Live in a shed? Detailed instructions on how to turn a shed into a small home : MINIMALIST

how to live in a shed

When it comes to small houses, they come in all shapes and sizes. Many people asked me if I should build a tiny house shed to have my own little house.

 A tiny house

I think what’s important is that tiny houses have made a name for themselves because they are ready to break the mold. The variety of what Tiny is is in itself part of what makes it so fascinating to me. When people accept these ideals, we share the tiny house movement and manifest in so many forms that we find creative ways to live in small houses.

Still, using a shed as a shell for your little house is a great way to get things going. I myself thought it was a prefabricated house and today I was able to look at a model that I played with the idea of ​​buying a plot of land and putting it in the middle.

Can you legally live in a shed?

Get your permits

As with Tiny Homes, it is quite difficult to comply with these legal requirements and comply with building codes when you say you want to live or live in it. A great advantage of the prefabricated dandruff option is that these structures are so widespread that you can just drop one in many places and are good. Some places require approval, but it’s more of a formality than anything else. The town hall must get the piece as best it can.

These scales almost always pass code when you use it for storage. That means the shed should officially only be a shed. It can be a little more complicated if you don’t place the shed behind a main apartment. I am here.

The real linchpin when it comes to legally living in a shed if you want to connect sewers, water and electricity.

Connect water to your shed

Water connection for a shed

Fortunately, you can easily water most properties. Of the three main supply companies, water is the easiest because it is not particularly complicated or poses great risks. I did this on my current property in the mountains where I got a well and where my little house is in the city. I was able to connect to the city water without any problems to do “landscaping”.

All you have to do is raise the money for the permits and installation, run it to a frost-proof hydrant (which in turn is for landscaping) and have your inspections done if necessary. Once the inspectors are done with their controls and you have all your documents in hand, drop your shed and join it from the books.

NOTE: Because water is so easy to get, you can get it and the bill provides “proof of residence” for other things like DMV, a mailbox, etc.

Connect the power supply to your shed

Power connection to the shed

Bringing electricity into your shed is a little more difficult as this is the part where code officers start to worry if you want to live in the shed. That said, it’s not uncommon for you to want electricity for tools, etc. in a shed. I suggest that you install your water on land so that it projects about 20 feet into the property. Wait a few weeks until you get your dandruff pad graduated and dandruff fell off.

Next, I would do the following, but I understand that if you do, I am not responsible for any consequences. Once the shed has settled, set up the interior with a few shed-like items: a lawnmower, a table top on some sawhorses, a few tools scattered around it. Make it look like this is a real shed used for the actual storage. This way it looks like you would use it as a storage shed when the electrician comes to the installation and the inspector does the inspection.

You will most likely only be approved for a 50 or 100 amp service, compared to a normal house with a 200 amp service. That should be perfectly fine for your needs in such a small space.

Connect the sewage system to your shed

Sewer connection

Here’s the biggest hurdle, and frankly, I’ll be honest and say that you won’t get a code officer to install a flush toilet in a shed unless it’s completely overboard and designated as an apartment. I don’t mind using a composting toilet, but water and electricity are a must.

For the toilet, you could use a composting toilet, you could use a porta potty service, or you could consider installing a wastewater treatment plant (if possible). Septic tanks will make people ask questions when they see that a septic tank is installed, a water pipe leads to the property, and the power supply leads to a “shed”. It won’t cost much if someone looks at your property or checks the parcel tax and allows the records to put two and two together.

Can you live in a shed

Can you live in a shed

When I spoke to the saleswoman in the shed store, she told me that there were several customers in these sheds. They loosely call these buildings “sheds”, with models up to 1000 square feet. He had an entire photo wall on which people had turned a shed into a house and decorated the outside with porches, accents, etc.


Why should you live in a shed?

why should you live in a shed

Living in a shed offers many advantages between widespread availability, costs and easy procurement.

Easily permissible

The easiness to legitimize them is the greatest attraction for me. There aren’t many things that are easier to do these days. In many cases, you can simply drop them on your property and get them done. Often, communities have rules like, “If the structure is not an apartment and no size is larger than 12 feet, no permit is required.”

