Do You Have Plans for a Fun or Creative Use of a Backyard Garage or Shed?
Many fads and trends recycle themselves in our world. Hairstyles that we thought we would never have to see again. Clothing choices that we made while in middle school are again on the racks in major department stores. And while the fads of hairstyles and clothing may make the fashion news on a daily basis, another trend outside of hair and clothing has quietly been transforming itself as well. The new trend of garages and sheds being used for far more than the storage of vehicles and yard tools is something that is exciting to watch.
As home owners of all budgets build not only barns, but also garages and sheds on their properties, the variety of planned uses continues to inspire and perpetuate this option for what has in the past been merely a functional backyard space. In recent years, slightly more traditional uses of buildings like Amish pool houses and cedar sheds for backyard garden spots have made the news. Today, however, the creative use of these outdoor buildings continues to expand.
When purchasing a shed, space planning experts have often advised that to determine the future space needs it is important to add 25% for future storage needs. The current trend using garage and sheds for man cave spaces have more to do with planning for large screen televisions and plenty of seating. Complete with complex surround sound systems, WiFi access, and areas for food and drink preparation and storage, these spaces have transformed a traditional space like a custom shed into a sports weekend escape for men who want a chance to escape the long hours at work when they return home.
As soon as men started claiming traditional backyard building spaces as their own, many women were quick to point out that they were already making very creative use of their own spaces. From quilting frames to crafting areas, women have often found backyard garages and sheds the perfect locations for working on large projects that require weeks, and even months, of attention. Instead of filling a family space in an otherwise crowded home, for instance, women has often had specific spaces built for their at home hobbies and businesses. From small town hair styling salons located at the back of a large acreage, for example, buildings that are separate from the home itself are able to provide not just an escape, but also an income, for women who do not even need to leave their property.
It may be an old fashioned term, but the doll house is actually a space that has been around for many decades. In years past, fathers often build their young girls a life size doll house that the children could play in when the weather permitted. Complete with homemade wooden kitchen appliances like ovens, sinks, and refrigerators were placed along side kid sized tables and chairs. Children, before the age of 24/7 television and computer video games could use these spaces in a number of ways. As a traditional doll house for pretending to keep a home to secret clubs for the neighborhood kids, these carefully crafted spaces could keep kids entertained for hours on end. The fact that many wooden sheds can last for 15 to 20 years may mean that some of these same spaces are being transformed into spaces that a new generation of children are learning to enjoy.
In what may be the most clever and resourceful use of designs for garages and sheds, some large cities are now actually contracting with builder supply companies to deliver prefabricated spaces that can be used as temporary residences for homeless people. With a roof over their head, and plumbing and water for personal needs, these spaces can be moved in temporarily while cities work to improve their homeless spaces in town, or can be permanently installed to serve a constant number of homeless individuals/
It would seem that the creative use of garages and sheds has come full circle. While these spaces may have been thought of as an option for children in the 1970’s, these well built backyard structures are now being used by grownups.