The humble shed has been a staple of home ownership for hundreds of years. Although they have long been overlooked as mere places to store tools and lawn mowers, sheds have recently been receiving greater recognition as a useful way to expand a home without any of the hassle of actually adding new rooms. With some insulation and access to electricity, any shed can be transformed into a high-tech workstation. These are four possible uses for a mid-sized or large garden shed, as well as the technology required to make it comfortable enough for long-term use.
Anyone who works from home knows how difficult it can be to separate family life from business. Children demand attention, spouses intrude during working hours and there’s always something that needs doing. By the end of the day, many self-employed entrepreneurs or telecommuters feel like they’ve spent half their time doing anything but work. In this situation, the best solution is to get out of the house entirely. A shed that has been converted into a home office is cozy and offers a pure business space that family members are more likely to respect. A good office will include a cooling and heating system, computer, telephone, lights and a desk to maximize efficiency. If it’s close enough to your property, you maybe be able to set up wifi in the house, else you will need to budget for a telephone connection so you can access broadband and a phone.
Many people have messy hobbies, but don’t have a place within the house or garage to practice them. A shed is the perfect spot to splatter paint or spray wood-shavings across the floor. It’s private, quiet and most importantly cam be designed with any hobby in mind. Woodworkers can set up saws, a table and a shelf full of knives and chisels. Artists can dedicate a whole wall to canvas. Even more obscure interests like model airplane building will benefit from a safe storage and building location. Many people are setting up their own personal music studio, with a drum kit, recording area and a computer! Just make sure if you’ve got a lot of valuable equipment, that you invest in a proper system to keep it locked. Some people have even installed fingerprint recognition technology!
It’s far too easy to skip out on gym memberships, but finding a spot for gym equipment in a home can be next to impossible. With some careful planning, however, a garden shed can be converted into a personal gym. A workout space will need a cooling system and electricity, and can be reasonably expected to fit a cardio machine and weight set at the very least. The best part is that there’s no smell, sweat, noise or eyesores within a house, and its inhabitants can still become fitter than ever before. Hi-tech models are going green by powering the machines with an array of photovoltaic solar panels based on their roof.
In the Pacific Northwest, there’s a shed on nearly every corner with a line of cars waiting to drive past it. An espresso stand is one of the most popular businesses that are run out of common sheds, but there are hundreds of others. Produce stands can be quite profitable at a farmer’s market or along a busy road, and opening a concession stand at a local college stadium is also sure to bring in some cash. Sheds are inexpensive and don’t have all of the costs that come with a larger building, making them the perfect choice for anyone starting a small business.