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Monday, March 28, 2016

‘SHE SHEDS’

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Female answer to the ‘man cave’

Man caves have been popular for years. Now ladies are getting in on the trend with their own spaces called “She Sheds.”

Tuff Sheds salesman Les Sharp said she sheds are growing in popularity. “She sheds are more personal,” he said. “I love doing them because [women] are very specific on the design they want, the type of windows they want, the type of doors they want. They’re very creative.”

Sharp said some of the buildings he has sold to customers are serving numerous purposes. Some have become crafting rooms, sewing rooms, and one even became a reading room.

Tuff Sheds sales design consultant Amber Lyles agrees. “Probably once or twice a month, we have women coming in saying, ‘Hey I was looking to put a building up for arts and crafts or my gardening,’” she said. “In fact, I have had a couple of customers use the word ‘she shed.’ They’re actually using that phrase.”

The beauty of the she shed is that it can be whatever the owner wants it to be.

Rebecca Dollar of Bella Vista, Ark., used her she shed as a bakery. She ran her custom wedding cake business, Sweet Sensations, out of the small building that was located behind her home. She had it built to look like a small cottage. “We had it landscaped. We had stepping-stones from the back of our home leading up to the cottage. We had window boxes around it with flowers,” she said.

Sharp said they have finished off more she shed interiors than man caves. That involves putting in dry wall, wiring for electricity and plumbing for bathrooms and kitchens. He said Tuff Shed works with private contractors to get the work completed.

Dollar’s 400-square-foot baking cottage was finished on the inside and sat on a concrete slab. It was built to serve two purposes – as a bakery and also as a small apartment. The building had a full bathroom and a small pantry room. The main room housed two refrigerators, two wall ovens, one freestanding oven, a stove, microwaves and countertops. “It looked like a functioning kitchen,” she said. “We had it constructed to comply with health regulations for owning a bake shop.”

A large kitchen table in the space was used when customers would visit the bakery for cake consultations. Dollar said it was a more personal, cozy space for customers than a storefront. She said they appreciated it and always felt at home. “We wanted to invest a little bit more and make it look like a home, so that when we did sell, it would have more of an advantage to buyers who could use it for other purposes,” she said.

“A lot of custom colors go along with the she sheds too because they want to match something specifically,” Sharp said.

Lyles said they build to each customer’s needs. Paint color, trim, the type of roof, the color of the shingles – those are things that can be customized according to the customer’s specifications.

Tuff Shed’s base product is a box – four walls and a door – and everything is made from housing materials. As many, or as few, options as the customer desires can be added. “Some people want shutters and window boxes to make it more like a little cottage. They want a porch on it. They want shelving or a work bench, a loft space,” Lyles said. “And all those are options, so really the sky’s the limit as far as how you want it to look.”

Customers don’t have to worry about putting the building together themselves. Tuff Sheds custom builds every project on-site according to the customer’s specifications. Lyles said the builds are only a one-day project, no matter the building size. A small building would take only a few hours to construct, while a larger garage-size building could take the full day.

Dollar said she built her shed because the law prohibited baking out of a home for profit. She and her husband decided a standalone building would be best for her cake business.

Ladies looking for solitude or their own space need look no further than their own backyard. The addition of a she shed may be just what’s needed for a little rest and relaxation.

–Melissa Airhart

ON STANDS NOW!

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