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$12,000 Shed to Tiny House Conversion

I thought you would enjoy this shed from a tiny house design that was converted into an amazing little bunkhouse. Sheds make great bunkhouses because they are typically small and simple in design. Additionally, sheds can be easily insulated to create a comfortable living space. And, because they are not attached to a house, they can be located anywhere on your property – making them ideal for guest houses or rental units. If you are thinking about converting a shed into a bunkhouse, be sure to check with your local zoning laws to ensure that the project is permitted.

The owner Sue did a great job not only in the design and the interior but also in completing this project for only around $12,000. I find these sheds converted into tiny houses so fun and interesting and it’s fun to see people convert them into beautiful tiny homes like the one below. If your shed is located in an area with good weather, you may want to consider adding a porch, just like Sue did. This will give you additional outdoor space to enjoy and can even be used as an extra bedroom or office. See how she did it below!

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From Shed to Cabin for $12,000


The interior of the shed actually features a rather odd setup since the bathroom is open but a curtain was added after this image was taken to add a bit of privacy to it. In this case, I’d prefer to have an outhouse or one can even transform the entire shed into a bathhouse! What would you do?


I wouldn’t mind having this tiny cabin in the backyard to work out of or have as a guest cabin for visitors or maybe even just use it as an office or writing room. Either way, it can be such a nice addition to one’s property.


Could you imagine living in this pre-built shed turned into a tiny house on wheels?


Here is what Sue has to say about her project

“We bought a 10 x 16 cedar sided “shed” type shell building that we finished as a “bunkhouse”. We live in a small 464 sq ft cabin built on site by the same company that built the shed and brought it out. We finished it, doing all the work ourselves except for the electrical rough-in and the plumbing, which included hooking to our septic system. We just added a 5 x 16 deck to the bunkhouse. Total cost for the project was right at $12,000. No permits or inspections were required for our area and we are in a warm climate. The wall AC Unit also has heat.” – Sue


Residential Sheds?

Sheds are not just for storage anymore – they can be turned into livable spaces! A shed can be converted into a tiny house, guest house, office, or rental unit with some effort and planning. The first step is to check with your local zoning laws to ensure that the project is permitted.

Is it cheaper to build a shed house? 

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the cost of materials and labor, the size and features of the shed, and the location. However, in general, it is cheaper to build a shed than it is to build a traditional house. This is because sheds are typically smaller and simpler in design than houses, making them easier and less expensive to build. Additionally, sheds can be built using recycled materials, which can further reduce the cost.

How do I convert a shed into a livable area?

There are a few things to consider when converting a shed into a livable area. First, you will need to insulate the shed to make it comfortable to live in. Additionally, you will need to install electric and plumbing hookups if you want running water and electricity in your shed. Finally, you may want to finish the interior of the shed to make it more comfortable and inviting. By taking these steps, you can turn a shed into a cozy and functional living space.

How much does it cost to turn a shed into a livable area?

The cost of converting a shed into a livable space will vary depending on the size of the shed and the extent of the renovations. However, in general, you can expect to spend a few thousand dollars on the project. This includes the cost of materials, labor, and any necessary permits or inspections. By taking the time to convert a shed into a livable space, you can create an affordable and convenient living area.

Can I turn a shed into a tiny house?

Sheds can be turned into tiny houses quite easily and cheaply and there are a number of companies that will do it for you but it’s also possible to do it yourself if you’re handy with tools. The first step is to insulate the shed properly so that it meets building code requirements for a dwelling. This means adding insulation to the walls, ceiling, and floor. You’ll also need to install electric and plumbing hookups if you want running water and electricity in your shed. Finally, you may want to finish the interior of the shed to make it more comfortable and inviting. By taking these steps, you can turn a shed into a cozy and functional living space.

When it comes to cost, it is cheaper to build a shed than it is to build a traditional house. This is because sheds are typically smaller and simpler in design than houses, making them easier and less expensive to build. Additionally, sheds can be built using recycled materials, which can further reduce the cost. If you’re handy with tools and willing to put in some elbow grease, you can save even more money by doing the work yourself. However, if you’re not confident in your ability to complete the project, it is best to hire a professional to do it for you.

