Build a Shouse if You Need a Shop With Living Quarters Attached
A shouse, or a shop house, is a residential structure with a shop incorporated into the design. Also known as a shop with living quarters, shouse homes are typically built as metal buildings.
Metal shops with living quarters are great for people who want a home but know they also need an attached shop where they can work.
A lot of shouse home owners are farmers who require outdoor-accessible storage space.
But even people who enjoy working on cars or have another hobby that requires a separate workspace can benefit from building a shop house.
One of the biggest benefits of building a metal shop with living quarters is that it’s often more cost-effective than building a home and a separate shop. You also don’t need as much land.
The cost savings make shouses perfect for anyone wanting to build both a shop and a house on a budget.
Building a shop house doesn’t limit your floor plan options either. You can easily build a shop on the ground floor and build the living quarters on the second floor. But you can also build them side by side. It depends on how much shop space you need, as well as several other factors.
Carports and More can supply everything you need to get started on your shouse, including metal purlins, trusses and studs, and sheet metal for the exterior walls and roof.
Check out our custom Carport and Garage Builder to see all the different customization options we offer and to get an idea of our shophouse prices, which vary based on design and location.
Cost of Metal Building With Living Quarters
The cost of building a shop with living quarters varies based on several factors. Obviously, the bigger the building, the more it will cost to build. But there are other factors to consider.
How much space is going to be dedicated to the living quarters? And how much space is going to be dedicated to the shop?
What are you planning on using the shop for? Will it require any special features or amenities, like roll-up doors?
These are just some of the questions to ask yourself before you start designing a floor plan for your shop house, as each one will impact your metal shop with living quarters cost.
For most people, the alternative to building a shouse is to build a home and a separate shop. But shops with living spaces are more cost-effective solutions.
One reason a shouse cost less is that you don’t need as much land to build a shop house since you don’t have to meet setback requirements for two structures.
So if you’re looking to build on a small plot of land, a metal shop building with living quarters is a good way to make the most of it.
You’ll also save a lot on building costs. A single building means you’ll only need to build one foundation. You’ll need fewer load-bearing walls as well since the living quarters and shop will share some. In addition, you’ll only need to run one set of utility hookups instead of two.
On top of those savings, you’ll build a workshop with living quarters much faster than you would two structures.
But these are only the up-front savings, and building a metal shop with living quarters will also save you money in subsequent years.
Energy bills in metal buildings are a much as 40 percent less than in buildings made of other materials. In addition, metal buildings often qualify for homeowners insurance discounts.
If you wanted to increase the energy efficiency of your shouse even more, you could add solar panels or energy efficient windows after you’ve completed the initial construction phase.
It may seem like financing a metal building would be easier than other types of structures because they are typically less expensive to build. That’s not necessarily true.
Despite their popularity growth, shouses are the minority in the real estate industry compared with more traditional home styles. This makes them more difficult to appraise, which makes it easier for banks to turn down borrowers.
However, there are several things you can do to improve your chances of securing financing.
The biggest thing you can do to increase your chances of being approved for a mortgage for a shouse is to apply at a local bank or credit union — especially if you’re already a member.
You can also do some work in advance in order to make the bank feel better about approving the loan. You can pay an architect in advance to draw up blueprints that abide by local building codes for your shome, and you can get quotes from contractors based on those blueprints.
It will also make it easier for the bank to approve a loan if you gather some data on other shops with living space in the area. If you can show the bank other shop houses in the area that are valued similarly to the one you’re looking to build, they’ll feel better about financing it.
Shop With Living Quarters Floor Plans
One of the best parts about building a shouse is the number of available metal building with living quarters floor plans.
A two-story metal building with living quarters above a shop is the most common shouse floor plan. This is a popular floor plan for several reasons.
First of all, most shops require a concrete slab floor, which is a lot easier — and cheaper — to do on the ground floor. Not only that, but if you were to build the shop on the second floor, you would have to deal with excess noise coming through the roof of the living quarters.
