Has anyone built a tuff shed home?

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Has anyone built a tuff shed home?

Postby skeetersmobilelodge » Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:44 am

Has anyone done a build on a tuff shed as a house? I see them at home depot and am convinced I will eventually build one on our property. They'll build to spec, I figure a 24x20 two story is about the same square feet as the 2 br apartment we are currently in. Solar and a windmill, maybe a windmill doing double duty of pumping a well (which we have plenty of water underground, already 2 old wells from the family back in the 1860s that still have water) set up septic or go old school with a capper shed. The tuff sheds can be had as a shell for around $10k-$20k for what I want to do with it. Add in the finish with appliances and I figure for less than $50k out the door we could have a really nice home (with a warranty). Plus if i ever need more space for a possible growing famil i figure add in another 12x10 and connect it with a breeze way or a hall way. What are yalls thoughts on doing something like that? I like the living small idea. But I'm not shrinking down into 200 square feet unless it's in the teardrop for a hunting trip :lol:
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Re: Has anyone built a tuff shed home?

Postby MtnDon » Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:22 am

I like smaller more efficient homes, but I could not live in a tinyhouse.

People do use these sheds as cabins and permanent residences. IMO, they come with faults mostly because they are designed to be a storage shed. The typical Tuff Shed, or clone, has a gambrel (barn style) style roof. Most people use the upper area under the roof as a room or a loft. That makes the underside of the roof framing the ceiling. Most of those use 2x4 for framing. Even if you pay to upgrade to 2x6 rafters that is insufficient to provide space for good insulation. That is the biggest reason I think shed make a poor start to making a home. The minimum recommended ceiling / roof insulation value is R-30; many areas have a minimum of R-38 and R-49. And to me it makes sense from an energy resource conservation point of view to follow those rules for new residential buildings even if the area you build in is has no code enforcement. Not to mention that energy costs will have a long term rise in cost despite occasional dips due to market conditions.

Similarly the floor comes with no insulation and is even more difficult to retrofit insulation.

There are some other considerations but to me insulation is a very important one. There are methods that could be used to increase the R-value but all cost more per sq ft than building differently from the start.
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Re: Has anyone built a tuff shed home?

Postby bobhenry » Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:35 am

If you enter tuff shed 2 story in any search you will find video after video of converted sheds into homes. If you are staying in the Dallas/Rockwall area your heat considerations are minimal. The biggie is keeping cool. The answer to either of these problems is good insulation and venting. If they will build to spec ask for 2x6 framing. Give them the window rough openings and the location YOU want them. Shed windows are crap and you will want your own insulated residential windows. Ask that they Not cut out the bottom plate at the doors and you can later add 1 1/2" thick zip wall R as a sub floor giving you an R 7 floor. Make a continuous vent in the roof by adding 2x2's at the underside of the roof sheathing and attach then to the 2x6 truss top chord. This vent should be open at the bottom and chimney to a continuous roof vent at the peak. This will aid in carrying the summer heat up up and away. A thick foil faced polyisocyanurate board can then be added under the 2 x 2's in each stud bay. You can ask for drywall nailers at the corners or add them yourself as they will be needed. Add your inlet water lines as close to the heated side of the stud bay as possible but use steel protector plates to avoid accidentally penetrating the lines. If a Gambrel roof design you will probably have a collar tie near the top this area would be and should be power vented to aid cooling. If they will, ask for a prow to be added front and rear to help protect the upper windows from wind sun and driving rain. I have personal built some 200 of these little barns and have added many custom features inside and out for my customers so I have a little experience in this arena.

Here is the single prettiest barn I ever built....... Image

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Re: Has anyone built a tuff shed home?

Postby skeetersmobilelodge » Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:13 pm

So would it be a better deal financially to build a shed STYLED home but build to residential standards you think? I honestly hadn't considered any of the things you guys have suggested, but yall bring up very good and valid points.
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Re: Has anyone built a tuff shed home?

Postby MtnDon » Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:30 pm

Yep. Build whatever style home and whatever size home you prefer but build it using methods and techniques that lend themselves to buildng an energy efficient home. There is a website,buildingscience, that has much good information on building for efficiency. Buildings should be tailored to the climate where they will be built. A home we might build in ND would have details and methods that would be unsitable for GA, and vice versa.
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Re: Has anyone built a tuff shed home?

Postby Andrew Herrick » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:44 pm

Bob Henry really knows his stuff!

I haven't build many sheds, but I did, once upon a time, sell them. We had lots of people interested in converting them to Tiny Homes. I second everything thus far advised and would add a little more:

- Don't let the portable buildings manufacturer insulate the floor. They usually use double bubble foil insulation, which is almost worthless.
- If you get one with shingles, make sure they're architectural shingles over felt paper.
- As has been mentioned, properly insulating the roof - whether gambrel or gable - is a pain.

Not to knock your idea, but - here's a dirty secret - a lot of would-be customers wound up going with a local contractor to build a home "shell." Portable building manufacturers typically have very limited ability to customize the siding, plumbing or electrical packages. The contractor often wound up being cheaper and better able to build a shell from scratch.
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Re: Has anyone built a tuff shed home?

Postby bobhenry » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:05 am

It's really just a big box. Find a good DIY book on garages and you have the manual to build a tiny home by adding a few small features. Here is one I really liked......

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