Everything You Need to Know before You Choose a She Shed for Sale
She Shed for Sale: Understand Your Shed Options before You Buy
You’ve seen them on magazine covers and Pinterest boards, but what is a she shed, and do you really need one? The short answer is that it is an awesome space, made just for you, and yes, you probably do need one. Read on for the long answer…
The Wonders of a She Shack
A house may be your home, but sometimes you just want a special place that is all yours, away from the hustle and bustle of the household. Sometimes a she shack is exactly what you are looking for.
While we often think of a as a masculine room for playing games and drinking in a dark basement or dingy garage, a she shed is much different. A she shed is not just a place for a woman to go and be on her own, but usually, it is a place of light, brightness, and tranquility. Often placed within a garden, a she shed is open and airy, with cozy spaces for reading or writing, crafting, gardening, and simply enjoying whatever the woman’s interests are.
Of course, not everyone has room for an actual shed. For those who live in the city or other places with limited space, consider invoking the spirit of a she shed in a small spot within your home. For example, a cupboard under the stairs, a closet, etc. We’ll discuss this and everything else you need to know about creating your own she shed, so read on!
Why a She Shed?
She shed is just a fun way of naming a space that belongs exclusively to a certain female, for her use and comfort. Similar to man cave, granny shack, she shack, or even a kids treehouse or clubhouse, it’s just a cute way of describing a structure that is designed almost exclusively for the use of one person – in this case, a woman who wants some private space.
It is an oasis all your own.
Whether a woman lives with her spouse and children, her parents, roommates, or any other arrangement, sometimes a quiet space to call her own is hard to find. This is the point of a she shed – to give a woman that place to do her own thing, decorate her own way, and enjoy her time, on her own.
Some women use their space as a:
- she shed office to do their work
- quiet space to write the next great American novel
- home base to plant a garden
- she shed painting studio
This space can simply be used for anything the owner desires. What matters most is that it is a private space, away from the noise and demands of daily life, a reprieve where others do not go uninvited, and a space that is decorated to suit the unique tastes and needs of the woman to whom it belongs.
Types of She Sheds
There are many different types of she shacks, as alluded to in the previous section. Generally, we are talking about an actual, free standing shed – a small outbuilding in the yard of a larger property. Of course, a she shack could be something different, depending on what is available to the woman in question. Often, it is a prefab she shed; sometimes the woman can build the she shack on her own. In the section “Making a Space of Your Own” below, we’ll talk a bit about creating a she shed inspired space, even when you don’t have room for an actual shed. But now, back to the shed concept…
Any existing shed can be turned into a she shack with a little bit of elbow grease. Or, a she shed can be built from a kit, or from scratch. It can also be purchased, fully designed and built, and delivered in place. We’ll discuss this in more detail in a moment.
What matters is that the shed is set at least a short distance from the house, has a private entrance, has windows and open space, and is in good repair, clean, and suitable for a person spending quality time within its walls.
To Build or to Buy?
To get your she shack you can order a prefab she shed delivered to your property, have a shed built on your property, build a shed yourself, or renovate an existing structure to serve as your she shed. Let’s consider these options.
Prefab She Shed
No doubt the easiest way to get a she shack is a prefab she shed, built to your specifications (which can mean a she shed with a bathroom as well!) and delivered to your home, then installed. This is also going to be the most expensive way of getting your private oasis. If money is no object, this is certainly the way to go. All that is left for you to do is move your belongings in and enjoy the view.
Prefab she shed prices range wildly. You can purchase a fully designed and ready prefab she shed starting around $120 to $180 a square foot – that’s about $12,000 to $18,000 for a small, 10 foot by 10 foot space. You can also buy a blank shell, such as an office booth or pre-built shed for less than half that price. For example, a Florida she shed prefab from a reputable company starts at around $5,000, with free delivery and payment plans available.
