Seattle — From a certain vantage point near the front door of Scott and Stacy’s house, one can almost see into every room in the 730-square-foot home.
For years, the cosy quarters forced the couple to limit the number of guests they could have over, and their own hobbies — Stacy’s crafts and Scott’s music — spilled over into every available nook and cranny.
“We never expected to be in this house for 12 years, but we couldn’t imagine moving away,” Stacy explains. “We’re 10 minutes from the city, we have coffee shops and everything we could need a short distance away. But we needed more room.”
Stacy would often resort to doing crafts out of a corner of the living room or in the small attic crawlspace, while Scott lamented that he couldn’t play guitar when he came home from work late at night for fear of waking up Stacy.
In order to stay in their home in Seattle’s trendy Greenwood neighborhood, the couple initially looked at building an addition, but that proved cost-prohibitive.
“There was just no way we could do the addition,” Scott says. “We looked at getting a shed from Home Depot, but we didn’t want a shed shed. We wanted a liveable space. We wanted to feel like it was part of the house.”
The couple was drawn to the fact that Modern-Shed was a local company building quality products, but they hesitated initially due to the price.
What turned them around was a new outlook — they realized that compared to the cost of building an addition or renovating a home, a Modern-Shed becomes an affordable option.
“We stopped looking at it as an extravagance and started looking at it as a way to improve our quality of life and allow us to stay in our house another 10 years and not kill each other in 700 square feet,” Stacy says. “What we were looking for and could get was reasonable.”
The couple built a his and hers Modern-Shed, with two-thirds of the shed alloted for Stacy and her crafts, and one-third allocated to Scott and his music, with the two seperate entrances and a wall separating the two sides.
Building a Modern-Shed in their 6,000-square-foot yard freed up a lot more space in their home as well.
The couple created a living room out of a room that had once stored cookbooks and crafts, and the front room became an extension of the kitchen, a new place where they could entertain guests.
Scott and Stacy were also pleased with Modern-Shed dealer Mike Probach’s forthrightness and transparency throughout the entire process.
“We didn’t necessarily know if the pictures we saw online were accurate,” Stacy says. “Mike came right out and showed us what we needed to do. He helped us understand the process. Costs were never hidden.”
The couple completed the drywall themselves, as well as the exterior painting and electricity (Stacy’s brother is an electrician and her father also works in construction), but they advise other buyers to be aware of what they can and can’t do.
“If you’re doing it on a budget, be realistic about what you are capable of doing,” Scott says. “It took two to three weeks to do the drywall and I had bloody knuckles and dirty hands every night. We didn’t expect to have it 100 percent finished in three days.”
Mike helped the couple orient the shed to gain the best exposure from the sun and was patient with the couple’s changing requests, Scott adds.
“We probaby changed the configuration two or three times,” he says. “Mike was always happy, always gracious. He made us feel really comfortable about it. He answered all of our dumb questions. The process never stuttered. He was good about keeping the ball rolling without pressuring us.”
The couple isn’t finished decorating their shed, and they’d like to build deck around it, but they’re content with moving slowly.
“You’ve got to live with it for awhile, to see how you really want to decorate it,” says Scott, who enjoys how well-insulated the shed is, keeping warmth in, as well as noise — Stacy barely hears his guitar when amped up to full volume when she’s inside their home.
Stacy advises other buyers to think about where they might like their electrical outlets; she erred on the side of caution and installed several in case she later changed her mind about the interior set-up of her side of the shed.
Her father, a woodworker, plans to install several built-in storage units to keep her myriad of crafts, including painting, knitting and other crafts.
“My family initially couldn’t understand why we would pay so much for a shed,” Stacy says. “Once they saw the shed, they realized we weren’t talking about a converted shed at all. We were talking about an extension of the house.”