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Backyard Cabin Ideas: Creating Your Personal Retreat

Jared Reiff - June 12, 2023

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Backyard Cabins: What Are They?

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With the cost of living rising and land prices skyrocketing in many parts of the country, auxiliary dwelling units (ADUs) like tiny houses and backyard cabins are becoming more and more popular. These structures are often used in a variety of ways, from storage areas to short-term rental units.

These buildings are typically smaller, secondary buildings added to a property separate from the main house. Often backyard cabins are created by taking a typical shed and converting it to a living space. A major appeal of these structures is that they provide extra living area on a budget or provide a stream of income in the form of a short-term rental unit listed on sites like Airbnb and VRBO

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In this article, we’ll focus on backyard cabins and the best ways to use them. We also answer some questions like how to turn a shed into a backyard cabin, and some of the regulations for these buildings. We also include a gallery of sheds we’ve sold that are perfect for a backyard cabin transformation.


5 Best Ways to Use a Backyard Cabin

1. She Shed

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Think you need an exotic vacation on a beach somewhere to get the rest and relaxation you need? Think again! A backyard cabin can give you the personal getaway you need, all from the comfort and convenience of your backyard. Simply take your backyard cabin and convert it into a she shed!

A she shed is simply the female version of a man cave, and can be themed around anything that relaxes or interests you. Do you love to read? Make it a reading nook. Love the beach? Decorate in a way that reminds you of your ideal beach vacation. There are endless ways to create a she shed! If you’re looking for more inspiration, read this article on she shed design themes.

2. Man Cave or Workshop


Similar to a she shed, a man cave is a place for men designed around personal interests or hobbies. If you’re thinking about diving into a new hobby or side hustle, and man cave can be the place to make it happen. Or maybe you simply want a place to relax with friends after a long day. All of this can happen in a man cave themed backyard cabin. Here are some great ideas for your next man cave design.

3. Home Office

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Another hot trend is the rise of remote work. More and more businesses are going online, providing many with an opportunity to work from home. For many people, this sounds wonderful in theory, but the actual experience is less than ideal. Sometimes you simply need to get away from the distractions of your home to actually get some work done. 

A home office in a backyard cabin allows you to have the best of both worlds. Not only do you get the comfort and convenience of working from your own property, but having an office separate from your house gives you the distraction-free environment you need to crush it at your job. Need some ideas on how to make it happen? Here’s a great article on home office ideas to give you some inspiration!

4. Guest Quarters

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Converting a backyard cabin into guest quarters may require a bit more work, especially if you want to include plumbing, but it can absolutely be done. It’s a cheaper alternative to building a separate home addition and is a great way to efficiently use the space in your backyard. 

A backyard cabin is also a great way to earn a bit of extra income on the side by renting it out as a short-term rental. Websites like Airbnb and VRBO often prioritize unique listings, like tiny-house style homes. 

5. Playhouse or Game Room

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Instead of more screen time, why not give your children a place where they can have their imagination inspired? A backyard cabin could be the place where new worlds are created and many great memories are made. There are many amazing themes and ideas for a backyard playhouse. Get some inspiration from this article on playhouse ideas.

Backyard Cabin FAQs

Can I build my own backyard cabin?

It’s definitely possible to build your own backyard cabin, but it will take a bit of time, work, and construction skills to get the job done. If you don’t have experience in the construction industry, this may not be the right choice for you unless you really enjoy a challenge and learning something new. If you don’t have experience in construction, expect a project like this to be more difficult than you anticipate. 

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A great way to make your backyard cabin project a bit easier but also scratch that DIY itch, is to buy an unfinished structure and finish the interior yourself. This way, the hardest and most important part of the structure is already built, but you can still create the cabin how you want. 

At Durastor Structures, we offer a variety of sheds that are perfect for converting into a cabin. Here are some of the sheds we’ve built in the past that great choices. Options like the front porch and an interior loft are great features for a backyard shed. 

Backyard Cabin Sheds

How do you convert a shed into a backyard cabin?

A shed is a great place to start when you’re considering a DIY backyard cabin. It gives you a solid base on which to create the backyard cabin you want, all at a reasonable price. You’ll still need to put in a bit of work, but it can be done. Check out our recent article for a comprehensive breakdown on how to convert a shed into a shed cabin.

Do I need a permit for a backyard cabin?

Whether you need a permit for your backyard cabin or not will vary by location. Most locations in the state of Georgia only require a permit for a shed or other structure if it’s bigger than 120 square feet. Additional permitting may be required if you intend to add electricity and plumbing to your backyard cabin.

If your cabin is seen as a living quarter, you may be subject to more permitting regulations. It’s possible that a shed or backyard cabin used as a living space would be seen as a tiny home by the local government and be subject to the rules around tiny homes if they exist. As always, it’s best to check with the local township or city to make sure you’re in compliance. For more information on this topic, check out our article on shed permits in Georgia. 

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Sheds from DuraStor Structures

  • The Garden Shed Max: One of our most popular buildings, this shed is loaded with useful features, as well as classic styling that fits in most environments. It’s also a great choice for your backyard cabin transformation.
  • The Utility Shed: The Utility Shed is our lowest-cost option and doesn’t come with some of the features of the other styles. This no-frills approach to storage gives this shed great value and is perfect for those looking for a shed that does storage for the lowest price possible. 
  • The Lofted Barn Max: This shed features arched, gambrel-style trusses and gives this shed lots of interior space. This design gives you plenty of room for a loft area, and even more storage. 
  • The Garage Shed: With a strong, well-built floor, this shed is great for storing vehicles, small tractors, or other large, heavy items. This shed is the workhorse of our lineup, and will handle almost anything you throw at it. 


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