Can you actually live in a Home Depot shed?

Yes, you can live in a Home Depot shed! There are a number of companies that will convert sheds into livable spaces for an additional cost. However, if you’re handy with tools and willing to put in some elbow grease, you can save money by doing the work yourself. To make your shed livable, you will need to insulate it properly and install electric and plumbing hookups. You may also want to finish the interior of the shed to make it more comfortable and inviting. By taking these steps, you can turn a shed into a cozy and functional living space.

Sheds from Home Depot are typically small in size, making them ideal for converting into tiny homes. Additionally, because they are not attached to a house, they can be located anywhere on your property – making them ideal for guest houses or rental units. If you are thinking about converting a shed into a tiny home, be sure to check with your local zoning laws to ensure that the project is permitted.

She sheds

She sheds are the female equivalent of man caves – they are private spaces where women can relax, work on hobbies, or just enjoy some peace and quiet. Like man caves, she sheds can be located anywhere on your property – in the backyard, on the side of the house, or even in the garage. When planning your she-shed, be sure to include plenty of storage for your belongings, as well as comfortable furniture and decor that reflects your personal style.

Airbnb Sheds

Sheds can be turned into livable spaces and rented out on Airbnb! This is a great way to earn extra income, as well as provide a unique and cozy place for travelers to stay.

Sheds used as In-Law Spaces

Sheds can be turned into livable spaces and used as in-law spaces, and many people around the world are doing just that and therefore avoiding high mortgages and rents. This is a great way to keep costs low while providing a cozy place for your family.

Single dad turns shed into cheap/DIY/debt-free tiny home

This is the story of a single father who wanted to simplify his life after divorce by living in a tiny house with zero debt so that he wouldn’t have to stress about money and be able to spend more quality time with his daughter.

So he converted a shed into his very own debt-free tiny home and has been living in it for over three years. He was even featured on HGTV! You can enjoy a video tour of his tiny home plus enjoy an interview with him below thanks to the folks at Our Journey to Bliss.

Single Dad Turns a Shed into his Debt-free Tiny Home 001

=> Full story here.

Debt-free With A Tuff Shed Turned Tiny House

Shawn and Jess have been living tiny now for more than four years in an RV, and they recently finished this tiny house on a foundation where they will vacation and plan to retire someday!

This is a great example of a new shed transformed into a tiny living space. They purchased the shell from Tuff Shed and then Shawn built out the entire interior of the home. It has two lofts, a large main living area, and a bathroom/kitchen in the back. While the indoor kitchen is quite minimal, there’s a large outdoor patio area with a grill and more.

Debt-Free Kentucky Shed-To-Home Conversion

Images via Shawn Lemaster/YouTube

=> Full story here.

Family Transforms Shed into Farmhouse for $15K

Katy and Michael transformed a storage shed on some family property into their adorable 280-square-foot farmhouse! The couple have two girls, and together they just finished their second week of tiny living.

Their main goal in going tiny was to save money so they can eventually build their own spot. After years of renting, they wanted a home that really looked like “theirs” while being able to save. They spent just $15,000 on this amazing build, which includes a downstairs bedroom, bathroom, and an open-concept living and kitchen space.

They’re located in Round Top, Texas, and shared their story with us below! Enjoy!

Shed To Farmhouse Build 0032

Images © Katy Zientek

=> Full story here.

Couple Turns Shed into a Floating Cottage

Meet the Joneses! Brandon and Sarah were living in a normal house when the opportunity arose for them to purchase what would become a gorgeous houseboat. But at the beginning, it was really just a floating shed without any amenities!

Eventually, the couple and their dog would love to sail the globe together, but this gives them a life on the water while they save up for a new adventure. We got to interview the couple, so enjoy learning more about their life after the photo tour!

=> Full story here.

Tiny House w/ She-Shed on 5 Acres in New Mexico

Jen contacted us because she’s selling the tiny home, she shed, and storage unit she has lived in for the past three years. What’s super awesome is that the park model home sits on almost five acres in New Mexico! So you’ll have a permanent spot for your tiny lifestyle.

