Your Space: How to Create the Ultimate Mancave/Sheshed

The idea of owning a room just for yourself – and no, we aren’t talking about your bedroom – but a room specifically designed for you, and only you, is something just about all of us have dreamed of owning. 

What we’re describing has historically been known as a “Mancave” – and if you like that title, by all means, stick with it – but regardless of whether you call it that, or a SheShed, a MeShed or just “My Room” – here’s how to put together the ultimate space to elevate your spare time to a new level.

 

Getting starting

Planning is never the part of a project you most look forward to, but it’s vital to ensuring you end up with the best end product. You don’t have to have every detail down, but there’s a few things to consider before you start. 

What are the features you absolutely can’t live without? How much space do you have to work with? Do you have enough power sources available? Is there adequate lighting? Will you need to install some form of climate control (i.e. heating or air-conditioning)? 

Basically, what you’re ultimately figuring out is “how will you be able to achieve the space you’ve envisioned for yourself given the space you’ve got to work with?” 

 

Filling it Up

Now comes the fun stuff. The only right way to create the ultimate “you space” is to fill it up with whatever works best for YOU. However, should you find yourself needing a little creative nudge, we’ve got you covered with some hints, suggestions and a few general must-haves below.

  • Comfort – regardless of what you’re into, your space should be a place of relaxation, so comfortable seating should be your no.1 priority. Grab more than one, because sometimes the best ‘you time’ is spent with your best mates.
  • Mini-Fridge – in the spirit of relaxing, an easy beverage should always be nearby so you aren’t constantly having to get up and leave just to have a drink. What those drinks are – beer, soda, or good old water – is largely immaterial, just as long as what you want is always nearby. Same goes for snacks.
  • Coffee Machine – And whilst we’re on the subject of having your favourite beverage nearby, for many of us – that’s a good cup of coffee. Thankfully, the days when paying a barista was the only way to experience a warm cup of quality espresso are gone, as the user-friendly home espresso machine market is blooming. Making it incredibly easy and not too bank-busting to make your own café favourites without the café. So where better to enjoy some homebrewed caffeine than your private space?
  • Themes ­– Make this place truly yours. The traditional image of a man cave often involves a big TV to catch the game, and if that’s what you’re into, have at. If you’re more of a movie buff, consider said big TV but with a surround sound system and a few movie posters to boot. If you have a particular passion, why not go all out with it? Fill it with maps, books, hang guitars on the walls ­– Whatever you’re into. You could even put up some relevant memorabilia on the walls. Create a place to totally immerse yourself in what you love.

Have we given you mancave (or she-shed) brain? Why not browse some of the sheds we offer.

What Makes a Good Lifestyle shed?

Lifestyle sheds are the ‘jack of all trades’ within the shed industry. 

With a range of possibilities and uses, there are endless options for how to use a lifestyle shed. However, because of this versatility picking the right one can be tricky. 

It doesn’t have to be, here is what to look for when choosing your new shed.

 

What is a lifestyle shed? 

Before we go into what to look for, first we should define what a lifestyle shed is. 

Lifestyle sheds vary in form. They can vary from small to medium-sized garages or sleepouts to larger American barns. 

Essentially, lifestyle sheds are buildings that are aimed at maximising the available space while giving you the space to grow, work, live or store your toys. 

 

Versatility 

KiwiSpan’s lifestyle sheds are incredibly versatile and adaptable buildings. 

Our lifestyle sheds have been used for everything from workshops, man caves, storage units, sleepouts and even your classic Kiwi farm wedding venue. When you are looking for a lifestyle shed, keep this versatility in mind. As chances are you’ll want to use the space for a whole raft of things once constructed. 

When you are designing and building your shed, be sure to experiment with the number of bays, access points and doors, and dimensions of the floor plan. A good builder, such as KiwiSpan, will be able to show you different layouts to choose from. 

 

Strength and durability 

The materials your shed is built from will dictate the strength and durability of the shed, which will directly impact the lifespan of your shed. 