Attractively priced

The model I’m showing here is 192 square feet. Included are the windows, doors, installations, taxes, anchoring, leveling and delivery for the price of 4,200 USD! When I add permits, mileage, insulation, and drywall (I do the work myself, of course), I look at a cute house for around $ 6,000. You could then decorate it with Ikea Swag for another $ 500 and have a really nice place! The only downside is that there is no loft for a bed, so you have to take care of it. You could possibly use a wall bed.

Another aspect is that they offer payment plans of $ 70 a month, which makes it pretty affordable considering that I have friends who rent more than $ 1500 a month.

Easy to carry

The other advantage of these houses is that you can move them around! Not as easy as a house on a caravan, but it is possible. This is because they sometimes deliver these scales on flat beds or even tow trucks. They even have these little crawler machines to maneuver the shed to a place where a truck may not be able to get into tight backyards.


Unlike tiny houses where the closest builder may be several states away, there are likely to be multiple shed vendors in your city. These scales are apparently everywhere, so getting a scales is pretty easy, and you can even shop between them.

How to turn a shed into a small house

how to turn dandruff into living space

Once you’ve bought a shed, you’ll want to bring and set up all utilities on the website before doing anything. Get water, electricity, and sewage away, get copies of all permits, and wait a few weeks. I have noticed that sometimes there are some minor problems and you don’t want an inspector while you are remodeling your house.


Set a level pad and a grade for drainage
Before the shed is even delivered, I would suggest at least scraping the grass and laying 4 to 6 inches ¾ ”of gravel. At this point, consider burying your water and sewage connections and hiding the ends so the inspector doesn’t ask questions. Allow the gravel floor to protrude about 1 to 2 feet above the shed footprint in all directions. Make sure the room is completely level and compact the floor with a plate compactor. While you’re at it, think about how the water flows around the shed and pour it into French drains when slopes press water on it. Also consider where the water should drain from the roof if you have gutters. Consider digging a drain pipe to wash the water off the shed.


Make utility connections to your shed
As soon as the shed has been delivered on the block you have created, the inspector has come and gone and will bring your connections from anywhere to the shed and inside. If you have previously buried your connections, uncover and connect the connection points. Test everything before closing the walls.


Dealing with moisture at the bottom of the shed
If there’s one thing I don’t like about these scales, it’s using OSB or similar products that just don’t stand up well to moisture. If you have the option, I would pay extra for plywood and make sure it is treated. The bottom of the floor, where it points to the floor, is a place where moisture can accumulate and insects can eat. I suggest you have settled on blocks that are just high enough for you to crawl under so you can access things more easily. This is the case even when you don’t need to use blocks for leveling. Access and airflow are really great and very important to keep your floor dry and rot free. I would also apply a thick layer of oil paint on the bottom of the shed to protect the wood from moisture.


Customize your scale frame
In many cases, scale builders use a frame with smaller dimensions than conventional 2 × 4 frames. If you can, request your shed with 2 × 4 so that all of your building materials work (insulation, switch boxes, etc., all designed for 2 × 4 cavities). If your walls are not framed with 2 × 4 then you may have to find alternatives to every further step, since all building materials are dimensioned so that they can accommodate a 2 × 4 wall. You also want a deeper cavity to be isolated. A 1 × 3 wall like some sheds will be a very cold home. If you cannot order the shed to have 2 × 4, you will need to build the wall inside, if you go through these difficulties, consider getting a slightly larger shed, and then you might as well have thicker walls for more insulation choose.


Rough in your electrics, water and HVAC
Next you need to connect your power lines, water lines, internet connections, HVAC requirements, etc. I would also consider installing sockets and lights outside of the shed. Once I’ve learned about electrical outlets, it’s difficult to do outlets. Since it’s a small space, you want sockets exactly where you need them. Look at everything you connect and plug in sockets there. If there are wall runs of more than 5 feet without sockets, just place one. The outlets cost $ 1.50 for a box and another $ 2 for the outlet. These are super cheap, so don’t save here.

