Although the term “She Shed” is used to denote a woman’s personal space it does not have to be an actual shed; think of a she shed as the female equivalent of a man cave. The benefits of a having a she shed to the modern women are plentiful but how much does it cost to build a she shed?
On average the cost of building a she shed can range from $900 for a room conversion to $2,500+ if you are buying a new shed or converting an existing outbuilding.
Creating a she shed in an existing or new outbuilding that has no existing waterproofing or utility connections can escalate expenses.
- She shed costs itemized
- How much it costs to build your own she shed outdoors from scratch
- Cost of converting a room or utility-ready shed into a she shed
- Additional costs
She shed costs itemized
The costs associated with creating a she shed will often be based upon where you intend to create the she shed and the main purpose of it. Obviously a room conversion will cost much less than buying a new shed which also requires weatherproofing, protection against groundwater and connection to electricity etc. A high-tech modern she shed filled with the latest tech will also cost substantially more than a rustic she shed modeled after a simple country cabin.
In the article 20 Great She Shed Ideas I outlined some very cool she shed ideas with varying associated costs; some of them cost very little to create while others are much more expensive.
However, before you decide on any type of she shed design there are some key points to consider.
Key financial considerations
When you’re looking to create a she shed, there are two basic options open to you.
- The first option is to create a she shed in an actual shed. This will be in the backyard or away from the main building of your home. This is the more expensive of the two options as it brings with it additional costs. You can expect to pay as much as $2,500 to create this type of she shed if you don’t have an exiting building or your outbuilding is not already treated with weatherproofing and connected to utilities.
- The second option is to create a she shed in an existing room in your home. This option only requires that you redecorate and fill the space with your favorite things and this can be done reasonably cheaply. A $900 budget should allow you to create the perfect indoor she shed for your needs.
The costs associated with both of these options are entirely different. Let’s look at them in more detail.
Cost of an outdoor she shed
If you’re building an actual shed or need to convert an existing shed, the cost will usually be on the higher side when compared to using an existing indoor room in your home – unless your existing shed is already built off the ground for protection against groundwater, and is weatherproofed with full access to utilities.
Buying a new shed is expensive and converting an existing one into a building that you can actually spend time in can be just as expensive.
Even if you buy a new shed you will then have additional weatherproofing or mold-proofing costs and will most probably need to pay professionals to install utilities such as electricity. However, if you have no spare room in your home, then this may be the only option you have.
If you do have a spare room to convert then your costs will be much lower.
Cost of an indoor she shed
If you’re creating a she shed in an existing room in your home, such as an old storage room or spare room, the cost will be much lower since you will not have the expenses associated with turning an outbuilding into a livable space.
Converting a room in your home will not incur the same conversion costs that are associated with a shed conversion though as you will still need to buy paint/wallpaper, furniture and other she shed items. Luckily though, you won’t have to waterproof the room or connect it to utilities or worry about climate control, which greatly reduces your overall costs.
If you are planning to create your own she shed indoors then you can skip the next few sections on outdoor she sheds and jump to the section on cost of converting a room or utility-ready shed into she shed.
How much it costs to build your own she shed outdoors from scratch
As I have already stated this option is more expensive than a room conversion.
The main reason this option will cost you more is that you have to erect a shed first or covert an existing shed so it is considered livable. Most outbuildings are only treated against the weather on the outside (if even that) and can be damp and cold on the inside with hidden mold lurking in dark corners.
So, if you want to convert and existing shed, or build a new a one, it must be waterproofed on the outside and treated with mold-proof paint on the inside to give you protection from harmful mold build-up.
If you want a fully functioning she shed, then you might also have to opt for the installing of utility connections, especially electricity, though many she sheds function quite well without them. As you will see below there are alternatives ways to both illuminate and heat/cool your she shed without the need of electricity connections.
Cost of the shed
You need to keep in mind that building a large shed from scratch is a very difficult thing to do though I demonstrated how to do it here.
A much more economically viable, and personal-energy saving, option is to buy a ready-made shed that has been designed for use as a outdoor living space – not all outbuildings are considered “livable”.
There are quite a few options you have when it comes to buying a ready-made shed. The best among them is to get the shed from somewhere like Home Depot, Lowe’s or by taking advantage of online savings through eBay or Amazon.
