- Location: online only
- Website: modernspacesandsheds.com
- Founded: 2008
- Founded by: Dream Development Company
- Headquarters: Chico, California
If you've ever read Michael Pollan's A Place of My Own (a DIY Odyssey that details the shed-making process) you know that it takes some serious time and skills to build a freestanding backyard office. That's one reason why off-the-shelf sheds — like these from California-based Modern Spaces — are so appealing. Their structures, which they describe as "forts for grown-ups," come in four styles, all of them basic and boxy. If you live in Northern California, you can work with their partner, the Dream Development Company, to have one installed. Prices start at $6,000 for a fully installed shed with a foundation and finished exterior. If you live outside of California, you can buy the plans for one of their sheds and then hire a local contractor to build it for you. The designs are simple, plywood-enclosed rooms with a built-in banquette for seating. They style the model as a flexible home office (slash backyard getaway) for freewheeling laptop users, but you could repurpose the building as a guest house (the "Cadet" model comes with a Murphy Bed), a pool house, or a high-style garden shed. For more information on available styles and prices, check them out online.