The main home has a first-floor bedroom layout and features a full bathroom, bedroom, and spacious living area. In the storage unit, there’s the water heater and washer and dryer (as well as space to store plenty of things!). The she-shed is set up as a magical space to get away from it all, and could be transformed into a guest cottage.

Tiny House w She Shed on 5 Acres 12

Images via Zillow/Jen

=> Full story here.

Marsha’s Shed Tiny House Remodel (2021)

Most of you know Marsha and her famous tiny house builds that she has so graciously shared with us over the years. This is an update on her 8×8 shed tiny house since she added a customized French door.

From her micro houses to her short-bus skoolie conversion, to her more recent truck-bed micro cottage and her shed tiny house in Denton, North Carolina, Marsha has built quite a number of micro and tiny homes. In this post, you’ll get to see the latest improvements to her 8×8 shed-based tiny home! The most notable improvement is that she replaced a standard white exterior door with a custom French door which makes the world of a difference! Check it out!

Marsha’s 8×8 Shed Tiny Home For Sale! 4

Images via Marsha

=> Full story here.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 28 comments… add one }
  • alice h
    July 25, 2013, 12:37 pm

    At the very least you could put a folding screen around the toilet but it would be simple enough to put in a skinny little wall to screen it off. I didn’t see any other photos of the rest of the place so hard to say how functional it is. I like the beadboard walls. It makes a good little bunkie, not so good as a house for me but might be just the thing for some.

    • Lisa E.
      May 23, 2014, 3:25 pm

      If a wall would consume too much space, or you didn’t like the look of a wall there, one could build a cube with two contiguous sides left out that could slide (on casters) over the commode system and be a table making the whole commode vanish and giving a work surface. If one large box is not convenient, then a smaller box to just go over the actual commode, or an ‘L’ shaped box that would offer a low table with a shelf above (on the upper portion of the L shaped box. OR, you could hang one box on the wall to cover the tank, and have a second box (on casters) cover the actual commode. The box could be fitted with a chintz skirt, painted or wall papered.

  • Ralph Sly
    July 25, 2013, 4:06 pm

    LOL to Erik, taking a dump at the end of the bed would not be for me with others present, a wall would not be a problem to build and it would still be uncomfortable without a proper wall. I have a potty in the camper close to the bed and am by myself so that is OK, but travelling with others, no way.

  • Cahow
    July 25, 2013, 5:22 pm

    Could I LIVE here? NO!!!!!
    Could I visit here as a single occupant, only? Heck, yeah!

    This puts me to mind of quite a few converted townhomes in Amersterdam along the canals. They cater to American’s and most American’s HATE having to share a public toilet first thing in the morning. So, these previously private townhomes are now advertized as “Mini-Boutique Hotels” and in each bedroom they’ve tossed in a toilet and wee sink. Still no microwave, elevator to the 5th floor or mini-frig, however. LOL Actually, it was quite nice having a “bathroom” to one’s self, rather than sharing ONE bathroom per floor with 6-8 different people and their various, er….”leftover scents” after their use.

    So, you betcha…I could live with having a nice warm potty to visit at 2:00 a.m. rather than a spider-filled outhouse or tapping my toe by the bathroom door INSIDE the house, waiting to use it after Uncle Louie voids his bowels! :O

    • Ralph Sly
      July 25, 2013, 7:16 pm

      Cahow, you are a slice! I have been in a few of those converted townhomes in Amsterdam along the canal and have many a young man’s memory of them; they had such toilets in the rooms back then. I even took a bath in the canal one mild brew tasting evening, of course displaying the gentlest most respectful behavior, if people do not think a human can propel oneself out of water like a trained porpoise, they have never fallen or been tossed in the canal. Great sport, oh yea. Thank God, being a Canadian you could knock on any door and ask to use their shower and were accommodated.

