Do you have a shed in your backyard? If you do, you will most likely use it to store all your garden tools and perhaps a few power tools. However, many people also use their garden shed to store things from inside the house that they don’t quite know what to do with. Unfortunately, this usually results in wasted space as the shed is used more as a transit space for forgotten items that eventually end up in landfills.
Give your shed a new purpose and transform this outdoor space into something functional that will add value to your home and give you an extra room or area to use that is a lot more cost-effective than renovations or extensions.
Before you start transforming your shed, you need to examine its current purpose. Is it simply a garden shed storage space? If so, take the time to see what you have stored in your shed. Chances are you most likely only have a few garden tools and perhaps a lawnmower. All of this can be stored in the garage or, if you don’t have a garage, you can build a small cupboard behind the shed or even at the side of your house. It’s a shame to waste all the space in your shed for a few items which could be compressed into a smaller area.
As with any living space in your home, your shed will need to be fitted with some of the creature comforts you have indoors. If your shed already has an electrical connection from your house, you’re halfway there. Sheds often only have a couple of small windows, which is fine during the day when you’re looking for tools, but you may not have enough shed lighting for use at night, and this is not enough if you want to outfit your shed as an additional liveable room, you will need to ensure you have a safe supply of electricity. If you are adding an electrical supply to your shed, ensure an authorised electrician completes this task. Safety should always be your priority.
Another crucial element to a reformed garden shed is ventilation to ensure stale air can be expelled, and fresh air is let in. Shed ventilation[i] can be as simple as a couple of mesh inserts at either end of your shed or you can install a small air conditioner that will keep your shed cool in the summer that doubles as a heater in winter. This will allow you to use your new space all year round.
With the increasing trend of working from home, finding a space to work productively and without distraction can be challenging, especially if you have young children. The backyard shed can make the perfect home office, studio or even a salon. You can implement many different shed workspace ideas to transform your shed into an office, a study, or even a workshop where you can organise your tools and materials. This is the perfect way to combine your business or work life with your home life without the two clashing.
Every man needs his “Man Only” space, otherwise known as the Man Cave[ii]. This is where the man of the house can go for some alone time and indulge in his favourite pastimes or hobbies. It’s also a great place to entertain his buddies without disturbing the rest of the household with unsavoury jokes and those infamous fishing or hunting tales of “the one that got away.”
The garden shed is the perfect place for a man cave and can serve many different functions. Depending on the size of the shed, it can be a billiard or pool room, a private bar or even a home gym. You may even be able to combine a few of your favourite man cave features for the perfect retreat. Best of all, the lady of the house won’t mind because she’ll always know where to find her man if she needs him.
If space inside your home isn’t spacious enough for entertaining, convert your shed into a multi-purpose outdoor entertainment area. You can include a small kitchenette inside the shed with a small table and a few chairs where you can cook and eat during the summer. The benefit of a summer kitchen is that the heat and smells from cooking are kept away from the main house, which will stay cooler.
Add a veranda to the front of your shed for the perfect extension to your outdoor entertainment area. This will give you a comfortable place to enjoy those summer months, and with a few comfortable garden benches in the front, you’ll create the perfect outdoor oasis to unwind with drinks at the end of a hectic day. The veranda will also provide you with a little bit of shade as well as protection from the rain. During the winter, you can get cosy inside the shed and use bench covers to protect your outdoor furniture when it’s too cold to sit outside.
Stepped on a Lego lately? Those tiny blocks with ultra-sharp edges incite many parents to scream profanities in several different languages when they are stepped on. Having toys scattered all over the house is perfectly normal in a home with children, but it’s not always a good look, especially when company arrives. A garden shed playhouse is an ultimate solution for any family home as you can contain the toys to an area outside the home but within easy reach. Besides, the kids will love having a separate playhouse away from the adults.
Older kids and kids at heart will also get a kick out of having an outdoor playroom. How many times have the grown-ups screamed at the kids to turn down the volume while they play video games? Keep everyone happy with a games room in the shed outfitted with the latest trending consoles, gaming computers and comfy seating and keep the noise out of the house.
You may be asking yourself, “Can I turn my shed into a bedroom?”[iii] The answer is a resounding YES, but you should always check with your local building authority to ensure you can convert your shed into living quarters. While most local authorities have relaxed the rules regarding adding an annexe to your home, living spaces often come with a different set of rules.
You may want an extra bedroom for overnight guests, a teenager looking for a bit of privacy or a separate room for grandparents who live with you. This type of shed conversion may come with the added expenses of insulation, plumbing and electrical work, and installing some kind of heating. All of these aspects will need to be done by professionals to ensure all the work meets local building regulations and provide a safe structure for whoever will be inhabiting the shed.
Once you’ve repurposed your garden shed, finish the job by sprucing it up inside and out. Give the outside a fresh coat of paint and paint the window frames a contrasting colour for a special touch. Place a few planters around so it looks like an addition to your home instead of a boring shed. Create a walkway from your home to the shed so it feels like a part of the house as well.
You should also look at some shed interior ideas[iv] to maximise the space you have to work with and give the shed an inviting feel.
Make the most out of that old shed and transform it into something practical that will become a valuable extension to your home. Whether you choose to turn your shed into a home office, a workshop, a playroom or an outdoor area for entertaining family and friends, keep the theme going inside your shed and outside with the right furniture and décor.
Not only will you enjoy the new space you can create, it will also add value to your home if you ever decide to sell it.
Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches – a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.