backyard shed

What Makes a Prefab Metal Building Habitable?

Did you know your shed can actually be made into a habitable living space? You can transform it into a variety of habitable structures, such as tiny homes, accessory dwelling units, a workspace, a studio, and more. 

The definition of habitable living space is any structure or part of a structure that is specifically created for human residence and usually containing features like furniture, electrical power, a restroom, and cooking utilities. 

Each region and municipality will vary in its exact requirements to fulfill the legal definition of being a habitable living space. Ensure you check with your local regulations before finalizing your building plans. 

Features of a Habitable Structure

Below are some of the features that make a structure habitable in the state of Floridia, but it is not an exhaustive list. You can find a mixture of these and other amenities that vary by living space. To best equip your new structure, we strongly suggest including the features below. 

Utility Hook-Ups

For your comfort and safety, your shed needs to meet the basic amenity requirements. It is obligatory for the proprietaire to keep the space in a clean and sanitary condition, which includes functioning plumbing and a means of sanitary garbage and sewage disposal.

All electrical and gas outlets and fixtures must be properly installed, preserved, and well-connected to an approved source of electricity. Where there is electrical service to the building, the habitable rooms and common areas must have a source of electrical power and functioning light switches. 

You will also need a supply of hot and cold water that is supplied through an approved distribution channel and then connected to the kitchen sink and bathtub or shower. Safely installed heating systems or devices must also be installed to prevent freezing temperatures.  

Structural Integrity & Durability

The structure must also withstand common threats from the elements, such as storms, seasonal changes, and high levels of wind. The foundation and skirting need to be firmly rooted and without cracks.

The walls, floors, and roof must be kept free of damage, rotting boards, or anything that could transfer dampness to the interior of the building. The windows and doors should be weathertight, waterproof, rodent proof, and without structural flaws.  

Structural supports should be maintained and durable enough to carry the weight of the habitation under pressure. They must also be free from rodents, insects, or other pests that may eventually impact the quality of the framework. 

Fire Protection

Fresh air and safety is an extremely important part of a habitable space. That’s why all rooms must have a window or skylight that can be opened to help with ventilation. If a room cannot have a window, it will need a device that can help filter the air. However, bedrooms will always need a properly functioning window in place of a device. 

In addition to windows, you’ll need a functioning smoke detector system. The detector should meet all legal, safety, and maintenance requirements to prevent future damage from fires or excessive smoke. Always ensure the device provides an audible alarm after activation. 

Well-Regulated 

Before committing to your building plan, check with your local and municipal regulations to guarantee your home meets all zoning requirements. Consult with certified engineers who are familiar with the building legislation in your area. 

Specialists can help you check details like structure and lot size compatibility with your area and if you are following the proper setback line requirements. By working with experts beforehand, you can avoid a lot of potentially costly and timely mistakes.