From Shed to Guesthouse: Creating an Idyllic, Comfortable Space For Visitors

Small green and orange guest house in the back yard

Have an old tool shed ready for a refresh? Looking to have a space for visitors but just don’t have the room inside? That shed has more potential than you think and is ready to be converted into the perfect getaway. Invite your guests with a space perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation, or keep it for yourself and turn it into a she-shed, man cave, or studio for creating. 

Code and municipal law

Before you start, it’s a good idea to check in with your city’s zoning and by-laws. Renovating or repairing a shed is a great way to extend your living space. Just make sure you do your homework. Visit your town’s website and check out the municipal codes section to read about the details of building and renovation restrictions. You can also call the town hall or request permits that will be reviewed.

This will let you know any limitations to what you can do to your shed before you start and if any permits are needed. Keep in mind any insulation restrictions and additional walls your shed might need. You want your guests to feel comfortable.

Cottage, cabin, chalet, lodge, summer home, whatever you call it, wherever it resides, it’s time to open the doors and let the fresh air in. The work you completed in the fall to winterize your cottage will help make the transition to Spring and Summer easier. Make a checklist during your first trip back after winter to help get you back into the groove of things. This will also help the chores and tasks seem more attainable.

A guest bedroom with a queen sized bed and nightstand at a short term rental small cottage style house.

Features to include

With your new knowledge and square footage, you can start planning what you’d like your renovated shed to become. Here are some items to remember while planning that will help make your shed space more comfortable.

Lighting: Set the mood. Adding floor lamps, as well as warm, cozy tones, will help set the mood to be welcoming and inviting. Make sure you have the proper electrical outlets for the space for the light fixtures as well as a space for your guests to charge their electronics. 

Plumbing: If your shed is large enough for a bathroom or a small kitchen, plumbing might be a great addition to the new guest space. This will help your visitors get ready at night and in the morning without walking back and forth from the main residence to their sleeping space. 

Windows: Like lighting, windows, and openings will help create an inviting and comforting space. It’ll help bring fresh air into the space while providing natural light. An entire wall can be a large opening with folding glass doors or install a series of windows. Just make sure you have retractable screens to keep out the pests. 

Phantom Screens: Want to let the fresh air in and not the bugs? Screen doors and bug protection doesn’t stop at your home. Retractable screens are a great solution to keeping out pests, and the sleek and chic design doesn’t distract from your home or shed’s design. A bonus for dealing with small spaces.

Close up of double doors with Phantom retractable screens

Design touches

Now that the foundation is ready, the lighting has been installed, the space is properly insulated, and the fresh air is greeting you, it’s time to get the interior or exterior decorating started. 

Make the most of the space with multi-function furniture, like a futon or storage spaces that double as seating. Add some greenery, both indoors and outdoors, a coffee or tea station, and connect with nature all year long. 

At the end of the project, you might have fallen so in love you don’t want to share or love it so much that you have to show it off. Either way, you now have an extra living space to enjoy, and that’s something to be proud of! 

Selective focus on home decor. Comfortable bedroom in bohemian interior style with textile sheet on bed, wooden bench seat, bamboo dressing screen, dry plants in vase, wicker basket

Who you gonna call?

There’s no doubt the things you could achieve, but sometimes it’s nice to have extra help for those complicated projects. General contractors can walk you through everything possible to get your shed from backyard storage to backyard bliss. Building permits will still be needed depending on your municipality and the extent of work. Need help with plumbing or electrical? Hiring a professional tradesperson can help you get the results you’re looking for that might be a bit intimidating for you. 

Ready to start a conversation with a professional? Or ready to add your Phantom Screen? Find your local Phantom expert, and get the good times rolling.