We just landed back on Earth after a heady weekend at Pinners California. Wow! What a show. There must have been about 6,000 people taking classes, shopping and doing make-and-takes on Saturday.
We had a lot of fun showing off our newly designed she-shed-on-wheels. This is the shed we bring to events so people can see our custom design options.
The shed looked so beautiful. It had a coastal theme, with gentle shades of blue/green and pops of coral. We were very proud to show off our new hammock chair too (absolutely the best furnishing for a comfortable shed). Sometimes our little place had eight women inside at the same time. The consensus? “We want one!”
Of course we fielded lots of questions since (to our surprise) many women still don’t know what a she shed is. So today we bring you the top five questions about she sheds so you can get the scoop, too. These questions pertain to our own custom designs but they are useful even if you are shopping around for another style, or building your own.
1. What is a she shed?
Technically speaking, a she shed is simply an outbuilding that has been converted into a place for a woman to hang out and enjoy privacy. She sheds come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes–anywhere from 6 ft. x 6 ft. to 12 ft. x 20 ft. (any bigger than that and you’ve got yourself a barn, girl.)
2. What do women do in their sheds?
Most of the women who visited our shed didn’t have any question in their minds as to what they would do in their sheds. After all, this was Pinners, a show for creatives and crafties and DIYers. A traditional use for a she shed is gardening and potting. More and more women are eyeing these compact spaces for their businesses–jewelry making, hair salons, interior design, professional services and pottery making. Other uses include art and painting; sewing and crafts; reading and writing; meditation and yoga; entertaining and outdoor bar; poolside cabana; and many more. The shed extends a woman’s life out into her back yard in many wonderful ways.
3. Will I be able to use it in the summer and winter?
She sheds are usually quite rustic by nature; meaning, the walls and roof are not finished with insulation and drywall. In these cases, natural ventilation and shade are the ways to stay cool in summertime. Our sheds come with windows that open to take advantage of breezes. In winter, space heaters are options. Even these ideas aren’t effective in areas with extreme weather. So you can decide to finish off the interior and install wiring for HVAC; or, you can use your she shed seasonally and wait out the hot and cold months.
4. How much will it cost?
There are all kinds of ways to budget a she shed. The least expensive option is rehabbing an old shed you already own, so long as the bones of the structure are good. Another low-cost option is to spend time gathering the materials you need, such as lumber, windows and doors, then asking handy friends and family to help you build it. What we do at She Shed Living is offer a mid-level priced shed that gives each woman the chance to design it herself. Our sheds run about $125 per square foot and up, depending on the materials and size. They are handcrafted and one of a kind. For more details on cost, see “How Much Does a She Shed Cost?”.
5. Will I need permits?
There are certain conditions that require you to apply for a permit when building a she shed. Most cities allow backyard accessory buildings of up to 120 square feet and 9 – 11 feet high without needing a permit. Most also require setbacks from the property line of up to 10 feet. You always need a solid level foundation of either concrete or wood. Bricks and pavers can work, too. If you decide to hard wire your shed or put in any kind of plumbing then you will need to see the city about permits. Costs vary but if you plan to have an office or extra guest space then it is worth the effort to do things right.