New call-to-action
The Metal Roofing and Siding Blog

Helpful information for homeowners, building owners, and anyone interested in metal roofing and siding

Blog Home

Posted by McElroy Metal ● Jan 11, 2024 8:00 AM

A Step-By-Step Guide To Your Dream Shouse

Thanks to an increase in remote jobs and a rising desire for an alternate way of living, new forms of housing have seen a rise in popularity over the last few years. Tiny houses, barndominiums, and most recently shouses, are all examples in a new category of alternative homes.

Need a quick tutorial on these terms? Here is a crash course!

Tiny House: Any home that falls under a maximum size of 500 square feet, either built on a permanent foundation or in a mobile form

Barndominium: Barn + Condominium: A living space that combines the design elements of a traditional house and barn. While barndominiums use design concepts from rustic to contemporary, they generally tend to incorporate high ceilings, open floorplans, and large windows. designed in the style of a barn with an open-floor concept.

Shouse: Shed + House: A building designed to accommodate a living space and a workspace.

Is A Shouse The Right Fit For You?

A ”shouse” is a term for a building that combines the best of a home and a workspace, allowing the owner to create a living space that allocates room for their job or hobbies. While some bigger shops have been built with extra room tucked away somewhere for someone to “camp out”, shouses are designed to specifically accommodate both a functional workspace and a comfortable, cozy home.
The concept of combining where you live and where you work is appealing to many people. The opportunity for a business owner to minimize the overhead of a separate office or shop can save a lot of money in the long run, and the convenience of staying centrally located to your work and your family allows for a lifestyle flow that many enjoy.

Shouse - Featured Image

For those with an involved hobby, a shouse can be a great option too. Having an area dedicated to your favorite pastime while staying in the comfort of your home makes it easy to devote more time to what you enjoy doing. It is also often more affordable than maintaining a separate facility.

Integrating all the parts of your life can be very rewarding, especially when your “hybrid” home is attractive as well as practical.

Designing Your Dream Shouse

Already envisioning your dream shouse? There are unlimited possibilities when it comes to designing your custom building, and McElroy Metal can provide the perfect products for your vision.
Need a little inspiration? Check out our project gallery to see how McElroy Metal products were used to make visions come to life!

Step 1: The Napkin Stage: Make Your Checklist

Have you ever sketched your dream home on a napkin with your morning coffee, or doodled your “dream home checklist” on the back of your grocery list? This is called the “Napkin Stage”!
If you think a shouse might be the right fit for your needs, start a list that includes:

  • The purpose of your shouse: How will this space be used?
  • Your “must-haves” in your home and your workspace: This might include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need, features in your kitchen, a separate space for quiet office work, an area designed to accommodate specific equipment, soundproofed areas, etc. These are your non-negotiables to make the space livable and workable.
  • Your “nice to haves” in your home and your workspace: This list could include items like a loft upstairs for guests, a wraparound front porch or backyard patio, a theater room or game room, a professionally outfitted space for a hobby like woodworking or pottery, an extended parking area for customers or machinery, etc.
  • Your location
    Whether you picture your shouse on family land, next to your favorite fishing hole or hunting spot, or located near your central hub, this versatile structure can be installed almost anywhere (with the right permit!).

The great thing about creating an “unconventional” building like a shouse is that the opportunities to make it tailored to your needs are endless. Have fun in the Napkin Stage, and then head to step two!

Step 2: Work Out The Logistics: Do Your Due Diligence To Get Started On The Right Foot

After you have your ideal shouse mapped out, it’s time to do your due diligence.

  • Zoning: Once you have your location selected, do a little research about the zoning requirements for your area.
  • Insurance: Talk to your insurance agent about the options and requirements for securing the best insurance for your new building
  • Financing: Connect with your lender to discuss your dream project, and make a plan for the construction and financing project.

Step 3: Design Details: Choose The Right Building Blocks

Material selections define the style of a building and no matter what aesthetic you have in mind, metal products can be the perfect fit for your shouse.

