Barber is an accomplished do-it-yourselfer from London who loves constructing Garden Buildings for his friends and family. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge with others about his experiences building Garden Sheds, Log Cabins, Playhouses, Summerhouses, Wooden Sheds & More.