Modern Shed would like to introduce you to the newest Design Professional to join our team!
Jon Clearwater started doing logistics for Modern Shed in 2015 and has recently transitioned into his new role helping our clients create the home office or studio shed of their dreams. His background is in logistics and residential & construction materials, so he is perfectly suited to guide customers through the Modern Shed process and thoughtfully explain each step along the way.
On the personal side, Jon grew up in Oregon and moved to Washington in 1989, living in the Puget Sound area since. He now lives on the Olympic Penninsula with his 17-year-old son, a senior in high school, and his wife. When not representing Modern Shed, he keeps busy with woodworking and landscaping projects.
Jon says he is truly excited to take this next step and be a more integral team member of Modern Shed. He loves being able to represent a great product & great company.
We’re thrilled to have you serving our clients, Jon!
Most Modern-Shed clients come to us with a very specific vision in mind. They’ve done their homework, and know that an off-the-shelf design just won’t do. Or maybe it would, but the level of service they’ve gotten from other ‘big-box store’ retailers doesn’t instill confidence in their investment. After all that researching, emailing, and calling around, there’s only one company that stands out for customer service, quality, and quick turn-around: Modern-Shed.
So how do we get it done? Modern-Shed starts with the speed and repeatable quality of prefabrication. Building our sheds in a temperature-controlled environment to the highest build standards with materials that satisfy even the strictest codes (looking at you, California) allows us to bring an exceptional product right to your property without the hassle of turning it into a long-term construction site.
Modern-Shed also recognizes you want your investment to reflect your aesthetic and completely suit your needs. This is why our Design Professionals take the time to connect with you, understand the layout of your property and existing features, and listen to your story. We don’t want to just sell you a shed; we want you to be delighted with a structure that adds value to your everyday life. If your design needs to be 8 inches shorter to fit between rock features or trees, we can make those adjustments. If you need an extra-long roofline to provide shade or weather protection, our Design Pros can make recommendations that fit your budget. We take the time to understand your dream space, and help to make it a reality.
In the end, our clients are continually thrilled with a Modern-Shed that adds to their quality of life every day. From art or music studios, to library and office space, to guest suites and ADUs: Modern-Shed Design Pros will walk you through the design, permit, and build process, keeping your dream, timeline, and budget in mind. To get started on your Modern-Shed, download your catalog today.
PUGET SOUND – When Chris began researching ideas for his scenic retreat, he knew that the space had to feel just right. From matching the aesthetic of the cabin already on his property to providing comfortable and enduring space in all the elements, none of the ‘off the shelf’ sheds he researched seemed to fit the bill.
“I’m very analytical, and I knew that the ability to customize different components would be very important. And the design work with Jeff was so helpful.”
One of the most important exterior features for his Modern-Shed was to have a large overhang to match the existing structure, as well as provide shade to the deck and protection from the elements against the open windows. For the interior, Chris decided on a dual finish for the walls, with a combination of tongue-and-groove and large paneling.
“I’m just so pleased with how it all comes together. There’s a bed and small table. We also have a composting toilet by Separett with the portable washstand, so no plumbing. And of course, the infrared dry sauna! It’s almost like a little hotel in there!”
And Chris has plenty of guests who come to stay and enjoy his space, from friends to family. Enjoying a cup of coffee on the deck with the view of the water is the perfect way to start the day, they all rave! Even from inside, the transom windows allow you to look up into the woods outside and just relax.
The 12’ x 14’ Modern-Shed also features a street-side door at the rear of the shed, and a front door leading out onto the deck. Along with the transom windows at the top, a large window panel unity also has casements to capture the breeze right off the water.
Chris is extremely pleased with the build speed and quality. Working with Jeff, our Design Pro, he was able to brainstorm cost and time-saving design aspects. The installation contractor was also able to spend the time to get the details just right, like a unique deck style. Chris really appreciated the value they brought to the whole process.
“I tell everyone about Modern-Shed and how great they are to work with. One of my good friends who has stayed here is looking forward to getting one for his property too!”
