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Outdoor detached living spaces are fun!

I have two kids under 5, no basement, and precious little storage space in general. After several winters of all of the bikes sitting out in the (endless) rain, and bursting at the seams in our home, I decided to explore the idea of building an outdoor shed. I wanted it to be a flexible space, one that I could use for storage now but grow into an outdoor office in the future. I wanted it to be sturdy as an investment, and enhance the value of my home. I also had no idea where to start.

My neighborhood (Concordia in NE Portland) has a lot of alleys, and one day on a walk I noticed a really cute shed. I was talking with my neighbor and he indicated that he got the design, blueprints and engineering plans from a website called

They have a large selection of all different kids of sheds, and the complete building plans range from $25-$35 (a bargain!). These include videos and how to books for building it yourself, along with the materials list. I sent the material list to my local lumber supplier (Parr lumber) and they built out the quote and ultimately delivered the lumber package to my door. Essentially I received a shed kit based on the exact modern shed I had envisioned. I hired a friend to consult with me on excavation and foundation lay out (I did a poured in place pier foundation), and then I proceeded to build the shed step by step. It took a long time, and ended up being more expensive, and more difficult than I had initially expected (as it always is). However, I now have a beautiful shed that I am proud to have built, along with short term bike and overflow storage. I insulated the floor along the way, and it's ready for interior finishes if I ever decide to turn it into a detached office.

I'm happy to talk through the process and advise in any way that I can to help you in your project! I hope this story helps you find inspiration in your own life.


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