24 Tips for Turning a Shed Into a Tiny House

Updated: May 16, 2024

If you have a storage shed in your backyard, it can be converted into a usable, livable space where you can work on craft projects, grow things, or create a she-shed, card/cigar room, music room, study area, or just a place to hang out and read. Consider these tips for converting your shed from a place to store garden tools to a place where you'll want to spend all of your free time.

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Building a cheap shed
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Paint Your Shed

Since many standard storage sheds have a drab brown or neutral wood-colored interior, spruce it up with some color—but not just any color.

For the exterior, select outdoor paint that’s durable while giving the building a pop of color that fits in nicely with your yard. Consider color theory when you’re deciding how to paint the interior of your shed to make it a relaxing space. Ocean blue is one color that can create a calm space and make it feel welcoming. Other calming colors include light gray, pale green, and lavender. While you’re at it, check out these shed house ideas.

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Person Hand Applying chemical Sealant With Silicone Gun
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Seal Up Cracks

Garden sheds, particularly stand-alone sheds used for storing equipment, often need to be sealed to prevent drafts, bugs, dust and other problems. After cleaning out the shed, be prepared to select the right caulk and weatherstripping to help make the shed as airtight as possible. A very rickety shed may need to have walls replaced.

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Add a Skylight

Install a skylight window in your shed so that you can get some much-needed sunlight (and moonlight in the evenings). It will brighten up your shed to make it a more livable and relaxing space. Some skylight windows can be opened to allow fresh air in, so you can close the door and enjoy some privacy for a couple of hours. Here are a few tips for moving a shed.

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Install Insulation

Your shed needs to be comfortable inside if you’ll be spending time there. Add insulation and, if necessary, drywall to turn your shed into a real room. Here’s everything you need to know about shed insulation.

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Plan the conduit route and dig the trench
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Add Electrical Wiring

If your shed doesn’t have electricity, it’s worth adding it. Even if you don’t plan on using as a livable space, you’ll still appreciate a place to plug in your tools. But if you want to hang out in the shed, it’s a must. You can run electrical wiring to your shed relatively easily too.

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Solar-Powered Shed

With a solar power kit, you can add a little power to your shed without having to route electrical from your house. The panel absorbs energy from the sun during the day and allows you to route it to other appliances, like lamps, electric saws, stereo systems, and chargers for your cellphone.

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Add Heating

In mild climates you may only need insulation on your new shed room. But more extreme temperatures require extra features. A small heater may be a necessary device for your shed, so make sure you have the space to install one. If your shed doesn’t have access to electricity yet, then it’s time for a wiring project first!

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man Expanding the wings on the air conditioner to close the gap on each side
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Install a Window Air Conditioner

Sheds can heat up in a hurry, even if it’s not mercury-boiling hot outside, so installing a window air conditioner is an easy way to make your shed a more comfortable space for spending time. It’s an easy project too. Here’s a list of our favorite backyard shed ideas.

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Install Better Lighting

Garden and livable sheds typically make do with a single bulb or bench light, but you’ll need more lighting if you’re going to spend time there. Install both overhead lights and lamps to help illuminate the room for hobbies, reading, studying. You may also want to install an outdoor light if you plan on using the space during the evening.

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Convert Extra Storage Space shed garage

Convert Extra Storage Space

Many storage sheds and (hopefully) livable sheds will have leftover storage space like shelves, hooks and bins—and that’s a good thing! Convert this utility storage space for other purposes, such as holding books, organizing hobby paraphernalia and displaying décor. Think twice before tearing out any shelves or storage spaces if you can still put them to good use! Don’t forget to check out these shed shelving ideas.

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Construction Pro Tips

Add Windows

Chances are good that your current shed doesn’t have many windows, if any at all. This needs to change, especially if you want to make a shed into a sunroom. Without windows, the room will feel cramped and unpleasant. So try to install new windows on as many sides of the shed as possible.

