How To Turn Your Shed Into A Tiny House

Turning a shed into a tiny house is a great idea, in principle—in practice, though, it’s going to cause some problems. You won’t be able to secure the permits you need to actually live in a tiny house shed—but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn your shed into an incredible space to spend time in.

We’re going to dive deeply into how to create a functional tiny house out of your shed—not a space you can live in—but a space you can spend a tremendous amount of time in. 

By converting your pre-built shed into a tiny house with furniture, insulation, electrical, and more, you’ll be able to enjoy a new living space.  You can host friends, enjoy alone time, and make a space that’s all your own—here’s how to tackle your tiny house project: 

At a Glance

  • You cannot use our sheds to create a tiny house you can live in.
  • You can use our sheds to create an insulated, furnished, functional space.
  • You’ll need to renovate your shed, sealing cracks, adding insulation, and touching up the interior and exterior.

Legal Considerations

Practically speaking, it’s basically impossible to actually live in a shed, and that’s not what we’re recommending here. Our sheds are not designed to be dwelling buildings, and you should not live in them full-time. You can furnish your shed as a tiny home, spend lots of time there, and even take a few naps in there—but do not live in one of our sheds. You will not secure the permits you need to use your shed as a dwelling building, and we will not try to secure those permits for you.

Steps To Turn Your Shed Into a Tiny Home

1. Choose Your Shed’s Location

Your tiny house shed should be easily accessible and on a level foundation. Ideally, your tiny house Shed should also be easy to access; you might also consider installing it next to scenic features, like a garden or river. 

Placing your tiny house near a source of water and a source of plumbing or an outhouse is ideal; in our tiny house plans, 

2. Lay the Foundation

Tiny house foundations can be made of gravel or concrete; we highly recommend a gravel pad foundation for our sheds. While the weight of the furniture and appliances in your tiny home shed can be a bit of a concern, a well-laid gravel foundation will be able to withstand the weight without any issues. 

3. Seal up Any Visible Cracks and Gaps in the Shed

We’re going to insulate your shed, but before we do, it’s a good idea to seal any cracks and gaps. You can find cracks by seeing how smoke flows through the inside of the shed by shining a light on the outside of the shed when it’s dark out or by using a garden hose to spray your shed walls with water.

Once you’ve found gaps and cracks, seal them up with silicone caulk or expanding foam spray. 

4. Connect all Necessary Utilities

You can turn a storage shed into a tiny house without connecting any utilities at all—and that’s what we recommend. Our team can build you a storage shed that’s equipped with surface mount wiring.

Be careful about connecting utilities like water, power, and sewer to your shed; you’ll need a lot more permits, and it can be quite expensive to do. Instead, build your shed near water and plumbing; that will usually be your house, but you could opt to build it near an outhouse or clean well water.

5. Add Insulation 

Insulation is important for any shed you plan on spending any amount of time in; that goes double here on the Canadian Prairies. Insulation is measured in terms of R-value. Exterior walls have a recommended minimum R-value of R-22. We endorse over-insulating; the Prairies get cold, and you can achieve higher R-values with the use of spray foam insulation and other highly insulating materials.

No matter how well-insulated your converted shed may be, you’ll still need to heat it; be sure to purchase a space heater to keep yourself warm, even after you install insulation. 

6. Perform any Interior Touch-Ups and Finishes

Now that your backyard shed is insulated and powered, it’s starting to look more like a tiny house! This step is where the transformation really begins—we’ll turn your shed into a tiny home yet.

You can continue your shed conversion by installing drywall, cabinetry, counters, and flooring. You should also paint your shed’s interior to give it that personal touch. 

7. Complete all External Renovations

We’re almost done turning a quality shed into a quality tiny house. Paint the shed’s exterior, add external lighting, and throw in a doorbell or knocker for good measure.

8. Add all Your Furniture and Relax!

Finally, you can add some furniture and make this a cozy dwelling.  We recommend going small—Perhaps a mini-fridge, a hotplate, futons, and folding tables. floating shelves, rolling carts, and foldable or portable furniture can all do wonders here.

We also highly recommend getting some decor to personalize your space. Plants! Artwork! Whatever makes you feel happy.

With that, you’ve successfully converted your storage shed into your own tiny house! As a reminder, you shouldn’t live in this tiny house—it’s just a placeholder name we’re using for a living space you can enjoy—like an entertainment space or a craft room. 

How Much You Can Expect To Pay

We highly recommend one of our workshop sheds; it’s the best for building the spaces that will meet all the requirements here. They come with surface-mounted electrical wiring, insulation, and windows, as well as the paint colour of your choice. This means that the only costs you’ll have to pay for conversion are furniture, appliances, cabinetry, countertops, and similar interior renovations.

The cost of our workshop sheds ranges from $19,190 to $36,640, depending on how large a shed you want. We can also build you a custom shed; let us know what you’d like in your new space, and we’ll custom-build a shed to suit your needs! 

Potential Shed Housing Ideas

Craft Room

A craft room can be almost anything you can imagine—a place to paint, sew, knit, or even to Cricut or 3D print! Here’s what we imagine in a craft room tiny house:

  • Lots of comfortable furniture: Old fabric couches and beautiful wooden chairs
  • Homemade decor
  • Shelves, cupboards, and desks filled with neatly organized crafting materials, all sorted into bins
  • Sewing machines, 3D printers, and other tools of the trade
  • A hot plate and mini-fridge—for tea and iced tea, respectively

Entertainment Space

An entertainment space can be anything from a man cave to a home theatre; whatever you find entertaining! The idea here is to create a space for yourself and a few friends to spend time in. Here’s what we envision:

  • Entertainment as the centrepiece: A big TV, a beautiful sound system, a record player, arcade machines, or anything else that helps you relax and unwind
  • Big, bold decorations that set the tone—neon signs, vintage posters, or other unique decor
  • Large furniture: Comfy recliners and a big leather (or faux-leather) sofa
  • A mini-fridge stocked with the good stuff, and a microwave or a toaster oven for appetizers and popcorn

Modern Studio

You can also turn your shed into a modern studio—one idea that comes to mind is a recording studio—for jamming with your friends or getting some serious production work done. Your shed-to-tiny house conversion might involve:

  • Soundproofing the walls
  • Partitioning the shed with the controls in one spot and the recording booth in another
  • Comfortable furniture—you could thrift it for a vintage feel
  • Guitars, keyboards, and other instruments lining the walls
  • A mini-fridge stocked with snacks and refreshing drinks

Wanting To Build Your Own Tiny Home?

We can help. While our sheds shouldn’t be used as tiny homes to live in, they make excellent additions to your living space. You don’t just need to use a shed for extra storage space; a fully renovated shed from Horizon Storage Sheds can be a comfortable, beautiful place to spend time, whether you’re alone or with friends and family

Our workshop shed is the perfect tiny house shed; we can also build you a custom shed to be used as your tiny house shell. Get in touch with us today, and bring your tiny house dreams to life!