In the last few years, the idea of a shed house has become the rage for many people. Within the movement, there is a push towards minimalism. Advocates of the idea want to save space with their homes, as well as save money. So, for those who haven’t made up their minds yet, read on to understand 12 reasons why the idea of a shed home is a smart one.
You might also be interested in reading about these 13 examples of people around the world living in sheds.
(Don’t have time to read this? See prices on our pre-made sheds for sale, some of which would make great shed houses!)
Some Shed House Advice
Ok, let’s be honest. Building a shed house is not merely something to experiment with over the weekend or just try for a while. Instead, it’s a lifestyle that requires a level of commitment. Give it the energy it deserves, though, and you’ll start to reap some of the many practical benefits.
1. A More Cost-Effective Approach
Although a house may cost a couple hundred thousand dollars, a shed house can cost as little as $10,000.
Forget the need to make mortgage payments for 30 years or pay monthly rent year after year. A few years of saving is sufficient for most people to afford their own shed home.
What exactly are the costs of starting out with a base for a shed home? Well, here’s a couple of our inventory Ranch style cabin sheds, which make great starting places for shed homes!
Do keep in mind that these cabin sheds would need to be finished on the inside in order to make them livable. Adding utilities and completely finishing the inside of one of these portable buildings will roughly double the cost.
Compared to average housing prices, though, that’s still a steal! Especially for a cute cabin or even a backyard living space that you can offer to your guests. Imagine the reaction when you show your guests into a space like this:
Granted, the above project would probably cost a bit more than $30,000 from start to finish, but you could definitely do something similar on a smaller scale.
2. A Less Time-Consuming Project
Because they’re smaller, tiny shed homes take way less time to build. Rather than the thousands of hours required for a normal house, it’s possible to construct a shed home in only hundreds of hours, especially if you start with a prefab shed or cabin.
The time demand for a shed home is so minimal, you could possibly work on it in the evenings and on weekends, without needing to take time off from work. It’s a great way to own your first house without going into debt.
Even if you do end up taking a little time off from your day job it’s still worth it to save the $7200+ that the average one-bedroom apartment renter spends on housing each year! (That’s in Kentucky, according to bestplaces.com) Those savings will pay for your shed house in no time!
If you have a full-time job and want something cheap and fast, a shed home could be your solution. Build a wonderful home in weeks and avoid the hassle of months and even years spent to complete a typical house.
3. A Lower Skill Requirement
If you’re a DIY (do-it-yourself) type of person, creating your own living space from a storage shed is a great idea. It is less involved than building a regular-sized home. The feeling of accomplishment, though, is just as great!
Building a house takes a broad range of skills. To become good at all of the needed skills takes years of experience.
However, to build a shed house, a lower level of skill (think YouTube) is required. Even an intermediate level of skill is sufficient to do most of the work yourself.
With all of the DIY advice available online away, the beginning of your new shed home is only a few screen taps away. Start with sites like The Spruce, Homesteading, and The Tiny Life, which all have great advice (as well as free plans) for creating the perfect shed house or tiny home.
4. A Less Taxing Legal Avenue
Permits, taxes, bills, and unwanted expenses pester even the most affluent homeowner. On the other hand, shed houses are virtually free aside from minimal maintenance and the initial building cost.*
Even if there are costs, they are much less than a house. Because of the smaller size, land requirements, and overall less demanding approach, legal costs and taxes are, at the most, more cost-effective and, at the least, non-existent. Generally, property taxes are calculated based on the worth of your home (about 1.3% annually, on average), so a shed home will be taxed at a much lower rate than a sprawling home in the suburbs.
* This may not be the case in some townships which require shed permits for a small fee. Always check with your township before starting your project.
5. A Great Living-Space Addition
Whether you need a guest room, additional living space, or just a getaway space, a finished shed house fits the bill perfectly. Rather than spending lots of money to add to your house (and dealing with any red tape your local municipality adds to the process), try a simple shed home. Read about how Deborah Whitlaw bought her dream cabin home.
The idea of these portable buildings extends far beyond your immediate home needs. You can add affordable living space to your home if you are willing to stray a bit from the beaten path.
Extra Motivations for Shed Homes
6. A Shed House Is Trendy
It seems like some people are finally starting to realize that “bigger” is not always “better”. Building a home out of a portable shed is a great way to do something the majority of people do not do. It caters to the “be different” idea and makes a person stand out from the crowd.
According to Google Trends, internet searches for the keyword “shed homes” have risen significantly in the past several decades.
Break the mold of consumerism. Develop resourcefulness as a key attribute. Rather than maxing out income for a mortgage on 3,000 sq. feet of living space, tiny shed homes promote simplicity and minimalism with only a few hundred square feet of living space.