Ideally, you will be intending for your shed to become an important part of your land, and life, regardless of what purpose you intended for it. Meaning you’ll want the doors, walls and roof to be capable of withstanding a few bumps. 

Insist on only using material of the highest quality. At KiwiSpan, we use 0.40 gauge steel for the roofing and cladding, with 0.55 gauge for all the flashings and gutters. Ensuring your shed is strong, durable and watertight. 

 

Internal options 

Tying in with the versatility aspect of your lifestyle shed, think about what internal features you may require. 

A good lifestyle shed isn’t just the perfect size for the land, but it also has versatile features that allow you to go about your business. Features such as internal walls allow you to create different spaces or rooms, or canopies and mezzanine floors allow for a separate space off the floor, for an office or sleepout. 

While, you’ll also want to include water facilities, such as taps and toilets, along with power sockets and plugs, for plugging in the power tools or sound system. 

 

Lifestyle sheds are a great addition to any lifestyle block or farm. With KiwiSpan’s wide range of lifestyle shed options, you can’t go wrong. 

If you are considering building a lifestyle shed at yours, talk to KiwiSpan. We can help create the perfect building for your space and needs. 

Contact your local licensee today. 

 

How KiwiSpan Builds Sheds Perfectly Suited for New Zealand Conditions

It’s no secret New Zealand has a diverse and wild range of climates. Whether you’re talking about the winterless north, windy Wellington, hot and cold central Otago or frigid Southland, we need to be prepared for any and all conditions. 

At KiwiSpan, we know New Zealand like the back of our hand. And, with the knowledge and experience we possess combined with the best materials available, our sheds are built to withstand all weather conditions. 

 

Weathertight building materials 

It all starts with the materials we use. Our approach to building your shed is that the quality of materials outweighs all other factors. 

We pride ourselves on being the only one in the market that uses the highest grade steel on all our sheds. Between the 0.40 gauge roof and cladding steel or 0.55 gauge steel, we use for gutters and flashing, our steel is durable, strong and watertight. 

 

Local knowledge 

Underpinning the materials we use is our unrivalled knowledge and experience in each region. When you source KiwiSpan to build your garage, shed or barn, you are tapping into this wealth of expertise. 

Our licensees are locals like you. Chances are we’re already mates. And, because of this, we know exactly what weather conditions and obstacles we’re up against. 

With this, we’re able to visit your site and advise on what options make the most sense to combat the conditions. Whether this is recommending building height, consideration around wind speeds, how to maximise sunlight and building orientation. 

 

Understanding your needs

Obviously, the above doesn’t matter, if we don’t know exactly what you are looking for. That’s why our most powerful tool in understanding local weather conditions is understanding your needs. 

From there, we’re able to advise you on the best solutions and options for building the perfect shed for your unique conditions. 

 

Combining all three 

Next, we bring it all together. What sets us apart from our competitors is that we combine all three of the above factors to design and build your shed. Ultimately, resulting in a shed that will stand the test of time, meet your needs and be the envy of everyone in your region. 

To discover how KiwiSpan can meet your needs, get in touch with our team today.

Is It Time You Built a Sleepout Shed?

From a quiet home office to an extra bedroom for teens, sleepout builds have only grown in popularity across New Zealand in recent years. These smaller spaces are a great way to add extra habitable space to your home and have the ability to increase your property’s value.

A flexible space

As a separate entity from your main house, a sleepout has a host of possibilities: a hobby room, extra storage, an art studio, a music room, a gym, a guest room, a home office and more.   Whatever it is you need, you’ll have a space that’s versatile and adaptable, designed to meet your growing needs. 

Boost your income

With a new space comes new opportunities; ones many Kiwis are tapping into. Using your sleepout as a short-term rental investment makes the build unquestionable value for money – an invaluable chance to increase your income. 

Get building consent

Like anything, there are rules and regulations. With the help of your local KiwiSpan team, you’ll need to check you have consent before building a sleepout or cabin. This will include having your plan ready detailing:

At KiwiSpan

We offer a range of stylish sleepouts and habitable sheds to suit everyone. Built with New Zealand fabricated steel, they promise strength, style and comfort.

