Turn outside "makeshift shack" into an actual art room/extra bedroom?

Previous owner built a makeshift shack with whatever material he had. It's on the ground (bad thing with Florida rains). He did put a counter & sink in it along with cupboards that are nice, but I am disabled and painting and getting away from everyone for awhile is my only joy. I know it's plumbed and there is electricity, but I'm not sure if it just needs to be torn down and totally redone (lifting it up off the ground) and if so, what do I do about the electrical and water. What want is an air conditioned room with bathroom that can be my art room but also double as a bedroom when one of my grown children come over. We live in a 60+ year old mobile home with a leaking roof, 2 bedrooms, uneven floor from (again) the previous owner's build on. The only reason we got it was because of my disability, it's in a rural area, very peaceful, which I need because honestly, I don't know how much time I have left; I've almost died about 7 times, but I hate it, everything about it yet don't have the funds to fix any of it. We have tape on the ceilings. Surprisingly, the outside "shack" doesn't leak, altho it does get water in it thru the door and bottom of shack when it rains. I'm just at a loss right now and don't know which direction to go in. I originally intended to put in hedges, plant flowers, make it look as pretty as I could, which wouldn't be easy, but then I started having more medical problems when we moved here so I can't even get out and do that, which is a shame cuz there's a lot of space in and around the mobile home. I have gotten a makeshift ramp so that I can get up to the front door as stairs are very difficult fore me. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.

  2 answers
  • Lina Splichal Lina Splichal on Jul 09, 2018
    It is possible to lift your shack, place it on concrete blocks and extend your plumbing and wiring. Depending on how heavy it is, you might be able to lift it with several heavy duty car jacks and a crew of 4-6 strong guys. If you try to go this route, you will also need to place blocks or strong floor joists under the building to keep it from sagging in the middle. good luck.
  • Twyla J Boyer Twyla J Boyer on Jul 18, 2018

    If you can lift it like Lina said, that would be awesome. If not, dig a trench around it with a spur going off on a downgrade to a slightly lower part of the yard and put in perforated drain pipe and cover it with rocks. Should help pull the water away. You can also get a product designed for basements that is like tiles of wood with a rubbery backing that has raised "dots" to sort of float the floor above the regular floor so that any water that gets in goes under the tiles. They aren't super cheap, but might be cheaper than lifting the shed.


    Instead of hedges and flowers, which require bending and tending, maybe some hardscape like large rocks or benches or some sort of sculpture like things. Since you paint, maybe even create an outdoor "canvas" from boards or scrap wood arranged as a low wall and paint it for interest.


    Check with local agencies and with municipality for programs that help with home repairs for disabled folks. There are usually some and a leaking roof should bump you toward the top of the list. There's a process called a roof over that is likely your best option. It involves having someone come and build supports to hold up roof trusses and creating a roof that literally goes over your trailer.


    You're going to have to spend a little money to get a bathroom in the she-shed because you will need larger sewer pipe than it likely has currently and it will need to drain to an appropriate place - either the sewer system or the septic tank (depending on which you have). But it shouldn't be ridiculous.


    A window unit type air conditioner should work to cool a single room, though you will want to insulate the walls and ceiling. You can do that from the inside with thick styrofoam panels that you stick on using construction adhesive. Paint them with latex paint first so they hold together better. Cut them using a heated knife (sold for that purpose) or you will have styrofoam everywhere.



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