Los Angeles — After years at home raising children, Susie and her husband, Josh, began to think about what it would look like for her to ramp up her career as an educational therapist.
With a child still in elementary school, however, the couple wanted to figure out how Susie could still be around for their three daughters, but also have the time and space for work appointments that often take place after school, since Susie’s clients are also children.
That’s when Josh brought up prefabrication, a movement he’d been enamored with for two decades.
“I’ve fantasized about prefab sheds and subscribed to Dwell magazine for years,” Josh said. “The whole movement seemed cool; that kind of aesthetic and that kind of approach was appealing and exciting.”
Josh also liked that Modern-Shed wasn’t more expensive than traditional construction: “It was right in line with what original construction from the ground up would have been,” he said.
Josh and Susie have a 6000-square-foot lot in Los Angeles, with a 2000-square-foot house, a converted garage in the back Josh uses as a man cave, and another metal shed Josh built for storage that has been there for years.
There was space next to the shed for a home office, but because of the sewage line underneath they couldn’t traditionally build on it.
Josh went with Modern-Shed in part because of how design professional Jeff Bergerson walked him through the whole process.
“I trusted Jeff,” Josh said. “I liked how he was able to walk me through it with pictures over the phone. He was able to talk me through the idea of what this could be and what some samples would be like.”
Josh and Susie completed a kitchen remodel a few years ago that took more than nine months, when it was supposed to last six. Josh didn’t want a repeat of that experience.
“A huge appeal was the three-day turnaround for the shell. I did not want to go through construction and see construction stuff in my backyard for months,” he said.
Susie’s 10’ by 12’ home office was installed in one weekend in November. They were impressed with Modern-Shed’s contracted installers, Dave Walterick and his team.
“Absolutely use the installer Modern-Shed recommends,” Josh said. “(Dave) and his guys knew what they were doing. I was amazed. They are just so used to this. They came Saturday morning and by Monday morning they were gone and everything was cleaned up. I felt secure with them I had talked to other contractors, but they didn’t really get what this was.”
Josh and Susie’s home is a Spanish-style ranch home with stucco. He built an open patio cover over the garage to tie the look of the garage in with the shed.
“I was a little concerned the modern look would clash with the Spanish style, but it really doesn’t,” he said. “It’s such a clean look and it has a continuous feel. It really brought the whole back of the house together in such a powerful way. I feel like I’m living in a whole new house on a whole new property. It compelled me to create a backyard space with a living room area.”
Josh wants people to know that if they are choosing the prefab route because they think it’s less expensive, then “you’re not thinking about it the right way.”
“You can’t do it right for less than it is going to cost,” he said. “There is always a cost — but it’s not less expensive and it’s not more expensive. Jeff was really willing to work with me on different budgets and I never felt upsold. He helped me figure out where I could cut here and there. He was collaborative with me, and I appreciated that he wasn’t upselling me.”
Josh and Susie’s shed sits in a shadowy area, next to the garage and a concrete wall on the property line, so the shed features double French doors so as to take advantage of the Southern exposure.
“We needed the light, and it lends an open feel to the backyard and shows off our greenery,” Josh said.
The exterior matches the storage shed, and the interior paint is in blue-grey tones, which are calming for children.
A Pottery Barn unit fits squarely in the space, looking almost as if it was built-in, and the shed also has track lighting and a heat pump that feeds off the same compressor as a unit in the garage next door.
“It’s been great,” Josh said. “It’s a whole new living space.”