My Best 7 Live In Shed Models For Cozy and Sustainable Living

living large in small spaces by lisette young
Photo by Maria Orlova on

“The perfect antidote to dark, cold and creepy is light, warm and cozy.”

Candace Olson

The live in shed has gained popularity in recent years as an affordable and sustainable housing option. With the real estate market being what it is now, homes and apartments are scarce so these compact structures offer a unique opportunity to embrace a simpler lifestyle while reducing environmental impact and being able to own outright your living space! In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of living in sheds and provide practical tips on how to set them up for comfortable living, including power and water solutions.

A live-in shed, also known as a shed home or shed conversion, refers to a shed that has been transformed or modified into a habitable living space. Originally designed for storage purposes or as a workspace, sheds are repurposed to serve as small, self-contained homes or tiny houses. While living in a shed requires some adaptation to a smaller space, it can be a fulfilling and cost-effective alternative for those seeking simplicity, affordability, and sustainable living.

As a bonus, I created a design mood board for my dream live-in shed. Click here to view it now.

What is a Live In Shed?

Live-in sheds are becoming increasingly popular among individuals looking for cost-effective and sustainable living alternatives. These sheds are typically small in size, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand square feet. The compact layout is designed to include essential living areas such as a bedroom, living room, kitchenette, and bathroom. It may not offer as much space as traditional homes, but more and more people are choosing shed homes because of their affordability, simplicity, and sustainability.

Benefits of a Live In Shed

One of the primary advantages of live-in sheds is that they are incredibly affordable. They are significantly cheaper than traditional homes, and the cost of upkeep is also minimal. This makes it an attractive option for those who are just starting out, those who are looking to downsize, or for those who may not have the means to purchase a traditional home. The simplicity of a live-in shed is another significant advantage. The compact layout forces you to be mindful of what you need and what you don’t. This often results in a more minimalist lifestyle, which can be incredibly freeing. The reduced living space also requires less energy to heat or cool, resulting in lower utility bills. These homes are often built using eco-friendly materials, which are better for the environment. They also require less energy to maintain and are more energy-efficient overall. Win, win, win!

Live In Shed Construction Considerations

Now, the process of converting a shed into a liveable space involves making necessary modifications to ensure comfort, functionality and structural soundness. This requires planning and I would advise this portion of set up to be conducted by a General Contractor or handyman that has experience in building these out.  This may include:

  • Insulation: Insulating the walls, roof, and floor for better temperature control
  • Daylighting: Installing windows for natural light and ventilation
  • Water/Electric: Power and water (plumbing) connections
  • Foundation: Pouring concrete for your foundation (sub-floor)

Permits For Live In Sheds?

There are several other building permits that may be required when constructing a live in shed. Once a shed becomes a habitable space, the city wants to make sure it is safe to inhabit. The specific permits needed can vary depending on your location and the scope of your project. Remember, depending on where you are will determine what will be needed. Here are some common permits that you might need to consider:

  • Zoning and Land Use Permits: Before starting a live in shed project, you’ll need to ensure that it complies with local zoning regulations and land use requirements. This may involve obtaining a zoning permit or variance, which verifies that the live in shed is allowed in your specific location and meets the size and placement guidelines.
  • Building Permit: A general building permit is typically required for constructing or renovating any structure, including a live in shed. This permit ensures that the construction meets building codes, safety standards, and structural requirements. It usually involves submitting architectural plans, engineering details, and construction specifications.
  • Electrical Permit: If your live in involves electrical work, such as installing new wiring, outlets, or electrical panels, an electrical permit may be necessary. This permit ensures that the electrical installations are done safely and comply with electrical codes. It may require a licensed electrician to perform the work.
  • Mechanical Permit: If your live in shed includes heating, ventilation, or air conditioning (HVAC) systems, you may need a mechanical permit. This permit verifies that the HVAC installations are in compliance with safety and efficiency standards.
  • Fire Safety Permits: Depending on the size and configuration of your live in shed, you may need fire safety permits. This can include permits for smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire sprinklers, or other fire suppression systems. These permits help ensure the safety of occupants in case of a fire emergency.
  • Accessory Structure Permit: Some areas have specific permits for accessory structures like a live in shed. These permits focus on the requirements and regulations specific to these dwellings and may cover various aspects of construction, such as setbacks, height restrictions, parking, and landscaping.