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Spinning Ceiling Fan
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Install a Ceiling Fan

There are a number of ways that you can cool your shed, but one of the most energy efficient solutions is a ceiling fan. Installing a ceiling fan isn’t as difficult as you may think. It’s an ideal solution for cooling a small and intimate space.

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outside outdoors shower

Shed Shower

Imagine how relaxing it will feel to take a cool shower in a corner of your shed on a hot summer day. To make this idea work, you’ll need a water source (some outdoor showers can be connected to a hose) and a drainage system or plumbing pipe running from your shed that can properly dispose of the water.

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bitro patio greenery shed moss flowers
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Set Up Plants and Decor

Turn the space into a pleasant living area by adding both plants and décor. A popular option is to plant a vine by a shed porch or wall so that it will eventually climb up nearby surfaces and make the shed look like a proper part of your garden. Indoor plants will also help keep the air fresh and add a little greenery to your new room.

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Craftsman installing engineered click system oak wood flooring
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Convert the Floor to a Durable, Comfortable Surface

If possible, install more durable flooring in your shed room (cork, tile, carpet, and much more is suitable), and lay down a rug for greater comfort. A good wood floor can typically be restored, but it’s a big project. Remember that moisture and mold may be a problem if the floor isn’t properly protected.

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weather strip windows
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Weather strip doors and windows

When you have the shed walls insulated and the gaping holes plugged, then add weather stripping to the windows and doors.

  • Apply weatherproofing plastic to windows.
  • Apply sealing foam tape to the bottom panel of windows.
  • Add caulk to any drafty spots in the window as needed.
  • Slide a door draft blocker under the shed door.
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Outdoor String Lights

Brighten Things Up with String Lights

String lights aren’t just for holiday decorating. They can turn a normally boring shed into a place you look forward to escaping to at the end of a long day. Use pushpins or Command light clips to hang string lights on the inside and outside of your shed and route them to outdoor electrical outlet.

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Dealing with the Heat

On the hottest days of summer, being inside of a shed could feel like being in a sauna. Keep the shed cool by applying heat control film to the windows. This film blocks the sun’s rays from coming inside, keeping the temperature down. Also, if you have an electrical or solar power source, use a portable air cooler in your shed to stay comfortable. Air coolers lower room temperatures by taking water from the hot air and emitting a cool breeze into the space.

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rustic kitchen

Add a Kitchenette

If cooking is what relaxes you, create a “cook’s nook” in your shed. All you need is a few countertop-height tables with drawers for a few plates and utensils, a pot and pan rack, and a spice basket. Place an electric burner in your cook’s nook (click here to learn how to install an outdoor outlet) and start cooking — do prep work and experiment with new meals. Find out why you should have a potting shed.

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ventilation exhaust fan

Ventilation/Exhaust Fan

If you plan to enclose yourself in your shed to enjoy a book or do some woodworking for hours on a regular basis, be sure to install some type of ventilation system. An exhaust fan will allow air to escape and keep fresh air circulating in the space. If you want to avoid the hassle of installing a wall unit, get a standard twin window fan.

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retractable awning
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Get a Retractable Awning

Extend the area of comfort for your shed by putting a retractable awning at the front or back. With an awning in place, you can sit outside in the shade after finishing some work and enjoy a refreshing beverage. As an alternative to an awning, put an offset patio umbrella in front of your shed.

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surround sound speakers

Add Speakers

One way to relax in your shed is to go there to immerse yourself in your favorite music. Install a surround-sound stereo system equipped with Bluetooth capability so that you can lay back in a reclining chair and explore your playlist in peace. It will feel like you have your own home music studio.

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foot spa relaxation
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Mini Spa

There’s no need to spend money on a day at a spa when you have one in your personal outdoor shed! Create a mini spa in your shed where you can pamper yourself. Set up the area with your favorite beauty products, nail tools, a foot spa and a massage chair. If you really want to kick things up a notch and have the space, put a small Jacuzzi tub in your shed, or next to it, where you can privately soak away the stress and pressures of your day.

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yoga mat
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Yoga Corner

Carve out a little spot in your shed so you can privately go through your yoga routine.