10 Reasons to Live in a Shed - Shed to House
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10 Reasons to Live in a Shed

That is right.  I am converting a shed to a house!I am moving my FAMILY OF 5 into a shed… to live in.  In the central Texas country.  On raw land.  No water or electric yet.  In a town that has the same population of our church!!Am I nuts?!?  Do you think I can convert a shed into a house?!There are reasons why I’m putting my family in a home that gives us 160 sqft of living space.  But… I know that this is the best option for us. And I’m willing to ruffle feathers and swim upstream towards this insane idea.Top Ten anyone??

#1. My wife approves of it!

She is so excited about this idea that she is even telling people!  Which is something that even I am not really doing.  I at least want to get some progress moving before we begin “putting our signs on”.  Maybe I am a stupid redneck?  I doubt it, but I do like this bit…

#2. It’s not really a “Shed”.

Now when I say we are converting a shed to a house… I guess I need to let out the suspense a little, and say that we aren’t actually buying a shed from Lowe’s.  Now that is a cool idea and I think we’ll be doing that for our “guest house cottage”.  But not for this first one that we live in full time.We will be buying is a Derksen portable building.  It is made by Mennonite Craftsmen builders and the walls will be 16in centers.  A lot of the big box stores sell sheds that are on 20-24in centers.  It’ll be a shell of a building that is probably going to be 16×50 with a barn style metal roof, so we can have two lofts for the kiddos.Here is some images to see what this idea could actually look like!And then here is a link to the Derksen Portable Building company.This would put us at 800 sqft not including the lofts.  SEE!  I am not that crazy, am I?  800 sqft is PLENTY of room for 5 people that are used to living in 2000 sqft, fight?  Oh, I meant to say, “RIGHT?”  lol!   I actually had a typo two times in a row with it saying “fight” instead of “right”. Maybe it is foreshadowing!  ha ha.  🙂

#3. These Sheds are affordable.

Well when I say affordable, I guess I am referring to the entry price of the shell that will be dropped on our land. I believe that the price of what we will be going with is around $17,000 for them to delivery to our Texas Homestead.

So for roughly $17k we get:

  • 4 walls
  • barn style roof
  • Lofts built (I think, I need to double check this)
  • A PLYWOOD FLOOR! Ha ha ha
  • Limited number of windows which we may or may not upgrade
  • A door, which Kelly 100% is wanting to upgrade to a sliding or French doors.  She wants LOTS OF LIGHT.

But that’s it.  When you are converting a shed to a house, any of these Derksen resellers will gladly finish out your Tiny House Shed.

But we are contemplating doing the work for ourselves of:

  • Electric (my good friend is a licensed electrician and has offered to help)
  • Basic Plumping
  • Insulation.  This is a BIG ONE! Please leave your comments on what you know about Spray Foam Insulation.  Does it off gas after its dried?  This would be our top choice if its healthy.  Again, I’m fully aware that I “got my sign on!”

We certainly will be saving money by doing the work of:

  • framing the bedrooms
  • Sheetrock (or tongue and groove siding)
  • Flooring
  • Custom Kitchen cabinets
  • Fixtures and appliances
  • Shower and toilet(s)
  • And I’m sure I am missing a lot more

Now this is not going to be cheap by any means.  The beautiful bride does frugal well…but does NOT do cheap well.  The good thing is it’ll look FANTASTIC once complete!

#4. 800 sqft isn’t as small when its on 7.5acres

This is the point of this!  We have 3 kids that have lived their entire lives in the horrors of suburbia (blog post coming soon) where they can’t go outside in the backyard for 5 months out of the year due to mosquitoes. And 1 extra month because yes it does actually get cold here in Texas.  The dream is for our children to be homeschooled on compost, building construction, and BB guns.  Oh how sweet it will be!!  7.5 acres…man 1-2 acres is a ton of space for kids to run and jump and explore when compared to the typical less than 1/8 acre suburban lot.  Then you have families like us that are on a fast main street and that lot gets even smaller.  So we will live our lives outside.  And sleep inside!

#5.  This is a HOMESCHOOL PROJECT ON STEROIDS!!

