1. Choose your material
First and foremost, consider what material is best. With plastic, steel and timber options available, it all comes down to the pros and cons.
- Low maintenance
- No rot
- Ages with time
- Lasts a long time
- Prone to rot
- Low cost
- No rot
2. Figure out your dimensions
Take the guesswork out of ordering and get your site measurements down pat. Think about what you'll be using the space for – you don't want to end up cramming.
Hot tip: list everything you want to fit in there, don't underestimate the power of extra storage!
3. Select your site
If you can, avoid building near an existing tree, or under overhanging flowers or plants, which can create extra mess or damage for you to deal with. Level the area out well and ensure the site will be accessible from all sides for repairs and maintenance. Choose somewhere with natural shade (or you'll feel like you're working inside an oven!) that has access to electricity.
4. Check local council guides
Don't let yourself get hit with a fine of up to $30,000! Building restrictions vary throughout Australia, so be sure to double and triple check your local guidelines.
5. Go custom!
It's your shed, so don't be afraid to personalise – if you're converting an existing shed this is where you can really shine. Add extra windows, a roof pitch, cladding doors, interior shelving or cabinetry and a lick of paint to make the space your own (be sure to waterproof too). A well-maintained shed will also add value if you ever sell your property in the future!
The function of your shed is totally up to you. Queensland mum, Sally Wood, used her shed to create a mini disco room, complete with smoke machine, disco ball, LED disco lights and mixing decks. "We built it so we could feel like we were 'out' out during COVID, without having to go out,” says the mum of one.
On the other hand, Manly mum Caroline Mossy uses her she shed as a sanctuary. “My husband and children are all working and school from home, so it’s chaos in the house. It got to the point where I couldn’t even stand to hear their footsteps,” she laughs. “My shed is my sanctuary, and a family-free zone, where I can exercise, meditate and actually catch my breath.”
6. Furnish and decorate
Whether you're using your new she shed for creativity, potting, floristry, exercise, work, or simply to kick back with a good book, you'll want it to be a space you like spending time in. Think about your needs here – will you need shelving for books and stationary? A comfy occasional chair? A lamp or pendant lighting? A rug to warm the space?
Brisbane-based Lesa Lambert uses hers as a hobby hut slash bedroom slash relaxation zone. “I do a bit of reading in the shed, light candles and crack a bottle of wine when my friends come round.”
Once you've decided on your main furniture pieces, bring in extra objects like prints and photos – go as minimal or as decked out as you'd like!
All that's left to do is clean, maintain and enjoy your extra space!