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My Mom’s New DIY Shed to Villa Conversion


This is the story of how a woman and her husband built a DIY shed and converted it into a beautiful tiny home for her mother who just retired. Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!

​I am delighted that you pride your website on “tiny” living. Knowing that my mother of 75 years was retiring, my husband and I agreed that she should not bear the cost of Connecticut living and move to Georgia – on our property. We started with a 16×16 storage shed, added a 16×10 addition and finished it out. The final is square footage is about 416 sq. feet minus the finish. Attached are many interior pictures and a few exterior. We wanted the exterior structure to look like the original shed, maybe a barn – adding the water trough in front …The final structure resembles just another out building.

We used (2) cedar barn sliders in the bedroom that serve as the bathroom door/closet door. The other is a closet door/main bedroom door. There are full size appliances with the exclusion of a dishwasher. AC/Heat is a ductless system. Flooring is a vinyl “scraped” wood look that is indestructible. Walls have a board & baton look. No sheetrock was used with he exception of green board on the shower ceiling. A shutter was used as the window treatment. This was made out of cedar. My mother just moved in and all is well!

My Mom’s New DIY Shed to Villa Conversion

Moms New Shed Villa Tiny Home 001

Images © CGJ

Moms New Shed Villa Tiny Home 002

Moms New Shed Villa Tiny Home 003

Moms New Shed Villa Tiny Home 004

Moms New Shed Villa Tiny Home 005

Moms New Shed Villa Tiny Home 006

Images © CGJ

Our big thanks to Catherine for sharing!

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Alex

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!

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{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Barbara November 19, 2015, 4:18 pm

    Lucky mom to have such a thoughtful, generous daughter and son-in-law! This is a wonderful little home!

  • Martha November 19, 2015, 4:39 pm

    I love the exterior as well as the interior, and at 75 myself, would be very comfortable in this house.

  • linda mervar November 19, 2015, 4:40 pm

    what a sweet home your daughter and her mate build for you. you are a lucky woman to have such loving people in your life and the dog two couldn’t tell if the white object on the right was a little dog anyway have a wonderful life there good for you Catherine linda

  • Christie Nugent November 19, 2015, 4:59 pm

    I’m always curious how they ran the electrical and plumbing? Did they tie into existing sewer and water lines? How is this generally done? I’d like to convert a shed in my backyard but the plumbing and electrical costs seem outrageous.

    • Paula May 16, 2017, 11:45 am

      We have wondered the same thing in regards to electricity and plumbing! Thanks for asking. Hope we get the answer we are all needing.

  • Carol November 19, 2015, 5:20 pm

    I love this tiny home.
    Two things I would change/upgrade 1) ADD pavers or a concrete pathway to the main house. Grass can be slippery when wet and at 75 a fall can mean a broken hip. 2) ADD a rain gutter (if there isn’t any). One of the roofs slants down towards the front door.

    • Lori July 11, 2017, 12:27 pm

      Carol, those are good things to consider. The rain gutter in particular…I know Georgia doesn’t get ice/snow very often but it does happen. Best to not have that dropping from the roof onto the ground around the house and walkway.

  • Kathy November 19, 2015, 5:22 pm

    Speaking as an aging parent myself, who would give anything to live in my daughter’s backyard, this is truly wonderful and thoughtful of you and your husband! Your Mom can feel independent, yet know that she is not alone. And what a house! Very nicely done. I too would like to know how (or if) you got this backyard villa past the city or county government!

    • katie May 15, 2017, 10:23 pm

      Georgia has pretty lenient building codes.

  • gale November 19, 2015, 5:31 pm

    Wonderful and thoughtful. Your Mom raised a great child and you did a super job on this home
    BTW are you up for adoption?:)

  • vee November 19, 2015, 5:58 pm

    This is just wonderful! An ideal solution for a woman her age.
    Very tastefully done and I would have loved to have seen more pix.
    I would be esp. interested in storage, closet, etc. It’s a real blessing
    that two generations can be living together — sorta like in the
    “old days”!!!

    • Alex November 20, 2015, 7:58 am

      I totally agree! Glad you enjoyed this story too 🙂

    • Eric August 3, 2018, 6:15 pm

      Sort of the best of both worlds… ‘sort’ of living together but at the same time ‘not’ living together.

      Be totally illegal in NZ though… not allowed to use sheds to convert to a dwelling… but, ironically you can for a sleepout.

      Add in underfloor insulation, wall insulation and roof insulation and the cost goes up dramatically. Then there is the requirement to be connected to sewerage, unless you have an alternative on the land (can’t think of the term at the mo’ suffering from old timers disease LOL)

      But congrats on a solution that actually works for all concerned. And that is really all that matters.

  • Lynn November 19, 2015, 8:28 pm

    Love this! I, too, would like to know what the family had to do to get a permit for it, as I live in Georgia as well. Would really like to see more interior photos, also. Three just isn’t enough!

    • Alex November 20, 2015, 7:57 am

      Hi Lynn, every county, unfortunately, has different codes/zoning so as much as I wish we could help, you’ll have to look into it locally yourself if you’re seriously interested in doing something similar.

    • Lori July 11, 2017, 12:29 pm

      Yes, more pictures please! I’d like to see the living area as well as more of the entire interior.