Our family is going to have to do a lot of work on the Tiny House Shed, plus in Texas its gonna be HOT!  Which is great because we homeschool our kids and there is so much to learn through this process.  A few of the lessons that we will be able to teach (and learn ourselves) are:

  • Setting a goal and accomplishing it.
  • Drawing to scale.
  • Building a model home out of styrofoam. ( future blog & Vlog post coming soon)
  • Math.  Yes construction takes a lot of math.
  • Construction skills.
  • Story telling.  I am a video producer by trade, so story telling is a big teaching tool for me.  If any of my kids want to learn how to tell a story through the lens then I am excited to teach them!  I see my big boy running the camera for our vlogs in 1 year flat.
  • Time at the land!
  • Problem solving
  • Team Work
  • And so much more.

#6.  We can move the Tiny House Shed if needed.

There have been several ideas for a “house” on our property.  Ironically, a typical house was never one of them.  The top one we thought would be first was actually a Barndominium.  The ability to have a large metal structure on the site was an amazing idea.  And we still love it, but the initial cost seems too steep ($60,000 for the shell).  A family could store an RV or have a full scale work shop.  But the main reason that we have moved away from this idea is the long term cost.  I have learned that we will NEVER get our money back on the structure.  So let’s say we buy the shell, lay the slab, and install the metal barn…Maybe it comes out to $130-$160k by the end of the day??  I am not an expert at this so don’t bash me for the numbers please.  Anyway we would probably only raise the value of the property by 80% of what we paid for the Barndominium.  PLUS!  Wherever we put the structure, it is gonna stay there forever.  Scary thing to put a house in the wrong place.With converting a shed to a tiny house, it still is fairly mobile.  Yes we’d have to hire someone to move it off of the property.  But its possible.  Also we highly believe in Permacultureso one of the top rules is to only use mobile structures until you fully understand your land.  You don’t want to place your home site in the best location for your garden or pond. By going with a Shed on cinder blocks/beams we have the option to move it someday.  Or take it with us to another property if we wish!In Part 3 we will wrap up this Converting a Shed series with…

  • Is there such a thing as a “Forever Home”?
  • Why the idea of a Tiny House on wheels is pretty dumb.
  • Mortgage freedom is the aim!!!
  • And my own personal desire for being a man during this process.

#7. Our Forever Home??

Our 7.5acre property is not our “Forever Home” (future blog post).  I have always dreamed about that “forever home”.  That retirement-utopia of bliss where I sit out on the front porch behind bushes and watch my neighborhood…but my neighborhood can’t see me.  That home that you build exactly how you want it.  With space for your kids to come back to.  That equity doesn’t matter because you’ll never sell it.  Your home.  Forever.That doesn’t exist.  It shouldn’t.  Being with Christ is our “FOREVER HOME”.   My great friend Wayne Kerr wrote a tune called “This is Not My Home”.  Check the video out…but also go to his site and check him out on itunes!
http://www.waynekerrmusic.com/

#8.  A Tiny House on wheels is not for us.

  • Too small for our family
  • Meant to travel with
  • But can’t travel more than 2-3 times a year or it’ll start breaking
  • We own our land
  • We might build one of these next

Tiny houses on wheels are super cool!  But they are a fad.  And now some tiny houses are costing $150,000 for 150 sq ft!!!

This is insane!!  That is $1000/sq ft!

And actually it is flat out STUPID for anyone to spend money on something like that.  I don’t care how cool it looks.  With us converting a shed into a tiny house we are aiming at being under $60/sq ft.  And by doing some of the work ourselves it should be even lower.

#9.  The aim is to be debt free…including a mortgage.

We can’t wait to tell our story of becoming debt free (besides our current mortgage).  I am a big Dave Ramsey fan.  His 7 Baby Steps are what helped us get out of debt in 2010.  Then we had our first boy.  Then we had our 2nd and 3rd.  Then we bought a house.  Then we bought land!  So we owe on real estate…but not for long. I’m not going to owe anything to anyone.  EVER AGAIN.

#10.  Beau wants the experience of building a house.

  • I am not skilled enough yet, so starting with a shell and converting a shed into a tiny house is easier.
  • I want to build something.  Heck!  I own a Ryobi Cordless Tool Kit, I can build a house with that, right?!   JUST KIDDING Y’ALL!
  • I want to share this journey online!
  • By getting this first one under our built we will be able to build more small buildings on our property, have an Air BNB income stream, and not to mention the ability for a passive income stream online as well.

You guys thank you for following us on this adventure of ours.   There is so much more to come as we continue to work hard to get our suburban home in order to sell and then by the end of this year we plan on being ON OUR HOMESTEAD!!!

Date

March 8, 2016