Planning for Your Custom 'Me Shed'


The He Shed, She Shed, Me Shed, Our Shed… it may be a shed, but not just a shed!

First it was the Man Cave then came the She Shed… well now with COVID-19, it is no longer important what we call it, everyone wants their own ‘shed’.  The ultimate retreat from the confines of our homes is the new 2021 Me Shed.  The open concept design trend that we’re seeing in many homes has driven people to desperately seek a space for themselves – one that is on their own property, but away from the rest of the home’s activities. 

Why? Well, the reasons range from just needing some down time away from it all, to needing a place to work from home or exercise when there is no room within the house.  The Me Shed could also be a great space for an art or music studio, a hobby room, a kids playhouse, games room, or a romantic staycation retreat.

The design of each shed speaks volumes about the one who occupies and enjoys the space, and certainly, there are many ideas on the web to help you initiate the design of your perfect Me Shed.  In 2021, the shed is not just for much-needed extra storage space, although that is certainly another reason to build one. 

So, what’s important to consider when planning your custom Me Shed?

  • Building Permits may apply to building a Me Shed.  Make sure you check with your local municipality’s building department for any and all restrictions, permit fees, etc., before you get started.  Even if you are renovating your existing shed, there may be restrictions – make sure you find out what they are.
  • Hydro is likely the most important element for a successful design. Regardless of what you plan to use your shed for, you will likely need hydro. Will you need wiring, switches and outlets in your space?  Will you be using computers, telephones, a television, stereo, WIFI, office equipment, tools, etc.?  If you will be using electronics, ensure that you hire a licensed professional electrician to do the work.  Electrical work should not be a DIY project!   
  • Lighting is always important, inside and outside of the shed.  Even a ‘man cave’ isn’t dark and dingy.  Depending on what you are using your shed for, task lighting, display lighting and ambient lighting needs to be well thought out.  Placement of recessed lighting, dimmers and up lighting is a vital part of the plan.  Whenever possible, incorporate natural light into a space that you will be spending a great deal of time in.  Consider incorporating large windows and/or glass doors to lighten your space, and to possibly save energy on other lighting options.  And don’t forget about outside lighting.  Will your activities take you just outside your shed? If it’s dark outside, how will you walk there safely if you don’t incorporate some sort of outdoor lighting? 
  • Insulation, Heating and Air Conditioning should definitely be part of your considerations, particularly if the shed is to be your year-round office.  Provide careful planning into how you will keep your space comfortable when the weather is not ideal.  Consult a licensed heating contractor to determine what can be done to make your space suitable for its intended purpose.
  • Dimensions of the shed (height, as well as width and length) need to be established in advance and is dependent on not only municipal restrictions/regulations, but on the purpose of the space.  Each element that is to be incorporated into the shed should be measured to ensure that everything will fit, and that there will still be enough space to move around comfortably. 
  • Design and decor depend entirely on an individual’s unique desired effect. A Me Shed can incorporate stone, leather, wood, tile, concrete, and/or stainless facades, but don’t forget the softer surfaces including blinds/curtains, and upholstery. However, remember that there can be too much of a good thing.  Making the room work requires the same balance in design that is applied to the rest of your home. Balance is not just an aesthetic goal, but a functional one as it can help eliminate echoes, minimize noise and provide privacy, as well as assist in the ease of maintenance and reduction of safety issues. Carefully selecting surfaces, colours and decorative design elements will help to create the ultimate space.
  • Bar, beverage centres, cigar rooms and wine rooms are very popular purposes for Me Sheds, along with yoga studios, home offices, gyms, hobby rooms, or tranquil retreats. Plumbing, venting, and appliance planning is vital to these areas. Understanding how you intend to function in this space is essential to your design. Are you going to be in the shed for long periods of time? In that case, you may want to ensure that the shed is close to an area of the home that has a washroom and a kitchen. Or, perhaps a coffee maker, microwave or bar fridge is a necessity in your new space. It’s vital to the success of your room that you consider all your needs during the planning stage.
  • Location and purpose of a Me Shed is important.  You need to ensure that it is in accordance with municipal setbacks, that it offers best options for natural light, that it is accessible to the rest of the house and that it’s far enough away from exterior sources of noise that would disturb your tasks while in your Me Shed.  You also need to consider how much noise will be generated by the activities in your space and how much privacy you may need. Consider how you will use your space before establishing its location and keep in mind, if you are using it as an office, privacy and protection are a huge factor in your planning.  Locks, security, etc., may be a big part of your shed’s design.

So, whether your shed is a theatre, recreation room, workshop, hobby or music room, wine cellar, lounge area, gym, home office, or a combination of many things, it is an extension of your living space and perhaps your favourite room outside of the house!   

If you are interested in a custom renovation, or custom build in Niagara call the experts at Vanderzalm Construction Inc. (905) 562 - 4463 or (905) 684 - 5823.