"Shed Home"
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  1. #1
    Registered User PoBoy1's Avatar
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    Default "Shed Home"

    Because of where I live and how I live, most of my retirement check is available for discretionary spending. While living in my camper trailer is pretty comfortable, I have been thinking of buying a "shed home." A one bedroom type with full bathroom, full kitchen and living room. Put in lots of cabinets and a couple good size closets. The primary reason for switching to a shed home is solidness of construction....camper trailers are not designed with hurricanes in mind. I believe I could strip the kitchen out of the camper and transfer it to the shed home without too much trouble. Ditto the bathroom. The bedroom would need a bed frame, already have box springs and mattress. Would need a minimal amount of other furniture..table, chairs, sofa, coffee table, end tables, dressers, etc. I'd just move the camper trailer off the slab and mount the shed home on the slab, anchor it down good, and have a very solid little home.

    Anyone have any real life experience with shed homes? Any suggestions, advice?

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    Registered User Precarrious's Avatar
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    I wish I had experience with shed homes. However, a friend of mine from high school and her significant other put two sheds together and made a beautiful home. I say make your plan and go for it. If you do share pictures please.

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    Super Moderator Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    RV furniture isn't usually constructed like furniture in a regular house. Kitchen cabinets for a house are actually boxes with doors and are completely enclosed. RV cabinets are most likely a face frame with very little framing inside where the back wall of the cabinet is the wall of the RV, and not a complete box like real cabinets, plus they're not usually a standard size for height and depth. They may not detach from the walls in the trailer as cleanly as you'd hope, so could be damaged in the removal or reattachment process because they're so flimsy. They're not really made for everyday use either, so won't hold up as well as kitchen cabinets. You may be able to find salvaged cabinets cheap at places like ReStore or by advertising for them. Check out sites like Pinterest for ideas about non-standard cabinets, too.

    Sometimes free standing furniture can be used in place of cabinets. When we cleaned out our garage the first time, we gave away two or three antique hutches that needed some work but mostly needed paint. Check sites like Freecycle for freebies you might be able to use.

    Newer items like unwanted TV cabinets are often cheap or free and would make dandy pantries and/or dish storage. We picked one up free for my mom from the curb and bought several for ourselves a few years ago, all for storage in various places. All but one were $10 to $30 and are in use as a TV cabinet with our flat screen on the top instead of inside, as garden storage with pots and etc, as storage for my AeroGardens and supplies, yarn storage, bead supply storage, and as a linen closet in one of our bathrooms. The linen cabinet cost $125 at a garage sale but was a custom build by a local craftsman from top end materials, so it was a steal at that price. It's also seven feet tall and perfectly fit an odd space. I had been looking for years for something to fit there. The cabinets have all worked out very well. Most needed at least one shelf added in the old space where TVs used to be, and I added backers to all but one, which will get a backer later this year if I get to it. IOW, they need some modification but not much for our purposes. None of them needed painting or refinishing and all are in beautiful condition.

    If you shop secondhand, you can get some great furniture for cheap to help furnish other rooms, too. Lots of times people just want to get rid of stuff because they got something new or they're moving and just want it gone.

    About the bed, I suggest getting rid of the box spring and adding storage underneath instead. It's the same footprint but less wasted space than a regular bed frame. I bought an old waterbed frame years ago because it had large drawers in the base. I store our bedding in the four drawers under our bed, which has worked out well. Before that we stored clothes in the smaller drawers that came with our own waterbed years ago, and kept those drawers till I bought the bigger drawers.

    Putting an RV bathroom in a tiny house would, IMO, present the same problems as the kitchen cabinets. Also, if anything goes wrong with something like an RV toilet, it's a dang fortune to get parts if you even can, and it's not likely a plumber would work on it either. Plus the sinks are usually plastic unless it's a higher end camper, and after a while the sink will stain and become impossible to get clean. I know that from the cheaper sink we have in our house, which will be going on the trash heap sometime in the next month. Again, finding salvaged fixtures (buy faucets new!) that will last many, many years would probably serve you better, even if you have to wait a while to raise the money for better stuff.

    If you have good rummage sales in your area, that will be your best bet, IMO. We picked up a 4' cultured marble sink/counter for our current bathroom project, along with its oak base with six drawers and double doors for $10 at a rummage sale. It needed nothing done as far as finishes. I added a tip-out tray set I got NIB at another sale for $2 and bought a new faucet. For our small bathroom, I bought another cultured marble sink/counter and the vanity for $2. The vanity has some water damage on the toe kick that will be an easy, cheap repair. The cabinet will be painted to match a wall cabinet I got for $2 at the same sale, that I made more shallow fit into that bathroom. Paint is an easy, relatively cheap way to make mismatched furniture match.