      • Cahow
        July 25, 2013, 7:24 pm

        Ah, Ralph…you kindred spirit, you! So nice to know someone who’s shared those experiences, too! How about those hash houses and giant windows with XXX shows right on the street?! I adore Holland/Amsterdam!

        • Ralph Sly
          July 25, 2013, 8:34 pm

          Oh yes my new friend, every experience Amsterdam offered, I am sure I relished in every one of them (a few times). Unfortunately it’s been too long since my last visit! I first discovered the joys of Amsterdam in 68 and spent much of the early 70 there. I did go back for a short visit in the 80s, a rush working trip. “What an unforgivable sin, to make a rush visit to Amsterdam”. I just recently mentioned another trip is desired, however, with all the benefits of health checkups in these senior years and although finding I have a heat of a 17 year old with a clear cardio vascular system (unbelievable to the medical expert, who passed away months later with heart failure), the absolute vivid memories of being in my invincible 20s and walking the Canal (close to the buildings and not on the edge) most certainly would stop the ticker, but what a smile my corps would have this old face. LOL, they really should put a chat room on this sites for these conversations but in keeping with the subject, you really should look at Lamar’s (the next comment) site, I think this guy is pretty clued in on the TH movement subject and I will be following his progress. Good job Lamar, I can only learn from you.

        • Cahow
          July 25, 2013, 8:45 pm

          Off Topic: Yes!, to a sheltered site for crazy Euro stories! 😉

          On Topic: I’ve seen ALL of LaMar’s videos and quite agree with you. He’s quite keen on his beliefs and his videos are testiment to his philosophies. Plus, he has two adorable black dogs, a cunning frig magnet collection…and he and I have the identical wee washing machine and leopard-print throws over our sofas! Small world, I tell you!

    • Lisa E.
      May 23, 2014, 2:26 pm

      Or how about visiting the designated room at the end of the hall on a cold, mid-winter night/morning, where that room is on an outside (and dubiously insulated) wall and you place your nice, warm, moist flesh on a frozen, plastic seat and become hermetically sealed?
      You will have a long lasting and burning reminder of that chilling experience when you, quite literally, peel yourself into ten degrees of separation and have a glowing horseshoe of missing tissue from all the points of contact. Now, THAT’s doing Scandinavia!

  • LaMar
    July 25, 2013, 7:18 pm

    Well, my own cabin is 14×14 and built for under $2000 and completely off-grid and you can build them a whole lot cheaper than you can buy them. I have a loft and almost 400 sqft of living area and 7 feet of head room. A prebuilt shed won’t give you that much room.

    Nothing wrong with a prebuilt shed but you will still need to insulate them and the windows are usually single pane and won’t keep the heat in in winter.

    I would have done that bathroom different and it does not appear to be set up for full time living and just for sleeping.

    I guess it would be good as a spare bedroom or guest bunk or maybe a weekend cabin but for permanent living you want a kitchen, regular bathroom and sleeping areas and common area and yes you can have those in a small cabin design under 200 sqft foot print.

    • July 25, 2013, 11:43 pm

      14×14 sounds about right for me. I’ve bought your e-book, LaMar, and took quite a lot of inspiration from it. It was my first (of many, many) resources about building, but perhaps more valuable was the tone of your writing. I appreciate your dedication to modest designs and affordable materials while still keeping the setup 100% functional and comfortable. You’ve built a good benchmark in a technical sense, but your attitude is what still resonates.

      I also enjoyed the many add-on subjects, including well-drilling explained, etc. The e-book was money well spent and remains as my “reference of sanity” to return to when fine homebuilding forums pack my head full of mud.

      I wish you all the best, and thank you for sharing your skills and ideas.


  • Tim
    July 25, 2013, 9:32 pm

    I think at least a curtain around the toilet in case you have a visitor but, yes, I could live in this if it was arranged to my liking.
    I live in a 20x 28 cabin I built about 28 years ago and my wife and I raised our son there. So far that’s plenty of room but ya never know. Seriously, I’ve been thinking about making a smaller cabin.

