Tag Archives: Modern Backyard Office

Heavy Metal: Adding a Backyard Studio

While shopping for a lovely old Craftsman in a desired neighborhood here in Socal, we found ourselves cringing at the prices….even with a significant drop in the market, listing prices often top $600,000 for a hovel barely large enough for two people.

What could make that more palatable? We looked around and found a couple of interesting ways to add space: “sheds” that can be decked out as office space, an extra bedroom or even a guest suite – and in a matching Craftsman or modern home style.

At least three companies, Studio Shed (www.Studio-Shed.com,), Modern Shed (www.Modern-Shed.com), and Summerwood (www.Summerwood.com) manufacture these dwellings . As prefabricated structures, they’re relatively easy to assemble (except for true do-it-yourselfers, you’ll need a contractor), but perhaps a bit pricey, depending on your needs – — $2,000 to $13,650 or more. We were fascinated by the concept, and wanted to see what we (or anyone) could get for the money.

Ranging in size from 6×8 to up to 12×20 (and even up to 40’ when requested) each company offers cool, Modern design options in an array of colors. Studio Shed’s pricing includes installation, which is typically done through their partnership with a local Southern California contractor.

Summerwood offers a wider range of architectural styles, and their Southern California installations are also done through locally-referred contractors.

Each structure is fully customizable and can include finished interiors with electrical installations. Professional installation typically takes one day.

Depending on the basic size and if upgrades (such as electrical) are chosen, your local city might require building permits. The local contractors should be able to assist with the permit process.

The idea is reminiscent of the days when Sears sold kit homes through the Sears Catalog. Unlike Sears though, 30,000 parts of ready-to-assemble materials will not be showing up at your house via railway boxcar.

Granted, $4500-$45,000 for extra space may not be in everyone’s budget, but for a Southern California homeowner needing extra room, these companies offer options that are more cost effective than a traditional room addition.

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