Custom sheds on the rise during pandemic as people forced to work at home
DANVILLE, Calif. - The pandemic has meant that many of us have learned to work from home, but that intersection between home and office can impact the entire household.
KTVU interviewed a pair of house flippers who found a new business opportunity, by giving people a little extra space, one shed at a time.
Home is where the heart is, and with COVID-19, it's also where the office is.
"Since the pandemic, me like most people, are forced to work from home where traditionally we'd be going into the office," said Jon Carlos from Danville.
Carlos' workflow at times clashing with the reality of a home with a 3-year-old daughter and a wife with a demanding career as a labor and delivery nurse, his early morning or late calls disrupting sleep and mealtimes.
"In the morning I could have a call with someone in London, then in the afternoon 5:00 or 6:00 o'clock, I'm trying to reach Australia or Singapore," said Carlos.
The solution, replace an existing building in his backyard, with a state-of-the-art new shed, custom-built as a new home office.
That new home office representing a new business opportunity for Shed Mania, run by John Kim and Insang Song.
Customers coming to them with a long list of reasons why they need a shed. "I'm working from home, I need my own space, or the kids are too loud I need space for them," said Kim.
More and more sheds are popping up at homes around the Bay Area, and you could say the idea for Shed Mania started pretty close to home, so close in fact you could say the idea started at home.
"My wife was actually home, working from home, and she thought I should build her a she-shed, so she can utilize the space and rest," said Kim.
From that one shed the idea spread, after Kim's wife posted photos of her shed on social media.
The customers began lining up, each shed custom-built like a mini house.
"We want to give them a space that they can step away from their main house, have their own space, and to use is exactly as they want to," said Insang Song from Shed Mania.
The sheds start at about $120 per square foot, and Shed Mania's builders say most sheds can be built under 120 square feet without having to apply for a special permit.
Shed Mania saying it's a growth industry at a time when other businesses are struggling.
"I feel like this is going to be very popular for the next few years, for the foreseeable future, to be honest with you," said Kim.
Homeowners, like John Carlos, say the new space is a welcome addition during the pandemic and beyond.
"It is one of the silver linings, that allows me to spend more time with my family," said Carlos. "I get to see my daughter grow up, whereas I was gone before 10-12 hours a day."