All About Studio Sheds: A Complete Buyer’s Guide
Creating art reduces your stress levels, protects your brain from the destructive side-effects of aging, and makes you a better problem-solver. Creating, whether it be drawing, sculpting, writing, or any other form of creative work, is a powerful mood and health booster.
Yet even the most inspired would-be creators can struggle with carving out time and space for art in their lives. Studio sheds can help.
To help you understand this new trend, we’ve put together a complete guide to backyard studios.
What Is a Studio Shed?
A backyard studio shed is a small, independent, and dedicated creative workspace located on your property. These sheds typically have all the comforts you’d expect in your home or any other workspace, including:
- Storage space
- Good lighting
- Comfortable workspace
- Organized space for supplies
Studio sheds can be intensely customized or extremely versatile. They can be set up specifically to accommodate a single creative activity, such as sewing, or provide flexible space for numerous different types of creative endeavors.
Types of Studio Sheds
Studio sheds come in three primary forms:
Stick-built sheds are designed and built from scratch on your property by a contractor. Kit sheds come in pre-made pieces and must be assembled on-site by you or a contractor. Prefab units are delivered to your home whole and complete by the manufacturer (though it can be customized by the manufacturer). All types of studio sheds give you room to design it according to your personality and artistic needs.
Studio Shed Sizing
Stick-built sheds can be any size and shape you desire. Kit studio shed plans and prefabricated studios are slightly less flexible, but come in a wide array of sizes suitable to almost any use or preference.
The smallest standard shed size you’ll want to consider is an 6×8 studio shed or 8×8 studio shed.Though you’ll be able to find smaller studio sheds, you want it to be large enough to give you room to work. The largest sheds typically run around 336 square feet. Common sizes in between include:
Who Should Buy a Studio Shed?
Finding studio sheds for sale is easy, but who should consider buying one? Studio sheds are ideal for:
- Artists who don’t have enough room in their home for their creative work
- Writers who need quiet space to think, work, and reach a flow state
- Creatives with children, pets, or others in the home who interrupt or mess up their art
- Creatives with specialized or expensive tools and equipment that need to be secured for safety
Obviously, studio sheds meet some of these needs simply by providing space. But square footage, privacy, and security are only some of the numerous benefits studio sheds offer.
What Can a Studio Shed Do for You?
Many artists are startled to realize just how much value a portable office or studio can offer them. While it’s impossible to list all reasons that studios are amazing, here are the top benefits that buyers love about their studios.
It’s bad enough that the average American loses over 200 hours and spends $2,600 every year commuting to and from work. No one wants to waste what precious creative time they have commuting between their home and a studio, too. Installing a studio shed means you’re never more than a few steps away from your next art session.
Increased Home Value
Adding a studio shed to your property increases your home value. In fact, in many markets, homeowners routinely find that their property value goes up by more than the cost of their shed.
Save You Money
Putting a modular warehouse office in your backyard can save you money. It means that you don’t have to pay rent for your backyard studio, and can cut down on expenses related to travel, utilities, and artistic equipment repair and replacement.
Benefit Your Health
Studio sheds allow you the freedom and flexibility to customize your workspace with ergonomic and eco-friendly furniture and tools. They allow you to immerse yourself in creative pursuits whenever the urge strikes without concerns about disturbing anyone else.
A well-designed studio that is always on hand is also almost guaranteed to increase your exposure to healthy sunlight and to routinely lower your stress levels.
Peace, Quiet and Security
The number one benefit of a prefab studio shed, of course, is the peace, quiet, and security it offers. Anyone who has attempted to work on a creative project at home understands that the biggest challenges to productivity and success are other people in the home and interruptions.
Creating a separate space for work activities can be the perfect solution.
Working on your creative project in a dedicated space prevents you from being interrupted every time the home phone rings or someone knocks on the front door. It also tells your family or living companions that what you are “not available,” giving you freedom and privacy.
If you want to be taken seriously as an artist, nothing gets the message across like a private art studio. This is particularly true if you meet with other creatives or have prospective buyers or clients over to see your work.
Having a separate workspace is essential if your creative work involves equipment or works in progress that cannot or should not be touched by others. Lockable backyard studios keep curious family members and visitors from disturbing your work or getting into or possibly hurt by the tools you’ve left in place for your next session.
Why Prefabs Beat Stick-Built Every Time
Buyers ready to invest in a backyard studio strongly prefer prefab studio sheds. Let’s break down why.
Prefabricated studios get you in your finished studio creating faster.
They arrive whole and, in some cases, pre-wired and pre-piped for utilities. They don’t need to be constructed on-site, which saves you up to several months of time and lots of money. Many also come with pre-finished or partially pre-finished interiors, which saves you additional time and money.
Prefab studios are constructed in factories by manufacturers positioned to take advantage of economies of scale. They cost less to build, experience fewer delays in the construction process, and avoid the costs of designers and consultants entirely. As a result, prefabs cost an average of 10 to 25 percent less to purchase and install than stick-built or kit units.
Manufacturers built prefab units knowing they need to withstand the pressures of travel, sometimes over long distances, as whole units. Accordingly, most prefab units are extremely strong and well-built. This means they are also well-prepared to weather whatever your climate throws at them, from snow and ice to earthquakes.
Prefab units tend to be more universally viable than heavily-specific stick-built units. This means that they are easy to reorganize or repurpose if your needs, interests, or projects change over time.
Prefab backyard studio sheds are more eco-friendly than stick-built alternatives. The efficiency of their construction means that less waste is created in their manufacture. The durability and tightness of their designs often mean that they are more energy-efficient than other models, as well.
What to Look for in a Studio Shed
Choosing the right studio for your property is critical. Here are a few of the most important things to consider when selecting a shed.
It’s important to choose a shed that is big enough for your needs but also small enough to be safely trucked onto your property. Consider how much room you have for the shed both at its final placement site and between the road and that site. You don’t want to have to remove fencing or tear up your landscaping any more than necessary to get your shed in place.
Choose a shed that features an interior well-equipped to serve as a positive work environment. This includes being:
- Well-lit with natural and artificial lighting
- Fully equipped with appropriate HVAC systems for your climate
- Outfitted with electricity, water, and other utilities as appropriate
- Appropriately sized for your intended usage
Consider both the style of your home and the impression you want your space to make when buying a shed. Choose a unit that compliments both.
Take a look at your local zoning laws and codes before choosing a shed. In some cases, as little as a foot or two in size can mean the difference between falling beneath zoning restrictions and needing extensive permits or inspections.
What Do You Need to Install a Studio Shed?
If you choose a prefab studio shed you need very little to get started. The manufacturer will do most of the work and deliver your shed whole. The only things you need to do are:
- Check local zoning laws
- Measure to ensure you can get the shed to its destination and remove any obstacles, as needed
- Arrange for utility hookups to be extended from your property’s main lines to the shed site
How Much Do Studio Sheds Cost?
The actual cost of your shed will depend entirely on the make, model, size, and features you select. Guardian Booth’s sheds can run from $3,000 to more than $30,000. You can choose a price point that fits into your budget.
Smaller sheds will obviously be less expensive than larger ones. Similarly, wood-exterior sheds will cost less than vinyl-exterior sheds. Finished or “turnkey” sheds that come with wiring, piping, and other fixtures already installed and ready to go will also cost more than simpler options.
In nearly every case, however, sheds prove to be the least expensive option per square foot for adding usable space to your property.
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