The first thing I learned when moving from my parents house into my tiny house was the necessity of storage space outside of the home. If you think about it, paying to keep stuff warm that doesn’t need to be warm is silly. Most of my belongings that I don’t use on a day to day basis, don’t need to be stored in a heated house. While I built a fairly amazing amount of storage space into my house, I definitely needed more external storage. Many people laughed at me for converting a 120 sq. foot tool shed into a house and then building a 96 sq. foot tool shed out back, but C’est La Vie, it made sense at the time. The reason it made sense was timing. I had exactly one year and very little money to get something together to live in because that’s when my parents were vacating their house. It was far too daunting and expensive to start from scratch so I did it the backwards way that made sense to me.
I finished my house in time and moved in during the summer of 2011. That same summer I built an 8×12 tool shed (the largest size you can build w/out needing a permit). It didn’t take long to fill it up! It now houses my chest freezer where I store local meat and veggies to get me through the year, as well as all my carpentry tools and much of my hiking/camping/skiing/canoeing etc. equipment. It wasn’t big enough to house all of my bikes as well as all my other gear, so the following summer I build a 6×12 foot shed roof off the back to store my bikes and other large items.
When I first built the shed I ran an extension cord from my house to the shed so I’d have one drop light for use in the darker hours, but It soon became apparent that it would be nice to have a light or two. Around the time I decided to invest in a chest freezer I decided I needed something more reliable than an extension cord so I ran a real electric line (wire to meet specs for buried lines) inside a one inch conduit I buried from my house to shed. I didn’t want a line that could get broken by a falling tree limb, and it was short enough distance I was able to dig the trench by hand. A fair amount of work, but not too expensive and worth the labor for the reliability.