Before & After: From an Outdated Hot Tub Shed to Chic Bedroom Escape

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Tricia and Jason banded together to turn a bare bones, former loan office turned hot tub shed into an exceedingly cute guest house. They went slightly over budget, but they managed to turn this entire thing around in five weeks without any outside help!

From Tricia and Jason: Our once-dilapidated, unused garden shed sits awkwardly off the side of the house close to our front porch. We found out from a neighbor it was used as an office by the town’s loan officer and then later to house a hot tub. I’m a terrible gardener and we couldn’t imagine putting another hot tub in the shed, so we wanted to find a way to make the best use of our diamond in the rough. We began with just a shell of a room with OSB walls, drafty windows, a rotting ceiling, and a plywood floor.

It started off as a plea from my step daughter to have her own space away from the boys’ rooms when she comes to stay with us a couple weekends out of the month. It’ll also be a guest house when our parents are in town. I’m having a hard time not wanting it to be my own little getaway, so I’ll be using it as my space when I need to pull myself away from the distractions in the house and blog during the week.

We set a goal of completion for six weeks and a budget of $2,500 to turn the blank space into a livable bedroom with all the amenities of a tiny house. We went over budget (to be expected) and spent $3,100 but we were able to finish it in five weeks doing all the work ourselves.

Other than the room looking completely different, I love all the little surprises you find in the room. The built-in cabinet to the left of the bed hides a kitchenette with a sink that can also be used as a spot for guests to get ready. We added a hook-up so a garden hose can supply water to the sink in the kitchenette cabinet and there’s a portable 11 gallon waste water storage tank under the shed. What appears to be drawers beneath the built in bed is a cover that hides a pop-up trundle. This way guests have a king sized bed. We added a detail to the beam that mimics the look of metal bracing using strips of 1/4″ luan plywood and hex screws. It brings your eye up to the ceiling and adds contrast to the white faux shiplap. My favorite surprise is the DIY reclaimed wood sliding TV cover that looks like artwork.

Although we were able to incorporate many items you would find in a tiny house, I wish we would have budgeted for a composting toilet. Eventually, we’ll put one in the cabinet to the right of the bed. The cottage sits ten feet from the house so it’s not a necessity right now.

Tricia’s words of wisdom: The only way we were able to afford this renovation was by doing 100% of the work on our own. My husband had his own construction business for several years so he can do most everything, from the beginning phase of construction to the end. But, this type of project is still doable by the intermediate DIY’er. We work as a team by keeping of list of what needs to be done in plain view so we can see what’s left to do and work on projects when the other is not there. My biggest piece of advice for someone who is trying to design a small space is to use 3D home design software or app. I used a free app on my Ipad to space plan and it made me realize that built-ins where the way to go.

Thank you, Tricia and Jason! You can see more on Simplicity in the South.