You’ve been making Pinterest boards on pretty sheds for months now, but maybe now is the time to get serious. You really could have a back yard place that’s ALL yours. Yet when it comes right down to it, how much do you really know about getting a she shed? The majority of us are not licensed contractors and may have just a little bit of building and DIY experience. Dreaming is much different than doing but it’s an important part of the process. So now let’s think about taking that next step.
Let’s just assume that you are in the novice category and are looking for a cost-effective way to get the prettiest she shed possible. The most important tip is to get started. Start with these steps and you’ll be much closer to making your space a reality.
1. Assess your back yard. Find the exact spot that will work for a she shed. Some of the things you should consider are: a) Do you already have a level area, ideally with a concrete slab or obstacle-free ground? This is where your foundation is going to be. Take a tape measure and see if a shed the size you want will fit. (Tip: To get maximum function out of your shed try to fit one that is 8 ft. by 10 ft. or larger.) Other things to keep in mind is size, height and setback from your property line. Cities have their own building codes for “storage sheds” but many allow sheds up to 10 ft. x 12 ft. in size without requiring a permit. b) Size c) Height d) Setback e) Relationship to the house. We’ve found that often a shed looks best when it’s facing the house but that is definitely not always the case. Consider view, sun path and existing landscaping and we guarantee you will come up with the best answer.
2. Determine the use. Be very careful and serious about this step. You should have a purpose or a passion (or both) that you will fulfill in this space. If you build the shed before determining its use you may miss out on some ways to make it more functional. For some ideas on the ways women use their sheds go to our post on 5 Ways to Use Your She Shed.
3. Narrow down your style preferences. It’s OK if your Pinterest boards have hundreds of different styles but now it’s time to get down to one design that is going to make you happy. It’s important to remember that she sheds are unique and customizable; they reflect your personal style to the letter. Do you love the vintage look of a creamy board-and-batten gable-roof shed? Or do you just salivate over a sleek modern-looking shed with plenty of large windows? Do you want windows everywhere or a cozy sheltered nest? Also, think about color. She sheds look beautiful with a simple coat of cream paint but it all depends on you. Rustic red, ballet shoes pink, bright coral, chic chartreuse … they’re all possibilities. One way to get some color on your shed with more restraint is to paint the door and trim a contrasting shade. (This shed’s door is painted with our own She Shades Cherry Blossom. The shed is owned by Kathy Ibrahim)
4. Have a plan … or two. Our favorite part of the build process is designing the interior. Do this with a space plan, which is simply a square or rectangle the size of your shed divided into a grid. Use graph paper or use a 1:12 ratio (1 inch = 12 inches/1 foot). Use this plan to lay out your furniture, rug, shelving and door/window placement. The other plan to have is your installation schedule. Want to have your new place completed by early summer? Start now! Your schedule will vary depending on if you are working with a company that pre-builds sheds or if you are constructing it onsite yourself or with a crew. Some things to consider are:
a) Build and install crew
b) Foundation install
c) Build time or delivery date
d) Install time or date
e) Finishing work (paint, adjustments)
f) Interior design and furnishing
All of these steps and considerations can be found in She Sheds Style: Make Your Space Your Own. The signed book is available here, or you can go on Amazon and order a Kindle version.