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

Planning a Modern Shed Studio Space: Getting Financing

The world of home improvement loans offers a variety of options to get you on your way to owning your very own Modern-Shed home office, music/art studio, or home gym! But sorting through these options and securing your loan quickly is one of the most important steps to getting your space built and installed as quickly as possible.

Many Modern-Shed clients can draw on their current home equity, especially in our current financial climate, in order to finance their new space. You can choose between a Home Equity Loan or a Home Equity Line of Credit, or a home re-finance. All of which have many advantages to consider. Also, since your loan or line of credit is secured using your existing home as collateral, you can get a lower interest rate than an unsecured loan.

Another option for those with good to excellent credit would be an unsecured personal loan, especially if you have recently purchased your home and haven’t had time to build up enough equity to cover improvements. There are several financial institutions that offer these types of loans based on what your financial goals are, such as longer terms with lower monthly payments or securing the lowest interest rate. Modern Shed has partnered with Acorn Financing as a provider of this type of financing option. See our website for information and pre-qualification.

Acquiring financing can take some time, especially if you are using your home for collateral and an appraisal needs to be done as the mortgage industry is as busy as ever so we highly recommend getting approved for as much as possible as it is much easier to not use all of the loan, but it is more difficult to ask for more once the loan is secure. 

How much do you need? Modern Shed’s Design Professionals will help you create your budget by providing a quote for the Modern Shed structure as well as help with calculating the ancillary costs of shipping, ground prep, interior, and exterior finishing, and in some places, electrical contracting. Whether you choose to self-install or have a Modern-Shed preferred contractor install and finish we advise our clients to secure a loan 10-20% larger than the estimate for their project to make sure their project doesn’t encounter delays due to financing. (And always choose a loan that has no pre-payment penalties!)

The best part about investing in your new Modern Shed studio will be the quality and craftsmanship that we bring to your property, as our Sheds are built to the highest standards and designed to last as long as your home (if not longer). For more information about how you can invest in your own home office, gym, or art studio, contact Modern Shed today!

A Vison for the Future: Meet Marc

Marc Fuller is deeply curious.

From his background in finance, and later software solutions, the question of ‘why’ has driven him to look deeper at what solutions the people around him are asking for. He joins the Modern-Shed leadership team now with a vision of not just growth, but continued excellence in craftsmanship and service.

“What I love about Modern Shed is there’s so much demand for our product.” Marc has seen and heard the concerns from potential clients who are excited about what we do, but our sales and manufacturing teams are just so busy that we’re not able to get it done for them. “That is step one moving forward: being able to fulfill demand and deliver what they want. And not just any shed, but deliver a service and a quality that Modern Shed is known for.”

“I always wanted to buy a smaller business and run it. One of the things that drew me to Modern Shed was my family now lives in an area and time where there’s a massive housing shortage, and a lot of challenges to expanding the square footage of your existing home, which is also happening across the US. I did some investigating, talked to Ryan (Smith/founder) and Tim (Vack/GM) and listened to their approach to the solution and saw a huge opportunity to grow and expand the company, and provide a quality product to anyone who wants it, all across the country.”

“My long-term view is that, as housing prices continue to increase, more and more people are relying on their home as an investment in their financial stability. We want to make sure that when you’re making investments in improving your most valuable asset, your Modern Shed is truly an extension of your home, not just a place to store bikes and rakes. This could be an office, a gym, or even a second living room.”

The Modern Shed team is excited to work with Marc to implement his vision of scaled operations and expanded offerings, and appreciate his drive and enthusiasm for all that we do! We look forward to bringing you continued excellence in quality and service, with style.

Design Pro Spotlight: Meet Jon

Modern Shed would like to introduce you to the newest Design Professional to join our team! 

Design Pro Jon Clearwater

Jon Clearwater started doing logistics for Modern Shed in 2015 and has recently transitioned into his new role helping our clients create the home office or studio shed of their dreams. His background is in logistics and residential & construction materials, so he is perfectly suited to guide customers through the Modern Shed process and thoughtfully explain each step along the way. 

