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My husband and I have recently begun thinking about adding an addition to our home. Let’s face it, though, the recent housing market has made moving up to a bigger house, a much more expensive proposition. We also agreed that even with our big family, that although extra space would be nice, we won’t always need it so we questioned the “permanency” of buying a bigger home OR adding on to our current home. There’s always the question of “out pricing” your home in the current neighborhood if you add on as well. So we’ve kind of let the idea go until now.
My most recent thought and very serious consideration is buying a shed! Now, not your average box shed put up in a few hours type, but a professionally made and delivered model. I’ve had friends who have turned their sheds into home offices, quilting rooms, art studios and a slew of other things, but the idea of turning OUR shed into entertainment space for our boys is a new idea on the block!
Here are some things to ponder when toying with the idea of purchasing the shed versus adding on to your home. In our area, building costs are at least $150/sq foot. An addition to your home is assessed as a permanent structure and thus costs more in property taxes, where as a shed is NOT permanent and is assessed differently (check with your local assessor in your area as well). You will probably need permits either way you go, BUT a shed is generally a much easier proposition. Obviously, your shed can be used for “temporary” type space such as office, game room, quilting room, etc. BUT, there may be strict codes in your town in regards to making it a bedroom for one of your children, so WHAT you need the space for is something to consider.
Now, a call to our local, reputable shed builder revealed the following information. The largest shed I can purchase is 14’ X 48’ (672 square feet of space!). I decided to get the vinyl storage shed as I would have done vinyl siding for an addition as well (and I’m a low maintenance chick to be honest!), and I wanted to compare apples to apples as much as possible.
Now, this model comes with an insulated floor and the supports are 16″ off center so I can put in regular insulation into the walls, too. It would come fully assembled and placed right on my site, either on a cement pad OR blocks (local regulations might have some say in this and would probably be covered in your permit). It also comes with house style windows! The price was $13,300. I would still have to insulate and run wiring in this shed and then finish the walls, BUT when I figured out the cost of a 672 sq/foot addition at $150/sq foot was $100,800.00, I could definitely spend a bit more to hire the electrician and insulate and finish off the interior myself, add a space heater, curtains, hot tub and send myself on a cruise for the roughly $85,000 savings of my shed over the addition!
The builder also confirmed my idea that a shed is definitely taxed differently, regardless of HOW it’s used. It’s NOT a permanent structure (hmmm, could we take our “addition” with us if we moved?). Again, you’d have to check with your town to confirm YOUR tax code, but I suspect it’s about the same everywhere.
So, don’t look at a wood shed as just something for wood or lawnmowers! Think of that shed as a bonus room!