Oct 8, 2021 - News
Demand spikes for backyard offices in Denver
Photo courtesy of Studio Shed

"Third workplaces" and remote jobs are here to stay, and the ongoing pandemic is driving desire for more space — particularly in people's own backyards.

Why it matters: The trend sheds light on how COVID has affected our habits and changed the world around us.

Zoom in: Boulder-based Studio Shed — a startup specializing in the design and construction of sleek, single-room structures — tells Axios it has seen a 150% surge in sales during the pandemic for backyard office spaces.

What they're saying: "People are spending more time than ever" at home and are increasingly in need of places "where they can actually work without the distractions of their homes," Studio Shed co-founder Jeremy Nova tells Alayna.

How it works: Studio Shed's website offers a 3D customization tool that lets customers design their backyard fixtures.

  • Construction materials are manufactured in Colorado and shipped to buyers' front doors. The prefabricated structures can be assembled by the buyer or a hired contractor.
  • Nova says most backyard studios don't require a city permit if under 120 square feet.

The intrigue: With Colorado's housing market prices through the figurative roof, Studio Shed also is seeing a spike in sales for accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, small apartment-like spaces built on existing single-family homes.

  • Nova says sales have skyrocketed by 200% since the start of the pandemic and haven't slowed down.

Of note: City officials in Denver are pushing to allow more ADUs to chip away at the affordable housing crisis and promote the structures as a wealth-building tool.

The bottom line: "These spaces are a component of people making their homes work better for them. And I think that trend is going to continue into the future, regardless of COVID" Nova says.

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