Who needs a man cave when you can have a she shed?
You've heard about the man cave, but what about a she shed? The man cave is usually tucked away in a basement with leather club chairs, an oversized TV, great stereo system and a fridge for snacks. It's the perfect spot to unwind. The she shed is a little different, and it might be just the thing to improve your quality of life and the property value at the same time.
Here are a few reasons why this might be the best new project to add to your list.
A She Shed is a Total Retreat
Unlike a man cave, which is part of the main house, a she shed is separate. It's a little getaway without really leaving home because the sounds and activity in the house don't convey to the shed.
Being separate from the home is part of what makes it such a great place to relax. You might build a she shed just a few feet from the house. Or if you have a lot of property, situate it farther away. If you'll need electric service and plumbing from the main house, closer might be better.
Use a shed for arts, crafts, or just reading a great book.
It's a Multi Purpose Space
If you wonder what a she shed is good for, it might be easier to think about what it's not. Maybe you're an artist in need of a quiet studio. Or maybe you have craft projects and don't have space enough inside the house for all of the materials. Then again, maybe you're working on the next Great American Novel and want a quiet place to concentrate.
These little sheds are good for almost anything that you want. Many have at least a small sofa for naps and reading a good book. Some also have a half bath or small sink, which is important if you'll spend a lot of time there. Just remember that if you ever plan to use your she shed as detached sleeping quarters, local code restrictions might require electricity and heat.
You Can Have a Plain She Shed
Most of the she sheds that you'll see in design magazines and online are tricked out and really something special. But there are no rules. As long as it's built well, your shed can look any way that you like. Maybe the walls are corrugated aluminum, or maybe it's a concrete block structure. Or maybe it looks like a miniature log cabin or Victorian house. Anything goes.
If you'll buy a pre-built shed and set it up on your property, most of the hard work will already be done. But if you're hiring a handyman or contractor to build one for you, you'll have a lot more say in the process. Mother Earth News has a great primer on the construction ins and outs that you'll want to know, and there are lots of building plans available online.
Imagine entertaining without messing up the house.
Or it Can Be Elaborate
Some of the fancier she sheds are really a sight to behold. One of the most famous examples started out life as a tiny, ramshackle cabin. It was transformed into a dollhouse of a white Victorian complete with fancy trim and a sleeping loft. This Old House says a great idea is adding a pergola and using the shed as spot for indoor / outdoor entertaining.
You can landscape around the shed, build a porch or patio, add skylights for a greenhouse / solarium effect and anything else that your heart desires. Because the structure is so small, you won't need a lot of materials. A slate roof might cost a fortune on the main house, but it's a lot more affordable covering on a shed.
One question hasn't quite been answered yet, and that's why the 'she' half of the at-home getaway trend is a separate building instead of an attic or basement conversion. Maybe it's because those spaces are already taken by the man cave or a family room. Or maybe it's just that the outdoors was the next great adventure.
If you wonder about the added value, that's another area where your she can shine. According to LaMacchia Realty in Massachusetts, a larger building that's well maintained, as yours will be, are considered an improvement.
Do any of your neighbors have a she shed, or will yours be the only one in the neighborhood to one day offer that amenity to buyers?