All You Need To Know About She Sheds
As a woman, the stress and frustration from work and family life can occasionally be quite overwhelming. Sometimes you just want to escape and have some alone time where you can relax. This kind of escape can be almost impossible at home, especially with the kids and the husband needing your undivided attention. A simple solution to all this is to create your own space where you can go to be alone and to recharge your batteries. This is where a space like a she shed come in to play.
She sheds can also be functional spaces where you go to focus on your favorite hobby (reading, gardening, yoga, or whatever suits your fancy) where your creativity can flow uninterrupted. They are also great spots to have your home office, away from distractions, where you can ensure deadlines are met and business is created or conducted.
With all the “things” going on in our lives, it is no wonder roughly 16 percent of women aged 18 to 64 feel very tired or exhausted most days (according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study). Having a place to retreat to will help you keep your sanity and refocus on the things that are important to you.
To describe it simply, a she shed is a shed or any other space separate from the house that has been designed to give women a private space of their own. Sometimes it is your go-to-escape place, other times it may be your function-at-max-capacity space. The point is, this little space will be modeled based off your preferences, and you can go there to do all your favorite activities.
In many ways, a she shed is the female equivalent of a man cave. Think of it as your own sanctuary where you can do anything you want away from the attention and scrutiny of your family.
Factors to Consider Before Getting a She Shed
Before you embark on this exciting endeavor, first you need to know what the local laws state about such structures. Check the local building codes to confirm whether it is legal to build a shed, or whether there exists any special requirements for you to be allowed to build one.
If you are part of a Homeowners Association, also confirm that you are not breaking any of their rules. The last thing you want is to put up a she shed only to have to take it back down because you are breaking covenants or have built beyond what is allowed.
Check to see if you need a building permit. Many of these freestanding structures do not need a permit, but check your town or city’s ordinance before you start building one. Doing the necessary homework upfront will help you avoid problems in the future.
She Shed Purpose
How you plan to use the she shed will have a lot of impact on how it is designed and the materials used to build it. It will also determine the optimum size of the shed and the amenities you will require. For example, a shed used primarily for gardening will look very different from one where you go to paint.
It is important to start your project with a plan in-place. You can always deviate if you change your mind during construction or come across materials you want to include in the project. By having a plan you are working towards, you can avoid cost and time overruns, which will help minimize the potential of not completing what you started.
A she shed is obviously going to cost you some amount of money. The total cost will depend on a number of things (discussed below) but you need to set your limit. Do your best to stick with the budget to avoid inadvertently sabotaging your efforts before the structure goes up or is refinished.
Know beforehand how much you are willing to spend on it so that you do not end up straining your finances. Do not forget to account for the extra expenses that will result from maintaining the shed. Also remember you will need to furnish the space so account for any furniture or supply purchases you plan to make once the shed is completed.
The Current Trends
If you are sure you are going to create a she shed, it could be a good idea to go with what is current and trendy blended with your own personal touch. This may help when you go to sell your home. Ultimately, it is your space that reflects your creativity and energy so create it with whatever vision you have in mind.
Whether you decide to go trendy or not, you will find many design and color ideas on the Internet both from experts and other home owners who have already built one (such as this list on Pinterest). Learn the pros and cons of each style so that you make a knowledgeable and informed decision.
Obtaining a She Shed
Fortunately, there are many ways you can go about creating your own little piece of paradise. With options that can have your space created in a weekend to others that can be completed at your leisure (DIY), getting what you want is really based on the urgency of your need. Below are several options for obtaining your she shed:
Transform an Existing Shed
This is one of the cheapest and most convenient ways of setting up a she shed and can be done relatively quickly based on the availability of those doing the transformation. If the current shed at your home is under-utilized, or you are staging a take-over (you go girl!), it should be easy to transform the existing structure to fit your needs.
Obviously, you will have to find another storage space for whatever is already in there or you can donate, sell, throw out, or repurpose the existing items. Once you have the space cleared, the transformation can begin. Depending on the condition of the current shed, work could involve building a new floor, resolving any roof or structural concerns, adding lighting, electric, water, insulation, possibly HVAC (or fans), and building any new features you may want (deck, loft, storage, new or replacement windows, etc.).
Once that is completed the fun begins! You can paint in whatever shade(s) fit your personality, bring in furniture to meet your requirements, and improve the décor in whatever style or fashion you want. It is basically a blank canvas waiting for you to show off your flair and ingenuity.
Buying a Ready-Made Shed
Nowadays you can find many retailers who sell fully assembled sheds, playhouses and other outdoor structures. Simply go online and peruse the available designs to see if there is something you like. You can also physically visit many big brand stores and see what they have in stock or can order for you.