When selecting metal panels for your new shouse, one of your first considerations will be if you want to use an exposed or concealed fastened panel. As the name implies, the fastener that attaches the metal panel to the substructure is visible for exposed fastened systems. Concealed fastened systems use clips or a pre-punched flange which allows for the panel to be attached without visible fasteners. If you’re not familiar with the benefits each provides, give this a read to learn more.

With a better understanding of the difference between exposed and concealed fastened panels, please take a look at a few of our most popular selections, and browse our gallery to see the products come to life!

Exposed Fastener Options:

Max-Rib Panels
This low-profile panel is equally well-suited for residential roofing and post-frame applications.
Our distinctive metal product combines the long-life performance of a Galvalumeâ steel substrate with a fade and chalk-resistant Kynar 500â paint system by Sherwin Williams. The result is an exceptional metal panel that offers the best assurance that your project will retain its beauty year after year. Max-Rib Ultra is the preferred panel for any project in which owners are concerned about quality and long-term performance.

Multi-Rib Panels
This is McElroy’s proprietary version of the industry’s standard R-Panel - a multi-use roof and wall rib panel. Featuring 1 1/4-inch major ribs, and 12 inches on center, Multi-Rib's bold profile adds a distinct beauty to any home and can be upgraded to feature extra defenses against condensation concerns.

Concealed Fastener Options:

Need a concealed fastener wall panel option that installs quickly while offering decades-long curb appeal?  We've got you covered with our Medallion-Lok profile. Add curb appeal and elegance to any project with Medallion-Lok’s clean, crisp visual lines.

With panel widths from 12-18", in-seam sealant, an integrated snap connection, and several different pan conditions, Medallion-Lok is one of our most popular concealed fastener wall panels.

Another concealed fastener option, Meridian has it all! An aesthetically pleasing, snap-together, standing seam roof panel that is economical and easy to install. With no need for clips, Meridian panels are simply attached to the roof deck with pancake head fasteners. Equally well-suited for commercial and residential applications, Meridian is always an excellent choice!

Not sure what type of panel is the right match for your building? Find more info here!
Once you find your perfect panel, it’s time for the real fun… colors! Explore our incredible selection of colors here, and use our visualizer tool to bring your project to life

Step 4: Partner Up: Select A Trusted Contractor

The investment in building a new space is a big undertaking, and selecting a trustworthy, professional contractor is paramount to the success of the project. When seeking out the right partner for your project, it's important know what you are looking for. Here are a few tips!

  • Get recommendations from friends and family – a great referral is key!
  • If any neighbors are in the process of remodeling, drop by and ask about their experience. This is another opportunity for a great referral!
  • Look for “local” – contractors in your community are often more responsive and attentive.
  • You might also find sites like Home Advisor, ThumbTack, and the Better Business Bureau Look for good reviews, ratings, and a high number of showcased projects.
  • Download our Residential e-book where we share some of the top questions to ask contractors during your vetting process.

At McElroy Metal, we supply many contractors with extensive experience in post-frame construction, including shouses! Check out our database of contractors to find one near you.

Pro tip: When using our database to search for local partners, select the “post frame” filter to find the experienced professional you need!

Step 5: Consider The Perks

After meeting with your contractor and discussing your “must haves” and “nice to haves” and discussing the right materials for your job, they will provide you with an estimate. As you consider the cost-benefits of this project, here are some facts to think over!

  • Metal materials boast a lifespan that ensures their value over 50-60 years, so you can feel confident in this investment!
  • Metal materials are naturally energy-efficient and can be customized with solar panels for further efficiency. Choosing metal cuts costs on utilities in the long run and is kind to the planet too!
  • Eliminate the risk of weather damage, tedious maintenance, pest infestation, and more by choosing metal products that are tough, durable, and resistant to the hassles of stick construction.

Step 6: Welcome Home

As you’ll discover, building with metal is a relatively fast process, getting you into your dream space in record time. Enjoy all the benefits of combining your living space and your workspace and spend more time doing what you love in your shouse.

Learn everything you need to know about Residential Metal Roofing. Check out our metal roofing resources for inspiration and answers to your questions.

About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Shouse

Comments on this article:

Scroll down to the bottom to submit a comment and join the conversation. Need help or have a question? Please contact us. Looking for a distributor or contractor? Please click here to get started.