On the personal side, Jon grew up in Oregon and moved to Washington in 1989, living in the Puget Sound area since. He now lives on the Olympic Penninsula with his 17-year-old son, a senior in high school, and his wife. When not representing Modern Shed, he keeps busy with woodworking and landscaping projects.

Jon says he is truly excited to take this next step and be a more integral team member of Modern Shed. He loves being able to represent a great product & great company.

We’re thrilled to have you serving our clients, Jon!

Customization in a Pre-fab World

Most Modern-Shed clients come to us with a very specific vision in mind. They’ve done their homework, and know that an off-the-shelf design just won’t do. Or maybe it would, but the level of service they’ve gotten from other ‘big-box store’ retailers doesn’t instill confidence in their investment. After all that researching, emailing, and calling around, there’s only one company that stands out for customer service, quality, and quick turn-around: Modern-Shed.

So how do we get it done? Modern-Shed starts with the speed and repeatable quality of prefabrication. Building our sheds in a temperature-controlled environment to the highest build standards with materials that satisfy even the strictest codes (looking at you, California) allows us to bring an exceptional product right to your property without the hassle of turning it into a long-term construction site.

Modern-Shed also recognizes you want your investment to reflect your aesthetic and completely suit your needs. This is why our Design Professionals take the time to connect with you, understand the layout of your property and existing features, and listen to your story. We don’t want to just sell you a shed; we want you to be delighted with a structure that adds value to your everyday life. If your design needs to be 8 inches shorter to fit between rock features or trees, we can make those adjustments. If you need an extra-long roofline to provide shade or weather protection, our Design Pros can make recommendations that fit your budget. We take the time to understand your dream space, and help to make it a reality.

In the end, our clients are continually thrilled with a Modern-Shed that adds to their quality of life every day. From art or music studios, to library and office space, to guest suites and ADUs: Modern-Shed Design Pros will walk you through the design, permit, and build process, keeping your dream, timeline, and budget in mind. To get started on your Modern-Shed, download your catalog today.

A Waterfront Retreat

A Modern-Shed next to a waterfront cabin.

PUGET SOUND – When Chris began researching ideas for his scenic retreat, he knew that the space had to feel just right. From matching the aesthetic of the cabin already on his property to providing comfortable and enduring space in all the elements, none of the ‘off the shelf’ sheds he researched seemed to fit the bill.

“I’m very analytical, and I knew that the ability to customize different components would be very important. And the design work with Jeff was so helpful.”

One of the most important exterior features for his Modern-Shed was to have a large overhang to match the existing structure, as well as provide shade to the deck and protection from the elements against the open windows. For the interior, Chris decided on a dual finish for the walls, with a combination of tongue-and-groove and large paneling. 

“I’m just so pleased with how it all comes together. There’s a bed and small table. We also have a composting toilet by Separett with the portable washstand, so no plumbing. And of course, the infrared dry sauna! It’s almost like a little hotel in there!”

And Chris has plenty of guests who come to stay and enjoy his space, from friends to family. Enjoying a cup of coffee on the deck with the view of the water is the perfect way to start the day, they all rave! Even from inside, the transom windows allow you to look up into the woods outside and just relax.

The 12’ x 14’ Modern-Shed also features a street-side door at the rear of the shed, and a front door leading out onto the deck. Along with the transom windows at the top, a large window panel unity also has casements to capture the breeze right off the water.

Chris is extremely pleased with the build speed and quality. Working with Jeff, our Design Pro, he was able to brainstorm cost and time-saving design aspects. The installation contractor was also able to spend the time to get the details just right, like a unique deck style. Chris really appreciated the value they brought to the whole process. 

“I tell everyone about Modern-Shed and how great they are to work with. One of my good friends who has stayed here is looking forward to getting one for his property too!”

A Secret Garden Library

A blue-green shed in fall foliage.

SONOMA COUNTY – Paige always knew that having a beautiful home library was a priority. Growing up, her family amassed an extensive collection of beautiful and rare books, many that she looks forward to passing on to her own kids someday. But when Paige and her husband began remodeling their current home, a library/office took a back seat to other more costly projects.

However, as the COVID pandemic wore on through the summer of 2020, Paige knew it was time for her dream space to take precedence.