SONOMA COUNTY – Paige always knew that having a beautiful home library was a priority. Growing up, her family amassed an extensive collection of beautiful and rare books, many that she looks forward to passing on to her own kids someday. But when Paige and her husband began remodeling their current home, a library/office took a back seat to other more costly projects.
However, as the COVID pandemic wore on through the summer of 2020, Paige knew it was time for her dream space to take precedence.
“In August, I had just started researching home office sheds online. My daughter was getting ready to start her senior year of high school, and we all really needed our own space to work,” she recalls. “I had a vision for an office shed that could also be a Secret Garden escape to read and relax. And taking care of our library collection was a huge concern; I had to be sure we could control temperature and moisture to protect those treasures.”
Paige enlisted her son to help sketch up some ideas for her, and continued to make calls and do research. “It was between [Modern-Shed] and another large shed supplier. They gave me their standard, out-of-the box option and told me, ‘It will probably work fine.’ But when I talked to [my Design Pro] Jeff Bergerson, he really took the time to understand our vision and help perfect it. He really bought in to the whole idea!” Paige was so impressed with the care that Jeff took to both meet her aesthetic and care for her book collection, she knew that Modern-Shed would best meet her needs.
Paige decided on a 12 x 10’ size shed, with 2 windows and sliding doors built on a standard foundation. She choose dragonfly green color for the exterior paint and blue inside. To finish the interior space, she went with custom shelving and found an amazing chaise to complete the relaxing library. The installation took about a week, and then finishing the interior took just a couple weeks more. And by November, Paige’s daughter was setting up her laptop for school every day in their new space!
“My kids just love going back there for a quiet retreat, and the neighbors have all asked where they can get a shed like ours! We tell everyone to call Modern-Shed.”
Paige also advises potential clients to be realistic about the costs of each aspect of the building and finishing. “Jeff was great about walking me through his estimates for each step of the process, but I tried to convince him I could get it done for less. At the end of the day, though, Jeff was right on!”
“It was totally worth it,” Paige adds, “to get exactly the space we wanted and know that it’s done right.” We’re thrilled Paige and her family can enjoy their back yard escape for years to come!
Modern-Shed is excited to welcome a fresh face to our social media and marketing team!
Rachael comes to us from the Denver area with a background in digital marketing and customer relations. She has been embracing the work-from-home life for over a decade, using that freedom and flexibility to raise her two kids while growing her career.
“When everything shut down last March,” she says, “I was grateful to already be in a position where I could manage my work and homeschooling the kids. It wasn’t easy, but we set our schedules and dedicated workspace, and made it through!” Having a great partner who was also working from home definitely helped too, she added.
“I was very excited to come across the opportunity to work with Modern-Shed as the Social Media Director. My experience in marketing to the interior design and industrial manufacturing communities made for a seamless transition into the ADU and extensible living space world. We’re already looking at our HOA covenants to see how we can add additional living space and storage to our home.”
When Rachael isn’t out enjoying everything the Rocky Mountains has to offer, you can find her right here on our blog, newsletters, and of course our social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. Connect with Modern-Shed today to find out how we can get you the space you need to live your best life!
The heat of summer is upon us as I write this, and there are several weeks to go. Keeping your Modern-Shed cool in the summer does not have to be expensive and complicated. Here are some cool tips to keep you cool.
The advent of portable air conditioner units has opened the door for keeping cool without having to break the bank on a full HVAC system.
This unit was in the $400 range and does not take up a ton of space and can be set up in less than 20 minutes. These units evacuate air to the outside through most any opening window – sliding, single hung, awning or, casement via a large exhaust tube. If need be, it is possible with a little inventive knowhow to exhaust through a sliding glass door also in a more temporary way.
Another tip to keep your space cool is using external shade screens for your windows which face the sun. This prevents much of the heat from ever entering your Modern-Shed. The cool thing about the roller shades, is you use them only when you want to shade direct sunlight… you just roll them up when not needed. These are extremely easy to install in less than 20 minutes and are not expensive either, available at your local hardware store. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, and you can still see through them from the inside.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who attempted some kind of home improvement or DIY project this past year, or if you’ve started to explore purchasing a Modern-Shed for yourself, you’ve probably bemoaned the delays and price increases in everything from lumber to insulation and windows.
