How do you use your backyard studio/shed?

My husbands new dream is to put a prefab studio/shed in our back yard. We live in a busy inner city and such a shed would take up about a quarter of our back yard.

The studio would be something modern, like this or this.

My husband has a nebulous idea of how the studio would be used. Man cave for himself or for our son, now six years old. Guest room. Bed&Breakfast for paying guests.
All of these I feel aren’t really practical. And mutually exclusive. I feel the studio would quickly become a man cave for my husband, where so much of his computer and music stuff would be put that it would quickly become unusable for guests. And taht my husband woild retreat there, leaving me to care for our son.
And that the upkeep would simply not be done. So the studio wold quickly become a damp mould ridden shed (our climate is cool and wet) where no one likes to be and that would be an eyesore in our garden.

**So my question is: did you put an apartment/studio behind your house? What do you use it for? Would you build it again if you had the choice? **

We both have busy jobs, a kid, and I don’t see us running no a B&B. Frankly, I don’t see us hving the time or energy to keep up with the added upkeep on the studio, at all. It is hard enough to keep my own house in shape. And hiring people for everything gets expensive real quick.

Guest room; true, we don’t have a guest room. My friend and my husbands mom sleep on the couch when they come over. They don’t like it, but it doesnn’t keep them away. (the cats do :wink: Most Dutch houses don’t have guest rooms, anyway. And having a good guest room might attract the kind of guests I dont want, like my mom.

Which brings me to using the studio to** house an aging parent**. My dad likes the idea, but I’m not that wild about it. He already lives in the city, in a workshop, and while he would need a proper apartment if he got infirm, I’m not sure if it would be a good idea to have him in our back yard. And I would hate it if my mom wanted to live there.

Room for the boy when he grows up. True, our kids current room is tiny. Yet for the previous owners of this house, their daughter lived in that same room up untill her 18 th birthday and she speaks fondly of her room.

The studio would need to get its own bathrroom and kitchen unit right?

I have a back yard shed. It’s small, but two-story with a west-facing window.

Honestly, I use it for storage. LUKE (Little Used Kitchen Equipment), my bike, gardening supplies, bird seed.

If needed it could certainly be used as temporary guest quarters, or some sort of work shop. I have actually considered buying an old camper or bus for guest space; it would be cheaper than a prefab shed and more versatile.

That’s my fear too. We currently already have a stone shed (non-insulated) with a fairly large window, but no runing water. It was originally build as a photo studio. That shed too is used for storage only.

We bought some land last Christmas that had a little cabin thing on it which was in terrible shape. The roof had big holes in it, which was rotting the mostly-intact framing. We had to fix it fast or loose it, so we did. Log into Facebook | Facebook

We use it as a guest house, though it doesn’t have running water. It gets used sporadically, and it stays fine in between visits, but I do a bug sweep before guests. It’s kind of a neat thing to have, and we spent very little money on the reno, which was a fun project.

I built a workshop on to my garage about 40 years ago. I used it as an office, man cave, guest house and for many years after my divorce I lived in it. Now I keep an apt for my girlfriend and I, I gave the house to my son and I still maintain my guest house as an office workshop and out of towner guest house. My life would not have been the same without it. 400 sq ft, kitchenette, 3/4 bath, small office area and living room.

When we renovated our cottage in Canada this year, my daughter asked for the shed to use as a bunkie. It turned out pretty cool with the bed about 5 feet off the floor…I want one! Officially it’s just a studio, otherwise we’d have had to redo our septic field…even though our occupancy has not increased, the planners would think it had. No bathroom or refrigerator tho…she has to come and visit the family occasionally!

Kbear, how old is your daughter? Is the whole family happy about her taking less part in the family’s life together?

Honey bear, did you live above the garage for several years while, I assume, your ex-wife and kids lived in the main house? How did that work out for family life? Also, I assume that the use of man-cave and guest room could be combined. But you living there prevented the use as guest room, right?

Renee, that house looks awesome. Even if you did most of it yourself, it must have coat at least ten thousand dollars in material, no?

And what is the climate there? Wet and cool like the Netherlands? Or dry and warm like most parts of the USA, which, I assume, is better to keep little-used houses from deteriorating?

Thanks. We did all the work ourselves, and 95% of the material is found/recycled aka free stuff. We had to buy the siding, two windows, and paint, and ran electricity out there. We have about $2500 in it.

We are in Missouri, pretty moderate climate, not excessively humid.

I had a 40’ X 40’ pole barn built a couple years ago. It’s now full of tools and yard implements.

I discovered that outbuildings are… expensive. Heck, the epoxy on the floor alone was $4K U.S. Last year I ran electric to it. Even though I did the job myself, I ended up shelling out quiet a bit of money.

I now want interior walls and water. More money. I figure running water from the house to the barn will be at least $3K. And if I have a sink or toilet, where will the waste water go? I think running a drain pipe back to the house would be out-of-the-question. I may have to install a new septic system just for the barn.

And then there are permit and inspection fees. I didn’t have to get any, but I would assume you would need to.

Create a cost estimate, and then multiply it by three.

That looks awesome. :slight_smile:

I’d love to have something like that, but my lot is only 0.1 hectare (¼ acre) and there’s a gully with a little creek in it that takes up about a third of it. It would be a great retreat when the SO is mad at me, a place to go when I want to watch my Japanese monster movies or my ‘stupid’ movies and the SO wants to watch her English costume dramas, and most of all an office for my job.

As it is, we have a small wood-framed shed for keeping the lawnmowers and other stuff in.

Crafter Man, the good news is that such studios as we would have are 100% prefab and standard, and the company can give a pretty reliable cost estimate beforehand.

Johnny LA, our backyard in its entirity is 0.03 acres, which is actually large for the Dutch city we live in. The studio would fill up the back third of our garden, but it would allow a shed of approximately the same size to be demolished, so the net surface would remain the same and the new layout would be more practical.

I wonder if it would be feasible to use the shed ourselves in the winter, and empty it for paying guests in the summer…

My daughter is 16 and we’re pretty used to the fact that she prefers to be on her own…her room here in London is in the loft. We jokingly call her the troll in the attic but I actually don’t think she spends any more time in her room than any other teenager. She plays the guitar a lot, does a lot of reading and a little online gaming. She’s just pursuing interests we don’t share. If I think the balance is off, I drag her out to a movie or to walk the dog and we always eat dinners together. Her twin sister spends more time with us but not much more.

I used to try and make my own space in my dad’s house when I was a kid…I converted the space under the basement stairs into my own little reading room. Only had room for books, a light and a small chair but it was “my” space. So I get why she needs it.

That implies an answer to a question I had about plumbing and sewage.

“Most” parts of the USA cannot sanely be described as “dry and warm.” Not the north from coast to coast (not warm or dry) and not the entire east coast (not dry even where warm), either.

Love Renee’s little house! Reminds me of some of these tiny houses.

Maastricht, Renee lives in Missouri which has this sort of climate. The only part of the US that could be described as “dry and warm” (mostly) is the southwest.

I have a backyard shed. Timber, tin roof, dirt floor and all rustic charm. It has a workshop part where I keep the tools that haven’t sneaked into the house, gym equipment and storage for junk.

A man needs a space of his own.

There is just something about people that when we have an empty space, we find a need to fill it. So overtime shed, attics, basements, spare rooms, whatever - turn into junk storage.