Buying a ready-made shed is also one of the fastest ways of getting your dream she shed. While this is also a convenient route, it will be more expensive than retrofitting an existing shed. Once the shed is on your property, you will also need to connect it to any desired amenities and make it easily accessible.
While you are somewhat limited in the design, you will have piece of mind knowing the structure is sound and ready for use as soon as it is erected. Of course, you will still need to decorate and accessorize as applicable.
Employing a Contractor
If you feel that the ready-made sheds do not have the design or features you are looking for, a better idea is to hire a contractor. You can either submit your design to them or you can have them design one for you. The good thing about this method is that you will get exactly what you are looking for, and you will get quality workmanship.
Before you hire a contractor, consider whether:
- They have sufficient experience building sheds and other outdoor structures. Look for referrals of work done and if possible interview former clients.
- They are licensed and insured. This will ensure that you get quality workmanship and legal protection should anything go wrong.
- They have a warranty for the shed. This will cover you in case of repair and maintenance work in the future.
- Their rates are within your budget. Different contractors will have different prices for their services, so shop around for a contractor you can afford.
Just be prepared that you may need to wait your turn as the contractor completes other work. Also, as you would expect, this option can be pricier than the other options but gives you complete control of the shed design and any special features you are looking to utilize.
Build One Yourself
This option obviously applies to someone who has some building know-how, or the passion to do construction work. This can be one of those exciting activities you can undertake with your family and friends. It will obviously take more time, but the reward will be that more rewarding.
If some of the tasks are beyond your skillset, such as electricity or plumbing work, you might still require professional help to help you complete the project. Because much/all of the work is completed by you or family/friends, the cost of building your own shed will be cheaper than buying one or hiring a contractor.
At the end of the day, the option you choose will depend on your budget, the purpose of the she shed, the existing layout of your home and how fast you need the shed. The exciting news is…all of these options result in a fully functioning she shed that you can enjoy for years to come.
She Shed Cost
The total amount spent will depend on how you go about getting the shed, the materials used, shed design, the amount of professional labor hired and the décor and fittings you will use. The prices below are approximates from my area (Warner Robins GA) and may not depict your actual costs. Always check prices, get accurate quotes, and allow some pricing buffer before you begin your she shed project.
How you get the Shed – As already mentioned, converting an existing shed into a she shed might be the cheapest option on the list. This is because you will not incur the cost of buying construction materials or hiring professionals. The DIY option will also be cheaper than hiring a contractor and buying a ready-made shed. All the options will have pros and cons other than the cost, and you have to choose the option that best suits your situation.
Materials Used – The most common material used to build sheds is wood. Not only is wood readily available, it is also relatively cheap. Wood will also allow you to customize both the exterior and interior of your shed so that it looks exactly how you want it to look. The problem with wood is that it is prone to rot and insect attacks. Prices range from $900 (12ft x 8ft) up to $4,700 (8ft x 16ft, cedar), unassembled.
Another material you can use for your she shed is metal, either steel or aluminum. A metal shed will be very durable, able to resist rot and insect attacks. On the other hand, they are prone to rust and developing leaks. Metal can actually be much cheaper than wood, although you most likely have to hire a professional. Prices range from $300 (10ft x 8ft) up to $600 (10ft x 14ft, windowless).
One of the newer materials you can use is called vinyl. It is also strong and durable, can resist rot, rust and insects. Vinyl is, however, the most expensive of the three materials. There are other less popular materials such as plastic and other composite products. an 8ft x 10ft model will cost you $1,069 in my market.
Other than the basic building materials, you will also need other materials such as concrete for the floor, nails, building tools and equipment, wires, pipes, paint, roofing materials and many others. Costs can range from $100 up to $500 or more depending on what you need.
Shed Design – As with most other building projects, the bigger and more elaborate the design, the more expensive the project. If you choose to add shelves, cabinets and other such fittings, the cost will significantly go up. If you choose to connect electricity rather than use portable lights the cost will also be higher. Running electricity (if you have to hire a pro) can cost you $300 and cabinets are in the same range. Of course if you can DIY, you have the potential to save nearly all of these costs.
Professional Labor Hired – Building a shed will normally require the input of a general contractor, a carpenter, an electrician and a plumber. Sometimes the general contractor will provide all the services as a package. All the professionals will be paid by the hour and the rates depend on your locality and the complexity of the work. Ranging from $500 to $2,500, depending on what they are responsible for.
