Backyard Eichlers — mid-century modern sheds, Eichler house style

backyard-eichler-house-miniWe’ve already found a source for eight different original Eichler home design plans if you are game to build your own. Today, we’ve discovered a more accessible solution to get a little piece of this famous builder into your very own back yard. Backyard Eichlers offers four Eichler-inspired shed styles to use as a home office, art studio, guest cottage, playhouse, meditation space, potting shed, storage space — or whatever you can dream up….

midcentury-modern-eichler-shedBackyard Eichlers started when founding partner Scott Balser — a designer, builder and remodeler in the business for over 35 years — wanted to pay homage to Eichler style and provide an aesthetically pleasing option for those looking to enhance the back yard of their mid-century modern style home with a equally beautiful and functional shed.

midcentury-modern-shedEach of the company’s four models — available in slanted, peaked or flat roof varieties — can be completely customized, allowing you to choose the final size, roofing, siding, flooring, interior paneling, window and door style and type of insulation. Backyard Eichlers can also help you with adding a deck or planning for electrical and plumbing to meet your needs.

backyard-eichler-style-shedPrices differ based on the model you choose, size, finished and other amenities that are added. The base price range starts at $12,900 fully installed for those who live within a 50 mile radius of Backyard Eichlers in San Rafael, Calif. Another option is to order a kit with pre-assembled panels that you can install yourself, which starts at $9,800 plus tax and delivery. The company will ship pre-assembled kits anywhere in the continental United States, though if you live on the East Coast, be prepared to shell out an additional $3,000-$3,500 for shipping alone.

backyard-Eichler-roomThese mini mid-century dwellings do not come cheap, but you are paying for the design expertise of a seasoned professional, attention to detail, and buying a ready-made building that can be put up in the course of a day or two creating an instant adult size retro playhouse in your very own back yard. I for one, would love to have my own backyard Eichler hide away to use for an art studio — though since I live in Wisconsin, provisions would have to be made to ensure the space was well heated in the winter months.


To learn more about available options, costs and designs visit the company’s website:

Mega thanks to Facebook friend Marz for alerting us to these adorable mini Eichlers and to Dave and Backyard Eichlers for his help with this story.


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  1. Mary Elizabeth says

    These are little gems of MCM design! You should re-post the wonderful story about the guy who built his kids a MCM playhouse and then a chicken coop to match. That would be an inexpensive solution.

    You can buy prefab storage shed/outbuildings here in New England, but they tend to be country/barn style. The price is about $5000 for a 10X16 foot outbuilding. One local supplier makes a model with a more modern hip-style roof line that would go with a 1950s ranch or a bungalow.

  2. says

    I want one of these! Oh my goodness, a little Eichler hideaway would be the greatest thing ever. Sadly, I live on the east coast so it’s not much of a possibility for me, not that it would be if I lived in CA either. I love the idea, though.

  3. Lynne says

    These are incredible! Husband has been wanting a shed, but around here they all look like a miniature barn or a dolls house. Too bad they don’t sell JUST the plans and a materials list.

    • Jay says

      These are real beauties for sure but there’s a reason why most shed options look like minature barns – you are expected to use them to store your mower and garden tools. Where I live you could be ordered to remove a structure like this because it is too house like and tempting to convert to living quarters and then all those pesky zoning ordinances come into play.

  4. Midcenturylush says

    Love these!

    Our little Ralph Haver home in AZ (built in 1958) has a little garage out back that was built in 1962 that we absolutely love. I’ll have to send you a picture after we paint it.

  5. Jennifer says

    This is a little bit off-topic, but I was reminded of the story about Portland Oregon’s permitted “accessory dwelling units” (granny flats), which ease housing problems in a family/neighborhood friendly way. Both the philosophy and the design that goes into these little spaces is very much in sync with the mid-century-modest approach. I bet these gorgeous little Backyard Eichler’s would be perfect for some of the Portland lots.

    • Laurie Louise says

      “Auxiliary” dwellings are also part of the New Urbanism movement, in theory, if not in practice. In addition to walkability and human scale, New Urbanist communities aim mingle people in different stages of life. Backyard homes is one way to accomplish that.

  6. Anne L H says

    Another comparable product is Modern Space and Sheds. I came across this on an Eichler tour in San Mateo (SF Bay Area) in May. There are several options available, including an “Eichler Centric” model. All models are made in a one man shop in Chico and are assembled an installed on-site. The designer has designed them to be less than 12 ft; in height and less than 120 sq. ft. in area, negating the need for a building permit (at least pursuant to the California Building Code). If the owner chooses to have electrical and any plumbing in the structure, a basic permit is required.

  7. says

    Those are MARVELOUS. I grew up in an Eichler in Walnut Creek, CA, and I would adore having one of those in my backyard…if there were room. I would turn it into an onsen (with piped water instead of a spring). That would be heavenly.

  8. Darren says

    My wife and I just purchased a cute ranch home in North Tustin and have a large yard that needs a cool extra building to house our 50’s AMF pool table and my design studio. I found a company named Kanga which looks pretty cool. Anybody ever work with these people? I’d love some firsthand knowledge of someone that has built a larger shed/studio in a modern style. Thanks!

    Heres a link for you all…

  9. says

    These Backyard Eichlers are the best looking sheds I’ve seen. I looked at the modern Tuff Sheds, even going so far as to have one priced out. They weren’t very flexible on the sidings and I didn’t care for the materials.

  10. Susan W says

    I continue to be amazed at how intuitive Retro Renovation is with articles that zero in on EXACTLY the project I’ve been formulating in my head.
    Perfect article for perfect project for my mid-century ranch backyard.
    Thank you!

  11. Jenny says

    Personally, I’m a fan of Modenr Sheds:

    I like the choice of exterior materials, the interior finish options, and the flexibility in size and shape.

    My dream: a resort made up of a dozen or so Modern Shed cottages overlooking a lake or meadow or otherwise beautiful view. Live in one; rent out the others. Perfection!

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