  • Carol November 19, 2015, 8:30 pm

    Wow, really nice. I do think that the roof should have slanted the opposite direction at the door. I would have liked more pictures. etc… living area, seating, table, bathroom, also grandma needs a larger roof over her door. LOL She will be soaked if she has to unlock her door in the rain with that small stoop. Would love to see how the water and elec. are done. This is a great idea for anyone. I love what I can see of it. I could definitely live here.

  • Cindy November 19, 2015, 9:30 pm

    I was wondering why the “outbuilding” look? Did you do that to kind of hide the fact it’s a little house? Just curious, I’d like to turn my 12 x 20 foot shed into a tiny guesthouse/art studio but it’s not allowed on my property. Not sure where in Las Vegas it is allowed, if anywhere. I do know I could have a tiny house on it’s own lot in my neighborhood. It just has to be on a foundation and hooked up to the usual utilities. No compost toilets or anything like that.

    • Chel May 16, 2017, 8:26 am

      What is the layout of your plot like? Is it possible to have a shared driveway to a divided up plot? One for the main house and a new, also owned plot with a tiny house? A shower room and minimal kitchen used for art clean up would allow you use as a studio. Cost is a possible stumbling block though.

  • Nancy November 19, 2015, 10:49 pm

    Just lovely! I hope someday to have the same arrangement as your mom.

  • Jan Kasza November 20, 2015, 11:33 am

    I just love this little home! More pictures please!

  • Carrie November 20, 2015, 4:38 pm

    Simply lovely home! Mom must be thrilled, I know I would be. More pics would have been nice. I love the look outside, I hope there are no trouble making neighbors around because it is extremely well done I would hate to see all that effort go to waste.

  • Amy November 20, 2015, 6:11 pm

    Oh how I wish this could be legal where I live. Sadly, it wouldn’t be a legal dwelling most places…

  • Lisa November 21, 2015, 2:19 pm

    Really cute, wish I could live like this

  • Carolyn December 13, 2015, 5:29 pm

    More, more pics…

  • Theo December 13, 2015, 11:46 pm

    With that white exterior paint it still looks like a shed. Surely they could have given some thought to the exterior paint color.

  • Barb Tomsett December 14, 2015, 5:30 am

    With more seniors not being able to afford rentals on Social Security, this is so much better than homeless. Listen up City Planners!

  • Liz December 14, 2015, 12:38 pm

    How wonderful for your mother, and how wonderful OF you. I would be extremely proud to live in that home. Just the perfect size and quite nice.

  • GabrielleCharest February 19, 2016, 8:54 pm

    I love the idea of converting a shed and even more, I love the idea of providing independence for an aging parent. Housing for seniors isolates them and definitely leads to quicker decline. And then the next step is the warehouse – a so-called nursing home – where elders are deposited until they die. This is an embarrassment for our country. (Pardon my rant but I saw this happen to my Mom.)

    Being 73 myself, I am so grateful that my son and daughter-in-law will provide me with a dwelling on their property. It thrills me that I will have the additional benefit of being close to my best buddy, my granddaughter.

    Your shed transformation is charming and homey. Bless you for doing this!

  • Rusty May 15, 2017, 5:31 pm

    Love this small home, very nicely laid out. Would like more pictures.

  • Lara Concepcion May 15, 2017, 5:33 pm

    Hello, any idea what the total budget was for this delightful dwelling?

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 15, 2017, 7:20 pm

      I’m sorry Lara but I’m afraid I don’t!

  • Patty May 15, 2017, 11:22 pm

    Very nice; hope she just loves it.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee May 16, 2017, 2:49 pm

      Me too 🙂

  • Steph July 10, 2017, 5:54 pm

    OMG!! Darling! Great for the entire family…togetherness and privacy all at once. I love it.

  • Lou July 10, 2017, 6:07 pm

    It’s very cute and looks homey but for heavens sake… pitch the 2ndary roof AT THE FRONT DOOR!?!? without even a gutter? uh.. why?

  • Hudson July 10, 2017, 6:39 pm

    The original story about this ‘shed’ is about a year and a half old. Any update on how living there has gone?

  • Clergylady July 11, 2017, 12:21 am

    Years ago. My husband and I took an old 1956 8×40 mobile home and built a 10 ft addition across the entire front and a 6 ft addition across the entire back. Took out the original bathroom and built a new one in the end of the 6 ft addition. It added a laundry room with the waterheater, an eating area for the kitchen, and added a walk in closet to the tiny original bedroom. The 10ft addition added an Office and open living room and a 10×10 screen porch across the 10×10 front. My parents lived there them Mom was the resident another 10 Years.
    She’s been gone 17 Years so it was a guest cottage and now my middle Son is moving back and remodeling it to fit his family. The office is being enclosed to make a master bedroom. The original two bedroms in the trailer are becoming the baby’s room and the one with the 6 ft deep closet will be an Office and pantry/storage area. All in the same 960 foot print. The porch is getting new screens. I’m blessed by a Son and daughter in law that want to come live by us. I’m the one that’s 70 these days.
    A grandson, age 17, has asked to move back here in his parents old trailer. They divorced and moved him to town. He’d lived here all his life.
    Friends 20 Years younger than us just lost their business. They are moving here to live in an I’ll d trailer we had for school teachers to live in when this was our active Indian Mission Church and K-12 school.
    Looks like I’ll be well cared for. I love seeing families close and helping each other.

  • Cate August 5, 2018, 3:31 pm

    Have you run out of tiny houses? You guys keep showing the same ones over and over and over.

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