What Is the Luxury Shed Trend?

Many of us have been cooped up inside our homes for nearly a year. As much as we love our families, the inability to go to the office or school takes away that little bit of space everyone needs once in a while. So some people are turning to their backyards for sanctuary, a place to work or unwind without others around. Hence, the luxury shed trend.

What Is a Luxury Shed?

A luxury shed is a secondary building on your property not used for cars, lawnmowers and the like. These sheds are, in essence, an extension of your living space, with many of the comforts of home in a smaller package.

Some may recall an insurance commercial a couple of years ago where a character laments the fiery demise of her “she shed.” Indeed, the she shed (typically a getaway with traditionally feminine appointments) is certainly one sort of luxury shed option. Others have used their outbuilding as a music, art or fitness studio, a man cave, or even an in-law suite. In the midst of the pandemic, however, many luxury sheds sprung from a need for secluded home office space.

Why Not Add On to Your Home Instead?

Adding on to your primary living space is another way to give yourself the room you need. However, there are disadvantages to adding on to your house:

  • Structural and mechanical limitations. Can the existing structure physically handle the additional space? For example, when Family Handyman added on to a bathroom with a bump-out, the dimensions were limited by the size of the floor joists. Also, your HVAC system must be able to handle the additional square footage.
  • Inconvenience. We’ve all endured projects that take longer than they should. Whether you DIY or enlist a pro, you’re creating a disruption for every member of your household. No matter how long it takes, you’ll be living with a big hole in your house, not to mention noise and construction debris.
  • Lack of privacy. Once you’ve built this addition, you’re still connected to the rest of the house, which means the rest of the family is still connected to your special space. You’ll likely hear everything that’s going on inside, and they’ll hear everything that’s going on in your space. That’s especially annoying if, as in my case, your kid is practicing their trombone while you’re trying to handle a Zoom call in a professional manner.

Pros and Cons of a Luxury Shed

Pros

  • Privacy. A luxury shed gives you extra space, separate from your main living space. If you’re using it for a home office, you can “leave” your office for the night and stop thinking about work on your commute, which is a mere walk across the backyard.
  • Almost instant gratification. A luxury shed might not take long to build or install. Many companies specialize in luxury sheds, such as Modern Shed and Studio Shed. You could order one designed to your specifications and have it installed in a matter of days by professionals, as long as you’ve cleared a space in your yard. Sheds can be really simple — just four easy walls to frame. And if you want to build it yourself, our pub shed and pavilion shed are great options.

Cons

  • Cost. A luxury shed will most likely be pricier than a basic shed kit from the home center. From one manufacturer, entry level sheds start at more than $10,000.
  • Permits and the law. Many municipalities require a permit to build any shed. Some restrict the size of the shed. In Ohio, for example, the law states that sheds with a floor area less than two hundred square feet don’t require approval.
  • Homeowners associations. Many HOAs prohibit sheds altogether, or require them to meet a certain exterior style.
  • Plumbing and electrical. In some places, running utilities to a shed turns it into a dwelling, because you could conceivably live in it. Once you’ve crossed the threshold of adding plumbing and electrical, in most cases you’ll need inspections for both.

Chris Tonn
A lifelong Ohioan, Chris grew up around classic rusty sports cars from Japan and England. He's been covering the automotive industry for nearly 10 years, and is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). A family man, Chris drives a Chrysler minivan, and uses his rusty old Miata as a shelf, until the day it is uncovered as a priceless barn find.