June 17, 2020

The She Shed – A Space to Call Your Own!

By now, we all know that the term “man cave” is an expression used to describe a space designed for “men only.” It is meant to be a room or other area where guys can gather, enjoy a hobby, savor a few hours of sports on their big-screen TV, or play some games like pool. Basically, it is a spot to disconnect from the world.

Women now have something similar in the she shed.

Just as the man cave is a retreat, so too is a she shed a spot to get away from the world and make one’s own. And though this was thought to be a passing phase, we now know the she shed is here to stay.

While men look to a garage, empty room, or basement as their ideal spot. Women seem to lean more towards a separate space a bit more distant from their everyday sphere.

Typically, the ladies find the ideal spot right in their yard – the empty or rarely used garage, the empty and abandoned children’s playhouse or the neglected potting shed.

There, women can spend hours at a time on writing, gardening, crafting, reading, or sitting with a family member or friend to chat.

The challenge, though, is cleaning up the space and getting ready.

It might even be that there is no such structure for you to use. If that is your challenge, don’t worry as there are now lots of numerous easy‑to‑build or prefab kits for the she shed of your dreams, and it is just a matter of following manufacturer’s instructions.

However you manifest your structure, try to keep in mind that the journey is half the fun. It could become a wonderful group project or something you and your partner do as a team. Below are some great tips for those making the perfect she shed.

ONE NOTE OF CAUTION: before you get started, check with your municipality for any restrictions and whether or not you’ll need permits.

Clean Out the Existing Building

If you are lucky enough to have an empty and unused building, the first step is to itemize everything inside.

Usually, such buildings have been used for storage or as spots where everything seems to gather. Now is the time to look through all that stuff and decide whether it is really necessary or just junk you’ve found hard to discard.

Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • Does my attached garage or shed have a way it could be better organized so everything is still useable but not so cluttered?
  • Does my shed or small garage in the backyard have stuff that would be better off stored in the basement instead?

This is important because it helps you determine if you’ll be clearing out the items in the garage and moving them to a basement or attic, OR if you’ll have to work out the storage situation in the she shed.

Once you have a clear picture of the situation, the next step is to look at all of the stuff and ask:

  • Which things do you absolutely want to keep?
  • Which things can you sell in a garage sale?
  • Which things can you give to charity to be reused?

Create a Plan!

By now, you might be chomping at the proverbial bit and getting ready to dig into the project.

Hold off for a moment and instead do some planning. At least take a pause and map out your actions in a few steps. As the old saying goes: if you want a successful project, put 90% of your energy into planning and 10% into execution.

Reverse engineering always works well at such times, and if you imagine the end result, you can start to manifest whatever you can dream up. Never worry that things will get too far out of hand because most of the time, the budget brings you right back to reality.

A good next step, though, is to spend some time dreaming and gathering ideas.

Once all your dreaming is done, it is an ideal time to establish a budget.

Be realistic about it and take a few moments to sketch out the shed, tag everything with a relatively accurate cost, and determine a workable timeline and date for completing it.

Put this somewhere you can see it for a few days and adjust as needed. Always keep roughly 10% “wiggle room” in the budget, as this lets you have some fun with extras OR helps cover unexpected problems.

The most realistic next steps would be to roll up the sleeves and:

1. Take the dimensions of the building:

  1. Measure the height, width and depth of the interior. Take note of beams or any other obstacles that have to be accommodated as transform the space, such as heating ducts
  2. If you have a mini garage, check to see if there is any useable storage space within the trusses of the roof.
  3. Will electricity and plumbing have to be installed? If not, do they need updates or modifications?

2. Examine the overall structure:

  1. What is the foundation? Is the structure on concrete piers with lumber frame or is it on a concrete slab? Will it be suitable for your plans?
  2. Insulation: Will it work all year and all seasons?
  3. Roof: Does this need any repair or update?

Once you have gotten this far, it is time to actually get down to the work of transforming the building into an actual she shed.

Your Space, Your Style

While the technicalities have to be addressed, a she shed has to be in your style. Here are some good actionable steps to making it yours:

1. What is YOUR style?

Do you learn towards the Victorian cottage or a more refined and modern studio? Your main house may influence your choice of architecture and can allow the she shed to be a reflection of the architectural looks of the larger home.

2. Color YOUR world, brighten the space

Always consider whether larger windows or even a skylight give the natural light needed to make your ideal space. Always consider how much a fresh coat of paint, inside and out, will offer in terms of transformation. For instance, white or pastels are very chic, and painting door frames and window frames in coordinating colors is very effective.

3. Save money while decorating it YOUR way

Look at all of the furnishings you may have around the house or available to you.

Visit all the local flea markets or antique shops.

Be resourceful and repurpose old items.

4. Pretty up the outside, too!

If it has a small deck, porch or patio, be sure to fit it with some comfy chairs.

Add color by planting some perennials or even making a small garden.

Remember that this is phase one and it may take a few years to get the look you want

5. It is a Personal Paradise

Try to remember that a she shed is a reflection of YOU. This is true whether it uses a seaside theme, shabby chic barn siding and lace, or a gardener’s haven.

Make it a relaxing and happy space with a work table, sofa, two chairs for you and a friend (or pet), and so on.

Take Cues from Pinterest

If you are stumped for creative ideas, Pinterest is flooded with she shed inspirational boards. So too is the Houzz site with all kinds of photos and information.

No Windows? Have You Considered an All‑Glass Garage Door?

Whether you have the entire garage, a mini garage or a shed, it is possible to add more windows and doors with one step. How? With one of the Garaga all‑glass garage doors (also called panoramic doors). They let optimal light inside, but can be opened during the heat of summer to flood the she shed with fresh, cool air.

To complement its extruded aluminum California door, Garaga offers different aluminum frame colors and layouts. These come in an array of glass in colors like Clear, or for privacy, Satin Grey, Satin Black, or Bronze or Blue tinted. 😍👌

As for size, this door can be as small as 4 feet wide by 6 ½ feet high.

Does a Sectional Garage Door Work Best for Your She Shed?

If you live in the area of Ottawa, find an answer to this question and others when you contact us at 613‑749‑2138. We can offer an explanation of the amount of space you’ll need to install a garage door in your she shed, as well as all of the sizes available. Want an install an electric door opener? If it can fit, we can help you make it happen.

We offer a quotation by email or you can book a visit to our showroom. If you decide to install a new door, our design centre lets you try on as many styles as you’d like, and our image gallery is like our own little version of Pinterest and full lots of good ideas.

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