Have a Shed Built or Build it Yourself
or hire someone to build it for you. A shed kit large enough to function as a she shed can cost anywhere from $1,000 and up depending on the size. You’ll probably pay $2,200 and up for a nice sized shed from a big box store, and then have to put in 30 hours of sweat equity to get it built.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to have a shed built on your property, perhaps as low as $3,000, for something small, built by a local handyman, depending on the size, cost of lumber in your area, and your relationship with the builder. If you have good DIY skills, there are kits where you purchase metal connections and ends, but then supply the lumber and do the work yourself. This is probably the least expensive way to build a nice shed shell – likely for under $1,000 for a 10 foot by 8 foot shed; but you’ll have to put in a lot of long hours lugging wood home and building.
But imagine the sense of accomplishment when you are done!
Renovating an Existing Structure
The most affordable option to get your space – and arguably the most fun – is to renovate an existing shack. Any old shed, small barn, cottage, pool house, garage, security shack, or other small structure can be made into a beautiful she shack if you have the time and a little money. If you choose to renovate an existing building, keep these tips in mind:
- Structure: Ensure the building is structurally sound. The wood should not be rotted or termite infested. The roof should be water tight, or easily fixed to be. The foundation should be solid, secure, and well-draining. Make sure there are no bugs infesting it – bug bombs can help you out there.
- Interior: Assuming the building has exposed framing, seal all cracks around the inside with caulk or flexible spray sealant, then install insulation. If there is no electrical, consider installing it now, before you put up paneling or drywall. Want to really save and get a cool look? Find old, worn wood planks and cover the interior walls with that!
- Exterior: Fix any rotted panels. Give the entire structure a good coat of high quality paint, for both appearance and sealing it up. Install windows, if you need more, or change out the doors.
- Decorate: What separates a she shed from a plain old shed is the décor! Make your shed bright, comfortable, and suited to your needs with pictures, fabrics, furniture, and more.
Check out more tips for turning your shed into a tiny hideaway.
In short, when buying a shed made specifically to be a she shed, and installed for you, you are probably looking at a minimum of $5,000, with prices more likely to exceed $10,000 for anything other than the smallest and most simple of sheds. And all this before you have painted it or hung a single curtain or bookshelf. Of course, you can always check Craig’s List and other sales sights to see if there is a she shack for sale, but then you have the expense of moving it as well, which is probably more trouble than simply building something new. Building yourself with the help of a handy friend, or renovating an existing outbuilding, is always going to be your most affordable choice.
Outfitting Your She Shed
When it comes to outfitting your she shed, the sky is the limit – anything is possible. There are limitless she shed designs and ideas to be inspired by. Here is a list of things to consider when decorating your special place:
- Electricity isn’t required but it is highly recommended. Seriously consider adding electricity to your space. It is not usually as difficult as it sounds, and there are a number of ways to accomplish this. You could just run an extension cord from the house and plug in a desk light or two. But actually having electricity hard-wired into your main home’s electrical panel is the best way to go. An electrician can do this relatively easily, though expense will vary based on where you live, where your electrical panel is, and how far the shed is from the home. Depending on codes in your area, you may have an electrically minded friend who can do it for you, as it really is an easy job, or find a licensed electrician who does work on the side. Having at least a few outlets will let you have lighting, charge your electronics, and more. Of course, a generator is always a possibility, but that can be expensive and time-consuming to run long term.
- Lightening is everything! The optimal way to light your shed is through many airy windows, which can be opened in beautiful weather. Installing skylights is a great way to get great lighting, without sacrificing privacy. But be sure to have them installed by someone with experience because leaking is a common concern with skylights.
- Keep privacy in mind. Windows are great. But ensure that you have window coverings so that you can have privacy when you want it. If you live in a very sunny place, tinted windows might be a good way to let in some light, without overheating the space, and while adding privacy. And install locks on your doors and windows, just so you can protect your belongings and your privacy. Consider, also, an inexpensive wireless doorbell, to encourage visitors to ring before they enter.
