The work-from-home solution

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PORTLAND — When you’re two executives working in high-powered fields, finding space to work is critical.

It becomes even more so when you have two young children at home.

Sara and Greg both work from their home in Portland, though now Sara travels 80 percent of the time for her job.

Before finding Modern-Shed, they both juggled working from home with working outside the home in various offices.

“We needed an extra work space in our home because even though we had offices and were working within other offices, we’d occasionally be working in our home,” Sara says. “It became more of a heavy need to work at home since we have two small children. But working in your house is not realistic when the kids get home at 3 p.m.” Continue reading

The ideal commute

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.”IMG_4034 Continue reading

Portland changes rules on dwelling units

The City of Portland, Ore., made some big changes this year that went into effect Aug. 1.

To combat the city’s affordable housing crisis, city council members rescinded the city’s longstanding waiver of its system development charges for folks building accessory dwelling units and renting them out as short-term rentals.

For builders who want to build an ADU as a long-term rental, their fees will be waived permanently. Other builders will have to revisit the scope of their project.

What does this mean in plain English?

If you’re building an attached or detached dwelling adjacent to your home (think: tiny house, mother-in-law unit, backyard cottage), you won’t be able to rent it out on Airbnb, VRBO or any number of other short-term vacation rental sites (or not through a site) without paying the city’s very high system development charge — between $12-19K!

If you want to take advantage of the waiver and save $12,000, your dwelling must be rented out as a long-term rental for 10 years.

If the city finds out you’ve been using your dwelling to make extra cash renting it out short-term to tourists, they’ll charge you 150 percent of the original SDC waived.

This all only applies to new dwellings permitted after July 31.

DSC_0784While we have many Portland customers who previously took advantage of the SDC waiver (and who are not affected by this change since they’re not new builds), ultimately, we feel as though this could be a good thing for Portland’s tight housing market.

“Since Portland has more people than housing, rental rates have gone way up with the shortage,” Modern-Shed general manager Tim Vack noted. “If all residents could put a rental unit in their backyard that would alleviate the market. It’d be a win-win.”

The Modern-Shed Tiny Home

PORTLAND — Stepping into Marc and Jeanine’s Modern-Shed Airbnb, you will immediately feel like you’ve found a little nook of heaven.

The cozy shed, which the couple have named the Mallory Tiny Home, after the street they live on, is secluded and private, with stylish decor and a loft bedroom that practically beckons you to turn in and recharge from a busy day of sightseeing.

“People find it really beautiful,” says Jeanine, a spiritual healer who sometimes brings clients to the shed to meditate. “Everyone says there’s just enough space. They’re always impressed with how much space there is or how warm or cool it is. It’s just enough.”

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Marc and Jeanine with their Modern-Shed Airbnb in Portland, the Mallory Tiny Home

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Modern-Shed keeps you warm

Now that winter is just around the corner, it’s a good time to talk about how Modern-Shed keeps our customers warm … and, uh, well, cool as well for those living in the hot climates.

We offer all Modern-Sheds with a variety of insulation options best suited to the customer’s needs, desires and permitting requirements.

Above your head: All our standard smaller sheds are priced with a standard R30 rigid foam insulation package in the pre-fabricated roof system. This can be upgraded to R40 and (coming soon) R50 to accommodate extreme cold and heat, as well as to new energy codes that come up. To accommodate electrical needs within the panelized pre-fabricated roof system, one option is an electrical framing package that includes one wiring “chase” in one of the roof panels.

For larger structures that require higher level building permits to accommodate on-site electrical work and on-site building inspections by the local building departments, we offer a credit for an insulation delete option so the customer can use a spray-foam insulation once the inspection and electrical work is complete. We can accommodate any rafter size for the necessary insulation value required by each jurisdiction.

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Why We Use … Benjamin Moore paint

We’ve started a new series “shedding” light on the fabulous products we use, such as Benjamin Moore paint.

ModernShed is committed to using and offering only the highest-quality materials. One aspect of this is our paint choice. Modern-Sheds are factory-painted, and due the complexity of open-joint siding, we felt it imperative to use long-lasting, quality paint.

Layla Tromble, the store manager at Pacific Paint and Decorating in Ferndale, Wash., has worked with her fair share of paint companies over the years.

By far, Benjamin Moore paint comes out ahead of the pack.

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Benjamin Moore uses the Gennex pigment system, which bonds to the paint on a molecular level.

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