SAN ANTONIO — Are you feeling cramped working at home during the pandemic? Need some elbow room?
A new San Antonio company called Some Elbow Room may have a solution. With several sizes of structures to choose from, ranging from 8 by 12 feet to 16 by 20 feet, they are air-conditioned and have electricity. They start at $12,000 and can be installed in as little as one week. You can also add a bathroom or kitchenette for an additional cost.
"We started in April of 2020, and basically what we do is we make little extensions of your home – except they're not attached to your home. They're in your backyard," Erin Callahan said. "And you can use them for anything that you want to do.”
Callahan and her husband, Patrick, started up their company selling what's often more commonly referred to as a she shed or a man cave. It came about from a squabble the two had over where to store her art supplies. They had been flipping properties before the pandemic struck and were about to start developing condos when the future seemed uncertain with coronavirus becoming more of a concern.
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"I kind of jokingly said to my husband when he got really irritated with all of my art stuff around the house, 'Why don't you just make me an art studio in the backyard?'" she recalled. "I wanted some peace and quiet. I wanted some calm and he wanted all the mess out of the house. So that's what he did. We had the know-how about how to build and he started building in the backyard."
Callahan said neighbors started noticing and giving them feedback that they were interested in their project.
"One day we kind of thought, 'Well, this is maybe something other people want and need.' And we thought about different names for the company. And when he said 'elbow room' and I came up with 'some,' he said, 'That's it, we're going to keep going with this.' And we went full-speed ahead."
Callahan said they've enjoyed making each one tailored to meet the needs of their clients. They recently opened a model site at 18111 Redland Road on the northeast side.
“It feels like walking into a house, it feels like a little sanctuary. I feel like it's a little piece of me that's outside of my house. It's not my husband's, it's not my daughter's – it's completely my studio. It has my personal stamp on it.”
The Callahans have created offices, studios, home gyms and school rooms, to name a few – but Erin's favorite project so far has been a request from a veteran who wanted a place to play his baby grand piano.
"It turned out so beautiful," Callahan said. "He had it acoustically soundproofed and his wife had this beautiful garden in the backyard and he wanted to make sure that it blended in. And it turned out so wonderful. He's so happy with it."