Re+U’s Backyard Office Sheds Solve the WFH Space Crunch

The Calgary-based furniture company nails the art of the prefab workspace
ModBox units are designed to stand alone or be combined to create bigger spaces. (Illustration courtesy of Re+U)

As anyone working from home knows, the kitchen-island office has its limitations. Enter the ModBox Studio, a 10-square-metre prefab shed by Re+U that’s inspired by the classic cottage “bunkie”— but seriously souped up. “A lot of our customers live in the inner city,” says Keith Moe, founder of the Calgary-based company. “People there want space, since the houses are smaller than in the suburbs, but they also love the neighbourhood and don’t want to leave.”

At $30,000 to $40,000, including installation, the ModBox is a lot more affordable than putting on a home extension.And the process is simple: The Re+U team puts in helical piles or a concrete pad for the ModBox to sit on and then either crane-lifts the shed into place or brings it in pieces and assembles it on-site. The all-season unit is built according to residential standards, with a vapour barrier, airtight walls and high-quality insulation. It comes pre-wired for wifi and has a range of add-on options, including a deck and custom cabinetry. Once it’s plugged into a power source, it’s ready for your Teams meeting.

Windows are located on the corner of the unit to maximize sun exposure. “Our units are popular with artists,” says Moe. “They love the natural light.”
The interior view of a backyard office shed by Re+U.
Interior-cladding options include fibreboard, shiplap panels, and birch plywood: “It comes from the heartwood, so it has unique light-and-dark patterns,” says Moe.

When Moe launched the ModBox concept last December, he imagined people using it as a home office or maybe a gym—as many of them do. But clients are getting creative, too. “One guy turned it into a cigar room for him and his buddies,” says Moe, “and another client, who has an amazing LP collection, now uses it as a private listening space.” Units can also be combined to create much bigger spaces. “You could put two modules together to create an office with a meeting room,” Moe adds. “Or put four together and have a tiny house. The possibilities are endless.”