If you don’t have the time or skills to build your own tiny house, an economical way to get started is to start with a pre-built shed shell. You may have seen these small wood buildings lined-up along the side of the road, or in the parking lot of your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. These pre-fab buildings are sold as storage sheds, but some come with the appropriate windows and doors, and large enough to be used as a tiny house.
Advantages to Using a Pre-Fab Storage Shed as a Tiny House
Cost – In many cases, you can buy a pre-fab shell for less than you can build one yourself. Professional builders pay wholesale prices for their materials, and build them very efficiently efficiently. These savings are passed on to you, as well as the professional building quality.
Financing – The manufacturers or sellers of pre-built sheds often offer financing.
Warranty – Pre-fab sheds often come with warranties.
Speedy Completion – Since the buildings are delivered as complete shells, the time it takes to make them liveable is drastically cut. You’ll still have a lot of work to do after the shell is delivered, such as installing insulation, dry wall, plumbing, electric and appliances.
Disadvantages to Using a Pre-Fab Storage Shed as a Tiny House
Looks – You’ll have fewer choices in the style of your tiny home with a pre-built shell, than with your own custom designs.
Quality – The quality of your shed will depend on the builder, and the shell’s intended use. Before you buy, inspect the shed, paying special attention to the materials and construction to determine if the shed will hold up over time.
Strength – The sturdiness of a shed may vary from builder to builder. Also consider the ease with which you can finish it out to live in.
Mobility – Tiny houses on wheels are built to be pulled down the highway, anchored securely to a trailer, with windows and other external treatments chosen for wind resistance. A pre-fab shed may or may not be sized to fit on a trailer, and it may not have been built with high winds in mind. So if your goal is to have a mobile tiny house, be very careful when selecting a pre-built shell.
Some Things to Look for in a Shed
A loft – A shed shell with a loft will give you the extra room you will definitely need.
A barn style roof – A loft under a barn style roof will give you more head room and useable space.
Manufacturer window and door options – Many shed manufacturers will give you various options for windows and doors.
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