Denver, CO

Pandemic helps this Colorado company triple its revenue

Margaret Jackson
(Courtesy of Studio Shed)

By Margaret Jackson / NewsBreak Denver

The global COVID-19 pandemic has many people rethinking how to best use spaces in their homes, whether it’s for office space, a workout room or even extra living space.

That’s pushed sales of free-standing backyard sheds higher than ever. Louisville-based Studio Shed, for example, has seen a 150% increase in sales during the pandemic, with the summer of 2021 marking the best revenue months in the company’s 13-year history.

With many municipalities adjusting their zoning laws to accommodate accessory dwelling units (ADUs), that segment of Studio Shed’s business tripled between 2020 and 2021, said Jeremy Nova, the company’s co-founder and creative director.

“It’s the fastest-growing segment of our business right now, and we expect that to continue into 2022,” Nova said. “It’s a gentler way to add housing density.”

In the past year, ADUS have been the hottest home addition, and according to a study, ADUs are growing at a rate of 9% or about 100,000 per year. The same study revealed that in the largest U.S. cities, a home with an ADU is priced 35% higher on average than a home without one.
Courtesy of Studio Shed

Many people are renting out their backyard spaces (or garages, basements or lock-offs) as short-term and long-term housing solutions, allowing homeowners to supplement high housing costs with rental income.

Not a slam dunk

While installing an ADU in your backyard may sound appealing, it’s not as easy as just calling a company and ordering one. First, you must get permission from the municipality where you live.

“For an ADU, the biggest issue is how fast the municipality will turn a permit,” Nova said. “You have to have permission to hook into electrical and utility lines.”

Factoring in the time it takes to permit the structure and get the materials to build it, Nova estimates it takes about six months from the time a customer orders a shed to the time it’s completed.

“This is high-end residential construction,” he said. “The liberalization of zoning laws allows more of these, but the building codes are more restrictive. You can think of it as a small second home on your property. It’s not a repurposed shed into a backyard room. It’s something much more sophisticated.”

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I'm a Denver-based business writer with expertise in commercial and residential real estate as well as general business news.

Denver, CO

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