Every one of our builds can be finished with quality insulation and aluminium joinery, ensuring full protection from harsh weather conditions. 

We can help you build the sleepout of your dreams – adapting design to suit your specific needs.

Design your own or make an enquiry today.

We should note that not all KiwiSpan licensees offer habitable sheds as a service. Be sure to check with your local KiwiSpan team to understand your options – they’ll be happy to help.

5 Reasons You Need a Shed

Sheds have a lot more to offer than people might initially think. Improving your quality of life, they have the ability to transform your day-to-day in a number of surprising ways.

Here are just a few of the reasons it might be time to consider building a shed:

1. Value

Having an outdoor storage space will automatically add value to your home. The added bonus of more space is a huge attraction to homebuyers, meaning you can enjoy the short-term benefits knowing the long-term also pays off.

2. Protection

Our hard-wearing, New Zealand Steel manufactured sheds provide complete protection against the elements. That means your vehicles or more expensive items won’t be ruined by moisture exposure and rust. 

3. Flexibility

Build the right kind of shed and you’ll have a versatile and adaptable space that can change and grow with your lifestyle and situation. What might be a place for extra storage now may well be an art studio in five years time.

4. Storage

Everyone needs storage. A shed is the perfect solution for packing away Christmas decorations, toys, tools and more. Freeing up room in your living space and giving you a lockable area that can even serve to childproof your home. 

5. Inspiration

We all need time to ourselves away from the hustle and bustle of family life. A shed makes room for hobbies, old and new. A workspace without distraction that allows you to work more efficiently or in a more creative way – opening the door to a whole new world of opportunities.

And these are just some of the reasons! With KiwiSpan, there are many styles of sheds to choose from, each easily adapted with our innovative 3D Shed Designer tool. You can create a model of the building you want, take walls out, add lean-tos, or rollers doors and more.

To start planning your shed contact your local KiwiSpan licensee today. 

Size Matters, But So Does Good Looks

Developer Philip Solomon honed his shed design before building the ultimate shed

 

Philip Solomon has years of experience putting up large sheds and his top tip is that shed aesthetics are important.

“A lot of people just focus on what they want to put in the shed until it goes up and then they say, ‘Oh, I don’t like that’.”

Philip has installed three large sheds on different properties he’s developed so, when it came to designing and building a large shed on his own property in Gisborne, he had already developed firm ideas about what he wanted. That included making sure it looked right in the landscape and complemented the house.

He needed to drive a truck and trailer straight in, which set the width and span at 12 metres. He also needed a bay for a boat on a nine-metre trailer, and both the boat and the truck needed high doors. He settled on 3.2 metres, and a stud height of four metres. 

 

More than just a shed


Another part of the plan was to build in some accommodation, an office, lunchroom, and sleepover, complete with a bathroom at one end of the shed. As you can see in the pictures, that was built separately inside the shed later. Philip preserved the shed’s full useable floor area by building the ceiling of the accommodation strong enough to be a mezzanine floor. He says the four-metre height gives just enough headroom to use that space for storage without making the building too tall.

He chose the colours, and also window and door frames to match the 355- square-metre house he’s going to build on the same site — because shed aesthetics are important. So much so, according to Phil, that in each of the three developments he’s done so far with big sheds, he’s built the shed first. 

We asked Phil how he decided which steel shed maker he was going to go with and he said he’d gone with KiwiSpan every time. KiwiSpan offered the choice of colours that tie in with house designs. “Also they are dominant as far as strength goes,” he says.

“If you are building in a high wind zone, like we are here, you need something substantial, something designed and engineered so it’s not going to be a problem.” 

 

Building for strong winds


Builder Terry O’Neill of KiwiSpan Gisborne said Philip knew exactly what he wanted, so speccing the building was straight-forward. KiwiSpan’s design programme selects the correct sized portals and framing to suit the span, height, and the wind load. Being in a high wind zone meant the shed had to be strong to avoid flexing which would cause issues with the Gib-lined area. The large roller doors are industrial strength and the aluminium windows are all double-glazed.

