Building a Cozy Backyard Shed

Building a Cozy Backyard Shed

We know by now that what we considered a shed growing up now contains a lot more life than somewhere to store your bike and lawnmower. What if a spare patch of the garden could house your in-laws? Does that sound cramped? At 610-square-feet, it really isn't. Mentally add plenty of space to cook and live to get an idea of this impressive backward shed in Hyde Park, Austin. Let's take a closer look at everything backyard house design can be.


Small living room and kitchen

Owner Requirement

Homeowners Michelle and John wanted a multi-function storage space for their active family of four as well as a guest house for visiting family and friends. Additionally, they wanted the house materials to be sustainable and long-lasting— picture clean lines without visual clutter. As an added challenge to Ravel Architecture, they needed multi-functionality, allowing extra storage, a home gym, and studio space.


Backyard House plan

Type:  ADU with kitchen
Area: 600 sqft
Location: Austin, Texas
Total Cost: $120,000
Foundation Cost: $25,000
Window & Door Cost: $10,000
Roof Cost: $10,000
Interior Cost: $9,000
HVAC Cost: $9,000

House Design Features

This Concrete Casita feels right at home among the original 1920s bungalows found in Hyde Park, Austin. The stark contemporary structure combines with a low profile creating a visually stunning outbuilding. Remember, this is not your average backyard shed but rather a multi-generational home.


Small Living room design

The guest house portion of the structure has a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a living room that allows comfortable privacy thanks to being set back from the main house. Proximity and closeness to the main home during visits is just a minute walk across the yard.


Bedroom design

You would be wrong to assume that the cast concrete base coupled with a metal roof makes for a chilly space. Instead, this structure is an energy-efficient space with good insulation, including an independent HVAC system. Much needed to mitigate the temperature fluctuations in Texas. If you are looking into building a backyard shed made from sustainable materials, take note. The use of concrete and metal will cause the shed to age beautifully and lower maintenance costs. The living room has large windows on both sides to create a visual connection between the outside and inside living areas. Light and air can just flow around visitors. In the warm summer months, the owners can throw open the doors onto a soiree-ready outdoor space.


Concrete Shed

Before we head inside. You may be wondering, just what is the cost of building a backyard shed as magnificent as this one? This rugged 610-square-foot casita cost $120,000 to build.


Interior Design Features

A white oak wood-clad kitchenette bridges the living room area to the bedroom area, creating a beautiful spatial continuity. The wood-clad cabinet includes much-needed storage space without feeling cluttered. A shared skylight provides bright lighting to the kitchen and bath areas. An additional clever touch is a cantilevered roof channeling rainwater away from the facade.


Kitchen Design
Bathroom design

Ravel Architecture

Alex Finnell and Dan Fields are the masterminds responsible for this durable, elemental, and yet polished space. Their success lies in perfectly integrating something so modern into a historic neighborhood.

Photography by Jake Holt


Backyard shed house plans

Let other design projects inspire your use of space and design.

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