You Can Build These Prefab ADUs Yourself, Which Start at $100 Per Square Foot

Colorado company Studio Shed started out with storage units and now offers backyard homes that can be delivered as a kit of parts.

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In 2008 Jeremy Nova and Mike Koenig both built backyard sheds for their mountain bikes. Later, on trail rides together around Boulder, Colorado, they threw around the idea of building storage units as a side business. Soon thereafter the pair started a design-build company, Studio Shed, and within a few years, began branching out into micro housing.

The company, which prides itself in offering affordable designs, now operates a production center in Louisville, Colorado. Just last year, the builder started shipping to Canada and revamped their prefab products to tap into the burgeoning ADU market. We asked Jeremy to tell us more about recent changes at Studio Shed, including the launch of The Aspect (their latest and largest model), the introduction of off-the-shelf packages to streamline delivery, and the development of a web-based tool that clients can use to customize their homes.

Studio Shed offers four different product lines that range from 96 to 1,000 square feet. This unit is a lengthened version of the company’s Signature model.

Photo courtesy of Studio Shed

What’s the most exciting project you’ve realized to date?

From a ski warming hut that Studio Shed dropped onto the side of a mountain, to a school in Tahoe, the company has completed numerous exciting projects for customers across the country.

We recently launched a new collection of four ADU designs in an effort to streamline and ease the permitting and building process. The new collection features sizes ranging from a studio to one- and two-bedroom units, complete with interior layouts, finishes and express permit plan sets.

Studio Shed introduced its newest model, The Aspect, in November of this year. Available in one- and two-bedroom configurations, we feel its our most refined offering to date.

The structures are made of fir and engineered wood.

Photo courtesy of Studio Shed

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The sheds come with fiber cement lap siding by default. The cladding can be upgraded to blocks (pictured here), planks, or shingles for an additional $1,000 to $7,000.

Photo courtesy of Studio Shed

What does your base model cost and what does that pricing include?

Studio Shed’s starting prices range from $100 to $140 per square foot, but costs vary widely as products include everything from small studios to large ADUs, fully kitted-out with kitchens and bathrooms.

We allow customers to see and save real-time estimates, including shipping and installation costs, based on their zip code using our project cost calculator.

Clerestories in this unit make the interiors bright.

Photo courtesy of Studio Shed

A kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom can be added to the larger Summit model. Studio Shed offers a choice between several finishes.

Photo courtesy of Studio Shed

What qualities make your prefab stand apart from the rest?

Studio Shed emphasizes style, function, and affordability. Its 40,000-square-foot production center in Colorado ships up to 1,000 square feet of product a day with room to grow. Thanks to its long history in the prefab industry, Studio Shed’s innovative virtual 3D showroom, permit plan sets, and financing opportunities provide shoppers with access to quick quotes and personalized consultations to explore their site feasibility and project goals.

Where is the prefab currently available?

Whether it’s an 80-square-foot storage shed or a 1,000-square foot ADU, Studio Shed’s flat-packed components can be shipped to all 50 U.S. states and select Canadian locations.

Studio Shed’s units can be used as saunas, and some clients use them as recording studios, fitness rooms, or art studios.

Photo courtesy of Studio Shed

Is your design currently pre-permitted in any U.S. municipalities?

Studio Shed provides permit-ready, engineer-stamped plan sets based on customer locations, including compliance with all applicable codes, energy calculations, foundation details, and any other requirements specific to their ​local building departments. New ADU designs also ease the permitting and building process for customers with express permit plan sets.

How long can a client expect the process to take after they put down a deposit?

Studio Shed units can be delivered in a matter of weeks, depending on the scope and scale of the project. For an ADU with permit sets, once a customer chooses a design online, the pre-engineered plan set is delivered within two to four weeks. The customer manages the permitting process, and Studio Shed ships the final product flat-packed as a kit once permitted. Assembly times typically take between four to five weeks.

Metal wainscoting can be added along the bottom of the envelope at no extra cost. Other free upgrades include awnings or trellis shades above the windows.

Photo courtesy of Studio Shed

The prefab’s metal roof rests on plywood rafters, which can be stained or painted for $1,400. Clients also have the option to shorten the eaves to six inches for an extra $200.

Photo courtesy of Studio Shed

What aspects of an install do you manage?

Studio Shed offers DIY and professional builder options. Every DIY Studio Shed purchase includes installer training tools with specific building plans and short videos detailing key steps. For the professional builder route, Studio Shed’s national network of licensed installers handle wall panels, roofing and siding, spray-foam insulation, drywall, and interior partition wall materials. Foundation and site work, utilities, and permitting are separate.

What aspects of the design can a client customize?

Clients can explore hundreds of customizable interior and exterior options with Studio Shed’s online design tool. This includes selecting models, interior and exterior finishes, window and door placements, and much more. Additionally, the Studio Shed team offers free design consultations.

The fully finished structures include drywall, electricity, and interior finishes. If there is a bathroom or kitchen, clients can customize the floors, fixtures, and finishes, as well as cabinets, appliances, etc.

Buyers can explore window and door placements with Studio Shed’s online design tool.

Photo courtesy of Studio Shed

Studio Shed offers to ship their prefabs as DIY projects, where the buyer receives the units as a kits of parts that they can assemble themselves using the provided instructions and specialized tools.

Photo courtesy of Studio Shed

More Prefab Profiles:

You Can’t Customize These $195K ADUs—But That Means They’re Delivered That Much Faster

This California Prefab Builder’s Website Lets You Visualize an ADU on Your Property

This Los Angeles ADU Builder Says It Can Add a Home to Your Backyard in Nine Months



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