Décor and Fittings – This all depends on what purpose you want your she shed to serve. If it is a relaxation space where you can do some reading, you will need to put in some comfy furniture. If it is for gardening, you will need some shelves and planters. The cost of décor and fittings will ultimately depend upon you, as you can have it as cheap or as expensive as you want. Costs can be $500 and up but you can repurpose existing items, find bargains at flea markets, or get items for free to offset practically all the décor costs.
All-in-all, sheds typically can cost from around $500 up to $8,000 or higher to be fully operational. This cost will differ from shed to shed and there are some reliable ways you can minimize expenses. Experts however agree that building and furnishing a she shed is cheaper than expanding your home to create and extra room. Keep that in mind if you are weighing both options.
She Shed Types
There are a host of shed styles that are popular right now. Some of the more common types of she sheds you may run across include:
- Coastal – Plenty of light, colorful décor, and white wood are common features.
- Farmhouse – Wood of course preferably in a barn-style design.
- Glamorous – Regal. Upscale features throughout the space highlight this style.
- Industrial – Typically wood and metal with exposed beams and metal furniture.
- Modern – Designs include gable rooflines and a minimalistic approach.
- Rustic – Reclaimed/distressed materials are the norm.
- Shabby Chic – Vintage, distressed, and even classy are blended together.
- Studio – Made with business in mind. Functional is the key.
- Your Approach – Let your style shine through. After all, it is your hideaway space.
Get creative and come up with a completely new style or take elements from one or more of those above to create something special.
Reasons for Investing in a She Shed
So why should you go through all the trouble of building a She shed. Of what benefit will it be to you as a woman and to your family in general? Inner peace, relaxation, a space of your own, and some much needed quiet time all come to mind…what is your reason for investing in a she shed?
It is worth noting that…
According to the American Psychological Association, 37% of women said they are stressed out at work.
If “all” you do by creating a she shed is reduce your overall stress, it will be worth the investment. Protecting your health and state of mind are paramount to your overall well-being.
Below are several key reasons why women invest in building a she shed.
Explore Your Hobbies
Some hobbies such as painting, gardening, craftwork, yoga, photography, entertaining, and writing can often be pretty hard to accomplish in the normal home setup. With your own personal space, however, you will have the quiet and area needed to express yourself. For instance, soft music, scented candles, and a comfortable sitting area can help create that perfect relaxation space without the hustle and bustle of home life interfering.
Are you a gamer, artist, baker, brewer, or woodworker? Maybe your favorite hobby is sleeping! Your options are practically endless so find what inspires you and do that.
You never know, some of the hobbies might actually end up being beneficial to your family should you decide to commercialize them. That’s the great thing about having a she shed…you get to use it for whatever you want!
If you are in a career that demands a lot of creativity, a she shed is the perfect place to get your creative juices flowing. The unique and escapist ambiance that you create in the shed might be what your brain needs to come up with new and innovative ideas. Free from other distractions, you will have the right environment to focus on important tasks to help you be more creative.
This creativity can also be used for personal projects. Whether you are building or making something, painting, or planning a party, the ability to generate fresh ideas in a tranquil setting will help with whatever creative project, theme, or idea you are working on.
A Cheap Getaway
They say a change is as good as a rest. While you may not have the time or the money to pay for a short vacation, a she shed is a great alternative. You will have access to a place that is different to your home that takes you to another world without ever leaving your compound. You can temporarily turn it into an island oasis or mountain retreat and save a bunch of money in the process.
Besides, how many family vacations have you gone on that went exactly according to plan? How relaxing was it? It is difficult to mess up a trip out to the shed for some quality “me” or “us” time.
A Chance to Improve Your Relationships
Being stuck in a daily routine can be quite detrimental to relationships. When couples have a fight, it is usually better if they can have some time alone to reflect and collect their thoughts. A she shed will be like your own therapy room where you can go and escape from it all.
You can also use the shed to rekindle friendships and strengthen bonds. A girls poker night, wine tasting event, or lunch served in will let your friends know how special you think they are. A side benefit is you kids will also learn and take on more responsibility when you let them handle certain tasks and chores while you are away from the main house.
Enjoy the Journey as well as the Destination
Creating your own little oasis can be one of the most fun and fulfilling projects you can undertake. You will have complete freedom on how to decorate it, which colors to paint (more on this later) and how the overall ambiance will be. This will give you a chance to explore your creative side which is a great experience in itself.
Even if you buy and have someone install the shed for you, you still get to have a blast decorating the space. The excitement of finding the perfect piece or creating something functional makes the investment all the more meaningful and personal. Do not make it a job, make it an adventure and you will love what you have created.
