Across central Connecticut, we have left a trail of happy clients who love the outdoor spaces we’ve created for them including decks, screened porches and patios. In each of these cases, the new structure we designed and built was attached to their home with a door leading from the main house to the new addition. The exceptions are gazebos, pavilions and in some cases patios, which you could argue are not attached in that way.
— One of our recent open porch additions serves this family well for outdoor entertaining.
Currently, we are exploring the concept of building an outdoor structure on the client’s property but not directly attached to the client’s house. We’ve all seen this in the form of a detached garage. Some detached garages are built with an apartment or some type of living quarters above the garage itself. We want to take that idea to another level, whether it is for recreational purposes or for workspaces.
— Imagine your own space just for exercise or yoga…
The purpose of a detached structure on one’s property has never been limited to living quarters. Several examples come to mind. Besides the garage, the earliest use might have been the woodworker’s workshop and the garden shed. In both of these examples, the intent would have been to build a structure in which the woodworker or gardener could store tools and supplies. They also needed a workbench or table, basically, a place to work.
— Imagine a space for sewing, crafts and cherished hobbies…
Next comes the “she shed.” In contrast, we typically think of a man cave as being inside the house, usually in the basement or a spare den or bedroom. Women must have an inherently greater need to get out of the house because we’ve come to think of their escape structure as being detached from the home: the she shed. Maybe it was the garden shed that first morphed into a she shed. Somewhere a woman decided she could use that shed however she chose, and that usage did not have to include gardening — or any work, for that matter. Ideas like this spread like wildfire now in the electronic age where we share so much through social media. Just search Pinterest for “she shed” and you’ll see what we mean.
As soon as you start to think of additional uses for a detached building at your home, quite a few very appealing possibilities come to mind:
- Art studio
- Craft room
- Writer’s studio
- Sewing room
- College suite
- Theatre room
- Yoga room
- Weight room
- Cigar room
And, of course, we would include she shed, man cave, workshop and garden shed on a list of potential uses for a detached building at your home.
Some of these uses seem purely recreational and some seem work-related. Who’s to say which is which (besides your tax accountant when you’re looking for deductions)? Is the art studio of a full-time attorney who dabbles in painting landscapes any different from that of a working artist totally self-supported by her artwork? Her sewing? Her writing? At what point do crafts stop being recreational and start paying the bills? If you call it an outdoor living space, must you only dabble in hobbies there, or can you perform “real work” there, too?
As designers and builders, it’s not for us to say that any one use for a detached outdoor living structure is more legitimate than another. At Archadeck of Hartford-Fairfield, we design and build outdoor living structures. We don’t tell you what you can or can’t do with them. It’s our job to ask you how you want to use your outdoor space — and then to collaborate with you in designing it to meet your needs. We’re simply suggesting that you might want to consider adding a detached outdoor living structure at your home for any number of leisure or professional purposes.
If you’re interested in talking with us about your ideas for a new detached outdoor living structure at your home, contact us to learn more about how we can exceed your expectations. Call us at (203) 439-5720.