A normal shed measuring 4’ x 6’ will cost you only around $350. This is a basic small shed that will need additional work before it can be used as a she shed.
As the size of the shed increases, the cost will increase as well. You can also get sheds that are designed to be used as outdoor rooms and these shed are often erected by professionals as part of the purchase price. You need to keep in mind that the larger the size of the shed, the more will be the labor costs involved with installation of the utility connections though.
You have to also keep in mind the theme which you want to integrate into your she shed, if you are going to use one, and of course the intended use of the shed. Only then can you choose the size of the shed accordingly.
Prices for a ready-made shed can range from $350 up to $12,000.
You can browse through shed kits here to get an idea of the costs and to see which styles appeal to you.
Cost of waterproofing
It is important that the shed is lifted off the ground via some form of foundation support to give it sufficient clearance for protection against groundwater damage.
Any existing shed that is to be used must be weatherproofed on the outside and damp or mold-proofed on the inside. Many ready-made sheds will come fully weatherproofed however they will need treated on the inside with an anti-mold paint.
Weatherproofing the outside and mold-proofing the inside is done with the use of special paint that can range from $35 a gallon to $99 a gallon. The paint you use outside is different from the paint you use inside as one is for waterproofing and the other is to kill existing mold and prevent the build-up of more.
I have found that a latex primer anti-mold paint is your best option for the inside as it offers both value for money and total damp and mold protection. While an economically priced fence paint or patio and floor latex paint is an ideal, cheap and highly effective option for the outside and much better than paying for overpriced building paint.
Cost of connecting utilities
Utilities are not totally essential for a she shed. As I outline below when it comes to climate control you can easily use a portable heater and portable fan. Lighting is no different.
There are some really cool propane lamps or battery powered lamps that can illuminate any space just as well as electrically powered home lights.
Running water, while convenient, is not at all necessary as you will almost certainly be within walking distance of your house.
However, if you want a fully functioning she shed with some mod cons like a TV, fridge and kettle etc,. then at the very least electricity is needed.
The labor costs associated with the connection of utilities will be dependent on the type of utility connections which you want in your shed.
If you’re just looking for an electricity connection to your shed, you can hire an electrician for $50 – $100 per hour depending on where you live. A small sized shed can be wired within just 3 hours. As the size of the shed increases, the time required to wire it will also go up and thus, so too will the cost.
On the other hand, if you need a water connection or a gas connection as well the costs could easily spiral up.
Generally speaking most professionals for most utilities will charge around $50 per hour to $100 per hour depending on your location and they should be able to quote you a price based on your shed’s dimensions and its proximity to your house or main utility outlet.
The cost of installing climate control
Because your shed is located outdoors you will need to ensure it has a climate control system installed even if this is just in the form of a portable heater and cooler.
While on this subject I should add that when you design your she shed make sure you leave enough space for a stove or heater and/or fans or some other form of climate control. All too often this is forgotten until after the conversion is complete when rearranging furniture to accommodate heaters and fans ruins the layout and look of the she shed.
Is it cheaper to build your own shed or buy one new?
Theoretically it might seem like a more expensive option to build your own shed but in reality it might not be so. When you compare building your own shed to buying one ready-made it is clear that building your own looks like it will save you money but it actually may not. It’s always good to shop around. Building from scratch will also require a lot more manual effort and time to complete.
Most people can erect a shed DIY style very cheaply though, either alone or with the help from at least one other person.
If you want to build your own shed completely from scratch you can follow the detailed directions I set out in the article How to Build a Man Cave in the Backyard. Be aware that the costs involved for a home-build will not be limited to the construction materials as you will also have to factor in the costs of tools as well as felt for the roof (for effective waterproofing) and weathering proofing paint etc.
If you want to convert an existing shed you can read more about that here where I break down the entire process into 10 easy to follow steps.
If you’re buying a ready-made shed from a local store, or online, with installation included, it will usually cost more money but will save you time. Just check that the shed has been treated with some form of waterproofing so you do not need to do this yourself. However, if you intend to paint the outside anyway then I advise you to use a good waterproof paint to give the shed an extra layer of protection.
