• Mike Roberts

She Said She Wants a “She Shed”


Guys have had “man caves” for decades. Now women are finally getting their own private space: the “she shed.” Here are some tips for setting up your personal space.

A cozy retreat

“She sheds” improve upon the basic shed by enhancing it with more eye appealing architectural design, colors and materials and by devoting the space to a particular function, such as art, gardening, writing, sewing or even just relaxing. A humble storage outbuilding of about 100 square feet can be converted into an artful, elegant oasis of calm.

Pinterest is bursting with lovely examples of she sheds. Check it out as you decide on style, materials and a floor plan. Shingle or metal roofs, stucco or plank siding, new materials or repurposed barnwood — the choices are limitless and can be tailored to your tastes.

Plans and kits for building “she sheds” are readily available to order. Or you can design and build your own plan, usually for much less cost.

How will you use it?

The first step in designing and constructing a “she shed” is deciding on its purpose. Do you envision a cozy library in which to read and write your blog? Or would a garden shed better suit your needs? How about an art room stocked with your canvases, paints and easels? Or would you prefer an office or music studio? No matter the purpose you choose, if there’s enough space you might even be able to make your “she shed” do double duty as a guest cottage by including simple sleeping accommodations and a bathroom. The shed’s purpose will help you determine the size, layout and functionality of the space.

In designing the “she shed,” remember to consider these factors.

  • Depending on the shed’s use, you may have to supply utilities such as electricity and plumbing, which will increase construction costs.

  • The choice of foundation is important. If you build on a small concrete slab, the shed will be secure and stable. A pier-and-beam foundation will require you to attach skirting around the bottom as well as weatherize any plumbing against freezing temperatures.

  • Plenty of large windows will provide natural lighting and help the small shed feel more spacious.

  • Be sure to consult with your homeowners association, your deed restrictions and your city’s codes department for all the rules and regulations with which your “she shed” must comply.

Cost to build a “she shed”

If you convert an existing outbuilding, you may be able to create your “she shed” for less than $1,000 in paint and decor. Building from scratch or using a kit can push your cost to $2,500 or more.

Related – Your Best Home: Outdoor Edition

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