Everything You Need To Know About Liveable Sheds

Do you remember playing house as a kid? Maybe it was in a treehouse where certain people were not allowed. It could have been a part of a playset that turned into a castle in your imagination. As we grew up, we realized that having a house is actually a lot of work. One thing that seems to run out the most in your home is space. 

Sometimes we think of space as we think of time. Not being able to get it back once it’s gone. But that doesn’t need to be the case! You can easily increase your space with a liveable shed. When we think about storage space, we think about decorations, workout equipment, or even extra food. With a liveable shed, you can create a unique space for an unlimited number of things that are specific to you!

In this article, we are going to look at ideas, methods, and the specific liveable sheds you can take a look at before jumping in. 

First of all, would you like to see how a shed got transformed into a living space? Check out this video!

Assisted Living Portable Building: From Shed to Family Visitation Space

Can You Insulate A Shed To Live In?

Yes! You can insulate a shed and live there for the rest of your life! When you insulate a shed, you can control the temperature and environment you would otherwise have in a typical house. You can then add other features like plumbing, electricity, and more! A lot of people are doing this today, which has started the trend of “tiny homes.”

How Much Does A Liveable Shed Cost?

A liveable shed can cost between $60 and $100 per square foot. A finished, insulated, and completed liveable shed can cost $150 and $200 per square foot. To find your square footage, simply multiply the length by the width. This means that a 12’ x 16’ liveable shed should cost anywhere from $11,520 to $19,200. A liveable finished 12’ x 16’ shed would cost from $28,800 to $38,400.

You can expect your price to fluctuate depending on the company and the other features of the shed. Things that will increase the cost of your shed include electricity, plumbing, extra windows, extra levels, type of flooring & siding, and more. 

What Is The Best Way To Insulate A Liveable Shed?

  • Check Your Windows – If your windows are old and unsealed…this is the place to start. It may be good to buy double or triple-glazed windows if you are going to be using this shed as living quarters.
  • Check Your Roof – If your roof has ever leaked, you will most likely need to replace it. If you know the exact spot and it is small, you can try patching it. Heat rises, so heat will escape if the roof is in rough shape
  • Get Everything Out – It might be a lot, but it is time to take everything out of your shed. This will allow you to inspect all parts of the shed to ensure you can insulate.
  • Check Your Floor and Siding – Now, you should be able to check the floor and siding. Continue to look for large cracks, drafts, and holes. When sealing, you have the choice of expandable spray, caulk, or any type of hardening foam.
  • Focus on The Door – You can purchase specific doors that are more weather resistant. Besides the windows, the door is the most likely culprit of escaping heat or air conditioning.
  • Add Your Electricity – Now is the time to skip to the following headline and outfit your shed with electricity if you want. If it is already done, move on to # 7.
  • Measure Your Space – Start measuring the space between the studs to know the sizes of insulation you will be putting there. We recommend using fiberglass for your insulation to give your liveable shed the best.
  • Insulating – Using a roll of fiberglass insulation, cut it to the appropriate length and fit it in between the studs of your wall. Make sure to wear proper safety gloves and glasses while handling the insulation.
  • Insulating Your Roof – Follow the same steps for insulating the roof. Make sure you measure the space between the studs. Fit the fiberglass sheets into the area. You will want a 2-inch gap between the ceiling and insulation for moisture to leave through.
  • Insulating Your Floor – You will need to remove the flooring for this part. Put down blocks or something you want to use to support the fiberglass. Place your cut fiberglass insulation between the floor joists, so they are flush. Replace the floor. Putting a rug or carpet down could also help with insulation.

Surprisingly it’s not that difficult to insulate a liveable shed yourself. If you get stuck during any part of the process, feel free to give us a call!

Can You Add Electricity To An Liveable Shed?

Yes. However, it should be done by professionals. This could be the company that you are purchasing the shed from, or you may need to call an electrician in your area. If you are curious about how this process is done, you can see the steps below!

How to Run Underground Power to a Shed | Ask This Old House

5 Best Prefab Liveable Sheds

If you are interested in purchasing your insulated liveable shed, here is our top 5 list of the best prefab insulated sheds on the market.

