Skip to main content

Shouse 101: Your guide to creating the workshop home of your dreams

A workshop and home all in one? Sounds too good to be true, but it can be a reality easier than you might think. Shouses are the exciting new design trend combining conventional home design and comfort with workshop functionality.

We’re loving the shouse trend here at Fox Structures and have already had the opportunity to build some amazing shouses for clients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. If this sounds like the home you’ve been dreaming of building, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about shouses.

What is a Shouse?

A shouse is a home with a workshop or storage shed fully integrated into the overall design and structure of the house. They’re well suited for both seasonal and full-time living, and they make the perfect cabin with convenient storage or workspace built-in.

Common features of a shouse:

What makes a shouse? Apart from the combination of a house and workshop, shouses typically feature common design elements and features, including:

  • Steel exteriors
  • Metal/wood pole frames
  • Concrete slab foundations
  • Typical interior home design

What’s the difference between a house and a shouse?

The biggest difference between a house and a shouse is the functionality. Shouses have a workshop or other structure attached that can be used for purposes beyond residing in. Beyond the obvious, shouses and homes differ in a number of other ways.

For example, houses are typically built with vinyl, brick, stone and other materials that usually cost much more than the steel, wood and other materials used to build shouses.

What’s the difference between a barndominium and a shouse?

Barndominiums are a recent building trend similar to shouses, but not quite the same. Where shouses are typically new construction, barndominiums are homes created from renovating an existing barn.

While some barndominiums are starting to be built from the ground up, they maintain a barn-like style. They also don’t necessarily serve a functional purpose beyond the design of the residence, as opposed to shouses.

How Much Does a Shouse Cost to Build?

If you’re looking to build a low-cost home, a shouse fits right into your plan. These convenient structures tend to be much cheaper to build than typical homes.

While the average price to build a new home ranges from $100-$200 per square foot, the average price to build a shouse drops to $40 to $120 per square foot.

Why are shouses less expensive to build than houses?

Shouses are built with more affordable materials.

The steel exterior of most shouses is far less expensive than the vinyl, stone and brick usually used to build new homes.

Shouses typically don’t have basements.

Instead, they are usually built on a concrete slab which is far less expensive and complicated to complete.

Shouses can be built quickly.

Many key elements of shouses make them a breeze to build—at least compared to the complicated design and structural elements found in most homes. This saves on overall construction costs.

Benefits of Building a Shouse

In addition to being more affordable to build, shouses have many advantages over new home construction.


Shouses offer the ultimate convenience, whether you build one with a workshop, storage shed, oversized garage or other large structure. No more commuting or paying for off-site storage.

Environmentally friendly

Did you know that steel is 100% recyclable? That makes shouses, typically built with steel exteriors, far more environmentally friendly than a usual new home build. You can even make your shouse more environmentally friendly by building it with recycled steel from the start.


Metal structures such as shouses offer superior protection against harsh weather conditions and other threats that commonly damage typical homes. Water is also far less likely to get past the metal exterior of a shouse, greatly lowering the chance of leaks, mold, termites and more.


Shouses allow you complete creative freedom to create the home and workshop of your dreams.

Shouse Design

If you’re dreaming of building your own shouse, there’s really no limit to what you can create. Need some inspiration? Check out our most recent shouse construction project.

As you can see, shouses can offer the same comfort and style of a typical home, with all the added convenience of a residential workshop. Fox Structures expert designers worked with the Braults to create their dream home layout, and our shouse constructors worked quickly to make it happen. Now, the Braults get to live and work surrounded by nature and they couldn’t be happier with the results.

Expert Shouse Construction

Dreaming about building your own shouse in Wisconsin? Our shouse construction experts here at Fox Structures can help make your dreams a reality. We’ll be there through every part of the process, from initial ideas and floor plan design to the construction of your shouse.

Contact Fox Structures today to start the process of building your shouse.