  • Sue
    July 25, 2013, 10:57 pm

    Thanks for all the interesting comments on our bunkhouse. We live in a 464 sq ft cabin and built this for our kids to sleep in when they visit. It is next to our cabin. These photos were taken before it was completely finished. I blog about our life on our 54 acres in the Texas Hill Country and this was from a post I did. We had originally planned to rearrange things with the two twin beds at one end and the half bath enclosed. But the location of the door prevented this. We have since installed a curtain around the toilet area; there just wasn’t enough room for a wall. The guys that stay there don’t worry so much about going out in the dark and stepping over rattlesnakes to get to the cabin bathroom but the girls don’t much care for that. Haha! So we made do. One of the purposes of building the bunkhouse was also to install our bookcases and books so we had to work around that also. And we needed to leave some floor space for air mattresses for the grandkids. We are in our 60s and starting from a shed was a good option for us. We added insulation in the walls and ceiling and did all the finish work except the plumbing, which included septic hookup, and the electrical rough-in. We are amateurs and learned as we went, having done a lot of the work on our cabin. If anyone should ever decide to make the bunkhouse into a cabin, it wouldn’t be hard to close in the bathroom and add a kitchen to that end but our goal was to have as many sleeping places as possible. We have had floor to floor air mattresses in the cabin before and getting the bunkhouse built was a real treat for us! Again, thank you for sharing our project and for the comments! I encourage anyone to go for it if they have a chance to make a tiny home or guesthouse!

  • Dave
    July 26, 2013, 9:31 am

    I once rented a casita in Costa Rica that had a similar setup. Bed on one side of the room, and the sink, toilet, and shower on the other. Reeeeaaaallly strange not having any privacy for sitting on the can. It was kind of funny the first day, but after that, it wasn’t great.

  • Ralph Sly
    July 26, 2013, 5:11 pm

    Rattle snakes Sue, rattle snakes! It is amazing how the story can change when one knows the particulars and sees the entire picture. LOL, that toilet at the end of the bed is the most wonderful thing you could have thought of. Yes, it sure is, sit and pee, no problem with that, do any major issues during the daylight at the main cabin, yes, that toilet for night relief is fantastic. Sorry, guys, I am with the gals on that issue. (there is a nice private toilet in the main cabin, right Sue?

    • Sue
      July 26, 2013, 6:49 pm

      Yes, you are understanding the situation, Ralph! Having stepped on a rattler last year and come within 3 feet of another one this year, it’s best to avoid that if possible. It’s a bit unnerving!
      The main cabin has a bathroom with shower and the bathroom has walls and a door of its own. 🙂 My husband would have gone without a toilet in the bunkhouse but I campaigned for one. Especially for our daughter who has a very young child and also for that reason wouldn’t want to leave the bunkhouse at night. Although our son said he was glad we added it and the tiny sink also. And, of course, they always have the option of walking the few yards to the main cabin. We just added a granite gravel walkway so at least it’s easier to see a rattlesnake!

      • Ralph Sly
        July 27, 2013, 9:23 pm

        I would only have had to step on one and know it to be the end of me, I would drop dead that instance, no bite required and be a puddle of me in your yard. There wouldn’t have been a 3 foot deal with me. No mam, I would love that toilet. you are a kind and wonderful lady.

  • Glema
    July 27, 2013, 6:27 pm


    One might use any of these or some dividers that these inspire would do fine for a little privacy. As for shower, an outdoors shower would be fine, and get a 4ft galvanized tub, a hula hoop and some pvc pipe or wire clothes hangers you can connect the ceiling with the hula hoop and a shower curtain, wala, make you an indoor one you can take down when not in use. 🙂 Poor the water out in a garden just use environmentally friendly products. God bless you all. tc.

  • Lynde
    July 28, 2013, 12:36 am

    Could have used a draw around curtain to cover the toilet sink area for an inexpensive privacy and/or cover up. I agree, I would not like the feel of having my bed in the toilet.

  • Brocknoxious
    August 7, 2013, 9:12 am

    Good looking tiny cabin Sue. I’m glad to see the toilet is connected to your septic. I love the idea of small/tiny houses, however, I am not a fan of “off the grid”. It’s 2013 and I simply want to be able to flush my toilet and not worry about it.

