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Transforming an Ordinary Garden Shed into a Comfy Guest House

Posted on Jun 8, 2016

Transforming garden sheds into liveable places is all the rage in 2016. Man caves, she sheds, home offices, backyard pubs, art studios and guest houses are all the examples of storage shed make-overs around the globe. If you are in a dire need of an additional room, a place where your guests can relax, this guide to turning an ordinary garden shed into a comfy guest house is just for you.

Do I Need a Council Approval?

Sheds are a type of class10 buildings, for which you do not need a development approval if they comply with the basic rules set out in the 2008 Planning and Development Regulation. For instance, if you would like to be exempt from the development approval, here are some rules you need to follow. Your shed needs to be enclosed by walls, or to have walls on every side of the shed except one, as well as to have a roof. In addition, the maximum height of the structure should be up to 4m, but when it comes to the boundary, it shouldn’t exceed 3m. The shed needs to have a plan area of no more than 10 m2.

You do not need a building approval if the shed conforms to the provisions set out in the 2008 Building (General) Regulation, Schedule 1. The basic building regulations for a garden shed include the maximum height of 3 m above ground, a floor level not more than 1 m above ground, the unsupported span of the frame under 4 m and a roof plan area not larger than 25 m2. For more information on both development and building approvals, visit the website of the Planning and Land Authority.

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Insulating a Shed

The first option is a combination of an air barrier and siding. First, you need to install the air barrier (the sheets of treated plastic) and then to place wood, metal or vinyl siding. The second option is fiberglass and it is usually installed on the interior walls of the shed. Apart from being a good thermal insulator, fiberglass can protect the shed from humidity. As far as the roof is concerned, you can add shingles if you have a bare roof. The roof insulation includes placing wood on the inside, or a vapour barrier and an air barrier one on top of the other.

The Basics

The next thing you need to do is wire the shed for electricity. You can do it yourself, if you have enough experience for the job. Install enough electrical outlets and make sure your guests can use Wi-Fi in the shed. You will also need a residential air conditioning unit for the summer. To ensure your guests are comfortable during winter, consider a portable electric heater. When it comes to furniture, you will need a bed, a table and chairs. Even if you do not want a kitchenette in the shed, your guests will appreciate a refrigerator.

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Additional Utilities

If the shed is large enough to store a kitchenette and a bathroom, you need a plumbing system and a septic tank. Install plumbing pipes prior the insulation. You can connect the plumbing system in the shed to your home’s plumbing system, or you can opt for an off-grid system. A pre-fabricated toilet for motor homes is a good choice for small sheds. Eventually, you can also considerably increase its storage capacity.

Personalizing your guest house is the best part of a shed make-over. Lamps, artwork, plants and a TV will make your guests feel welcome. The only thing left to do is invite your guests and enjoy your work.

About Lillian Connors

If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She’s also deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book and sip on an occasional appletini.

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