TIPPING: I would also suggest taking a video and photos of the walls so you can remember where things will go in the future when you need to fix something.


Seal every little crack
If I have learned something about these scales, they are not very airtight and therefore insects can also enter. The space where the roof meets the top of the wall and around the reveal / cladding is usually so badly made that you can see daylight! I would start by sealing everything with a good silicone gasket. Follow all intersections, seams and transition points. First seal from the outside, then seal again from the inside. I would also seal where the walls meet the floor, the corners and inside the frame where the studs meet the cladding. This may seem exaggerated to many, but a shed is so small that it takes a few hours to fully seal. Once you did, I would move on to spray can foam and fill in inaccessible gaps. I would also fill areas that you cannot easily isolate, and I would go over the seams to protect myself from leaks. This is also considered overboard by many, but a few hours and $ 50 prevention pays off, keeping air and water out, and keeping insects at bay.

Note: You should provide fresh air exchange and moisture control. If you seal the room and live in such a small space, you have to take air quality seriously. I would suggest using a mini split system that heats and cools (wherever it also dehumidifies) AND an energy recovery ventilation unit (ERV). The ERV absorbs your indoor air, heats or cools the incoming air through an exchange and then also adjusts the air humidity. The ERV cycles your air so that the indoor air is always fresh and with the right humidity.


Insulate your shed walls and ceilings
You have two main options for insulating spray foam or bat insulation. Bat insulation is a good option, easy to install and not that expensive. You get bats that are the right size for your wall cavities to minimize cutting effort. The other option I recommend is closed cell spray foam. I especially recommend closed cell spray foam as it is also a great vapor and air barrier. Spray foam is also a very high R value, so that you can keep your house hot or cold longer with the same wall thickness. Many people suggest open foam because it is cheaper, or some argue that it is easier to find the leak if a leak occurs. Since the shed is a small room, it is more expensive. However, since it’s small, you may only be talking about a few extra hundred dollar differences. I immediately reject the idea that you can identify leaks more easily. You just bought a brand new shed and spent a few hours sealing it all off. It will not leak as quickly, and if it does, the closed-cell foam sticks to the back of the roof terrace, minimizing the spread of leaks. Open cells let the water flow through and into your wall cavity, which leads to mold.


Insulate your shed floors
You want to insulate your shed floor, otherwise you have a condensing surface and your feet are cold on the floors. You can do this by insulating under the floor on the underside of the shed or laying foamboard on the floor and applying a new layer of plywood on it. If it were me, I would do both. I ordered a shed with a higher wall and then sprayed closed-cell foam on the bottom, then put 2 inches of polyiso foam on it with a compatible glue and then put a thick plywood base on it, again with glue. The two disadvantages of inserting the foam on the sides are that you are building into the room, reducing your overhead height (so it’s a good idea to get a higher wall option for your shed) and also your front transition to your front door will be a little be weird so you have to find out. Both are solvable problems and warm floors are a must in my book.

Tip: If you build yourself up by placing foam in the room, you should consider radiant heat from the floor!


Drywall, floors and cladding
Next, I would suggest dealing with drywall because it’s cheap. You want to make sure that you seal all joints and transitions of the drywall against air tightness. This is because if you make this air tight, no water vapor can enter the wall cavity and hit a cold surface to condense, build up moisture, and cause mold. This article on the right way to air seal drywall is a great resource for that.[]Once you’ve built your drywall, filled and sanded your joints, cut out your doors and windows and paint the whole thing. Lay your floors here and then add your baseboards to hide the rough edges of the floors.


Final completion
At that point, I would drop my cabinets, counters, and other surfaces. Consider using off-the-shelf pre-made things that are fairly affordable and make it easy. Your local big box store or Ikea has good options for this. Bring your equipment, add your lighting fixtures to the roughened boxes, etc. There you have it, you have converted a shed into a tiny house!

At that point, I would drop my cabinets, counters, and other surfaces. Consider using off-the-shelf pre-made things that are fairly affordable and make it easy. Your local big box store or Ikea has good options for this. Bring your equipment, add your lighting fixtures to the roughened boxes, etc. There you have it, you have converted a shed into a tiny house!

