SEATTLE — “This was a cool way to have our backyard actually work for us.”
Eric and Rebecca are counting the ways that their Modern-Shed Airbnb, actually two sheds connected by a deck, has been a positive addition in their lives.
Already comfortable with renting their entire house on Airbnb when they go on vacation, the couple started to think about building an additional unit in their backyard to bring in additional revenue.
“We were really looking at how it would be a good idea to do that to off-set the mortgage and add to the square footage of the house to raise the equity of the home,” Eric says. “Once I realized adding 240 square feet would effectively pay off the construction cost in equity, it was a no-brainer. That is more or less what happened. If I can increase the monthly cashflow by $1500 or $2000 a month through the profit of an Airnb and if we wanted to sell the house, we’d make all the cost back, then why not do it?Continue reading →
Thurston County — It’s easy to see why Jane loves where she lives.
Her little red house sits on a quiet, winding street that most people in her city have never heard of. The branches of the apple trees in her yard bend with the heavy weight of their fruit, and her backyard looks out over a wide, expansive pasture that dovetails toward Henderson Inlet.
She loves her house, her property, her neighbors. So, when family members began to ask when she would move into an assisted living home, after she started to encounter health issues, she balked at their suggestions. She didn’t want to leave.
Jane searched for a solution to maintain her quality of life, and Modern-Shed became a part of that solution — Modern-Shed, and her neighbor’s daughter, Jasmine.
“This is my long-term care plan,” Jane says of the beautiful idea that came together last year. “It occurred to me that I could build a tiny home to house a caretaker.” Continue reading →
GREATER SAN DIEGO – With young children afoot, it can be hard to get work done in the house.
J, a real estate developer from Las Vegas, spends his summers with his family at their vacation home in the greater San Diego area, but when it comes to work, he needs a quiet place away from the kids.
“Young children, they scream and yell, so there’s no possible way I can be in the house and work,” J said. “I used to rent a small office nearby, and it was pretty inefficient, having to leave the house all the time. With Modern-Shed, I can just step into my backyard and get to work.”
J had seen Modern-Shed in a Dwell advertisement years ago, but he tucked away the thought until he bought a new house in San Diego. He started the process about seven months ago to build a Modern-Shed in his backyard.
“I wanted to put an accessory structure up as an office, and when I had the need, I remembered Modern-Shed,” he said. “This was a way to take a prolonged vacation with my family without having to go to a coworking space or go to an office.”
J encountered a smooth process working with our Modern-Shed design professional, Jeff Bergerson, and moved forward with purchasing a 10′ by 12′ Modern-Shed with electricity and other bells and whistles.
He gravitated toward Modern-Shed because of the mid-century modern aesthetic that matched his new house, which itself has been featured in Dwell.
“The process was very good and it was very professional,” he said. “I would recommend it and I would buy another one. Jeff, once we connected, was super knowledgeable about the product and that was all good.”
Design pro Gary Chang turned to Modern-Shed after the most devastating wildfire in California history destroyed over 15,000 homes in November 2018.
“I began to think this could be a time to rethink housing and how we live and work,” he said. “That’s where Modern-Shed came into the picture. I had seen their ads in Dwell Magazine and looked at the website from time to time. I called to discuss my thoughts with General Manager Tim Vack and Owner Ryan Smith. I also made two trips to Washington to meet, look at models, and visit the manufacturing facility.”
Gary wanted to design, build and sell accessory dwelling units and learned that California laws were relaxing to allow more people to build these extra spaces on their own lots.
“Why not Design, Create, and Build Villages of these units for people to live more affordably,” Gary said. “Some older people may want to downsize, younger people may want to have a living space that is affordable, and others just want to live a minimalist lifestyle. Also, I saw Modern-Sheds as a way to reduce travel with home offices or create rental units.”
Gary owns Eco Living Resources, which helps people use less energy and water, while living healthier and saving money. He primarily works in the Sacramento Valley from Sacramento to Chico to the Oregon Border.
“The mission is on to find and help people who want to have us design and build a Modern-Shed or perhaps Modern-Sheds to enhance their lifestyle and create joy in their living or work space.”
A few years back, CBS Early News did a segment with Bill Nye the Science Guy about how white rooftops could combat global warming — the idea being that darker rooftops retain heat and cause people to use more of their air conditioning.
Our general manager, Tim, shares his own experience about how he heats and cools his own Modern-Shed:
I have a direct south and west exposure which brings in tons of natural light. Along with the upper clearstory transom glass, I also have a 6-foot sliding glass door and an awning window.
The Ply Gem window and door have excellent energy values and my shed has walls with R-21 insulation, a roof with rigid foam R-38 and a floor system with R-21. I use a small radiant heater in the winter to keep my office toasty warm. Set on the first of three levels at 68 or 69 degrees is all it needs due to the excellent insulation.
In the summer, I have a stand-alone AC unit that vents through the awning window very easily and I have curtains to block out the late afternoon sun, but then I can’t see out. I remembered from years ago when I sold sunrooms that glass is better shaded from the exterior before the sun/heat gets to the glass. So, I put an exterior roll up shade on the large window.
If you can stop or filter the sun’s heat before it gets to the insulated glass, the LowE/Argon glass doesn’t have to work so hard and is much more efficient. I ordered a roll down shade screen from Amazon, and with it, I really don’t even need the air conditioning, which I prefer, and can then use the lower awning portion the window to cool in the morning and evening hours.
Often at Modern-Shed, our design professionals encounter customers who are not quite ready to commit to purchasing a shed, in part because they’re afraid of the permanency of the shed.
Here’s where we remind folks that while our sheds are not DIY kits, per se, they can be taken apart and moved to a new location, should you decide to move.
“It’s something I think our customers don’t even think about until I bring it up,” said design pro Jeff Bergerson. “The question of moving strikes fear: there’s the expense, the hassle of moving, of pulling kids out of school districts. It’s reassuring to them to know that if they do have to move, they can disassemble their shed, put it in a trailer and put it all back together again.”
It’s no secret that the nation is in the midst of a housing crisis. Rent and the price of a home are rising, creating a problem not just for the most vulnerable people, like the chronically homeless, but also for the average worker, the middle-income earners who are finding themselves priced out of the market.
Industry leaders from big cities to small towns are talking about what we as a country can do to make housing more affordable for households that make 60 to 140 percent of the area median income.
Here at Modern-Shed, we don’t purport to have all of the answers, but one thing we’ve taken notice of is the onerous obstacles that prevent property owners from building rental housing that could alleviate some of the problem.
“In some places in Washington state, you can’t find anywhere to live where the rent isn’t astronomically high,” says Modern-Shed general manager Tim Vack. “Often, it’s the zoning laws of the county. If we could change the zoning to allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on a property, more residents could build a rental unit on their property.” Continue reading →