As I rack my brain for alternatives to purchasing a house, I seem to lean towards prefab homes and kits. Every time I swing by the Home Depot, positioned just outside their front door, are a variety of Tuff Sheds. I walk inside the empty shed and it seems spacious and roomy. Granted, the shed doors are wide open and there’s not a lick of furniture, or anything else for that matter, inside. But for $3,995 it’s a bargain!

Update 2016: We recently purchased our own manufactured home on rented land (we just couldn’t find land close enough to purchase in our area) and went with a Goldenwest floor plan that we modified. If you’re interested in purchasing a manufactured home as an alternative to a stick-built or Tuff Shed, this book has some good information. Or check out my manufactured home page.

Having such a curiosity about kit homes, I wonder if there’s any way to put a couple of Tuff Sheds together and call it home, or at least a temporary home. As I begin to seriously consider this option, I decide to check out their website. Not only do they make sheds, they also build garages. Ding! An idea strikes. Having browsed many a home plan, I know that it’s possible to build an apartment above a garage. Surfing through their photos, I found just the picture that I hoped to see: a two-car garage with a loft/apartment with steel building frames.

A Tuff Shed Two-Car w/Apartment Garage

A Tuff Shed Two-Car w/Apartment Garage

With an apartment above the garage, not only could our car fit, but we could also use the other half of the garage as storage. My thinking is this:

  • Buy affordable land. I’m not sure where this land will be, there’s really nothing in my area, but this is key to making my plan work. (Perhaps this is a faulty plan?!)
  • Build a temporary shelter on the cheap. This is where the garage with apartment comes in.
  • Park the car and storage in the garage. Since we’d be on our own land, we might as well keep as much stuff as possible in our garage instead of paying for storage. A two-car garage with apartment would do the trick.
  • Live in the apartment. Most above garage apartments are large enough for two people. We primarily use our bedroom and living room the most. I think we could hack it in a small-ish apartment.
  • Build a house. As we save money living above our garage, we could save for our dream house.

My plan began to sound possible once we received a quote from Tuff Shed. For $28,000 they could build us a two-car garage with apartment. Not bad! The biggest hurdle, besides the land purchase, is the preparation of the land. However, the garage doesn’t need that large of a foundation. And looking at the photo (above) that I found on their website, a flat pad will do.

Tuff Shed Home in Texas

Now, if I could just find some land!

TUFF Sheds don’t have plans for sale, but here’s a company that sells tiny and small house plans:

Tiny House Design’s Pioneer Cabin – 16 x 20

¬†Tiny House Design’s Pioneer Cabin House Plan: $9.95 Buy it Now

The 42-page e-book contains the framing plans, required lumber, and drawings for this structure.

Not, TUFF Sheds, but garage plans I like – each one has a nice floor plan with enough space in the garage area to build a shop or hold lots of storage:

Garage Plan 69719 – 1 bd/1 bath 628 sq ft via eplans

Garage Plan 01848 1 bd/1 bath 633 sq ft via eplans

Garage Plan 66990 1 bd/1 bath 675 sq ft via eplans

Garage Plan 05437 2 bd/1 bath 992 sq ft via eplans

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