Nicer than our house

Rusty’s and Chris’ two-bedroom home in Seattle’s Madison Valley, built in 1920, does not accommodate guests very well.

“It’s only 700-square-feet, with two small bedrooms, so it’s a little hard to have company,” said Rusty, who purchased the home 14 years ago. “Whenever we remodel, it’s such a pain to have to live in there and remodel at the same time.”

Rusty discovered Modern-Shed from friends in California and decided to pursue the project last year, when he wasn’t working and could devote time to the extensive permitting process.

“I looked at a few other companies, but (Modern-Shed dealer) Mike Probach was really helpful,” Rusty said. “The permitting was interesting. We decided to keep it the same dimensions as our garage that was out there. I wanted something not too intrusive.”

Earlier this year, Modern-Shed installers finished setting up the 12-by-24-foot Modern-Shed guest studio, which sits perfectly in the backyard where the old garage once took up space. The couple also had a deck constructed around the shed.

This 12′ by 24′ Modern-Shed guest studio is perfect for keeping guests comfortable.

Rusty took beams from the garage that had been made from old-growth fir trees and turned them into shelving and furniture for the shed.

“The garage was old and rickety and needed to come down anyway,” Chris said. “We’ve been joking that this is nicer than our house.”

Shelving in the bathroom and bedroom is made with old-growth fir tree beams from the garage that once stood in the shed’s place.

Rusty and Chris encountered some issues with the electrical work and had to jackhammer a hole in their concrete foundation — they recommend that people research the amount of space they need to keep open in their foundation for what’s known as an Ufer ground.

They also were told by inspectors that their bathroom’s exterior vent pipe needed to be covered before a plumber told them that they just needed to paint it.

“I’m a software engineer, so not exactly a hands-on person,” Rusty said. “I’d say it was 75-25, where Modern-Shed contractors did most of the work. If you don’t consider yourself a hands-on person or have experience with this stuff, be prepared to pay more to have people do it.”

Windows bring in plenty of light and a dark shade of red helps comfort guests.

The paint on the exterior of the Modern-Shed matches the eaves of the couple’s house, and the shed faces south, bringing in lots of light through the numerous windows.

The shed also has a full bathroom with mint green walls and tiles, while a darker coat of amber in the bedroom creates a cozy, warm feeling.


Rusty is still working on installing shelving and lighting, as well as on etching and staining the floors.

This summer, the couple also plans to work on the yard, hopefully getting it done before their July 7 wedding.

“We’ll be married this summer, and my mom will be the first guest,” Rusty said. “Our friends think it’s really cool and a few of them have already tried to claim it for the wedding and Pride weekend.”


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