Living outdoors is the new trend and no we're not talking about camping! Who says you can't unleash your adventurous side and enjoy the great outdoors in the comfort of your backyard?
Nowadays, an increasing number of people are transforming their sheds into backyard retreats, guesthouses, workshops, mini homes, and much more. It's like going on a little getaway without needing to go far! Plus, there are plenty of sheds for sale in different sizes, styles, and designs, so you'll be sure to find the one that meets your requirements.
If you're ready to jump on the bandwagon and splurge on an outdoor oasis of your own, consider these 6 essential things to know when buying a livable shed.
The purpose of the shed
First and foremost, think about what you plan on doing with your new shed. This factor will determine whether you'll need windows, electricity, plumbing, and so on. A shed with loads of windows is preferable if you're using your shed as a living space, reading nook, a mini home office, etc. Windows let natural light in, increase airflow, and create a bright and fresh interior that provides feelings of comfort and serenity. On the other hand, a windowless shed feels more like a dark and stuffy room with poor air quality. That is totally fine if you're only going to utilize your shed as a storage space but, if you plan on staying in there for more than a couple of minutes at a time, you'll certainly need windows. You can even create an extremely relaxed space by installing a skylight window. Moreover, those who want to live in their shed full-time should include electricity and indoor plumbing for a more functional living space.
Now that you know the shed's purpose, it's time to pick the right material. If you simply need a place to store your equipment, you don't necessarily need to go the extra mile and buy the most hard-wearing and indestructible shed out there, unless you really want to. A UV-protected plastic shed will suffice. However, picking the material for a livable shed requires a bit more thought.
Wood is the most common material for livable sheds. This material not only blends perfectly with various garden styles but can also be customized to your specific needs. Do you want to add a window in a certain spot? That's absolutely feasible! On top of that, hanging shelves, planters, and hooks on the wall is a piece of cake with a wooden shed. So, if you want a shed that's heavy-duty, aesthetically pleasing, and long-lasting, look for a wooden one. Despite all its benefits, wood requires regular maintenance.
If security is a top priority for you, you may want to consider getting a metal shed. They're impenetrable by thieves, animals, and other unwanted visitors lurking around your property. Although metal sheds are usually designed to store valuable equipment and gear, you can find a handful of metal designs that are meant to be lived in. Livable metal sheds are sturdy, only need little maintenance, and are usually more spacious than other sheds.
Plastic sheds are the cheapest sheds out there and aren't fit to live in unless you want everything to be blown away during harsh weather conditions. For a somewhat sturdy and stable plastic shed, choose one with metal reinforcements.
The shed's size will depend on the available space you have in your garden. You'll need to get out your measuring tape and measure the area where you want to place your shed to avoid buying a design that doesn't have the right proportions. You'll also want to make sure that the shed has enough space around it for maintenance as well as plants, trees, and fence panels that add a welcoming touch to the landscape. If your available space is situated in a corner, you can choose a corner shed that's both space-efficient and attractive. Moreover, if you're going to spend most of your time in your shed, you'll need to pick a size that is big enough, such as a 12x16 shed.
The overall theme and style of your house
Since your shed will steal the spotlight in your backyard, it only makes sense to select a design that complements your house's style. Whether you have a traditional, modern, or cottage-style house, there are a wide variety of shed styles you can choose from. If, however, your new outdoor structure doesn't match with your overall theme, there are several things you can do to enhance its appearance. For instance, a wooden shed can easily be personalized with paint. The easiest way to make a unified statement is to coordinate your home and your shed's colors. If painting the entire shed is too much for you, simply paint the door or trim for a little bit of visual interest. Additionally, surrounding your shed with a landscape bed will blend it with the rest of your garden.
The climate where you live in
You may be wondering if the climate in your area really matters, and yes it does! Condensation is common in both hot and cold areas and can damage the shed's interior as well as your furniture, books, and other items in it if left untreated. Besides, sheds with too much humidity are more prone to insect infestation and bacteria reproduction. This is why you should always consider your climate!
Proper ventilation is crucial whether you live in a hot and dry area or a cold area. There are several ways you can climate control your shed but the most common method is to use a heating system or air conditioning unit that suits your climate. Those in cold climates should also insulate their walls, ceiling, and floor to keep the interior warm and cozy.
The security of your shed should never be neglected, especially if you live in it or have expensive items lying around. To secure your shed and prevent break-ins, make sure your door hinge and locks are heavy-duty, use blinds or curtains to prevent thieves from peeking in, and install an alarm system to scare off burglars. Even if you think that your backyard is safe, it doesn't hurt to take extra precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.