The programme allows for different roof angles to be chosen to tie in with other buildings onsite. As the shed sits 200mm higher than the house will, Phil chose to keep the roof pitch shallow at 11° — again to avoid making the shed look too big. Adding the verandah roof to the end gable, over the ranch slider door, was also a simple task.

“Phil is pretty experienced and did a good job of the site works, so that was straightforward too,” Terry says.

Phil says that included capturing water from the roof from both the shed and the house and diverting it into two 30,000-litre tanks alongside the shed. 

Provisioning for water was important as the house will have a lap pool that will need to be topped up.

 

Phil is now keen to get on with the house build and, as in the previous properties he’s developed, having a big shed already onsite with storage space, a workshop and plumbed in facilities — and even a shady spot to have lunch with a view over the neighbour’s vineyard — is going to make that so much easier.

 

Written By: Ian Parkes, The Shed.

Photography By: Brennan Thomas.

Building an American Barn, Kiwi-Style

Quality and professionalism make for a rewarding shed build.

 

If you are going to build a shed you will want to do it right. The owners of this stylish American-style barn are happy to recommend the team that put this together.

Shannon Jordan and Louise Simmons sold up in suburbia and bought a block of land in Ruakaka three years ago. They planned to live in a caravan while planning and saving for their house. From this magazine’s point of view, they had their priorities right and decided to build a shed first.

It would give them space to expand into and meet both current and future needs. They parked the caravan alongside, and put a bench, fridge, and small oven in the shed. It also gave them space to store all their furniture from their previous home and building materials for the next one.


The shed was designed to take their boat and the caravan which meant they needed oversized doors, even though both vehicles had to live outside in the meantime.


Finding the perfect shed


Shannon and Louise shopped around for the right steel frame building. “My background is in sales but frankly the attitude of some of the other companies put me off,” says Shannon. “One said come back when I knew what I wanted… I knew then what I wanted was to go somewhere else.”

They had already decided that an American-style barn would look much better in their spectacular setting than a plain steel box, and it would give them the height they needed in the middle, for the boat. They also had colours and materials in mind that would complement the house. Shannon went to KiwiSpan, and builder and Northland franchise operator Stephen Cross struck the right note straight away.


“He showed us a couple of options for door and window placements, and he pointed out that the higher door meant he could line up the angle of the roofs, which would look better.” 

 

Stephen Cross said aesthetics are important and, while KiwiSpan buildings are based on a range of standard plans using their own framing technology, it’s easy to customize them to meet individual requirements. But KiwiSpan also takes care to make sure the finished article looks right. “With American barns, the centre section can look a bit too high or too narrow. Getting them looking good is important,” Stephen says.

 

Thorough research


As his reputation would rest on customer recommendations, Stephen did due diligence into the integrity of the buildings before buying into the business. He highlights the extra quality in KiwiSpan’s fittings, such as the generous roof flashings, which are critical in preventing leaks.  

Brackets connecting the portal frames are also fully bolted, which gives the most secure connection. Other shed companies use self-drilling Tek screws, even in these critical joints. He also pointed to the overlap on the tophat purlins which create stronger and stiffer support for roof and wall cladding.  

Customers quickly decide if quality and durability and peace of mind matters to them. “That can become a real motivator,” he says.

Putting up any kind of a building is a journey, and when they have paid the deposit customers really start to pay close attention. He says it’s part of KiwiSpan’s ethos to work in partnership with the owners throughout that journey.

 

All the compliance handled


Shannon said they were building in a high-wind area which meant extra documentation and compliance certification and Stephen’s communication made that process easy.

Stephen likes to make sure new customers have talked to other KiwiSpan customers before committing to a new build. Shannon and Lousie are clearly happy with their barn so their comments were mostly about the building process. Stephen is not surprised.

“Customers really appreciate the strength and quality of the building — and the way the relationship has gone through the build,” Stephen says.


Shannon and Louise now have a shed that complements their rural lifestyle, and if they have any problems with their new house, they already know their shed is up to the job.

 

Written By: Ian Parkes, The Shed.

Photography By: The Shed.