  • Quadra
  • Urban 360
  • Modern Cozy Pod
  • Premiere
  • Best Simple Liveable Shed:
    • Quadra – This prefab insulated liveable shed model features high ceilings. It allows for open space and tailoring that space to your craft. With a flat roof and cedar siding, this shed looks the part for any modern backyard. This shed is a kit and requires you to assemble it yourself.
  • Best Hobby Shed:
    • Urban 360 – This liveable shed can be designed for ample space, but the most popular sizes cause it to be well known as a hobby studio shed. With the option to have a rainscreen with wood siding, this fully insulated shed includes the iconic transom windows. With the ability to request loft space, you can truly finish this shed however you want.
  • Best Overall Liveable Shed:
    • New England Studio Shed – This natural-lit space will bring your backyard to life. This is one of the only sheds you can personally request to be finished. There is no or minimal DIY associated with the Studio Shed. This shed can be outfitted with extra windows, double doors, floor insulation, wall insulation, ceiling insulation, electrical wiring, and more. The sleek front-pitched roof saves the overload from snowfall. Currently on sale!
  • Best Visually Appealing Liveable Shed:
    • Premiere – This liveable shed is explicitly designed for sleeping/living. The use of glass is a beautifully unique visual aspect of this particular shed series. It includes luxury floors, a wall bed, shelving, remote blinds, and everything else you would expect from a shed named “premiere.” The price tag may deter you, but you will love this getaway space if it does not.

What Are Common Liveable Shed Sizes?

Your shed size will depend on what you want to use it for. Here is a list of the standard sizes of small, medium, and large sheds.

  • Small: (8×12, 10×12) This is perfect for liveable storage or bonus space. You can do a lot with 100+ sq feet of space, but you will be limited to certain things. For example, your small, liveable shed won’t make the best guest room. You would want a medium-large liveable shed for that. This size shed will help you declutter and control environment temperature simultaneously.
  • Medium: (10×16, 12×14) With a medium-sized liveable shed, you will begin seeing your use options multiply. The medium liveable shed is the most popular size shed to get. With 160+ sq ft of space, there is more room for living. This allows for more uses right away and room to grow in the future. Check out this blog for all of the uses for your new shed!
  • Large: (12×20, 14×18) When it comes to the large sheds, they are almost exclusively used for rooms. Whether that is a guest house, entertainment/game room, kids room, or anything along those lines.  When these sheds are not used for rooms, they store large yard equipment. If you have to take care of a lawn that takes 3+ hours to mow…this shed may be suitable for you.
  • Extra Large: (16×18, 16×20) Ever dream of a home away from home? How about a home right next to your home? That is what you start to get into with extra-large-sized sheds. If you want to create a space for your in-laws to live, this could be a great size to start in. If you love getting together with multiple families for game nights…an extra-large liveable shed could be a perfect space for 10-15 kids to hang out.

Add-Ons & Extras For Your Liveable Shed

We aren’t done yet! Let’s look at some add-ons or extra features that companies ask you about.

  • Siding

You will have the choice to upgrade the siding on your liveable shed. There are five main siding options to choose from. Vinyl, Wood, T1-11, Metal, & LP Smart side will give you the different looks you need. For more information on some of the sidings, this is a great place to start.

insulated shed siding type
  • Venting

The two main venting options on an liveable shed are soffit vents and gable vents. Soffit vents are found at the bottom of the roof and are a type of intake vent. A gable vent is located on the upper side of the shed below the two sides of the roof. This vent allows more for wind work than anything else.

insulated shed vents
  • Windows

Depending on how you are going to utilize your liveable shed, you may want more or fewer windows than what is included with the base package of the shed. If you are going to be spending a considerable amount of time in your insulated shed, extra windows are a must! Natural light can be a great way to save on electric bills and is very stylish.

insulated shed replacement windows
  • Pre-Insulated

To avoid doing the insulation work yourself, you can purchase an insulation package from the shed company. Depending on the company, a reasonable price to insulate a shed ranges from $3000-$4200. This would include the ceiling, floor, and wall insulation and installation.

fully insulated shed
  • Wiring Package

We recommend purchasing this add-on if it is an option. Since you will likely need an electrician to come out anyway, it will be much easier and cheaper if you pay the $1000-$1300 on the front end.

insulated shed wiring
  • Doors

Extra or more oversized doors can be an excellent extra for your liveable shed. If you are moving machinery or furniture into your new space…a single door probably won’t cut it. The double door feature is sometimes included in the base price as well!

insulated shed doorsa
  • 2nd Story

If you are going “All-in” on your new liveable shed, why not add a 2nd story? A few shed models allow for this and will give you your own apartment right on your property. This can be an ideal home for grandparents or even a multi-purpose space. It could be a workout room on the 1st floor and an art studio on the 2nd. Or anything that suits you and your family!

insulated shed second story

Liveable Shed Conclusion

If you are thinking about purchasing or DIYing a liveable shed, we hope this article has helped you make some key decisions and inspire you to read more about shed buying tips. Over the last few years, sheds have become so much more than small storage spaces. They have become family members because of the memories we can create inside them. They have also added to our property value by helping to modernize our backyards.

We have seen sheds as gaming rooms, entertainment areas, workout spaces, hobby rooms, man caves, she sheds, living spaces, & greenhouses, among so much more. Before buying an liveable shed, make sure you are getting precisely what you need. If you need any kind of help in the process, feel free to contact us!

We hope you enjoy the years of use that you will get out of your new insulated shed!