Just make sure you get proper she shed plans before you embark on your building project if you plan to build the shed yourself.
Cost of converting a room or utility-ready shed into a she shed
Now that you have a clear idea about the costs involved with building a shed outdoors you must consider the costs involved in the actual conversion of the space into a fully functioning she shed.
Regardless of whether you are using a shed, a garage, other outdoor building or a room in your home the remaining costs, outlined below, will be the same.
At this stage you will need to spend money on:
This conversion can be done from about $900+.
Most common costs associated with creating a she shed outside
Here are some of the most common costs associated with converting a room into a she shed.
While you might not need each and every one of these items it will give you a broad idea regarding the costs.
- Paint: $35 per gallon (this is house paint not weathering proof outlined above)
- Décor: $200 – $1000
- Sofa/seats: $300
Common additional extras for utility-ready she sheds:
- LED TV : $150+
- Music system: $200+
The costs of creating a she shed are usually substantially lower than the cost of creating a man cave because most men love their big boy toys and expensive memorabilia. However, if you are the type of gal who loves her tech and needs lots of gadgets and toys of her own then you will need to adjust your budget accordingly.
Cost of a room conversion – the lady lair
One of the most expensive parts of building an outdoor she shed is buying a new shed or converting an existing one into a livable building. However, these costs are entirely eliminated when you create a she shed inside your home. Though it is not strictly speaking a she “shed”, (such a room conversions is commonly called a lady lair), it works exactly the same way.
When you convert a room in your home into your own personal lady lair space (your indoor she shed) you will not have to worry about weatherproofing costs and large utility connection expenses nor will you have to install climate control as a room in your home will already have those things – unless its a very old basement.
The fixtures and accessories which you need will always be dependent on the purpose for which you want to use your she shed. You may want to create a place to socialize with your girlfriends or just want somewhere to be alone away from the demands of life.
There are a variety of different reasons for creating a she shed. But whatever its main purpose the she shed should be somewhere you can go to recharge your batteries and so it should be filled with things that are meaningful to you and that help you relax and unwind.
You will not be able to judge exactly how much of a budget you need for the conversion until you know exactly what you want the room to offer you. Obviously, a shed designed for reading will be a lot cheaper to create than one that is designed with high-tech gadgetry in mind.
Costs are not the only reason for deciding the purpose of the she shed before you take any steps to create it. Knowing what you plan to do in the she shed will help you better design it and identify how much space you need, what type of furniture is best for it and what type of entertainment you need etc.
However, once you know all these things it will become easier for you to set a budget.
There are two other cost considerations we need to address. Namely, the lighting of your she shed and the flooring.
Costs of lighting
In all probability, when you’re creating your she shed in a room, you will find working lights already installed. But you may want to create a better atmosphere with additional lighting.
The usual lighting you see in she sheds are standing lamps or table lamps but you should consider going one step further for a unique approach. It is a good idea to install lights with a dimmer switch so you can dim the lights for a more relaxing atmosphere while still having the option of more light when you need it.
You can get a smart dimmer switch, like these ones, that work via voice control through Alexa and your smartphone. You you can even set them to a schedule.
If you have no electricity then consider getting a propane lamp or battery-powered lamp. You can get some really neat looking portable lamps that can help create a great atmosphere.
If your she shed is naturally dark, being in a basement or shed, with no windows for example, then it is a good idea to use color properly as I covered here and to also use daylight bulbs for increasing the overall light as I also outlined here.
Cost of flooring
You don’t have to be content with with using concrete, wood or carpet for flooring materials. There’s plenty of flooring options that can set your she shed apart from the rest of your house and make it a truly unique and personalized space just for you.
There are great unique flooring options like polyurethane flooring that can be used for amazing effects.
I covered how easy it is to create these effects here.
You can also get amazing 3D epoxy flooring.
You, or your other half, can easily lay this type of floor yourself by doing a little research and putting in a bit of work, but the effect is well worth it. The only cost involved would be the materials, such as simple 3D wallpaper and cheap epoxy resin plus your time.
Of course you can always pay a professional to lay your floor but this is a costly option and completely unnecessary.
Here is an example of a 3D epoxy floor in a bedroom.
Go ahead, get started on your she shed now. You are only limited by your imagination.