When guests visit for the holiday, many families like to stay nearby, but sometimes a little closeness can be overwhelming during the holidays. Converting your shed into a guest house can be just the answer for many. It also might get that crazy Aunt or Uncle out of the house!
Turning Your Shed into a Guest House
Get started turning your backyard shed into a guest house by prioritizing your guests needs and what you can afford to do. Do you want to make up the shed with just a bed and some warmth so people will have a place to sleep? Do you want to make your shed a full service vacation stay, with full amenities? How many people will your shed accommodate? These are all questions that should be answered before you start in on your project.
Once you’ve decided if you’re going to add electrical or plumbing and any outside additions, you’ll need to check with your city’s building department to see if you need any permits. You may also need to check with the county. If you have an HOA, check with them, as well.
Most likely you will have chosen to install electricity, at the very least. It’s a pretty basic necessity for most people in the evening, unless you happen to have a family who loves to camp or has natural night vision.
These days, with laptops and charging stations, your guests are sure to want a place to plug in. Make sure you install enough electrical outlets for the amount of guests you’ll typically have in the guest house. Don’t forget to make sure your wi-fi reaches all the way out there, as well.
Windows are an absolute necessity for your guest house. If your shed isn’t already outfitted with at least one window, you’ll need to install one, but ideally, at least two. Two windows across from each other will create extra light and additional airflow.
Speaking of airflow, with an additional window, you’ll be able to install a window A/C unit for the summertime, so your guests can be comfy.
Since it’s wintertime right now, you’ll use at least one of those electrical outlets for a space heater. Make sure it is used safely.
Insulation and Plumbing
Plumbing and insulation up next as bonuses, but depending on climate, insulation may not be a necessity. Insulation can be easy to add if you have a pre-made shed. Blown insulation will do the trick and make your job much simpler.
Some sheds have open framing. This can also make insulation installation simple. Install your insulation and then put up some drywall to finish up the job.
If you plan on insulating, make sure you install your plumbing pipes before you insulate.
If you are planning on installing a toilet or sink, make sure you plan this out carefully, depending on sleeping arrangements and food storage. For toilets, there are a variety of options. You can use something as simple as a portable toilet or something a little more stable like a pre-fab toilet for a motor home.
Cooking and Food Storage
Many guests may appreciate something for food storage and even a little bit of cooking. It can be easy to set up a small refrigerator– or a large one, for extra use for yourself. Adding a microwave or a hotplate might be helpful to your guests, depending on how long they are staying.
Personalize Your Shed/Guest House to Make it Feel Welcoming
Once you’ve done all the basics, make sure that you make your guest house feel warm and inviting.
Put in the bed or beds and if you have room, put a small couch or some soft chairs and maybe a lamp or two, in the living space. A nice rug and some artwork on the walls will spruce it up. A nice paint job will really tie the room together. And if you can, put up some amenities like a television, And voila! You are the owner of a guest house. Just hope that it’s not too comfortable that they overstay their welcome!
Which Sheds Make the Best Guest Houses?
12×12 Arlington Gable Shed
- The 12×12 Arlington gable style shed is big enough to comfortable fit a bed and belongings while still fitting in a smaller backyard.
- All our sheds have rot and pest resistant siding and are constructed from strong 2x4s.
12×16 Hartford Gambrel Shed
- The 12×16 Hartford gambrel style shed includes 25-year shingles, rot resistant siding, and extra-wide steel reinforced doors.
- The gambrel style roof allows for a high peak point making your guest space look bigger.
16×20 Garage Sized Aspen Shed
- The biggest option, 16×20 Aspen, turns your shed into a fully functioning living space. With this shed, you are able to fit all the necessities needed for converting a shed into a comfortable guest house.
- The Aspen comes with all the quality aspects found in Backyard Building sheds like rot resistant wood and extra-wide steel reinforced doors.