Between a Rock and a Hard Place

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA – Ryan and his family knew they had the perfect spot for a home office, there were just a couple of (not so tiny) obstacles standing in their way. However, as the pandemic loomed on, the idea shifted quickly from a want to an urgent need. So Ryan started making some calls.

 “As for the planning… well that was definitely a challenge. No other shed manufacturer really wanted to touch our space because of the boulders. It wasn’t until I got an on-site inspection by (Modern Shed preferred installer)  Dave Walterick that I felt comfortable moving forward. The space is REALLY tight between the rocks and the setback rules, the shed is literally just inches away from one of the boulders. But otherwise, it wasn’t a useable corner of my yard, so it was really the perfect spot to place a shed.”

Ryan decided to build a 9×12’ shed, just slightly smaller than our standard 10×12’, in order for everything to fit just perfectly. He also added a deck to finish the exterior space. For the interior, they decided on a large custom Paduak wood top (natural cherry red color) sit/stand desk, and a sideboard with storage over wood flooring. Ryan also installed a ductless mini-split and wired that to a Nest thermostat.

 “I used David’s crew to do the kit-build and custom deck outside both doors. They were pretty fast and everything was done to spec. I then did the interior installation myself including running all the electrical inside the walls, light fixtures in the ceiling, flooring drywall, and A/C. The ‘office’ is fully kitted with electrical, heat and air conditioning, and very comfy.”

With all the potential challenges of their Modern Shed location, the installation was just 3 days for all the exterior finishing, with only one quickly-remedied hiccup.

“We had trenched power and CAT6 from the house to the shed, and Dave’s crew filled in the trench and then placed one of the footings on top of the fresh dirt. Once it started to rain, that dirt settled and Dave’s crew had to come back to jack up the shed in that corner. Luckily the very large timber used under the walls and floor was strong enough that the shed hardly moved, I only knew something was wrong because a door was getting jammed on the exterior deck.”

Overall, Ryan and his family are absolutely thrilled with their amazing new space. Their investment really adds a quality of life beyond what you can get with a lesser tool shed.

“I’d say our total cost was ~$45k all-in.  There are definitely cheaper ways to go, but I’m happy with the results. Jeff and I had lots of back & forth, so he was able to get me all the info I needed to feel comfortable moving forward. It’s premium over a typical shed, if you want it to look like a part of your home (or estate), get a Modern Shed over a typical home-built backyard shed. The transom windows and wood ceiling are really nice, and if you add a nice floor and sheetrock, it starts to look like a room in your home rather than a backyard tool shed.” 

If you’re ready to invest in a lifestyle upgrade for yourself, contact Modern Shed today!

SoCal Serene

SAN DIEGO – As a successful architect in Southern California, Nastaran knows what she wants from the spaces she designs: aesthetically impactful style with the highest quality and functionality for the budget. This is why she came to Modern Shed when it was time to expand the square footage of their living space. She deeply appreciated the high standards of quality to which Modern Shed builds our products, and knew that her investment would stand the test of time.

Nastaran first started looking at a home gym from Modern Shed back in 2016 while she was remodeling their home with her fiance, but the project was put on hold to divert the funding to the essentials going on in the home. However, as the pandemic hit, Nastaran found herself needing a home office space quickly. While her previous research regarding Modern Shed combined with her expertise as an architect herself dramatically sped up the process to plan and purchase her new office, Nastaran also valued her Design Pro, Trevor’s expertise and professionalism in helping the entire process run smoothly, especially as pandemic-related delays started to affect the delivery time frame. She also adds that his knowledge and explanation of the design and build process would be invaluable to someone less familiar with the ins and outs of construction.

“I definitely made it a bit more interesting for Trevor and the installer, Chase,” Nastaran reflects. “I came to them with a full electrical work up for puck lighting and the ceiling fan, even a floor outlet. They were great! They wired in all the conduit based on my instructions.”

The investment in their property was well worth the investment in time and resources to help Nastaran bring her long-term vision for their outdoor space closer to reality. Even though her 120 square-foot shed is currently being utilized for an office, she already has plans to bring the home gym or even a guest space back into the area when she returns to work in her usual office. “I really appreciate how functional and flexible the space is. It’s just beautiful. If I had to do it all again, I’m not sure if I would eat up 30” of space for the lavatory. It will be handy for guests someday, but right now it doesn’t really get used,” Nastaran mused.

Overall, though, she is absolutely pleased with the whole process. “The install was just amazing. The shed itself took just four days, and they stayed for 10 days finishing every last detail for us. Being in the industry, I’ve worked on projects that are in construction for two or three years, so that’s just brilliant.”

“I would recommend people think of their project as a long-term investment and really think ahead. For example, we also wired for a mini-split to cool our Modern Shed, which will be installed in the summer. The more thought you put into it, the more you can enjoy it!”

“I just love coming out here to work, or just rearrange my space. It’s quiet and serene. We even joke, it’s probably sturdier than our house!”

To learn more about how to plan your own quiet escape, download our Modern Shed catalog here: https://www.modern-shed.com/catalog

Opening Up Possibilities

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.”

An educator’s home office

MS1Los 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.”
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Worth Every Penny

She shed #4PASADENA — Before purchasing their Modern-Shed, Katherine’s husband, Kent, would often grow frustrated by her little piles of paper littered throughout the guest bedroom.

“We have a three-bedroom house, and my husband has two girls who come and go and need the bedroom,” Katherine says. “I need some private space to do work because I’m a teacher, a place where if I need to keep piles out, I can close the doors, close the blinds and no one would know.”

Katherine’s 9′ by 10′ Modern-Shed fits nicely in the couple’s backyard, complementing their home and appearing as though it belonged there the whole time. Continue reading