How to Convert a Mini Shed to a Small Home

Written by belinda tucker
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How to Convert a Mini Shed to a Small Home
With the right planning, a shed can make a cosy new home. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Transforming a shed into a liveable home is a pursuit worthy of attention for anyone looking to simplify life with less responsibility and lower expenses. Any shed can quickly become a cosy habitat after adding the plumbing and electricity necessary for basic living. Before embarking on such a project, extensive research is recommended to gain a full understanding about zoning ordinances, work permits and other construction related requirements. Designing a suitable small space presents a challenge for anyone accustomed to living in a much larger home, but offers great rewards for anyone interested in embracing the simple life.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Lumber
  • Refrigerator
  • Drill
  • Stove
  • Toilet
  • Nails
  • Bolts
  • Sink
  • Hammer
  • Cordless Screwdriver
  • Shower or bathtub

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  1. 1

    Establish a preliminary budget for the project. Be sure to include the cost of outside help for experts, as needed. Getting a qualified plumber and electrician when necessary is crucial for safety and inspection purposes in certain situations.

  2. 2

    Evaluate the shed for needed upgrades. Take measurements. Decide what is required to turn the shed into a functional living space. Determine electrical, plumbing and insulation requirements.

  3. 3

    Draw your plans for the house. Provide details in the drawing. Take into consideration functional necessities such as basic furniture and storage, as well as room for a bathroom and a kitchen.

  4. 4

    Research building requirements for your area. Get information about building permits and zoning restrictions before starting the actual labour.

  5. 5

    Obtain necessary permits to begin work. Call the county's office to inquire about these requirements.

  6. 6

    Interview skilled labourers to do the work that you are unable to do. Ask friends for referrals.Get references and check them. Demand to see verification that contractors have business insurance as a condition of being hired.

  7. 7

    Make a list of materials required. Shop for the best prices on materials. Purchase the materials.

  8. 8

    Plan the project. Establish a timeline for the project.

  9. 9

    Hire a plumber and electrician first to get basic systems set up. Have a toilet, a stove and a refrigerator delivered; having a working bathroom and electricity available will make the renovation much easier.

  10. 10

    Inspect the work of all contractors before paying them; hiring a consultant or professional inspector to check the work of a plumber or electrician is a good idea if you are uncomfortable checking the work yourself.

  11. 11

    Add insulation and storage space, as needed.

  12. 12

    Call a public inspector to sign off on the plumbing and electrical work, if legally required.

  13. 13

    Consult your original plans to complete the renovation. Make modifications, as needed, after moving into the house.

Tips and warnings

  • Books lined up against the walls provide excellent insulation. Polystyrene panels also provide a good source of insulation.
  • If the shed is not sitting on a foundation, then a cement foundation should be poured, so that the shed can be placed upon it.

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