“In August, I had just started researching home office sheds online. My daughter was getting ready to start her senior year of high school, and we all really needed our own space to work,” she recalls. “I had a vision for an office shed that could also be a Secret Garden escape to read and relax. And taking care of our library collection was a huge concern; I had to be sure we could control temperature and moisture to protect those treasures.”

Paige enlisted her son to help sketch up some ideas for her, and continued to make calls and do research. “It was between [Modern-Shed] and another large shed supplier. They gave me their standard, out-of-the box option and told me, ‘It will probably work fine.’ But when I talked to [my Design Pro] Jeff Bergerson, he really took the time to understand our vision and help perfect it. He really bought in to the whole idea!” Paige was so impressed with the care that Jeff took to both meet her aesthetic and care for her book collection, she knew that Modern-Shed would best meet her needs.

Paige decided on a 12 x 10’ size shed, with 2 windows and sliding doors built on a standard foundation. She choose dragonfly green color for the exterior paint and blue inside. To finish the interior space, she went with custom shelving and found an amazing chaise to complete the relaxing library. The installation took about a week, and then finishing the interior took just a couple weeks more. And by November, Paige’s daughter was setting up her laptop for school every day in their new space!

“My kids just love going back there for a quiet retreat, and the neighbors have all asked where they can get a shed like ours! We tell everyone to call Modern-Shed.”

Paige also advises potential clients to be realistic about the costs of each aspect of the building and finishing. “Jeff was great about walking me through his estimates for each step of the process, but I tried to convince him I could get it done for less. At the end of the day, though, Jeff was right on!”

“It was totally worth it,” Paige adds, “to get exactly the space we wanted and know that it’s done right.” We’re thrilled Paige and her family can enjoy their back yard escape for years to come!

To connect with your Modern-Shed Design Pro, visit our website.

Socially Savvy: Meet Rachael

Modern-Shed is excited to welcome a fresh face to our social media and marketing team!

Rachael K and her family

Rachael comes to us from the Denver area with a background in digital marketing and customer relations. She has been embracing the work-from-home life for over a decade, using that freedom and flexibility to raise her two kids while growing her career.

“When everything shut down last March,” she says, “I was grateful to already be in a position where I could manage my work and homeschooling the kids. It wasn’t easy, but we set our schedules and dedicated workspace, and made it through!” Having a great partner who was also working from home definitely helped too, she added.

“I was very excited to come across the opportunity to work with Modern-Shed as the Social Media Director. My experience in marketing to the interior design and industrial manufacturing communities made for a seamless transition into the ADU and extensible living space world. We’re already looking at our HOA covenants to see how we can add additional living space and storage to our home.”

When Rachael isn’t out enjoying everything the Rocky Mountains has to offer, you can find her right here on our blog, newsletters, and of course our social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. Connect with Modern-Shed today to find out how we can get you the space you need to live your best life!

Keeping Your Cool

The heat of summer is upon us as I write this, and there are several weeks to go. Keeping your Modern-Shed cool in the summer does not have to be expensive and complicated. Here are some cool tips to keep you cool. 

The advent of portable air conditioner units has opened the door for keeping cool without having to break the bank on a full HVAC system. 

Portable air conditioning unit

This unit was in the $400 range and does not take up a ton of space and can be set up in less than 20 minutes. These units evacuate air to the outside through most any opening window – sliding, single hung, awning or, casement via a large exhaust tube. If need be, it is possible with a little inventive knowhow to exhaust through a sliding glass door also in a more temporary way.  

Air conditioning venting

Another tip to keep your space cool is using external shade screens for your windows which face the sun. This prevents much of the heat from ever entering your Modern-Shed. The cool thing about the roller shades, is you use them only when you want to shade direct sunlight… you just roll them up when not needed. These are extremely easy to install in less than 20 minutes and are not expensive either, available at your local hardware store. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, and you can still see through them from the inside. 

Sun shade outside the Modern-Shed window

If you haven’t yet purchased a Modern-Shed and live in a hot or cold climate, consider the upgrade to higher R-Value roof and wall insulation as well as LowE glass in the upper transom IGUs. Our Design Pros can help you select the best products for your space, and keep you enjoying your Modern-Shed year round!