One of the best things about metal buildings is their versatility. A metal shed or outbuilding can provide protection for equipment and tools, serve as a garage for your motorcycle or project car, or even work as a new room. While it might seem like a huge project to convert your steel shed into a detached living space, it’s actually simpler than it looks.

Metal Building

Step 1: Choosing the Right Shed

If you already have a metal shed, this step is done for you. However, many buyers choose a metal building with the goal of turning it into an office or outdoor room from the start. In that case, you’ll need to choose a shed that suits this purpose.

Depending on your space requirements, either a metal garage or a weld-up building is a good choice for a home office. These buildings are enclosed and watertight, and they can be easily outfitted with doors, windows, and other accessories to make the space more comfortable. You’ll also want to build the shed on a stable footer, preferably concrete or another hard surface. This will keep the interior of the building dry, clean, and strong for years to come.

Step 2: Readying the Interior

Once you have a shed picked out, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to outfit it. At the very least you’ll need to run electrical lines to your shed, which you can learn more about in our blog post on that topic. Some metal building owners also want to add plumbing to their work space, but this is a much bigger job than electricity and you likely won’t be able to do it yourself.

After installing an electrical system, it’s time for the walls and floor. Many metal building owners choose to install drywall in their shed, since it’s easy to work with and inexpensive. If you’ve ever installed drywall before, the process in a metal building is similar, but with one important change. Instead of drywall nails, you’ll need to use self-tapping screws to install drywall on the metal studs inside your steel shed. Nails won’t hold against the metal, so skip the hammer and get your power drill ready.

You’ll probably also want to install some additional insulation between the metal walls and the drywall. Spray or loose fill insulation is good for this, since it can easily fall down into the spaces between the studs. If you choose mat or roll insulation instead, you’ll need to install it before hanging your drywall.

Finally, the floor will also need some attention. Popular choices for home office flooring include carpet and hardwood paneling, both of which can be installed over the concrete footer. Remember to first install some foam or hard board insulation on top of the concrete, as well as a layer of plywood or other material to secure the floor to. Also, make sure there are no gaps between the concrete and the bottom of the shed that could let moisture in from the outside and ruin your flooring.

Step 3: Making it Comfortable.

Unless you want to keep the windows or doors open all year, you’ll probably need some ventilation into your office space. Roof vents are a simple and effective way to increase airflow into the interior of your steel building without much trouble. Experts recommend installing simple dome-style vents only if your shed will have an “attic” space. If you’re going for full-height ceilings, continuous ventilation along the top edge of the roof is a better idea.

Trim is another important part of making your metal building feel like a part of your home. Compressed wood or plastic trim is cheap and easy to install around door and window frames, making it a good option for use in sheds and metal buildings. Some homeowners prefer to take pictures of the trim inside their homes and match the new trim to it as much as possible before buying.

Finally, once the walls and floor are complete, you’ll need to finish the electrical system by adding plates and light switches, as well as installing other fixtures and eventually furniture. Though it may seem like a lot of work, a dedicated do-it-yourself-er can convert a metal shed into a comfortable and attractive office space in just a matter of days.

To learn more about the exciting possibilities that metal sheds and outbuildings offer their owners, contact us today at Bargain Barns USA 405-872-0338!