Shed Cluster Concept

I had this simple idea a few years ago. In many communities small sheds do not require building permits. So theoretically someone could build a few sheds to augment their current living space or even serve as their complete living space, if that was allowed in their community. In most communities sheds not considered dwellings, so living in a shed might draw some attention from neighbors and the local planning department. To avoid trouble please be sure to research your local building codes before building a shed cluster.

I’ve drawn four simple 8×12 sheds with a simple roof. This would be a very inexpensive group of structures to build. I’m actually noodling over how one would build this using homemade structural panels. I’ll post the details on that once I work them out.

To make this little group of sheds habitable you’d probably want to build each shed to serve a purpose like a bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, family room, office, studio, etc. Some of your sheds could even serve a combination of functions.

I didn’t draw the interior floor plans because the sky is the limit. You could pretty much build and configure each shed as you see fit. You could also have as many or few shed as you need. In fact over time as your needs changed you could add more sheds or change their functions.

The arrangement of the sheds could also be flexible especially if you built them on trailers. If expensive trailers are not in the budget you could buy one trailer with a tilting flatbed for transportation or rearranging.

Rain water collection would be possible by adding a rain gutter to the low side of the roof and a down-spout that feeds a cistern. If composting toilets were used you may be able to avoid a septic system. Some kind of grey water system would needed to handle drain water disposal.

A shed cluster would probably work best in a temperate climate because you’d spend a lot of time crossing the common space between the sheds. I just can’t imagine how this would work with several feet of snow.

I wanted to share this idea with you because I’ve seen a growing number of discussions and questions online from people looking for affordable housing solutions. A shed cluster always seemed like an easy and low-cost way to provide shelter.


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