The personal touch

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Rebecca’s 640-square-foot Modern-Shed home and workspace

PORT TOWNSEND — Rebecca’s experience with Modern-Shed came about through a desire to be closer to old friends and have a space to work on her art. It also included a little bit of luck.

Rebecca, a sculptor and woodworker, grew up in Seattle, but lived in Alaska for 30 years and later Portland, Ore.

She decided a couple years ago that she wanted to move to Port Townsend, a picturesque coastal city in Washington, where a close-knit circle of her childhood friends lived. However, she struggled finding housing.

“I was looking around for an already built home, but I couldn’t find one at the time,” Rebecca recalls. “I wouldn’t have built a house from scratch if I could find one. I had done a fair bit of construction in Alaska and didn’t want to invest a lot of time building, but there just was nothing available. That’s the truth, there was nothing appealing whatsoever.” Continue reading

The Modern-Shed Boat House

GIG HARBOR — Down a winding path, nestled in the Evergreen forests near the Key Peninsula, Kerrie and Rich found a place they could call home.

Their home, however, left some things to be desired. In the meantime, they wanted to create a comfortable space where they could work, relax and entertain loved ones while enjoying the view of Henderson Bay and all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

“Our house just needs lots of work, and the Modern-Shed takes the pressure off,” Kerrie says. “It’s a two-bedroom house that was built in 1958. Now, with the shed, we have an extra bedroom and a nice place where we can bring our guests.”

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Quality, quickly: An on-island solution

San Juan Island — In an ideal world, Tom wouldn’t have purchased a Modern-Shed.

The Portland-based attorney loves to build things and enjoys having his hands on a project, so when he began considering building a home office on his family’s property on San Juan Island in Washington, he would have ideally liked to build the office himself.

But, we don’t live in an ideal world, and Modern-Shed helps our customers wisely and efficiently use their time so they can have the types of spaces they’ve always dreamed of.

“I really like building things, but I don’t have the time,” Tom admits. “I wanted a quality product that could assemble very quickly. That was the key criteria.”

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Tom’s 12′ by 14′ Modern-Shed office on San Juan Island

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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.”

What more do you need?

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Here at Modern-Shed, where every employee works remotely, we completely understand the needs of our customers who want to find a quiet space where they can work from home in peace.

General Manager Tim Vack can now say he understands the full Modern-Shed experience — Tim recently took the plunge and purchased a Modern-Shed home office of his own!

Tim’s 8’ by 12’ shed is located on his vacation property on Mason Lake in rural western Washington and offers him a way to stay connected with coworkers while enjoying his favorite place in the world.

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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: Making you money $$$

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A Modern-Shed AirBnb in San Jose, Calif.

As the rise of AirBnBs and other vacation rental sites like HomeAway and VRBO can attest, when people take a vacay, more and more they want to stay at a home away from home.

We have several Modern-Shed customers who have capitalized on this trend.

In San Jose, Flora and Jeffrey initially built a Modern-Shed guest room to accommodate Flora’s sister, Fauna, who was staying in the area for college, but when Fauna graduated two years later, the couple started making serious money when they turned their shed into an AirBnB.

“I am just extremely happy with it,” says Flora, whose shed sees mostly business travelers. “I’m booked every day … Totally I was not expecting this many bookings … These guests, they come every day, even during the week, they’re here for a day and gone. It’s convenient for me and them … (Now) I’m a stay-at-home mom and a full-time AirBnB host.”

Other Modern-Shed owners rent or book their sheds for guests more interested in leisure.

Marc and Jeanine’s Modern-Shed AirBnB in fast-growing Portland offers exclusive access to the shed and an herb garden, with guests complimenting the shed’s “cozy” factor and noting that it’s “a gorgeous little oasis in Portland,” “central to a lot of restaurants and stores.”

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Modern-Shed rental cabins in Blue Lake Springs

Meanwhile, Holly’s twin Modern-Shed cabins at Blue Lake Springs near the Sierra Nevadas in California complement a traditional cabin and offer large families a quiet respite from the busy, city life.

“They are really cute,” Holly says. “My girls love sleeping in the sheds even though we didn’t plan them to be sleeping quarters … I love how the sheds are really multi-functional. People can use them how they want and can say ‘Hey, this is my space.’”

Many more of our customers simply love having that extra space when family comes over, which is especially important to take into account as the holiday season approaches. Continue reading