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.”

Something More

Northern California —  Like most people who find Modern-Shed, Darren started off looking for something more. 

This 12 by 18 Modern-Shed home gym serves as a Krav Maga training facility.
This 12-by-18 Modern-Shed serves as a home gym and training facility.

“I wanted to have a state-of-the-art gym at home, and created one in my garage,” he says. “After a while, this got old as it sacrificed space for all my vehicles. I wanted something more.”

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The Twin Studios

This Modern-Shed twin studio is made with beautiful redwood siding.
This Modern-Shed twin studio is made with beautiful redwood siding.

SACRAMENTO — There’s never too much of a good thing, especially when it comes to Modern-Shed.

That’s what Jim from Davis realized when he and his wife decided they needed more space at their rural area home and ended up with not one, not two, but three Modern-Sheds. Continue reading

The Two-Minute Commute

This 10' by 12' Modern-Shed is used as a home office in the greater Seattle area.
This 10′ by 12′ Modern-Shed is used as a home office in the greater Seattle area.

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — With a young daughter at home, Charles didn’t want to face a two-hour commute each day to get to the Seattle offices of the social media company where he works.

“That’s effectively four hours of my 3-year-old daughter’s life,” Charles notes. “Three years old is a pretty key age. When you think about it, four hours a day five days a week is 20 hours a week. That’s half a work week I’ve spent away from home. That’s almost an entire day of my daughter’s life.” Continue reading

The Shed and Breakfast

This Modern Shed guest room is a space solution for Debbie and Burt.
This Modern Shed guest room is a space solution for Debbie and Burt.

Vashon Island — Burt and Debbie have lived in the greater Seattle area for more than 30 years, but they dream of escaping rush hour and congestion to live full-time at their Vashon Island home.

Their dreams became more of a reality two years ago, when their long-time renters decided to move on.

The couple elected to spend more time at their Vashon Island home, however, there was one problem — they didn’t have quite the space they wanted for visitors, including their two adult children.

“We love our home, but it’s only two bedrooms and we have two kids,” Burt said. “We’ve been watching Modern-Shed for years. We thought it really could integrate well with our house, which, even though it was built in the 1980s, is very modern-looking.”

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Modern-Shed on MSNBC

How do you run a business that technically does not have a location or even regular employees?

That’s the question producers of MSNBC wanted to answer when they interviewed the crew behind Modern-Shed last week — owner Ryan Grey Smith, general manager Tim Vack, lead manufacturer Erik Johnston and dealer Mike Probach were each interviewed in their homes and workplaces in the greater Seattle area, where Modern-Shed is headquartered.

Modern-Shed general manager Tim Vack, at left, is being interviewed by msnbc producer Frank Silverstein.
Modern-Shed general manager Tim Vack, at left, is being interviewed by msnbc producer Frank Silverstein.

The program, “Your Business,” airs Sundays at 7:30 a.m. Eastern Time on MSNBC and features a short profile on a business, along with pragmatic tips for business owners and entrepreneurs on how to start or run their own enterprises smarter. Continue reading

An immediate solution

ModernShed12by18officestudio
This Modern-Shed 12′ by 18′ home office and art studio provided the perfect space solution for a busy, growing family in Berkeley, Calif.

BERKELEY — Karina and her husband Thomas never expected to stay in their two-bedroom, one-bathroom 1939 California bungalow for long, but after 11 years and two kids, they’ve grown accustomed to their neighborhood and their cozy home.

“We thought for sure we’d have moved on by now, but we don’t want to leave the schools and the neighborhood,” says Karina, a fine artist who works from home. “We wanted a way to accommodate our growing family and keep us comfortable.”

Enter Modern-Shed. Continue reading

How To: Decorate a Fitness Studio

Modern-Shed customers often use their new shed as a retreat from the home, sometimes creating work spaces, such as art studios, home offices or writing rooms.

Less often do we hear of customers carving out a different kind of space — a Modern-Shed home fitness center, but the options are endless. We’ve had customers create Modern-Shed yoga studios, Modern-Shed gyms and even a Modern-Shed sauna and steam room! Continue reading