Build Your Perfect Prefab Studio, Guesthouse or Private Oasis

Sheila Kim Sheila Kim

Most everyone desires that spare room to turn into an office or study, home gym, guest quarters, pool house, art or music studio or (wo)man cave. If you lack the extra space to make this desire a reality but have a yard or other piece of outdoor property, consider building a Modern-Shed.

Founded by husband-and-wife architect team Ryan Smith and Ahna Holder, Modern-Shed manufactures attractive prefabricated structures with a variety of customizable options to suit any need and style. One can specify pre-insulated walls, for instance, to ensure year-round comfort if using the shed for more than just storage. The interior plywood paneling can be finished with birch, walnut or sapele veneer, melamine over particleboard or 3form’s Ecoresin material. On the exterior, siding choices range from Western Red cedar planks to galvanized corrugated metal and James Hardie cement board or shiplap coated with Benjamin Moore paint.

The sheds can be designed and built to accommodate various window and door styles and sizes from Ply Gem’s Pro 700 or Premium 1000 series or Milgard’s Energy Star thermally enhanced aluminum framing or Ultra fiberglass framing series. Think large, fixed picture windows, French doors, transoms or clerestories.

Three shed sizes are available: Small 8x has an 8-foot length and depths of 6 to 24 feet; Medium 10x is a fixed 10-by-12-foot structure; and Large 12x has a 12-foot length and depth of 14 to 16 feet. Keep in mind that all the structures are shells only, so flooring, built-ins, plumbing, electrical and HVAC are your responsibility (the prefab nature of Modern-Shed can still help you cut down on both design and labor costs, however).

This summer, Modern-Shed also added new products for those looking to enhance outdoor living but not necessarily build a whole addition. Among the first offerings of the Modern-Shed Outdoor collection are open-air pergolas, outdoor kitchens that accommodate a range of appliances and grills and a simple “Piknik” table for alfresco dining in style.


New Modern-Shed Outdoor pergola and kitchen products (additional models and finishes are available).


Sample plans for Modern-Sheds of varying sizes

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