Owning a piece of land always comes with the temptation to build an outbuilding. You can always find some use for a small structure outside of your home, even if it’s just a tiny shed. But, if you wish to take your outbuilding a step further, there are some clever concepts you can use.

The Honest Abe homeowner whose building is pictured above created a multipurpose building that has a covered carport, an extra-wide garage for working on vehicles and storing equipment and a gardening shed with a built-in potting bench and shelving to store gardening tools.

This article will explore the critical aspects of designing a multipurpose outbuilding and how to do so without much trouble.

Designing a multipurpose outbuilding – what to keep in mind

A multipurpose outbuilding suggests using your outbuilding for more than one purpose. Such buildings are often related to farm homes, where you connect animals and plants within a single outbuilding to get a symbiotic relationship between the two. But, a multipurpose outbuilding doesn’t have to do anything with farm work or animal or plants. Your outbuilding can, and should, help you live the best lifestyle you can. And the fact that it is multipurpose means that you are making the most out of your available resources.

Online research for clever ideas

If designing a multipurpose outbuilding just came to mind, we recommend that you go first to go online and look for ideas. The internet is filled with stories of people trying to create multipurpose outbuilding with various degrees of success. Some managed to create awesome addons for their home, while others wasted money on silly structures that had to be taken down within months. So, to avoid rookie mistakes and get inspired for creative solutions, start reading up online. The more research you do, the easier it will be to handle the design process successfully.

Outline what kind of multipurpose you are going for

No building can serve every purpose. Every design choice you make for your outbuilding will naturally limit it and prevent it from serving other purposes. Therefore, before you opt for a specific design, it is essential to outline what you will primarily use your outbuilding for. With clever solutions, multipurpose outbuilding can work. But it is crucial to understand each purpose that the building is supposed to help with. You build an effective multipurpose outbuilding only by familiarizing yourself with the minute details of those purposes.

Ample planning before execution

Once you find a design idea that suits you, it is paramount that you plan every aspect of it. Simply starting to build and planning as you go along won’t do you much good, especially if you wish that your outbuilding is budget-friendly. You need to plan what you will build, where you will build it, and what materials you will need. If you plan to introduce electricity or water, you need to find long-term solutions. You need to understand your local climate so that your outbuilding can stay operational year-round. And you need to consider the local regulations regarding outbuildings.

The more you look into it, the more you will see how many aspects to plan and prepare before you start building. So, do yourself a favor and take ample time. If possible, try to find an experienced professional to at least take a look at your outbuilding plans.

Always leave extra room for storage

It would be best always to consider leaving the extra room no matter how much planning you do. There is hardly a household in the U.S. that wouldn’t benefit from having some extra storage space. And while you may have storage units available in your area, there is simply no substitute for at-home storage. Sure, you can explore this option and see how renting a storage unit fits you since there are numerous pros and cons to this solution. But you’d always want to have some extra room for those smaller, less cumbersome items.

Don’t focus strictly on functionality

While functionality is essential, it shouldn’t be the end-all of your outbuilding. It will be an important part of your home. And as such, it should add something to its overall appeal. Consider the colors you’ll use and the design choices you’ll opt for. Even small changes can make a big difference, especially if you understand what style will make your entire home look nice.

Work (or at least consult) with a seasoned professional

We’ve mentioned this already, but we feel obligated to highlight it because of how important it is. Namely, if you plan on building a multipurpose outbuilding, we strongly suggest that you at least consult with an experienced professional. There is more to building a multipurpose outbuilding than meets the eye. And certain rookie mistakes can not only be costly but outright catastrophic. A seasoned professional can help guide your design process and warn you about the potential downfalls. They can help you set the right foundations and ensure that your outbuilding is sturdy and safe. With a professional by your side, you will have a much easier time navigating the entire project and not making too many mistakes.

Add more time and money to your estimate

The final tip we have for you is to come to terms with the fact that you will make mistakes. Even with the aid of a seasoned professional, you are likely to make oversights and blunders. If you are lucky, these will be relatively small. But, you’ll have a hard time finding a person that didn’t make mistakes. So, instead of trying to be perfect, make sure that you leave room for error. Both in your budget and in your timeline. The more breathing room you have, the less stressed out you’ll be.

To sum up

Designing a multipurpose outbuilding isn’t something you tackle in a day or two. Take your time and explore as many options as possible before you settle on the right one. Once you do, find professionals and make plans of what your outbuilding will be like. The more examples you can give them, the better they will understand what you are going for. Finally, once you finalize your design, make sure you prepare correctly for the project, and leave enough room in your budget and timeline for errors.

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