4 Uses for a Prefab Barn or Storage Shed

Jon Fesmire | Sep 08, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

The backyard storage shed has a reputation for being made of metal, and is usually intended for storing garden tools, sports equipment, or other household items one may not need all the time. While that does fall into the purview of what such backyard, detached buildings are for, there are other styles and uses you may not have considered.

Consider this scenario. You already have a self storage unit, and you keep your home clean and simple. However, for whatever reason, you need an extra room. Putting more things in storage isn’t an option. Well, if you own a house and have a backyard, a detached room might be.

Storage sheds and prefabricated barns come in a variety of sizes, and can be metal or wood. Let’s delve into the many purposes they can serve.

The Detached Bedroom

You love your home, and have a big backyard, but you’ve gained a new adult household member. Perhaps two of your kids share a room, and the older child is ready for the responsibility of a room separated from the house.

A two-story prefab barn might be the ideal solution. Of course, we’re not talking about a barn you might see on a farm, but a smaller, bedroom-sized building. A prefab barn can be quite attractive as well, like a small, well-built house. Your young-adult college student can have his or her own space to study, set her own hours, and have a few friends over, without having to leave home just yet.

The Music Studio

During my college years, I sang in a rock band. The other members were my brother on guitar, and two of our best friends, also brothers, on bass and drums. Our friends lived in the country a few miles from the edge of town, so we rehearsed in their living room most of the time. Their parents wanted to support us, but it was a bit much for them having us rock out in the living room.

Since they had a lot of property and neighbors were spaced far apart, they set up a prefab barn on their property. It wasn’t fancy but it was ours. They installed electricity, we soundproofed the walls, and we were able to practice without sounding too loud to the outside world.

I would recommend this to any band in the same situation. Even if you rehearse in an urban area, so long as your neighbors are okay with some noise--though muted--and you rehearse during the day, it’s fantastic having a space just for your band.

For sound insulation, we used egg crate foam over all the walls. We installed carpet. We had our amps against the far wall, a drum set in one corner, and so on. There was just one “window” up high, a grate that let in fresh air. Depending on where you live, with a similar set-up, you may want to install an AC unit in such a spot. We had fun rehearsing, writing songs, and recording, and it gave my friends’ parents extra peace in their house.

The Media Room

Who doesn’t like the idea of a movie theater at home? How about a movie theater that doubles as a large-screen game room? Perhaps with a microwave or even popcorn machine in the corner and a fridge for sodas?

Depending on your budget you could use a relatively small or large building. In this case, I suggest a room with a door in one side and few windows. Perhaps just one window in the back, over which you could hang a dark cloth, would be best, especially for movie viewing. You could have either a large television or a screen and projector, and comfortable couches or chairs facing it. You can set up a simple stereo sound system, or something more complex.

For movie night, put on a Blu-ray, pop some popcorn, grab a drink, and sit down with your friends to enjoy or roast the film. On game night, put in your favorite console game and play there with friends, or over the Internet.

The Detached Office

Perhaps you work from home, or would like to. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do so in quiet when everyone else is home?

Whether you telecommute, are an artist, a maker (someone who creates jewelry, costume pieces, and the like), or a writer, it’s wonderful to have a specific place where you ply your craft, a place that signals to your mind that it’s time to get creative.

Here, again, pick a large shed, or a barn that works for you. You may need one just large enough for your desk, computer, and a shelf or two, or you might want one as large as a bedroom. If you’re a jeweler or other maker, you’ll need room for your supplies, your tools, and plenty of work space. If you’re an artist, have room for your art materials, canvases, and easels.

For this sort of arrangement, unlike for the band studio or entertainment room, I recommend having a window with a nice view. This may be of the yard, or the house. As such, you may want to do some landscaping on the yard, but that’s a topic for another article.

The idea here is to create a space that is for your work only, and make that space pleasant so you will enjoy your time there and get a lot done. Again, if you’re in a warm climate, you will probably want to install an AC unit.

Having a separate building on your property, in the form of a large wooden shed or prefab barn, feels great. There’s a certain excitement when it comes to stepping into a separate room like this, a sense of privacy, peace, and possibilities. I hope the suggestions here inspire you.