A she shed, much like a man cave, is a cherished sanctuary where women can relax away from the rest of the family. The best part? It’s easy to plan for and build a she shed. We’ll show you how.
She shed ideas range from small to big and inexpensive to pricey. Building a she shed starts with planning how you will use your she shed. Do you want your she shed to be an art studio, home office, yoga studio, potting shed, or garden shed?
Plan, too, how you want your she shed to look. Maybe you want a stunning interior design, a whimsical pathway leading up to it, or a charming backyard garden outside your sanctuary.
To help you get started, we’ll show you how to turn the aging backyard storage shed into your quiet getaway.
No shed in the backyard? No worries. Buy yourself a DIY prefab kit, and build your hideaway from the ground up.
How to Plan for Your She Shed
Building your very own she shed (or she shack) may feel overwhelming at first, but do these next two things first before you get you started:
Check your local building codes
Your local building codes or homeowners’ association guidelines may govern your she shed’s size, location, and safety measures. You may need to acquire a builder’s permit before building your she shed.
Find the perfect spot for your she shed
Think of your landscape like a painting, so where would you like to paint your she shed into the picture? Perhaps your she shed can be a dramatic backyard focal point right under the oak tree, or maybe building it by the fence will help accentuate your moon garden.
Pro Tip: Build your she shed on level ground and avoid hilly areas.
How to Save Time and Money Building Your She Shed
The average cost to build a she shed is $3,634, with most homeowners paying between $1,767 to $9,567. That wide price range varies based on the materials used, your intended use for your she shed, any utilities needed, and the price of decorations to make your she shed your home away from your home.
How can you save on the cost of your she shed? Remodel your backyard tool or storage shed to be your backyard refuge. Or cut your costs by buying a prefab shed.
Remodel the backyard shed
Sometimes an old tool shed just needs a simple makeover to become the prettiest, most perfect she shed. In this case, the location is already picked out for you. Consider how the surrounding landscape will help make your new she shed shine.
If beautiful green foliage surrounds your graying tool shed, paint your she shed black with a glossy finish and white windows to add contrast in the landscape.
Don’t have a shed? Buy a prefab shed
It’s nearly as easy to order a she shed as it is to order a pizza. Just order your she shed online. Your prefabricated shed will be delivered to your home, either already assembled or as a kit for you to install yourself. You also can hire a contractor to do the installation for you.
Depending on where you shop for your prefabricated shed, you can customize your shed to fit your needs or choose a ready-made shed design.
How to Build (or Remodel) Your She Shed
Lowe’s offers an excellent instructional video on how to build a she shed. Your kit will likely come with step-by-step instructions on where to begin, but in either case, you’ll want to start with the foundation for your she shed.
A solid foundation is a must for any construction project. Lowe’s recommends three foundation types for your she shed:
- A concrete slab with sill plates.
- 4×4’s on masonry blocks.
- For areas that freeze, set 4×4’s on concrete footers below the frost line.
Basic shed installation
Now that you’ve installed your foundation, refer to your kit’s guide for identifying the wall and roof materials. Those will be going up next. Your necessary installation will include building the walls, installing the roof, adding the doors and windows, painting the exterior, adding trim, and finishing the roof with shingles.
Add natural light
You’ll have noticed by now that your shed looks pretty dark on the inside. That’s because your she shed kit was likely designed as a tool shed, and the extra light isn’t necessary for storing your garden tools.
Consider replacing the she shed doors with your favorite set of french doors, installing extra windows, and even adding a couple of skylights to bring in that golden light.
If replacing your she shed’s doors, remember to replace them with the same sized doors or larger. The door frame is usually precut, and a smaller set of doors likely won’t fit.
Install electricity or plumbing
If you expect to use your she shed at night, hook up electricity. If you plan to relax in your cozy she shed for any length of time, install plumbing for a restroom.