At the outset of the pandemic, many mills initially slowed or even halted production. Even when they returned to work, most did so with limited staff and operational hours. Additionally, resin producers, who support the production of treated lumber and composites, switched over their operations to produce sanitizers to meet the demand for hygiene and cleaning products, often at a high profit margin making them reluctant to switch back their operations.
Despite the decreased production, demand for lumber has actually increased. Construction has continued to rise fairly steadily over the past few years, and many living in coastal cities have been finding they need more space to juggle work and personal life. Whether they choose to augment their space with Modern-Shed or build a new home farther inland, they are feeling the effects of the current lumber market. Add in all the Covid-DIYers, as well as increased tariffs on Canadian lumber, and we have landed in our current situation.
PALM DESERT — When Tom and Casi moved into their 1,740-square-foot Palm Desert home four years ago, they identified a spot where Tom could eventually have a home office.
Each of them work from home — Casi works as a financial consultant for a high-end designer, while Tom, a former stand-up comedian and actor, writes content for programs such as awards shows or music specials for a Hollywood producer.
When it came to their new home, they worked with their builder/designer to create a space exactly how Tom wanted it — however, Casi was the first to land a job, so Tom found himself back to where he started, working from various spots in the house, such as the dining room table.
“Her jobs tend to be long-term, while mine are a month at a time,” Tom said. “The office became hers, so I patched along for a couple of years.”
When the COVID pandemic struck, they began to research home offices they could put up in the backyard. Their experience with Modern-Shed went quickly.
“We were stuck at home, and in late August, well into the COVID experience, I showed Casi what I had seen online,” Tom recalled. “To my surprise, she agreed to build one. Our first email was sent in September and we were building in November.”
Tom was attracted to the design of Modern-Shed, with the transom windows and the look of the wood coming from the eaves. Casi watched all of the videos on Modern-Shed’s gallery online to get a sense of everything someone could do with a shed.
Like a regular check-up for your health or for your vehicle, it’s important to stay on a schedule for maintaining your home — and that includes your Modern-Shed.
Modern-Sheds are built with the highest-quality materials. However, nothing lasts forever, and there are some simple, regular steps you can take to extend the life of your Modern-Shed and ensure that it remains in tip-top shape for years to come.
Below, some tips on maintaining your Modern-Shed for the upcoming months, and what to do on a regular basis year-round.
Monthly: Most Modern Sheds are small and need little monthly maintenance. However, larger structures, such as an ADU would be like any home:
If you have a bathroom in your Modern-Shed, be sure to clean faucets and showerheads regularly to remove deposits from minerals.
Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers regularly.
Inspect and unclog sink drains if needed.
Inspect electrical cords for wear.
Vacuum heat vents.
Check that indoor and outdoor air vents are not blocked.
If you have a water heater, flush out hot water from the water heater to remove sediment that has accumulated.
Springtime Maintenance: Spring is a great time for Spring Cleaning. Here are some other steps you should take to maintain your home and your Modern-Shed:
Sand and re-finish any natural wood surfaces exposed to weather, including cedar and most importantly the end grain surface of the large roof beam. It is of utmost importance to keep all exposed wood surfaces protected from the elements.
Inspect door seals and tracks for debris to keep from leaking.
Inspect your Modern-Shed roof for leaks or damage to the metal due to high winds or debris.
Inspect the upper transom frames and re-caulk as necessary to keep from leaking – between each frame, where they meet the roof and where they meet the topcap.
Inspect and re-caulk as necessary, the corner joints of the topcap (the piece of wood the transom frame windows sit on)
Clean your gutters (do this again in the fall)
Clean window and door screens.
Refinish your deck.
Power-wash windows and siding.
