I bought a house with a huge shed – What now

Photo: Angela Hatem

This series ends with the renovation of a shed, but begins with the search for housing. Maybe this sounds more like the start of your daily horoscope than the opening of a before and after renovation story, but let me explain.

RELATED: How to Move a Shed

It was 2019, and I was like most early-career homebuyers: dumb, with a pre-approval letter burning a hole in my pocket. Okay, maybe stupid is a little strong. Incredibly Naive feels more accurate and definitely kinder. I had idealized the whole process of buying a house. In my brain, it was all floor plans, curb appeal, and cookies with real estate agents.

The reality of the situation? Buying a home in 2019 was tough. The market had gone from hot jalapeno to spicy ghost. As a new mom fresh off maternity leave, I was already overwhelmed. Throw a house hunt into the mix, and I was in the crosshairs of an adult avalanche.

I figured finding my dream home would be easy given my pretty reasonable wish list of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, wood floors, and an “oh man, that wouldn’t be nice” fireplace. Reasonable yes, doable, sort of.

Within minutes of finding an interesting home on a real estate app, poof, it was on hold. Fortunately, my Indianapolis-based realtor Patty England, is the patient kind. She kept reassuring me that there was something out there and we would find that something.

So the search continued, and a house kept coming up. The house met all of my “must see” criteria, but it had been on the market for a while, which made me a bit skeptical. What did other homebuyers know that I didn’t? Curious and with reservations for two, Patty and I decided it was at least worth scheduling a visit.

When we pulled up to the driveway, I was pleasantly surprised and almost giddy. The exterior was just as the selling family had described it, “cute as a button.” The interior was interesting and featured a cool floor plan, plus there was a fireplace. I dug it.

The paint color was a little dull, but the current owners had committed to repainting and brightening things up a bit. The wood floors seemed fine to me, but the owners were also committed to sprucing them up. The bedrooms were a good size and the bathrooms were recently updated. So far, everything was going great! Then Patty and I ventured into the garden…

The yard was huge. Like “how am I going to mow this thing” kind of huge. As daunting as the lawn was, I loved the idea of ​​having a big yard for my boy to play in and where we could entertain our friends and family. So I quickly got over my fear of landscaping and embraced the idea of ​​a riding lawn mower.

It was then that I saw him.

Nestled in a back corner of the property, overlooking the ranch yard and dwelling…

A shed.

she poured

Photo: Angela Hatem

Now, when I thought of “shed”, I always thought of an outdoor broom closet. A place to keep a push mower and a rake. Maybe a few cans of paint.

It wasn’t just any shed. It was a shed that gobbles up other breakfast sheds and still has room for oatmeal. Some would call this behemoth a barn. I called it irrelevant. What the hell was this crazy structure doing in a suburban backyard?

RELATED: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Shed?

Once again curious and skeptical, Patty and I entered. This shed was loaded with amenities and potential. There was insulation, electricity, a window and a wood fireplace. It was basically a second home in the backyard. I’ve always been a fan of more living space, but I never expected this to be a partially finished structure lying around in my backyard.

It was a curveball that I didn’t see coming and that I really had to think about before taking a swing.

I started filing that house in the back of my mind and kept going to the tours. Lots of houses, all without barns, each with a little something I wanted in a house. Other houses I’ve seen would have done the trick, but none of them were THE house. I kept dreaming of the barn. Something about this house appealed to me, so I scheduled a second visit. I went there, I saw, I was on the fence again. I couldn’t get past the barn, and I didn’t know why. I needed to talk about it.

So that evening, over dinner with friends (one of whom had a doctorate in psychology), we chopped it. The house has everything to please: three bedrooms, two bathrooms, parquet floor, fireplace. Check! The location, close to school/work and filled with families. A home run. Then there was this barn.

The barn scared me, but why? Was it because I was afraid of the interview? Nah, not really. It would be work, but I could probably handle it.

Was it scary because I didn’t know what to do with it? Ding, ding, ding!

she poured

Photo: Angela Hatem

Yeah. That was it. It was the potential that scared me. This barn could be a playroom for my son, a work/retirement space for me, a family entertainment space, an Airbnb or a living space for my mother when she retires! The possibilities were endless and overwhelming, and obviously, the root cause of my apprehension.

Once I figured out what was making me nervous, the purchase became a no-brainer. Making the shed became something I could, and did, on the road for two years…until now.

Now I’m ready to take on the shed, its potential, and all the questions and work it will take to make a vision a reality.

RELATED: So You Want To…Build A Shed

In my next piece, I’ll work with my friends, designers, and contractors to weigh all the possibilities, consider the important factors, and ultimately decide what the barn will become.

Stay tuned for the second part of this series of renovations.

Comments are closed.