PORTLAND — Within the first year that Steve started his consulting business, he knew he needed to find a space to work outside of his house.
Steve and his wife, Michelle, and two daughters live in a three-bedroom Portland home built in 1912.
Steve works in accessory and product design, with his hands on everything from watches and eyewear to other wearable technologies for brands like Nike and Timex, while Michelle designs and creates handbags and clothing.
“I was working in our finished basement, which is a nice basement, but there was a lack of light and still, it’s in the basement and it’s in the house,” Steve recalls. “I started looking at renting spaces or doing a prefab build. My goal was to get a modular system I could build myself.”
With plenty of space in their backyard, Steve opted to build a Modern-Shed, and he kept costs down by building the 10’ by 14’ structure on his own.
“If you’re going to build it yourself, make sure you have enough time,” he advises other Modern-Shed customers. “Modern-Shed would have taken two or three days. It definitely took me longer than I thought. I would say, having a lack of experience building these things, make sure you have the time to do it.”
Steve made sure to carve out enough time in the summer of 2016 to build the shed himself, with the help of some friends, and last year he completed more work around the shed, building a deck and sunshade over it.
“The process with Modern-Shed was all very easy,” he says. “Everything I wanted was pretty basic, nice and simple. Doing my own build helped me keep the cost down, even with interior and exterior painting and running power and Internet from the house.”
A large panoramic window looks out over the family’s garden. The size of the family’s backyard drove the decision to pick a 10’ by 14’ shed.
“Make sure you get something big enough,” Steve says. “We knew the size of the space where we wanted it to go, so a lot of the choice was based on location and cost. It’s big enough where one or two of us can work. I can take clients back there. It’s nice and relaxed and very presentable, not like bringing people to my basement.”
Michelle has now been able to take over the basement space to use as a work room to hand-cut and sew her products. Steve enjoys being steps away from home while still having a dedicated space to work. He’s worked from home for just over three years now.
“I like the commute and I like the fact that I have flexibility,” he says. “Every now and again I think about getting a full-time job and then I think, ‘Definitely not.’ I get to work on a variety of different projects and when I’m done at the end of the day, I leave everything out here. I like that it feels like I am getting away from work.”