May 30, 2023

3 Best Garden Houses

Posted on March 22, 2010 by in design

Everybody needs space – to work, to think, to read, to play, to entertain, to sleep, to relax, to live. Do you want to turn your old garage or shed space into a separate home office in the back yard? We looked at all of the small external spaces that we could find and then we picked the three best designs for you to consider.

Design #1

Design originated from a centuries old Japanese layout and proportioning system (Kiwari)

TimberHus Hut – Made the top three because of the sleek Asian aesthetic and the superb attention to details. TimberHus does many large building and full size house log cabins, but this beautiful hut is exquisite.

The entire structure is pre-cut at TimberHus, packaged to ensure safe delivery, and shipped directly to your site. However, they can also provide assembly service or help you manage a local crew. Starting at 10k-12k for just for a wood frame without any finishing work and without any of the tempting options.

First, Timberhas will work with you to develop a floor plan, making use of your input about views (photos are a big help), access, windows and doors. These huts come in 54, 80 or 126 square feet designs.

Some of the options include gas or electric heater, gutter with chain downspout, tatamin mats or pre-finished bamboo floors, and hand crafted shoji screens.

Design #2

Modern Cabana is simple and looks great.

ModernCabana – Modern Cabana made the list because it’s ultra slick modern styling makes it as least as hip as a Verner Panton red cone chair.

ModernCabana come in all sizes and start at ~20k fully configured. They ship prefabricated panels, which dramatically expedites the installation process. These Cabanas can be set up in a few days. Although some homeowners choose to install their Cabana on their own by following the construction manual, a Modern Cabana team can help you manage the process. These Cabanas rest on concrete piers like a deck, they eliminate the need for pouring a slab foundation.

These units come standard in 10×12, 10×16, 12×20 or 12×25 with kitchen and bath. The options include extra roof and wall insulation, wood french doors, and extra side windows. They even have small matching units for children’s club house and a sleek hip dog house.

Design #3

Available in sizes 8’x8’-10’x16’ the beautiful Garden Chalet can be used as a playhouse or a garden/potting shed. Garden Chalet — Amish built micro homes- These rustic garden homes put the Q into quaint! But HomePlacesStructures made the list because of the ample flexibility and design options, and the affordable pricing. The Garden Chalet design can be customized allowing you to add or remove design features so that the structure matches your property or neighborhood. You can select your own building color combination and shingle colors based on your preferences.

Some of the options include dutch door, bird house, cooper roof, homemade wood windows, potting bench, skylights, porch, loft, and siding.

Engineered Drawings are available to help you get many of our Garden Buildings/Garages approved at your site. These drawings detail standard features of the unit, and provide information about snow and wind loads.

The Contenders

We picked these three designs based on our preferences but you might be looking for something else. So here is the list of other sheds and small home designs that we found during our research for you to consider.

The Nest design is near at the top of the list – but it looks like it’s only available for sale in Archer Florida. — I really really liked this one mainly because the design includes a small loft and I like timberframe. They say northeast only… I don’t know why their frames are relatively inexpensive 6K – 10K range though clearly there is less wood involved and the structure appears to be less sturdy.

California Custom Sheds
When is a shed not a shed? When it’s a custom shed. Although, many of their designs look like something you could get at homedepot, it might be good for some ideas. – They have a collection of fancy looking sheds and houses. The Liberty Garden Cottage has nice scale and details and costs around $15K.

Modular dwelling 100/120
— For the do it yourself guy who wants good style, you buy these plans and then you build it. There is no prefab version. But it looks like I could even build it with a little help.

Build from Plans

Btw, if you are the do it yourself type person, here are some other places to get mini-house plans. You might want to check out some of the other larger plans

MetroShed — modern designed shed

Unitone from Shelter Kit
another good basic semi-modern shed- 12×12

Modern Shed
Similar to modern cabana. If you’re looking for something that’s better than a shed…nice photo of interior office space.

Here is another excellent resource with many more links to look at.

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