- Temperature control. No matter where you live, it is likely that at some point in time you will wish that you had either some heating or cooling. Here is one good reason to have had that electrical installed. If you have electrical, you can bring in fans, install a ceiling fan, put in a window air conditioner, or have a space heater, allowing you to use your shed throughout the year. Of course, having a few blankets laying around doesn’t hurt either.
- Consider running water. Depending on how you plan to use the shed, you may want to consider running water. Are you a painter who needs to wash her brushes? A gardener who needs to water seedlings? Running water to a shed can be a big job that you can hire out. But it can also be really simple. You can just add an attachment to the nearest garden house that splits the hose into two. Then, run one hose straight to your shed. A little research online, or a chat with someone at a home improvement store, can have you easily running water to a small utility sink with a gray water drain to some nearby plants, or just installing a hose nozzle within easy reach outside.
- Creature comforts. There are many things you will want in your space to simply make it comfortable. Of course, you have to sit. So consider a couch or a plush chair, something comfortable where you can sit and read or talk on the phone for hours. Maybe a hammock (yes, installed inside – how whimsical!) or a swinging chair. Choose bright, comfortable fabrics that feel good to the touch. Add throw pillows, some tables, maybe a desk, or a workspace, if you plan to do building or crafting.
- Crafts and hobbies. If you plan to pursue a craft or hobby in your she shed, be sure to add storage space and supplies. Planning a lot of reading? Add bookshelves. Planning to hammer, saw, and glue? Create a nook of tools, well organized. Are you a painter? Put in an easel, storage for points, and a stack of different sized canvases. Planning to create a she shed office? Make sure you install electrical so you can charge electronics, run your printer, and so forth.
- Decorations. When you walk into your she shed you should immediately feel amazing and happy. It should be a place of relaxation, inspiration, and joy. This means that every item that enters the shed should elicit a positive, emotional reaction from you. Cover the walls in artwork, old record albums or CDs, canvases, interesting fabrics – anything that you have collected or found that makes you feel good. Choose hardware for doors, cabinets, etc. that feel and look nice. Choose fabrics that match the mood you are trying to convey.
Making a Space of Your Own
One question people ask is, does a she shed have to be an actual shed? It does not. Sure, the word shed is inherently in the title, and that has become the assumed characteristic of the place, but the concept of a she shed can be accomplished in other places, such as:
- spare bedroom
- screened porch
- under a solid pergola or other roof structure
- in a large closet, if need be
Remember that it is all about the space you have and your needs. You might turn a closet into a reading nook, freshen a gazebo with lights and comfy seating, or turn unused space under your stairs into a cozy reading room. With a little imagination, any space can become quaint and magical.
Consider these optional add-ons and details for your she shed space:
- Think about electricity. Having full out electricity with normal outlets is optimal, but you can always run a high quality extension cord if your electrical needs are minimal.
- Lighting is everything. Install ambient and task lighting, as well as some outdoor lighting.
- Consider running water. Running water to a shed is actually surprisingly easy, as mentioned above.
- Build a path. Create a nice pathway to get to your building, something that is easy to walk on in any weather and a pleasure to roam.
- Maintenance is a must. Keep up on maintenance in your shed. Clean it at least monthly, checking for leaks, bugs, and other damage. Fix things early and it will be easier than if you wait.
- Know if you need a permit. Some areas require a permit, particularly if you are putting in a new building.
- Enjoy the space! Now that you put in all that hard work, make sure that you take the time to actually enjoy your space, relax, and live in the moment.
Want to learn more or get even more inspiration? Check out a book on she sheds, or anyone of the hundred Pinterest boards on the topic. Lowes also has a variety of articles about building the foundation for your she shed, installing French doors, and more.
You may find that to get what you really want you to have to think outside the box a bit. For example, a shack meant as a prefabricated guard house is affordable and can be easily redesigned into a she shed, and this allows you to customize with many options including sliding doors, windows, electricity, lighting, and more.
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