These Prefab Sheds Could Be the Answer to Work-From-Home Problems During the Pandemic

Robin Zlotnick - Author

Aug. 26 2020, Updated 3:30 p.m. ET

So many people suddenly had to transition to working from home when the pandemic hit the United States. But unless you were a veteran work-fom-homer (worker-from-home?), it probably wasn't a smooth switch. Working from your couch or your bed or your kitchen is a completely different experience from commuting to a shared office every day. 

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Some people are solving their distraction-filled work-from-home situation by shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for prefab home offices. The Boulder, Colorado-based company Studio Shed builds small studio offices that sit in your yard and provide you with that much-needed oasis from your busy, buzzing house.

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Studio Shed co-founder Mike Koenig told Yahoo Finance that because of the pandemic, sales have increased "14-fold over what his company saw last year." People are desperate for a reprieve from their houses, especially when they have to get work done. 

Koenig said, "Recently, we have seen a massive surge in the 80- to 120-square feet option, which is a perfect office size or home gym or kid's study area. We were already seeing some very good growth having started in 2008 just seeing these shifts in the way people work and wanting to spend more time at home and maybe not commute, but starting in March it's just been growing significantly."

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Hey, if you have the funds and you need the extra space, why not build yourself your very own private studio office? Or a schoolroom for your kids, who are now attending school virtually from home? 

Studio Shed has usually done good business in the western states, but now, the east coast is experiencing a huge spike in sales too. Koenig said, "As soon as March and April hit we definitely saw that eastern part of the country grow. That market is up a couple hundred percent over the last year." 

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If you are thinking about adding a Studio Shed to your home, though, there are some things to keep in mind. First, you have to see if you need a permit to add a dwelling space to your property. 

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It all depends on your state, your town, and your neighborhood. In a lot of places, you don't need a permit to add a building under 200 square feet, but you should definitely check to make sure that's the case before you commit to anything. 

You should also consider whether your neighborhood has HOA restrictions and what kind of financing you qualify for. "A quick call to your local building department can usually answer these questions, and a little bit of planning can save a lot of time down the road," Studio Shed co-founder Jeremy Nova told Apartment Therapy.

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Prices for studio sheds vary, starting at about $10,000 and going up to about $30,000. Some of the simpler, smaller models can be installed in as little as one week's time.

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Not everyone has the room or funds to add something like a Studio Shed to their property, but if you anticipate working from home for the long run and don't want to go through super costly renovations to your existing home, it could be a great option. 

We have no idea how long this pandemic will continue to affect our lives, and either way, it's nice to have a place that is quiet and separate that you can call your own. Head to the Studio Shed website to design and price out your very own home office.

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