A few years ago, if someone suggested that sheds can be places where you can live, people would’ve laughed and thought that whoever did try to live in a shed must be crazy or has some fairy-tale fixation. But the thing is, you really can convert sheds into homes these days and what’s more, you can actually rent it out for extra income so you can pay the mortgage and the bills. All it takes is a little design ingenuity and a lot of hard work.

Due to the housing shortage and iffy economy, homeowners have been finding ways and means to cope with the rising cost of living and building or converting sheds to serve as secondary dwellings or additional rooms became the best solution. If you already have a shed but don’t have any idea what to do with it after it has ceased to become a place of storage, then maybe renting it out to those who need a place to stay may be the answer.

If you decide to go down this route, then there are certain things you need to do first. The first one is to make sure that the place is large enough to inhabit. A shed that measures at least seventy square feet should be enough as anything smaller may feel too cramped. To make it feel more homey, consider adding a porch, window boxes and landscaping.

If your shed already has plumbing and electricity well and good but if not, you may have to apply for utilities connection with your local utilities company. While you check for connections, make sure as well that there are no leaks, holes or cracks. Add roofing and shingles and check the foundation carefully to see if there are moisture problems or loose soil.

Make sure that the dwelling is well-insulated. Use recycled materials like old denim and hemp to insulate the shed, seal all cracks and openings so it can be properly cooled or heated. Install drywall and paint the walls according to your preferences. Again, if unsure, consult a home improvement expert or professional.

Next, plan the layout of the furniture and appliances, as well as how to separate the living room from the kitchen, the bedroom and the bathroom. When buying or adding furniture to your shed homes, make sure you get the smaller models since space is going to be a main concern. Instead of a regular bed, you can opt for a sofa bed, tables can double as desks while an ottoman can serve as a foot rest, dining table and hidden storage. You can also install wall sconces instead of buying a lamp to further maximize the space.

And last but not the least, make sure you decorate the outside of your sheds beautifully so that you can easily score a tenant and increase the resale value of your home. Nothing appeals more to potential tenants than renting a place that not only looks cool on the outside but also on the inside. Also, since shed homes offer more privacy, you won’t have a hard time renting out that garden shed you’ve had since you were little because privacy is always a good thing.

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