Shop with Living Quarters: How to Plan, Design and Build

shop with living quarters

Are you tired of commuting between your workspace and living space, or do you simply need more room to accommodate guests or activities? A shop with living quarters, sometimes referred to as an shouse, may be the perfect solution. These buildings offer a versatile and functional space that can be customized to your unique needs and preferences, providing the convenience and flexibility that traditional living and working arrangements may lack.

We’ll share actionable tips and expert guidance to help you plan, design, and build your own shop with living quarters.

Determine Your Needs and Budget

To start building your shop with living quarters, the initial step is to assess your needs and budget. Doing so can help you determine the ideal size, design, and features of your building. Consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • How much living space do you need?
  • What is your budget?
  • What type of work will you be doing in the shop?
  • How many vehicles do you need to store in the garage?
  • Do you need a bathroom or kitchen in the living quarters?
  • What type of features do you want in your living space?

Answering these questions will give you a clear idea of your needs and budget, which will help you make informed decisions throughout the project.

Choose a Location and Floor Plan

canadian home kitsYour shop’s location and floor plan with living quarters are crucial aspects of your project. You want to ensure your building meets local building codes and zoning laws. Consider the following:

  • Check local building codes and zoning laws to ensure you can build a shop with living quarters on your property.
  • Choose a convenient location for your needs, such as close to your home or business.
  • Consider factors such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and living space that you need to ensure that the final design is tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

Remember that zoning laws and building codes can vary by region, so it’s essential to research before starting your project.

Hire a Designer and Builder

Unless you are an experienced builder and designer, you’ll likely need to hire professionals to help you with your project. A designer can help you create a functional and stylish space, while a builder can ensure that your building meets local building codes and is built to last. Consider the following:

  • Research local builders and designers in your area.
  • Check references and online reviews to ensure that your chosen company should have a good reputation.
  • Meet the interior designer and builder to discuss your needs and budget.
  • Ask for a detailed price quote and estimated time for the project.

Partnering with qualified professionals is critical to ensuring that your shop with living quarters project is executed within your specified timeframe and budget while meeting all the required codes and regulations.

Obtain Permits and Materials

building permitsTo begin building your shop with living quarters, obtaining the necessary permits and materials is essential. Though this process can be both time-consuming and expensive, ensuring that your building complies with local building codes and zoning laws is vital.

Note, if you’re requesting a quote from one of our recommended providers, then they can handle permits, material sourcing and more. Otherwise, consider the following:

  • Apply for building permits from your local government.
  • Obtain the necessary materials from a reputable supplier, such as steel framing and cladding.
  • Consider the cost and quality of the materials you choose.

Remember that using high-quality materials can help ensure the longevity and durability of your building.

Build Your Shop with Living Quarters

shopdominium homeYou can begin construction on your shop with living quarters with the necessary permits and materials. Consider the following:

  • Work closely with your builder and designer to ensure your building is constructed to your specifications.
  • Check the progress of your project regularly to ensure that it is on track and meets your expectations.
  • Pay attention to the details, such as the roof, layout, and interior features.

Building a shop with living quarters is an exciting and rewarding project. By undertaking thorough planning, procuring quality materials, and engaging experienced professionals, you can create a functional and stylish shop with living quarters that cater to your unique needs and preferences.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Shop with Living Quarters

Once you have built your shop with living quarters, there are several things you can do to make the most of your space. Here are some tips:

  • Use multipurpose furniture: In a small space, multipurpose furniture can be a great way to save space. When furnishing your shop with living quarters, selecting pieces that serve multiple functions is wise. For instance, consider investing in a bed that can double as a sofa or a table that can be utilized as a workspace. This approach can save you valuable space while ensuring your living quarters remain comfortable and functional.
  • Optimize storage space: In a small space, storage is vital. Look for creative storage methods, such as under-bed storage or built-in shelves.
  • Create zones: To maximize your space, create zones for different activities. For example, you can create a workspace in one corner and a relaxation area in another.
  • Allow natural light to flood your space: Natural light can create an illusion of more significant space and a warm and inviting atmosphere. You may consider adding windows or skylights to your design to bring natural light in if possible.
  • Add greenery to your space: Plants can add a touch of color and vitality to your living quarters or workspace, making it feel more inviting and relaxing. Consider incorporating indoor plants into your design to create a natural and refreshing atmosphere.

By implementing these suggestions, you can design a stylish and practical space that meets your unique requirements and fully maximizes the potential of your shop with living quarters.

Benefits of Building a Shop with Living Quarters

Building a shop with living quarters offers several benefits, including:

More Space

barndominium interior open conceptA shop with living quarters allows you to combine your workspace and living space in one building, which can be more convenient and efficient. Instead of having separate buildings for your business and living space, you can have everything in one place.

Cost Savings

Building a shop with living quarters can be more cost-effective than buying a separate property for your business and living space. You can save money on property taxes, utility bills, and other expenses by having everything in one building.


You have complete control over the design and layout of your building, allowing you to create a space that meets your unique needs and preferences. Whether you need more bedrooms, bathrooms, or workspace, you can design a building that meets your needs.


Steel-framed workshops are durable and long-lasting, requiring less maintenance than traditional wood-framed structures. They are also less susceptible to damage from weather, pests, and other environmental factors.

Future Potential

A shop with living quarters can be a valuable asset that can be used for other purposes, such as renting out the living space or expanding your business. This can provide a source of income and add value to your property.

Enhanced Efficiency

A shop with living quarters can enhance your efficiency by reducing the time and effort required to commute between your workspace and living space. With everything in one building, you can easily switch between working and relaxing without wasting time and energy traveling between locations. This can help you get more done quickly and achieve a better work-life balance.


1. How much does it cost to build a shop with living quarters?

The cost of building a shop with living quarters can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the building’s size, design, materials, and location. On average, you can expect to spend between $50 and $110 per square foot for a high-quality steel-framed building with living quarters.

2. Do I need to follow local building codes when building a shop with living quarters?

Yes, following local building codes and zoning laws is essential when building a shop with living quarters. These regulations ensure that your building is safe, structurally sound, and meets the requirements of your local government. Failure to follow these codes can result in costly fines and legal problems.

3. What type of features can I include in my living space?

The features you include in your garage apartment or living space will depend on your needs and budget. Some popular features include full kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. You can also include features like a fireplace, outdoor living space, garage apartment, or a home theater.


shop houseBuilding a shop with living quarters is an excellent option for those who want to combine their workspace and living space in one building. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can plan, design, and build a functional and stylish space that meets your unique needs and preferences.

Remember to work with professionals, obtain the necessary permits and materials, and follow local building codes to ensure a successful project. With proper planning and execution, you can have your dream shop with living quarters and enjoy the benefits for years to come.