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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shed home

This past weekend, our family went to one of those large greenhouse and shrubbery places and looked at pumpkins and such. But what really got our attention were those neglected big sheds for sale for several thousand dollars each. Somehow, my influence over my kids about tiny houses has filtered down and they realized they would like to have their own sheds to live in. This sounds like a set up for some Series of Unfortunate Events book, where the cruel parent builds small prisons for the children. But that is not the case. I think it inspiration.

My son even drew up a site plan for the new Umland compound which resembled the camp my daughter went to this summer. A semi-circle of sheds with a dining room/shower house/school room at the center of the arc. The parents either end up with their own shed or live in the conference center, perhaps in a loft over the communal part. The sheds only get electricity, but no running water, which complicates things both with zoning and with skills beyond my capability.

I can imagine a couple acres with a tiny house on it and buying it cheaply, then dropping a couple sheds in around the house and the need for home expansion to accommodate 5 people goes away. The bedrooms are huge, just not attached. For midnight urges and cravings, a modern chamberpot could be made available in each shed for the urges, and a water cooler and dorm fridge for the cravings. The rooms could fit a bed by using a hammock instead, which folds up when not in use. Security could be achieved by each shed having their own large dog, who would consider the shed their own doghouses. On those occasional big storm threats, everyone could join the slumber party in the school house/dining hall/shower house. According to the article below, many great geniuses did their work in sheds. Garden sheds are such popular places to hang out in the UK that their is industry to supply the demand, see the blog Shedworking.

But how would I keep the kids warm in the winter and cool in the summer? Blankets. No, that is too much like abuse. But if the sheds were spray insulated with polyurethane foam, the possibilities open up. Polyurethane gets me thinking about SIPs, and if using those, then kit assembly should be quick and easy. Then I thought about taking them off the grid, and including solar panels and battery assemblies with each shed. With iPods and iPads, they wouldn't need to plug in that much. If someone wanted to start a tin garbage can drum corps, the noise needn't bother anyone else in the house, because, the practice room isn't attached to anyone else's room. If someone wants to keep reptiles or rodents as pets, an escape won't threaten the rest of the household.

I really need comments from those who know about such things, why this fantasy is not good.

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1 comment:

renaissanceronin said...

Housing "clusters" instead of buildings. Dedicated tasks for each small structure. Each space easily controllable and even (gasp!) capable of being multi-tasked...

I know this "heretical pariah" in Montana preaching the same thing.

Problem is that those who profess to "knowing better" (while never actually having tried to accomplish it or anything remotely similar) continue to claim that it's not possible.

I think it is. In fact, I know it is. Because... um...er... well... I've done it. Several times.

Hold on to your fantasy long enough, it becomes a dream. Take steps and that dream becomes reality.