We recommend hiring a licensed professional to install these utilities. Working with electricity or plumbing without proper training can cause harm to you and your she shed. Hiring a professional will ensure your safety and that the job is done correctly.
Remodel the interior
Despite the new windows you’ve added, your she shed may still look like a tool shed. Let’s fix that with some insulation and drywall. Insulation will help regulate the temperature and limit moisture inside your she shed.
Drywall will have the old tool shed looking like a real room quickly. Just hang the drywall on the walls, finish it off with drywall mud, and then sand the mud for a smooth surface.
Once your drywall is complete, paint the walls with your favorite color.
If you decide to paint the floor, use porch and floor paint that can withstand foot traffic.
Consider foundation skirting
Foundation skirting is an accessory installed between the bottom edge of your she shed and the ground below. If you build your she shed on a raised foundation, skirting is a good way to conceal the foundation, add visual appeal, and prevent creatures from nesting underneath your refuge. Options include brick, vinyl, and lattice skirting.
Add a porch or deck
For a little outdoor living, add a front porch or deck to your she shed. Finish it off with a few comfortable chairs and a small container garden for added aesthetic.
Customize your she shed
Think of your she shed as an adult treehouse and have fun with the interior design. Your she shed should showcase your favorite hobbies and interests, and be a comforting place where you can relax. (For example, make use of that electricity you added by getting a mini-fridge to keep your wine cold.)
She shed ideas include using this personal space as an art studio, home office, yoga studio, potting shed, or garden shed. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Invest in landscaping
While your shed’s design and location are coming together, don’t forget to spruce up its exterior with a bit of landscaping. The shed’s outdoor space will set the inside’s tone and make a positive first impression for those lucky friends you invite to your refuge.
Decorate old windows with frilly window boxes, plant your favorite shrubs by the door, or even make a charming walking path. Bakers and cooks using their she shed as a kitchen will love having an herb garden right outside the door, and artists will find creative inspiration from beautiful blooms sprinkled around their she shed.
How to Build a She Shed Within Your Budget
Yes, building a charming, cozy she shed is possible on a tight budget. If you already have a little shed in the yard, save a few pennies (or lots of dollars) by shopping for furniture at the thrift store or a local flea market. You can even use the furniture you already have in the home, or tackle some cheap DIY landscape projects.
If you’re building your she shed from scratch, expect to pay a bit more. If you’re looking to construct a mid-size she shed from a prefab kit, many suitable designs won’t break the bank. For example, Lowe’s she shed construction video notes that the completed she shed was built for about $5,000.
Ask yourself what amenities you’ll need. A high-end she shed with a bathroom, small kitchen, or extra room will likely run you over $10,000.
The Bottom Line: Building a She Shed is Easy
Your she shed is a playhouse made entirely for you. Whether you turn it into an art studio, a place for relaxation, or a whole new world, your shed ought to be a backyard retreat that brings you joy. And you don’t have to take a construction course on how to build one.
You can remodel the shed already in your backyard, hire a nearby professional to construct one for you, or order a prefab shed.
You needn’t consider yourself a creative person, either. Your shed is simply a reflection of the hobbies and interests that excite you. Your enthusiasm and passions won’t require any “thinking outside the box.”’
And remember, anyone can build themselves a shed. Your pup has its own tiny house. So can you.
When to Hire a Professional
If you’re not confident with tools or construction, hire a professional to build your she shed. Keep your hammers, screws, and ladder in the garage, and let a pro do the hard work for you. You won’t enjoy your shed quite as much with a broken thumb.
Call a landscape professional near you for assistance with landscaping around your she shed. A landscape professional can offer customized design plans that help your shed blend with the surrounding landscape and transform it into an attractive focal point.
If you’re unable to find the right spot that will make your she shed pop, consider contacting a landscape designer. A landscape designer can recommend areas where your shed will add aesthetic appeal to your yard. If you’re working with little space, a landscape professional can help resolve this challenge with a customized plan.
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