What is a Shouse?

What is a Shouse?

A shouse, shome, or barndominium, (barndo)—call it what you wish—the combination of a shop and house as one building unit is one of the hottest trends in new home construction. Many owners are finding great value in this dual-purpose building. The structure combines a traditional house with a workshop that can accommodate work, hobby or recreational activities. Having a shouse means you never have to leave home when its time to go to work or play.

One of the biggest benefits of combining a shop and house in one unit is the opportunity to reduce the cost of design, engineering and construction. Rather than designing and engineering two separate buildings, the combination is done at the same time. Construction costs related to site excavation, foundations, labor and landscaping may also be reduced.

Because the shouse can be custom designed, there is no limit to getting your dream space that will accommodate your lifestyle and work functions. From single level, to multi-level, a shouse design offers the same amenities you would find in a typical single-family home and workshop. Owners can enjoy open floor plans with large, clear span ceilings or lofts. There is no limit to the customization and management of your personal space.

Considerations for designing your new shouse include:

  • What is the purpose of this new shouse? Think about how much time you will spend here. Is it for full-time living or will it serve as a secondary home or getaway? How much space is needed in the living area? Consider number of bedrooms, bathrooms and the overall living space for your family and lifestyle. Consider additional amenities such as a fireplace, patio or porch. Do you have a preference for one or two-level living quarters? Do you need to accommodate friends or family as guests in your new home?
  • How much space is needed in the shop area? Is there a need for special equipment or machinery? Do you need workbenches or specialty cabinetry or shelving?
  • Is there a need for recreational space? Many owners include space for the family to enjoy indoor recreation such as basketball, pool tables or media areas.
  • Is there a need for extra storage? Whether you collect vintage cars; have a large RV; or are a woodworker or other craftsman, many folks find they need some extra storage space. This can easily be accommodated into the shouse.
  • What are your preferences for the interior finishes? Some owners choose low-maintenance concrete as flooring for their living and workspace while others choose traditional floor coverings for their living area. Trim, cupboards, cabinetry and fixture choices are as flexible as with any traditional home.
  • What is important to you for the exterior appearance? Although many people use steel on the exterior, other materials or a combination of materials can be used. Location, size, and style of windows, walk doors and overhead doors should be reviewed.

There are many reasons to consider building your new shouse with structural insulated panels such as EPS Solid Core Panels.

  • The panels allow for better control over air quality because the airtight building envelope limits incoming air through controlled ventilation. Controlled ventilation filters out contaminants and allergens and also allows for incoming air to be dehumidified, reducing the possibility of mold growth.
  • The panels are proven to be 50% or more energy-efficient compared to traditional stick construction.
  • The sealed panels mean that pests are less likely to be a problem in either your shop or house.
  • EPS panels manufactured with 3/4” OSB will provide a 15-minute thermal barrier, sound control and strength for superior performance.
  • Structural insulated panels have more durability as their structure is much like that of a steel I-beam providing strength and safety. Most shouses have a steel exterior which also adds to reduced maintenance and a longer lifespan.


With a long list of benefits, the shouse can be a hard-working structure that offers much to enjoy for anyone seeking an alternative to traditional housing. Learn more about your new shouse at myshouse.com.If you have any other questions for us, feel free to reach out anytime!

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Energy Panel Structures Inc.

603 N. Van Gordon Ave.
Graettinger, IA 51342
Phone 712-859-3219