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Is an ADU or home office a good option for your property?

From a home office to an in-law suite, check out this Colorado-based company

Jeremy Nova //March 15, 2021//

Is an ADU or home office a good option for your property?

From a home office to an in-law suite, check out this Colorado-based company

Jeremy Nova //March 15, 2021//

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began almost a full year ago, Americans have spent more time in their homes than ever before and the immediate merging of work and personal spaces has been a challenge for many. Our households have never felt so crowded. Across the board, there has been a unique need for more space in the home.

Colorado-based Studio Shed offers one of the most sought-after solutions during the pandemic: an easy-to-install, affordable detached studio in the backyard. The company’s Signature Series designs, often used as backyard home offices, are typically 10×12 feet, easily designed online and delivered flat-packaged as a kit.

At a time when scheduling and finding high-quality contractors is not always possible, Studio Shed’s extensive network of contractors is available to execute a quick and easy install, or homeowners can choose to install the sheds themselves.

A recent CRAFTSMAN Built@Home survey reported more than 1 in 5 Americans learned to use a drill for the first time in the onset of the pandemic and 76% said they or someone in their household worked on at least one home improvement project in 2020.

For more space, Studio Shed also offers the Summit series models or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) which homeowners are using to add a wellness studio, guest room, in-law suite, or granny flats to their backyard. An ADU offers an easy solution without the hassles (and costs) of a traditional remodel and simplified permitting and construction logistics.

Curious if an ADU or home office is a good option for your property Jeremy Nova, co-founder and creative director at Studio Shed recommends homeowners consider three key questions to get started:

1. Do I need a permit?

Most counties allow for the construction of one 120 square foot structure without applying for a building permit. Be sure to check local regulations before ordering, however, as some municipalities have more stringent requirements. Some questions to ask the building department:

  • Is there a certain size/square footage where a building permit is required?
  • What is your zoning and allowed building forms?
  • Is an engineer-stamped plan set required to pull a permit?
  • Is there a limit to the number of structures you can add to property?
  • What is the max lot coverage for all structures?
  • Any wall or roof height limitations?
  • What is the required distance between structures on your property?
  • What are your setbacks (distance off the property line to the new structure)?
  • Any special easements (utility, cable, access roads, open space, corner lot) that impact where your shed can go?
  • What about my community’s HOA?

2. Does my county have ADU regulations?

Legislation is changing to make it easier to build ADUs – leading to a boom in interest and trending growth in certain markets.

The volatile housing market (especially during the pandemic) and rising cost of building materials means alternative housing methods (for current homeowners and prospective renters) are booming. The Denver zoning map is available online and specific descriptions for each zone are included.

3. How do I want to use the space?

Detached backyard structures and larger ADUs provide flexible space for a variety of uses. Depending on your needs, a Studio Shed can be used for the following scenarios:

  • RENTAL UNIT – ADUs make great rental units on your property. Homeowners will find that they serve as flexible housing solutions and provide supplemental income.
  • GRANNY FLAT / IN-LAW SUITE – Many customers are looking for at-home options for assisted living for their elderly parents or relatives. ADUs provide the benefit of keeping loved ones close while giving them their own space.
  • PERSONAL SANCTUARY – Find an escape in your own backyard with an ADU. Whether you use this space to practice your daily yoga, an art studio or as a quick escape from the kids, you can find peace and quiet in your personal sanctuary, just a few steps away from your back door.
  • GUEST HOUSE – If you love to entertain and host friends & family, an accessory dwelling unit makes for the perfect backyard guest house. ADUs can be fully equipped with electrical and plumbing as an all-in-one solution for your hosting needs.
  • HOME OFFICE – Our modern world requires that we work in new ways. A backyard office is a place you can commute to in seconds. Unlike a dedicated room within your home, a prefab backyard office shed provides a detached space away from distractions of home, so no more worrying about the doorbell ringing or your dog disturbing your video conference. Your new commute across your yard provides both the separation necessary for focused work and the convenience of working from home.
  • MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM – The beauty of an ADU is that it provides a multi-purpose space for almost need. Depending on the season of life you are in and what your needs are, a well-built and designed ADU can meet them all. Convert an ADU into a guest house during the holidays or use it for supplemental income as a rental when needed. The possibilities of how you use your ADU are endless.

Visit Studio Shed at for more information.

Jeremy Nova is the co-founder and creative director at Studio Shed.