    On that note, I am building a small cabin (not tiny!). 24×30 w/ a loft. It will have an 8×30 covered front porch and a side porch. So there’s plenty of space. One of the biggest expenses so far has been the septic process (perc-test, septic design, and now we’re nearing the installation step). But it’s an expense I’m happy to pay.

  • David Ridge
    January 9, 2014, 4:40 pm

    I agree, I do not think I like the stool that open to the “bedroom”.

  • Rosie
    January 12, 2014, 9:33 am

    This is a frank question: What does a tiny house owner do for stinking toilet duties? Do you just suffer and vent through a door or window? What about when people are eating? Sorry, don’t mean to be crass.

  • USMC0317
    January 12, 2014, 7:46 pm

    One of our instructors bought a similar cabin kit. Insulated, electrical comes from 4 wind towers and an array of solar panels. He also has a fairly large canopy for stationary shooting on his property. That, the two small buildings, and a garage kit all catch water. His cabin kit houses a bed, tv and computer. He keeps a large safe as well. And large space for clothing and other gear. Other smaller kit looks like one of those home depot shed kits. Houses a normal kitchen, fullsize shower and toilet. He has food stores for winter and emergencies. Freezers for what he hunts and cooks. As soon as winter passes he will finish work on a forge and work on other black smithing projects. He also makes axes, knives, bows and his own arrows. He makes fishing equipment too. Good guy. But keeping his sleeping quarters sept from his cooking and bathing area has given him more room and space. Just the 2 buildings finished. With wood burning stoves too, tips him over at $17,000. Thats pretty damn good.

  • christina brownlee
    February 14, 2014, 4:08 am

    well friends…every ones always asking what’s up in my life right. well here goes for the past 2 months or so I have been working at a school as a janitor. no don’t laugh its a great job good benefits all the way around. but its made me start thinking, thinking of what you all wonder. my kids for starters, what am I as a single parent to leave them when I am gone money, debit, no I am okay I m not dying or sick…just thinking on what I will leave them when I am gone…I came a crossed a really cool idea the tiny houses… tiny homes has got myself and the kids thinking…lol well mainly me about why not do this I will build a home mortgage free for them. well finish off the inside at least with the kids help too..I am in the process of getting a 12×24 loft barn with a side porch for the outer building( a shed in other words since I don’t have the time to build the outside of it) then the kids and I will be carpenters, electricians, plumbers all over time to finish our little house. which will end up being my youngest sons home he’s 15. when done hopefully by tax time next year then we will start on my youngest daughters house she’s 14. and do the same thing, and no the bathroom in these homes will be separate….with a door wish me luck all thanks

  • Annie
    May 23, 2014, 4:34 pm

    She had me until the toilet. 🙂 Amazing conversion though, and so impressive that they basically did it all themselves.

  • Comet
    May 25, 2014, 12:53 am

    A clever way to afford a minimum amount of privacy might be to hang a rigid panel from the ceiling—that way you have the thinness of a single sheet of say finished plywood–or beadboard attached to a sheet of ply—and don’t need the room taken up by a studded wall build—esp since there would be nothing load bearing about it. Attach it to the floor with either a cleat set up to be able to slide it–if that would be practicle!–or angle item brackets. On the door side you might need to use a light weight screen door with a curtain or frost the glass—if you got one of the “all in one screen storm” doors this would help with ventilation too. Or even an old fashioned swinging 3/4’s “bar” style door–with a latch!

    I think that the comments about snakes etc are helpful in understanding WHY this was built with an indoor bathroom–but I cannot IMAGINE using one with a cabin full of others. Think INSIDE that box! This can’t be sanitary (and I am no germophobe!) or easy for anyone.

  • Marsha Cowan
    July 14, 2014, 9:39 pm

    A 5′ separating wall would be cute at the end of the bed, a wall, curtain, lattice, white plastic roof stuff that would let light through. I don’t see a problem having the toilet handy at the foot of the bed, but a divider might be nice.

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