KINGSTON, N.H. (CBS) – With parents working from home and kids learning remotely, dueling dining room Zoom meetings can create a lot of family tension. But Krista McClellan of Kingston, New Hampshire looked to the backyard to find an affordable and functioning office space.
The single mother of two has been running her business, E&M Bookkeeping, from home during the pandemic, competing with her two teenage daughters for workspace at the kitchen table.
“We looked at renovating the garage and making that into my office, but that’s expensive,” she told WBZ-TV.
Krista decided to think brand new, and smaller, but still steps away from her back door.
“When I originally looked at this, it was just a shed,” Krista said, showing off her new office space while the drywall crew was still working inside. With six windows, electricity, heating and cooling, and of course, internet, it’s a huge upgrade from a place for snow blowers and garden tools.
“It’s actually like a tiny house,” she said.
It was built not far from her home at Post Woodworking Sheds in Danville, N.H. Co-owner Dan Post says since the pandemic hit, his crews have been working non-stop.
“The phones were just coming off the wall that early in the year and it hasn’t stopped,” Post said, adding that his business is up more than 40% over last year.
According to Post, customers, forced to spend time at home, are finding all kinds of uses for his sheds. Some families have created classroom space for kids, there’s backyard entertainment centers, pool cabanas and yoga studios.
JJ Miller runs a production company in Quincy. When he started working from home, he did much of it out of his backyard shed in Plymouth. It’s small, but has enough room for his editing suite and some storage space from his standup paddleboards. It even has glass sliders so he can peek at the view of the ocean through his backyard.
A new dad, he’s also been able to spend more time at home and help care for his daughter while his wife also juggles working from home.
“I can get a lot done here without driving to Boston,” he said.
Krista is putting the finishing touches on her office and can’t wait to set up shop. A space that will give her a much-needed boundary between work and family.
“I can actually go to work and when I am done, I can leave work,” she said.
McClellan’s entire shed project cost about $20,000. A garage renovation would have cost more than $100,000.
Be sure to check with your town about zoning laws before you make a plan.