How much does it cost to convert a shed into a small house?

Cost to convert dandruff into house

Converting a shed costs about $ 75 per square foot, including the cost of the shed. Depending on the scale size, the supply connections and the fittings / devices. This requires that you buy a pre-made shed. It could be cheaper to build the shed yourself (shed companies are usually 60% more expensive than the cost of materials).

Sample costs:

  • Dandruff: $ 3,500 to $ 10,000
  • Windows: $ 500 to $ 6,000
  • Insulation: $ 500-2,000
  • Interior: $ 500- $ 4,000
  • Electrical: $ 750 to $ 3,000
  • Water heater: $ 500 to $ 1000
  • HVAC: $ ​​500 to $ 1,500
  • Toilet: $ 20- $ 800
  • Game pairs: $ 1,000 to $ 5,000
  • Household appliances: $ 400 to $ 4,000
  • Inner wall: $ 500 to $ 1,000
  • Flooring: $ 300 to $ 1,000
  • Fasteners / Adhesives: $ 1,500
  • Color: $ 50 to $ 200

Live in a shed while building your house

Live in a shed when building your house

Many people want to live in a shed while building the permeant house. I myself considered this to build my house on the property I bought in the mountains. This in turn falls on the question of legality. Living in a shed is often not allowed because it is so small.

I also found that code enforcement staff would need everything they normally need in a full house, which would dramatically increase costs.

Ultimately, the real answer is yes and no. Legally no, you can’t. Is it possible totally!

How do I turn my shed into living space?

I have a lot of experience with tiny houses working on the same scale as a converted shed. There are a few important things to consider when turning a shed into a living space.

The best ways to turn a shed into a living space

  1. Switch on the shed for light, electronics and HVAC
  2. Choose a way for air conditioning – heating & cooling
  3. Seal cracks to control moisture and insects
  4. Insulate and drywall for a clean look
  5. Lay a permanent floor covering
  6. Use a bright color palette, good lighting, and natural light

Dandruff design ideas and tips

Tips for designing your shed at home

There are so many ways to take your living space to the next level in a shed. Many of them can be borrowed from tiny houses for design inspiration. Here are some guides I created to help you design the perfect shed for life!

Small bathroom for a shed

A bathroom is one of the rooms in a shed that you have to do right. There is a lot going on between electricity, water, fittings and storage. Check out my post on how to design a small bathroom.

Designing a bathroom for a shed

Kitchen designs for a shed

The kitchen is another critical area if you want to live in a shed. You don’t have much space to store a lot in a small space. When I designed my tiny house kitchen, a lot went into it. Learn more about small kitchen concepts and their design.

Kitchens in a shed

Small scale equipment

One challenge I found is getting devices for small spaces. You can’t always go to the big hardware stores and find a device that fits in your shed’s kitchen. Choosing the right device for small kitchens is important. How to choose the right one for you!

small room devices

Consider adding a loft to your shed

A loft can create a lot of space on the ground floor if you have little space. Sleep lofts are fairly simple, but I figure out a few tricks to do them really well.

Save space in a loft shed for your bed

Add solar panels to your shed

Solar is a great option if you can’t power your shed. I’ve written several posts about setting up solar. Here are some great articles I’ve written about how I did it with myself.

Converted shed into living space photos and ideas

Bedroom in a shed

Shed living area

Gambral roof shed converted into living space

Living room in the shed house

Bedroom in the converted shed house

Kitchen and bedroom in a converted shed house for living

modern cozy shed house

Country-style shed that has been converted into a living room

Guest room in a shed

Living room with seating area in a shed

tiny bedroom in a shed

Guest rooms and offices in one shed

Guest room in the converted shed

rustic shed conversion for living

 a small house from one bed uppe

Living in a shed in your garden – is it right for you?

Converting a shed into a house or living space has done many people and it is quite possible. They are a great way to have a home quickly and cheaply. So I wanted to ask you all what you think of this idea. Do you think life in a shed is right for you? Is anyone doing this?

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