If you have the Modern Shed unique rain screen system, vacuum any bugs and debris from the spaces, especially at the bottom. This is needed to ensure rainwater is running out at the bottom.
Inspect sink, shower, and bath caulking for deterioration.
Repair or replace caulking and weather stripping around windows, doors, and wall through holes for electric and cable and plumbing.
Remove lint from inside and outside washer hoses and dryer vents.
Check around cabinets and around toilets for leaks.
Replace interior and exterior faucet and showerhead washers if needed.
BAY AREA – When the pandemic hit, Peter and Amelia, with their growing family, found that life in their small San Francisco apartment was no longer sustainable.
The couple had a 4-year-old and a brand new 4-month-old baby at home by the time March 2020 came around. Working from home helping hospitals prepare for the pandemic (Peter) and as a therapist (Amelia) became extremely difficult.
“After about three months, we hit a wall and suddenly went from, ‘We love this place; we’re never moving,’ to ‘We need more space; it’s an emergency,'” Peter said. “What we loved most about where we lived was the neighborhood and being able to walk everywhere. But with the shelter-in-place, those benefits disappeared almost overnight.”
The family needed a bigger place, but finding all that they were looking for was a challenge in the Bay Area – between bedrooms, home offices, and guest space for Amelia’s family to visit, they needed five private spaces.
Modern-Shed proved to be a perfect solution.
“I don’t think I’d ever really seen a shed like this, but we were just trying to consider all options,” Peter said. “One question we had was, ‘What if I built an office in the backyard?’ Thirty minutes on Google and we learned that this was possible.”
In a short span of time, the couple found a rental, moved in, sold their apartment, bought a home, and moved again. The home that they purchased in Oakland had a patio in the backyard that proved the perfect spot for a Modern-Shed.
“Getting everything we dreamed of in a house in a location we love was only possible because building a shed made it possible,” Peter said. “Once we were under contract on the house, the planning kicked into high gear.”
Peter and Amelia had specific measurements to work with due to the space constraints of where the shed would fit in the backyard. They were able to take six inches off one of the standard dimensions for a custom 7.5′ by 12′ Modern-Shed home office.
The pergola and outdoor furniture on the patio came with the house when they purchased it and blends in seamlessly with the Modern-Shed.
Modern-Shed installation started Dec. 2 and finished Dec. 4. In total, work on the shed – the couple hired another contractor for the interior finish work and painting – was done by Dec. 13.
Peter found Modern-Shed design professional Jeff Bergerson extremely helpful in walking him through the process of purchasing a Modern-Shed from start to finish.
“I had never built a building before, so it was a huge benefit to have an expert like Jeff talk me through the process and give feedback on the design,” he said. “At one point, I was debating window placement and I asked Jeff’s opinion. He told me that most people overdo it on the windows and don’t realize how much they want wall space. That sort of insight was invaluable and helped me land on a design that fit my needs perfectly.”
Peter would advise anyone looking at purchasing a Modern-Shed to plan out their furniture before they build, down to the size of the couch and the placement of electronics.
Having a detailed plan ahead of time helped Peter decide on the exact dimensions of the walls and where to place the outlets right where he knew he would want them.
He also advises people to consider and understand the sequence of steps involved, including steps beyond the Modern-Shed installation.
“Understanding what steps have to happen in what order, so that you can coordinate the various contractors, is very helpful,” he said.
Peter’s shed has a concrete foundation, as opposed to sitting on piers, a decision that was switched partway through the process.
“The pros and cons of concrete versus piers were something I didn’t really understand early on, but I am glad that we switched because it was the right decision given our location and other constraints,” he said. “That’s one decision I would recommend thinking through carefully.”
The family is now fully settled after a transition-filled year of welcoming a new baby, weathering the pandemic, and the increased workload Peter had as a consequence, buying a home, building a Modern-Shed, and moving in.
“Though we expected to stay in our old apartment for a very long time, the pandemic made moving not only necessary but urgent,” Peter reflected. “We were optimizing for a lot of things. The ability to build a shed quite literally put our dream home within reach.”