How She Turned a 10' X 11' Shed Into a Tiny Home on a Budget

by Simplify

Heather’s journey from shed to tiny home shows that with a little creative problem solving, you can take life’s challenges and turn them into a great adventure.

Heather started her shed construction for work and storage space. However, when she separated from her husband, she needed a new home as well. So, she created her 10’ x 11’ shed home, which is located in Ontario on a property owned by her mother and sister.

Being close to family allows Heather to nurture relationships with her nieces and nephews, while also having her own space to do whatever she wants, like having solo dance parties!

Heather’s shed conversion into a tiny home was done cheaply; the entire structure cost around $5,000, not including the stove. She added the mortar to the concrete boards herself, to provide insulation that keeps the tiny home shed cool in the summer and warm in the winter. She also has a wooden stove for heating, which has the added effect of removing moisture. 

In order to maintain fire safety, she has CO2 and smoke detectors, as well as a fire extinguisher, and made sure the stove is a certain distance from the wall. Although Heather likes the stove, she is a bit apprehensive about fetching firewood in the heart of Canadian winter.

Right inside the tiny home shed, there’s an area for throwing keys and receipts, followed by a couch with a sleep-loft above. Having the sleep loft allows Heather to have a queen-size bed and upper storage space, although the ceiling is lower than Heather’s ideal. 

The couch has a second-hand table with a DIY swivel that allows Heather to hang out on the couch while using her laptop; it can also sleep an extra person if she wants to host a friend.

The most unfinished part of this shed to tiny home transformation is the plumbing. The kitchen does have a sink and faucet but they aren’t hooked up. For now, Heather showers and washes dishes at her mom’s house, though she hopes to install a graywater system and a foot pump soon.

Her toilet is a compost toilet with a urine diverter that is emptied every few days, and a solids bin that’s dumped once a week. 

Heather brings in water to use for drinking; she believes that this makes her more aware of how and how much water she uses, fostering a more sustainable lifestyle. 

She enjoys having an electric kettle and a toaster oven, though she can use only one at a time, because she only has a 15-amp fuse for the electric system. However, that’s enough to charge 1 or 2 items and to run the fan and the fridge, where Heather displays her travel magnets collection, which reminds her of where she has been and what she is capable of.

Shed to tiny home conversion

Shed to tiny home conversion

Heather learned how to turn a shed into a tiny home as she went along. Although some mistakes were made and some things are still unfinished, overall Heather is happy with her choices. She enjoys working at her desk, where she can see the outdoors through her big window and feel like she is outside and inside at the same time. 

She is learning how to live in a shed, just as she is learning to live on her own—and enjoying doing both at the same time.

For more tiny home ideas, see this expandable tiny home for a mom and her teenage daughter or this boho tiny house made from recycled materials.

To see more videos, check out the Exploring Alternatives YouTube page.

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2 of 5 comments
  • Lisa Lisa on Jul 09, 2022

    Those who would like to see the inside should watch the video all the way through. She did a good job. Personally, I think I'd do a pellet stove rather than a wood stove, but they probably cost about the same. I'd love to do something like this for summer and fall and travel in my van the rest of the year. I'm 67.

  • Bobbie Laidlaw Bobbie Laidlaw on Aug 24, 2022

    I'm so proud of Heather! Nope, I don't personally know her. I'm 68 looking for land, less than a acre and I'd love to do the same thing. But yes, I would do pellet.