In addition, a lot of metal buildings with living quarters floor plans include roll-up doors so that large vehicles, like RVs, can enter. And adding roll-up doors on the second story isn’t practical.
And, when you design shop plans with living quarters above, you have the ability to add certain features and amenities that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. If, for example, you wanted to build a balcony, you’d want to add that onto the living quarters, not the shop.
Other features specific to the shouse interior, like exposed wood trusses, or a fireplace, require shop house plans with the living quarters on the first floor.
But 2 story metal buildings with living quarters don’t work for everyone. If, for example, you plan to settle down in your shouse, you may want to your shop with living quarters plans to include only one floor. That way, you don’t have to worry about walking up the stairs when you’re older.
For one-story buildings, shops with living quarters plans that are possible include building the living quarters in the front and the shop in the back, building shop in the front and the living quarters in the back and building the living quarters and shop side by side.
And, depending on how much space you require for the shop versus the living quarters, you may decide to make the shop accessible only from the inside of the house.
If, for example, you build a 40×60 structure with a 10X20 shop inside, the shop could easily be built by putting up a few interior walls. Plus, you may not even want the shop to be accessible from the outside if you’re planning on storing valuable equipment inside.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to prioritize the shop, you may want to section off a small living space that’s only accessible from the interior of the shouse. You could also leave the floor plan completely open and let the living quarters and shop share the same space.
40×60 Shop With Living Quarters Floor Plans
Once you’ve figured out the general layout of your workshop with living quarters, you’ll need to nail down the size. A good starting point is to look at what other homeowners are building.
Two of the most common metal building sizes are 40×60 and 30×40 square feet.
A 40×60 shouse is 2,400 square feet, but most people purchasing a 40×60 structure don’t need a metal shop building with living quarters; they only need space for a shop.
The median size of a new single-family home is 2,386 square feet. But that’s only living space.
It may seem like you need to build an 80×120 shouse, but a lot of homeowners looking to build a separate 40×60 structure already have a home on their property, and it can be just as expensive to build an entirely separate metal structure as it would be to add on to the house.
On top of that, when homeowners build a separate metal building, they’ll often add other features and amenities that are more commonly seen in homes, like rec rooms, kitchens and outdoor decks.
But when you build a shop house, you can easily house everything you want under one roof without overlapping specific features.
For example, the shop in a shouse can easily double as an unfinished recreation room.
And, instead of building storage space in the living quarters, you could use part of the shop for it. The vaulted ceilings inside shouses make them perfect for wall-mounted storage racks.
In addition, metal shops with living quarters utilize open floor plans, which provide flexibility in terms of layout. Open floor plans typically include fewer walls, which means more space.
Another key factor to consider is how many people will be living in the shouse.
The average household includes between two and three people, which requires two bedrooms.
So, if you’re looking to have at least as much living space as the average single-family home, you’ll likely need to build something larger than a 40×60 shop house. If, for example, you wanted 2,400 square feet of living space and a 20×30 shop, you could build a 60×90 shouse.
But, if you only need one bedroom, you can probably get away with building a 40×60 shouse.
Building a Shop With Living Quarters
You’ll need to finalize your shop with living quarters floor plans before you begin construction. The floor plan will not only determine the materials you need to buy to complete your shouse; it will also ensure the construction process is as efficient as possible.
Regardless of what your metal shop with living quarters plans look like, building a shouse is similar to building any other home style.
First, the building site must be excavated in preparation for pouring the concrete slab foundation. The next step is installing the utilities for both the shop and the living quarters.
Now it’s time to put up the exterior walls of the shouse. These walls, in addition to the steel frame, make up what is called the shell of the structure.
Some homeowners opt to build only the shell and either complete the interior themselves or hire other subcontractors for specific tasks.
However, this is typically done only by homeowners with some construction or building experience. Most people hire a general contractor to complete the entire construction process.
The next phase of construction is installing the plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems. Once those are installed, it’s time to insulate the building.
