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

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!”

The Lumber Situation

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who attempted some kind of home improvement or DIY project this past year, or if you’ve started to explore purchasing a Modern-Shed for yourself, you’ve probably bemoaned the delays and price increases in everything from lumber to insulation and windows.

Stacked lumber

So what is UP with the lumber prices? Prices rose by more than 250% in the last year, and over 350% from March 2020’s five-year lows. Why?

At the outset of the pandemic, many mills initially slowed or even halted production. Even when they returned to work, most did so with limited staff and operational hours. Additionally, resin producers, who support the production of treated lumber and composites, switched over their operations to produce sanitizers to meet the demand for hygiene and cleaning products, often at a high profit margin making them reluctant to switch back their operations.

Despite the decreased production, demand for lumber has actually increased. Construction has continued to rise fairly steadily over the past few years, and many living in coastal cities have been finding they need more space to juggle work and personal life. Whether they choose to augment their space with Modern-Shed or build a new home farther inland, they are feeling the effects of the current lumber market. Add in all the Covid-DIYers, as well as increased tariffs on Canadian lumber, and we have landed in our current situation.

What’s the fix? Just last week, senior officials from the National Association for Home Builders met with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on the importance of finding a solution to the lumber crisis. Government leaders are looking for ways to increase domestic lumber production, which some believe has not risen to meet the increased demand even prior to the pandemic. NAHB officials reported that the administration recognizes the importance of not slowing down the housing market (and thus the entire economy, potentially), and is serious about finding a path to stabilizing lumber prices. Many other experts are optimistically predicting a bit of relief as 2021 comes to a close, as futures trading has finally seen a substantial drop. 

Lumber futures chart

In the meantime, Modern-Shed realizes that your need for space and balance doesn’t depend on market fluctuations. Rather, we continue to provide our clients highly competitive pricing, as well as our years of expertise as the pioneer of living-space shed designs. If you’re interested in taking advantage of the upcoming pricing trend, make sure to visit our website to connect with a Design Pro today!

A gray Modern-Shed in quiet woods

An educator’s home office

MS1Los Angeles — After years at home raising children, Susie and her husband, Josh, began to think about what it would look like for her to ramp up her career as an educational therapist. 

With a child still in elementary school, however, the couple wanted to figure out how Susie could still be around for their three daughters, but also have the time and space for work appointments that often take place after school, since Susie’s clients are also children.

That’s when Josh brought up prefabrication, a movement he’d been enamored with for two decades.

“I’ve fantasized about prefab sheds and subscribed to Dwell magazine for years,” Josh said. “The whole movement seemed cool; that kind of aesthetic and that kind of approach was appealing and exciting.”
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A Modern Aesthetic

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.”
Find a design pro near you at www.modern-shed.com.

Why I Joined Modern-Shed

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.”
Gary can be reached at gary@ecolivingresources.com.

The Modern-Shed Garage

Greater Seattle area — When David and his family of four moved into their Pacific Northwest home, built in 1912, there was a major problem sitting in the backyard.

“The home had an existing garage that was maybe 50 years old,” David recalls. “There were raccoons living in the walls. There was actually no back wall. It had totally fallen apart and the whole thing probably would’ve just fallen in.”

The family had the garage removed, but as they explored their options to build another unit in the backyard and expand their living space, they ran into some issues.

MSgarage1
The Modern-Shed Garage, featuring a frosted glass door from Northwest Door

“I was originally going to build a garage with a mother-in-law unit, we had it designed and everything, a garage with an apartment above it,” David says. “However it didn’t meet the requirements of the city we live in. It also was going to be very costly.” Continue reading