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How much does it cost to make a shed livable?

Livable Sheds

Recently my friends became empty-nesters. After six months of living without their kids in their 2,500 sq. ft. suburban home, they fondly remembered how good of a home it had been. They also realized it was now overkilled. So, they sold it – they sold it all! They literally sold 90% of all they owned, holding back only their most prized possessions. As they considered their next move, they became aware of the tiny-home craze. They were very interested and soon started looking at the idea of livable sheds – a pre-made, quality constructed canvas that could be built out however they choose.

Here are a few factors that eventually led them to choose livable sheds:

Quality vs Quantity

Many homeowners dream of living in luxury; a beautiful home with impressive amenities. But as the housing market continues to boom across America, many people find themselves at the crossroads of size or quality. Building out your own livable shed means you can enjoy high-end finishes or go with the popular minimalist treatment. Form versus function? The good news is that YOU get to decide.

Handy Man or Not?

The world seems divided into those with creative genius, those who can build anything, and occasionally that person who can do both. Livable sheds don’t have a preference. It is literally an open room. You can dream it, design it, and finish it out to your liking. Livable Sheds also leave room in your budget to hire that creative professional or a super-skilled artisan to make your new home perfect for your specific needs. However you choose to fill go, you have unlimited amounts of options to make your space your very own.

Addition by Subtraction

My friends describe selling all their possessions as “a relief they never expected.” They had collected a lot of stuff over twenty years, raising two kids. So, they culled out the items they couldn’t let go of, and surprisingly what remained all fit neatly in a 300 sq. ft. garage! The truth is that most of us naturally accumulate stuff over the years and fill whatever extra space we have with things we might eventually get rid of anyway. Downsizing to a livable shed means subtracting square footage that we might feel compelled to fill.

Reducing Your Footprint

Tiny-home living appeals to many life stages: the recently empty nested, the soon to retire, the newlyweds with no children yet, or the unmarried college grad. Whatever your interest in building small, one glaring benefit is saving money. Besides the environmental concession, having a smaller footprint means less to heat and cool, less to light up, and less to maintain. That means more money in your pocket. Don’t spend it all in one place.

Wherever Almost

Once you decide to downsize the next question is where? The beautiful answer – wherever! Down by the river, deep in the woods, or the back forty acres of the family property. Although seemingly obvious, it should be noted most suburban HOAs are probably out of bounds. But if you are considering livable sheds, chances are you are more than ready to escape the trappings of suburban life. At Backyard Outfitters, we offer free delivery and easy setup within 30 miles of any of our 180+ dealers. Now you have the freedom to use the thousands of dollars you saved by buying your livable shed to purchase that property you fell in love with.

Is the Cost of Building a Shed Worth It?

Let’s cut to the chase: Real estate experts agree the value of a livable shed is in the eye of the beholder — and that doesn’t necessarily translate into increased resale value.

“I’d put it in the category of a pool,” REALTOR® Micki Sanderson says of livable sheds in her Amherst, Mass., market. Add one for your own enjoyment, but don’t expect it to bring big bucks. She expects homeowners could recoup the cost to add electricity, but not plumbing, given the higher installation costs.

A shed’s resale value is limited, in part, because they are considered “outbuildings” or “accessory structures.” According to the American National Standards Institute’s appraising standards, used in most parts of the country, these detached spaces — and even beautifully appointed guest houses — are not calculated into a home’s “general floor area” of finished square footage.

But resale price is one thing. A great feature that helps seal the deal is another.

REALTOR® Diane Taillon in Ephraim, Wis., believes a livable shed can increase a home’s desirability — if framed as the spectacular boon it is.

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