Creative Backyard Shed Ideas—Doghouses, Cabins & More
by Dakota Storage Buildings, on December 12, 2017
Backyard shed ideas range from traditional to creative uses.
While sheds are traditionally used for storage—a great solution for keeping things organized, easily accessible, safe, and out of sight—there so many other uses, many of which you may have never considered. Here are three uses to explore.
1. Backyard Shed Idea: Doghouse
If you’re planning to buy a dog for your family, want to create an outdoor living space for your pet, or just need to get down-and-dirty with a hands-on project, consider converting a backyard shed into a dog house.
We have a wide range of Ranch style sheds for the perfect dog house idea. Choose internal spray foam insulation, place a fence around the shed, add a doggie door—and you have the ideal palace for your pup.
While dogs need companionship and human interaction to thrive, having private quarters outside could be a great thing for both your dog and your family. As you think about outdoor arrangements for your pooch, here are some important things to consider.
- Dog’s Breed. Before buying a shed or turning your current shed into a doghouse, learn about your dog’s breed and how it can handle extreme weather. While some dogs can live primarily outside all year round, some can only live outside seasonally. While it makes sense that large, heavy-coated breeds would thrive outdoors and smaller, short-haired dogs and puppies would not, it’s best to find out about your specific breed. Talking with the breeder or a recommended vet should do the trick and give you an idea for if one of our sheds would be an ideal dog house idea.
- Size and Set Up. While doghouses can be as elaborate as desired, they do not require the use of a whole shed. Dogs need a gated outside space, a small “dog door” connecting the outside and inside areas, and an inside living portion - all of which should be proportionate to the dog’s size. The unused area of your shed can be used to store dog food, pet supplies, and anything else that is not hazardous or dangerous to your pet. Remember, dogs are den animals. That means they need a private sanctuary that is just large enough for them to fit inside and feel secure. Make sure that your dog’s inside living area includes a crate-sized place for them to retreat.
- Climate Control. As long as the doghouse is elevated off the ground and properly insulated, your dog should be comfortable (cool in the summer and warm in the winter). Use of fabric blankets or cloth dog beds is not recommended. If they get wet, there is a possibility that they can freeze. Using straw (not hay) as bedding is the best option. Straw is great for warmth, but it also makes great bedding.
- Doghouse Essentials. Make sure your doghouse has all the essentials: food/water, bedding, and toys. Make sure there is plenty of food, a source of water that will not freeze, and a warm area for sleeping. As mentioned earlier, do not use fabric-based bedding as it could grow mold or freeze if wet. Make sure there is a variety of chew toys in the doghouse so that your dog’s urges to chew are satisfied.
Pinterest has a ton of great tips for creating the ideal doghouse. While a shed can be converted into the great pet homes, there are many clever ideas for both outside and inside of your home.
2. Backyard Shed Idea: Backyard Cabin or Cabin Shed
You've heard of the tiny house movement, right? It has some perks. For instance, the cost is cheaper than that of a traditional house, RV, or cabin. Check out what one of our customers did to create his own backyard cabin. He added a backyard deck and beautiful wood flooring.
Pretty cool, isn't it? Not only is this a creative shed idea (love the cabin shed!), but it costs less than a mortgage!
Here are a few more garage-turned-tiny-house examples. Whatever the style, there's a world of possibilities when designing a backyard cabin!
3. Backyard Shed Idea: Home Office
If you need an at-home office, don't add a pricey addition to your home, instead convert a shed into an office! It's affordable and practical. If you own your home and you have usable land, this solution is ideal.
An office shed should be tall enough to stand up in comfortably and large enough for office furniture essentials. Giving yourself some space to move around will make the shed feel like a legitimate office. Our High Barn style sheds are perfect.Whether you're ordering a shed or converting one you already have, below are broad-stroke conversion steps.
- Clean & Prep. Before the process can begin, your shed must be properly prepared. Meaning, if you own one, clean it out from top to bottom. Think spring cleaning. If you're buying a shed, make sure your foundation is ready for either delivery or on-site construction.
- Power & Infrastructure. Once your structure is in place and clean, run power lines to the building for electricity and connectivity. You will need electrical outlets, WIFI, and potentially, phone and cable lines for an efficient office.When that's done, it's time to insulate the walls, hang drywall, and paint. If you order from us, you can ask about our spray foam insulation option. You're nearing home stretch! Finish the look by choosing flooring. A laminate option would be sensible since it's durable and resilient. Or you can get one of our buildings with LP ProStruct flooring.
- Workspace. Now comes the fun part. The move! Bring in your desk, chair, computer, dry erase board, phone, filing cabinets, and everything else that makes your work life better and more efficient. If you need something new or need to replace an item, now is the time. If you're buying a shed with us, consider ordering a built-in workbench that easily doubles as a space-saving office desk.
- Comfortability. If you plan to work in your office all year long, consider a portable air conditioner or a fan or two for the summer and a space heater for the winter. If you would prefer to have central heating and air in your building, this should be installed by a professional before drywall or wallboard goes up.
- Personalization. Now the finishing touches. Add blinds or curtains to the windows, hang pictures or photographs, choose a colorful rug, and create the ambiance you desire. It's these little details that will make your office feel personal.
Explore Pinterest to see more creative backyard home office ideas.
Note: Every county’s building codes are different, so please contact your local authority before buying a storage building for any purpose. Small structures in Minnesota are regulated by the Minnesota State Building Code. The Minnesota State Building Code is the standard of construction that applies statewide for the construction of buildings (MS § 326B.121) including tiny houses.
More Creative Backyard Shed Ideas
We have thoughts on creative shed uses including using sheds as a pool house, She Shed, Man Cave, golf Shed, and more. Read our post, 20+ Uses That Will Change the Way You Think About Storage Buildings, to uncover many creatives uses.
It’s our mission to make high-quality buildings and to offer service that exceeds expectations. Learn more by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Or you can do it the old-fashioned way by exploring our sheds in person at one of our Minnesota or South Dakota display lots.
If you need a little guidance as you shop for the ideal shed or garage for your creative use, be sure to download our free Ultimate Storage Building Buying Guide.