A lot of people looking to build a shouse are unsure which kind of insulation to use. This is mainly because metal shops with living quarters aren’t as common as other home styles. But it’s also because metal buildings have a reputation for being difficult to insulate.
And while there are additional factors to consider, such as ceiling height and noise, when insulating a shouse, it doesn’t mean they can’t be insulated just as well as other types of residential structures.
It all comes down to selecting the right type of insulation for your metal shop with living quarters.
There are several different types of insulation, and each one has advantages and disadvantages. For example, rigid foam board insulation is better at blocking our sound than standard rolls of fiberglass insulation, which is the most commonly used type of insulation.
For more information about insulating your metal shop building with living quarters, check out our guide on how to insulate a metal building.
After insulating your shouse, it’s time to finalize the interior by hanging walls and installing trim, cabinets, shelves, countertops and hard-surface floors. After this, the shouse is move-in ready.
Converting a Shed Into a House to Build a Shome
Another building option is to convert an existing shed into a home to create a shed-style house. Also known as shomes, shed homes are technically not shouses, as they do not include a shop. But they are similar to shop houses because they are also made of metal buildings.
Living in a shome isn’t like living in a shed, however. Shed homes come complete with all the same features and amenities you would expect in a house, but they’re often smaller.
There are a few instances that call for building a shed home. The most common is when people who have already built a house and a shed on their property want to convert the shed into an additional living quarters. In this case, it may be considered an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU).
And in rural areas, homeowners who find the perfect plot of land to build on may opt to salvage an existing shed and convert it into a shome instead of tearing it down.
This has several benefits. For one, it’s typically more cost-effective than building a home from the ground up. It’s also better for the environment to salvage an existing structure.
Converting a shed into a shome is also a popular option for existing homeowners who are looking to generate supplemental income.
For example, farmers who own several acres of land may convert an existing shed on their property into a shome and rent it out as an apartment or even a vacation rental on Airbnb.
Shomes usually cost less to build than a home or a shouse because sheds tend to be small. In fact, the small footprint of a shed makes it the perfect starting point for building a tiny home.
However, even if you are building a small shed home, like a 12×24, which is about the size of a one-car garage, what you’ll save still depends on which existing materials are salvageable.
A shed that has four load-bearing walls that are still in good shape is going to be cheaper to convert into a house shed than one that doesn’t have any, for example.
The existing materials may also come into play when determining your shed house plans. If, for example, you have to remove interior walls that are in bad condition, you may opt for a more open floor plan. Or, if there’s already a loft in the shed, you may decide to keep it.
As far as how to convert a shed into a house, it will include many of the same steps as any other restoration project. However, depending on the condition of the shed and what kind of existing infrastructure there is, it may require a few additional key steps.
The biggest is the foundation. While a lot of areas will require a shed to have a foundation, not all will. And if it the one you’re looking to convert into a shome doesn’t already have one, you’ll have to build one. But, if there’s already a foundation, you may not even have to move the shed.
Most buildings that undergo restoration already have utilities installed; worst case, there are some broken or cracked pipes that need to be repaired. But if the shed you’re looking to convert into a house shed doesn’t already have utilities hooked up, those will also need to be installed.
If you’re building a shed home on property where you have already built a home, you can run electricity from your house to the shome. The distance between the house and the shome will determine how difficult it is to run the electricity to the shed, but it can be done in most cases.
These are all things to consider, whether you’re looking to convert a shed you already own into a shed home or you’re looking to buy property with an existing shed and convert it into a shome.
Note, however, that regardless of the size or scale of your shome project, you’ll always need to acquire a permit to ensure your shed home meets all code requirements.
Best case, the foundation’s been built, utilities have been installed and it already has heating and air conditioning. If that’s the case, you may only have to renovate the interior.
Please contact us if you’re interested in building either a shouse or a shome. And even if you’re on the fence about it but would like to learn more, please reach out, and one of our knowledgeable sales representatives will answer any questions you have.