For those wanting to go against the flow of hoarding space, a shed home is the way to go.
7. People Love It (you might love it too…)
Many who are willing to challenge the status quo and live more simply, love the idea of living in a shed.
Ethan at The Tiny House says:
“Starting in June of 2012, I built my own tiny house on wheels. I really love it.” (see his house below)
8. A Shed House Can Be Mobile
Did you ever wish for a home on wheels? With this option, you can take your home with you wherever you go! Well…that is with limits. (You’d be challenged to take it to the top of Mount Everest!) However, whether camping in the Appalachians, traveling to Yellowstone National Park, swimming at Virginia Beach, or taking any other vacation, a house on wheels adds to the holiday experience.
Even if you are not on vacation, this shed house option has benefits. For a person on the go, a more mobile setup may be helpful. You have the option to live secluded from the world, out in the boondocks. Or you can join the hubbub of urban life. Whatever the case, you can move whenever you like. For a person on-the-move, a house on wheels makes life so much easier.
9. Shed Houses Offer An Outlet For Creativity And Personal Expression
One of the driving forces behind shed homes is the opportunity to be creative. It gives a homeowner a chance to better create something that expresses who he or she is. It creates space to express a unique story.
Check out these folks’ stories on their tiny shed house.
Environmental Advantages To Living In A Shed
10. A Shed House Takes Up Less Space
Many regular homes have 1000 to 3000 sq/ft of living space. Some even have 10,000 sq/ft+! According to New Home Source, “The average size of new homes built in the United States grew 62 percent from 1,660 square feet in 1973 to 2,687 square feet in 2015, an increase of 1,027 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”
Do we really need that much more space than our grandparents?
Most shed houses, on the other hand, often have only a few hundred sq/ft of space. Fewer square feet means less demand for water, electricity, heating, and other utilities, which in turn reduces the home’s impact on the environment.
You can help to reverse the trend toward larger homes by living in a shed home. If you’re interested, read how Deborah Whitlaw bought the cabin home of her dreams. If everyone would do this there would be more room for all of us.
11. Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
Because of their smaller size, these living spaces take fewer building materials. Fewer materials means fewer trees. Choosing a shed house means you’ll leave more trees to support and sustain the natural environment.
As you can see in the pie chart above, a large part of our carbon footprint is connected to our homes. Reducing the size of our homes helps to reduce our energy usage, which in turn lowers our carbon footprint.
Also, this approach takes up less space and requires less land clearing than a big house does. Thus, there is more land left to allow for natural and beautiful green foliage.
12. Blends better with nature
Shed homes are more likely to blend in with their surroundings. First of all, they can be built to look more natural. Secondly, they are smaller and are not nearly as noticeable. Lastly, they are more versatile and can easily be placed at a spot that is more fitting with the surroundings.
And there you have it…12 reasons why it’s a great idea to consider a shed house! (Also check out these examples of folks living in a shed.)
A Few Options…
Ranch Prefab Cabin
A ranch cabin shed is a simple, yet beautiful shed type that works great as a shed house shell. With roof overhangs finished out with the same material as the siding, our Ranch Prefab Cabins are designed to be a nice match to any other buildings on your property. We take particular care with the siding, roofing, and trim details, creating a prefab cabin that is perfect for a future shed house.
High Barn Prefab Cabin
The high barn prefab cabin is a great option for your shed house if you’re wanting a barn-style, space-efficient cabin shed. With two 4’-wide overhead lofts, our High Barn Prefab Cabins are a great shed shell that also provides overhead storage. Plus, like the rest of our small cabins, the exterior can be customized exactly to your liking. Then it’s up to you to create the interior of your shed!
A Few Shed House Stories…
Over the years, we’ve been able to see some of the different ways that our sheds have been used. Watch the video below to hear what Deborah Whitlaw did with her cabin shed.
While this may not exactly be a shed house story, here’s a picture of a customer who converted their shed into a barbershop.
We hope that what these customers did with their sheds can be a motivation and inspiration for you as you think about building your own shed home.
How to Get Started with a Shed House
We can help you get started with your shed house. We can build the shell as a portable storage building and then you can finish and customize the inside to your liking, as time and finances allow. It only takes 3 simple steps to get a free quote on a building shell for your shed house.
- Choose the size.
- Choose the exterior finish. (We offer both vinyl sheds and wood sheds.)
- Choose any custom details.
You can make all your selections on our free quote page. If you’re not sure what to choose at any step, our sales reps are ready to help! You can reach us at (270) 864-3381. If you’re interested, you could also read the complete guide about rent-to-own cabins. Don’t forget to check out our article on the cost of shed homes here!
Enjoy your shed house!