Remember, permit requirements can vary significantly depending on your local jurisdiction, so it’s crucial to consult with your local building department or permit office. They can provide you with the specific information and application forms you’ll need to comply with all the necessary permits for your live in shed project.

Best 7 Live In Shed Picks:

The following are examples of live in shed homes that have properties and features that have my seal of approval for comfort, practicality and aesthetics: 

live in shed
1. Peak Model XL by Modern Sheds

A classic live in shed with a midcentury vibe. I chose this model and company because of the modern design and customization featuring robust professional architectural exterior finishes and ease of collaborating with a designer. This company also takes care of the installation, however, interior finishes are not included in their service.

live in shed
2. Vermont Cottage “C” by Jamaica Cottage Shop

Get ready to fall in love with this delightful live in shed! I can only imagine how fun this could be to dress up and paint! It’s got all the space you need, both inside and out, to create your dream sanctuary. Step inside and be greeted by an open floor plan that’s perfect for all your creative ideas and versatile living. The tall ceilings give the space an airy feel, while the loft adds an extra touch of charm. And let’s not forget about the porch! A cozy spot to relax and soak in the beauty of nature..

3. Dollhouse by Jamaica Cottage Shop

This adorable cottagey live in shed doesnt just look like a dollhouse – it’s a versatile space that can be transformed into a garden shed, a playhouse for the little ones, or even a cozy tiny house for yourself.
One of the standout features of this cottage is the dramatic dormer above the door. It adds a touch of sophistication and gives the Dollhouse a unique character. And here’s the exciting part: you have the freedom to customize the roof to suit your style! Whether you go for sleek asphalt shingles or rustic cedar shakes, the choice is yours!

4. Premier Pro Ranch by Tuff Shed

This traditional live in shed is from a tried and true, classic brand: Tuff Shed. The following are the features:
Ranch Style 5/12 Roof Pitch & Dimensional Shingles
6′ 8″ Clear Interior Sidewall Height
LP SilverTech Radiant Barrier Siding & 2×4 Wall Studs Spaced 16″ On Center
6′ 2″ Tall Shed Door Place on Any Wall
6″ Boxed Eaves on All Walls

5. Summit 364 by Studio Shed

Features include:
Lap style siding • Studio style ADU
Lifestyle+ interior included • Shipping included
Express permit plan set available for CA installation on a slab included
Foundation, utilities and permit excluded
ProAssembly available in CA (+$65,672)

live in shed
6. Premier Workshop Shed by Sheds Unlimited

Experience the timeless allure of a Cape Cod style live in shed. With its charming architecture, this live in shed seamlessly blends beauty, function, and comfort. This live in shed design embodies the perfect balance between classic elegance and modern convenience, providing a tranquil retreat that you’ll love coming home to.
Unimited Sheds offer a multitude of options that include:
Double Doors
Transom Windows
Clapboard Siding
Vinyl Siding

7. The Arlington by Best Barns/Home Depot

The Arlington by Best Barns offers a spacious interior and large loft area that could be used as a bedroom or extra storage. 2 (two) Dormers and a gable window with sunburst provide additional light and ventilation. The first floor, with it’s high side walls, has plenty of room to add shelving . Included are double pocket doors, 1 (one) 32 in. x 80 in. 9 lite walk-in door, 2 (two) 18 in. x 36 in. windows with vinyl shutters, 1 (one) gable window 1with sunburst and 2 (two) dormers with windows.

Traditional Modern Luxury Live In Shed Moodboard

As promised, here is the moodboard I created for a beautiful and comfortable live in shed.  This is a shoppable board with designer only products however, because of the networks I’ve built these items can be purchased through my site exclusively should you wish to buy direct! Enjoy! 

Thank you!

If traditional homes are becoming unaffordable due to scarcity or you want to reduce your carbon footprint and simplify your life, consider this alternative. It could result in living your best life for years to come! I hope this post has inspired you and given you the infomation needed to decide. If you need any more ideas for designing your live in shed, perhaps a bathroom or how to hang the curtains in it? Feel free to peruse previous blog posts or sign up for my newsletter so you receive these informative articles automatically!

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