    My roundabout point is that bargains can be had, if you know where to look, and even buying used items can get you some nice quality stuff, if you're patient. Being open minded helps a lot, too, as does thinking outside the box. I often end up buying things that suit our needs well, but don't resemble the items I thought we needed when I went on the hunt.

    I second the idea of sharing pics if you decide to go for the shed house. It sounds interesting.

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    Registered User PoBoy1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Deer View Post
    RV furniture isn't usually constructed like furniture in a regular house. Kitchen cabinets for a house are actually boxes with doors and are completely enclosed. RV cabinets are most likely a face frame with very little framing inside where the back wall of the cabinet is the wall of the RV, and not a complete box like real cabinets, plus they're not usually a standard size for height and depth. They may not detach from the walls in the trailer as cleanly as you'd hope, so could be damaged in the removal or reattachment process because they're so flimsy. They're not really made for everyday use either, so won't hold up as well as kitchen cabinets. You may be able to find salvaged cabinets cheap at places like ReStore or by advertising for them. Check out sites like Pinterest for ideas about non-standard cabinets, too.

    Sometimes free standing furniture can be used in place of cabinets. When we cleaned out our garage the first time, we gave away two or three antique hutches that needed some work but mostly needed paint. Check sites like Freecycle for freebies you might be able to use.

    Newer items like unwanted TV cabinets are often cheap or free and would make dandy pantries and/or dish storage. We picked one up free for my mom from the curb and bought several for ourselves a few years ago, all for storage in various places. All but one were $10 to $30 and are in use as a TV cabinet with our flat screen on the top instead of inside, as garden storage with pots and etc, as storage for my AeroGardens and supplies, yarn storage, bead supply storage, and as a linen closet in one of our bathrooms. The linen cabinet cost $125 at a garage sale but was a custom build by a local craftsman from top end materials, so it was a steal at that price. It's also seven feet tall and perfectly fit an odd space. I had been looking for years for something to fit there. The cabinets have all worked out very well. Most needed at least one shelf added in the old space where TVs used to be, and I added backers to all but one, which will get a backer later this year if I get to it. IOW, they need some modification but not much for our purposes. None of them needed painting or refinishing and all are in beautiful condition.

    If you shop secondhand, you can get some great furniture for cheap to help furnish other rooms, too. Lots of times people just want to get rid of stuff because they got something new or they're moving and just want it gone.

    About the bed, I suggest getting rid of the box spring and adding storage underneath instead. It's the same footprint but less wasted space than a regular bed frame. I bought an old waterbed frame years ago because it had large drawers in the base. I store our bedding in the four drawers under our bed, which has worked out well. Before that we stored clothes in the smaller drawers that came with our own waterbed years ago, and kept those drawers till I bought the bigger drawers.

    Putting an RV bathroom in a tiny house would, IMO, present the same problems as the kitchen cabinets. Also, if anything goes wrong with something like an RV toilet, it's a dang fortune to get parts if you even can, and it's not likely a plumber would work on it either. Plus the sinks are usually plastic unless it's a higher end camper, and after a while the sink will stain and become impossible to get clean. I know that from the cheaper sink we have in our house, which will be going on the trash heap sometime in the next month. Again, finding salvaged fixtures (buy faucets new!) that will last many, many years would probably serve you better, even if you have to wait a while to raise the money for better stuff.

    If you have good rummage sales in your area, that will be your best bet, IMO. We picked up a 4' cultured marble sink/counter for our current bathroom project, along with its oak base with six drawers and double doors for $10 at a rummage sale. It needed nothing done as far as finishes. I added a tip-out tray set I got NIB at another sale for $2 and bought a new faucet. For our small bathroom, I bought another cultured marble sink/counter and the vanity for $2. The vanity has some water damage on the toe kick that will be an easy, cheap repair. The cabinet will be painted to match a wall cabinet I got for $2 at the same sale, that I made more shallow fit into that bathroom. Paint is an easy, relatively cheap way to make mismatched furniture match.

    My roundabout point is that bargains can be had, if you know where to look, and even buying used items can get you some nice quality stuff, if you're patient. Being open minded helps a lot, too, as does thinking outside the box. I often end up buying things that suit our needs well, but don't resemble the items I thought we needed when I went on the hunt.

    I second the idea of sharing pics if you decide to go for the shed house. It sounds interesting.
    Good advice....thanks! I am a survivalist/prepper type, and OPSEC says no photos of anything. Sorry. There are many shed home videos on Youtube, however. Mine will be small, one bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom. I'm not a fan of large homes...there is only "me," and the dogs, of course, but they have their own homes outside!

  6. #5
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    Using Spirit Deer's suggestions, you could live in your trailer while constructing the home, which allows time to find the bargains you need. Then you could sell the trailer; would be easier to sell with all the fixtures/cabinets, etc. intact.
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