A Chance for Rejuvenation
At the end of the day, you will always leave the shed feeling much better than you did when you went in. This is great both for your mental health and your physical health. Your family will also appreciate your renewed energy and appetite for life.
If for no other reasons, the opportunities to achieve a fresh outlook and recharge, are well worth the time and expense you will have expended establishing your own personal space. Only you know the true motive behind wanting your own space, so keep that energy laser focused, and reap the rewards!
Decorating Your Shed
There is no easier way to brighten up a space then to apply a fresh coat of paint. Use your creativity and even explore with colors you would not consider inside your home. Go with one color or many, the choice is yours. Of course, you want to make sure you give the outside some paint love too to protect and beautify your shed.
WebMD says the colors you use to decorate your home can affect your emotional well being.
Here is a simple color psychology guide to help you choose the right hues.
- Black – Strength, authority, and elegance. It can take over a space and evoke strong emotions.
- Blue – Relaxing, freshness, and strength. Drama, boldness, and a sense of calm are also felt based on shade used.
- Brown – Earthy, warmth, and stability. If you want to slow down, use a natural hue to promote being at ease.
- Gray – Calmness, strength, and sophistication highlight this color. Lighter shades promote calmness.
- Green – Relaxation and renewal highlight this hue. If you want a calming effect, this is the color for you.
- Orange – All about energy and innovation. It adds warmth to any space.
- Pink – Calming, and playful. Brighter hues increase energy and can show off your sophisticated or edgy nature.
- Purple – Want mystery? This is your color. It also promotes creativity and gives a regal feel.
- Red – Bold, intimate, and passionate. This color heightens the senses and can add a dramatic effect.
- Yellow – Adds optimism and a sense of happiness. Promotes creativity and can make the shed feel bigger.
Mix and match, go with a solid color, or do something totally unique. There are no limits to what you can turn your space into. The power of color will be the backdrop for your masterpiece so have fun with it.
This is what makes the space your own so decorate with comfort and functionality in mind. It can be in complete contrast to the rest of your home’s décor and can be as bold or bland as you like. Repurposing items from your home is a good idea as is scouring local antique shops and flea markets for bargains and hidden treasures.
Let your personality shine through by adding in personal items or complimentary accessories such as area rugs, lamps, or pillows or create a unique feature that expresses your funny, practical, or creative side. Going old or new is also entirely up to you…go with both options if your heart desires!
Plants add warmth and can have a calming effect so consider adding live ones to your space too. An added bonus with plants is, because you have to take care of them, you will spend more quality time out in your she shed. We always make time for things that are important to us so make spending time in your she shed a highlight of your day.
Do not forget about the outside of your shed. It needs some tender loving care too. Add on a deck, window flower boxes, hanging lights, a boldly colored door, potted plants, shrubbery, decorative mulch, or whatever else gives the look and feel you are after. Go big, keep it incognito, or do something in-between. You decide!
One of the fun parts about designing the outside area is it can have as much or as little curb appeal as you like. The landscape can either blend in with the rest of the yard or contrast it. The same goes for the style, paint, and any accessories used. Your unique creation does not have to look like something out of a magazine but it can if you want it to. The choice is entirely up to you.
Impact of a She Shed on Property Value
The impact of a she shed on the value of your home will ultimately depend on the condition of the she shed at the time of sale. If you built a quality shed that still looks good after many years, the value of your property could uptick slightly. Conversely, a she shed could slightly decrease the value of your home if a potential buyer finds it in a dilapidated condition.
Remember, it is still considered an out-building or accessory structure and is not calculated into your home’s finished square footage according to the American National Standards Institute so do not expect to recoup dollar for dollar what you put into your she shed. Build it for you, not for the potential resale value it may hold.
Besides, the new owner might re-purpose the she shed into something else, but having one that is in great condition is a big plus and could be a featured selling point. All the more reason to emphasize the importance of investing in a quality and durable she shed right from the beginning.
Final She Shed Thoughts
You have created and customized your retreat so it is vitally important you find and make time to use it. This space is the perfect opportunity to forget about your responsibilities and worries even if just for a little while. Ensure you spend time relaxing, having fun, being creative, or doing as much or as little as you choose.
For everyone else who wishes they had a private space, now is a great time to put the wheels in motion and start planning for your very own little garden oasis. Utilize the tips provided to get motivated or continue the journey towards creating, using, and enjoying your future she shed.
If you found this she shed guide helpful, please consider sharing it via social media so others can also benefit from the information. ~ Anita ~