SHEDS for every purpose

MoccasinMay 12, 2010

Mama Goose made a remark, considering cleaning out her potting shed...almost.

Well, I've discovered that sheds can make the greatest little getaways of all time. I read Debra Prinzing's book about Elegant Sheds, and now I subscribe to her blog. She is a writer based somewhere in Washington state. If you have a shed calling your name, go to the library and look up the subject, and hopefully they will have this book available for loan.

Meanwhile, I'm giving the link to Ms. Prinzing's blog. Follow where it leads.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sheds and landscaping/Debra Prinzing

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I love sheds. Must be from my childhood playing in all the farm structures. Your link goes to a number of great sites and fun to read.

My sheds are still in mid finish. In reality I think it takes a long time to actually create some of the wonderful ones seen. Patience needed on my side.

The chair with sedum is wonderful and I've seen shed roofs done the same. Am in an arid area, no chance for creating something like this.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 7:07AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Wow, that's a pretty blog! And the 'elegant' shed, stunning. I still haven't had the gumption to get mine in shape. It is the former buttery for the dairy farm, with rudimentary non-working plumbing still in place. It is open to the elements, and the cats, who often have territorial disputes, and chase birds in there, so imagine a kid's room after a slumber party and a pillow fight. I'm ashamed to show pictures, but I'll work on it!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 11:05AM
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Emagineer, so glad that you are a shed afficionado like me. My DH has a 12x14' garden shed, the gambrelled roofline like an old barn, 2 small windows on the front end. It is high up on the hilly back yard at his house in Mass. It already has water and power run to it. It has a cement floor.

When I go up there this summer, I want to commandeer it to my own purposes. I know we will be selling the property as soon as we can, but I still want to turn that little adorable shed into a playhouse or a studio. He has it crammed with old lumber torn out of his house, old hoses and such, bags of fertilizer or whatever, garden tools. I am dying to make it a very special place. It was Debra Prinzing's book about sheds, and another one called SHED CHIC that I flipped over.

Mama, I remember seeing that photo. If you could put some objects in your potting shed related to its history, I think it would decorate itself. Butter molds? Wooden cow carvings? Dairy signs? Paintings? I remember a kitchen pantry door in some magazine, they had painted a trompe l'oeil (sp?) view of a pasture with a cow in the scene, right on the door. Not meant to be totally realistic.
If you have a real potting shed function, come outside and make a crosshatch lattice with a tiny arbor at the top, and put a bistro table and 2 chairs there. Have your flower pots all around even if they are the empty ones.

The scene will draw you into the landscape, I think that is the purpose of the table/chairs, just like myy hammock which I seldom lay in, it still rests my spirit.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 12:16PM
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What a nice blog with beautiful gardens. I have one of those storage sheds in the backyard which is painted the same colors of the house. My dogs killed 2 possems (one was huge!) so now I'm leery of going in it (I send my son , lol).
Mama, you truly have a wonder 'acreage'. It must be like a wonderland for the grandkids.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 1:23PM
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Once we get our house built, and get all settled in on our property in SC, I'm planning a series of small sheds for various purposes. Since we'll have a barn, they won't be used for much serious work, but it would be fun to a have a private little 'playhouse' to retreat to. When I was small, I can vaguely remember my grandparents having a very ornate Victorian shed on their property. Building sheds will be a good way for me to try out various architectural styles that I've always been fascinated with. For example, I've always wanted to build a house that was intentionally crooked and sagging; a shed will be a great way to scratch that itch without too many folks thinking I'm crazy!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 5:17PM
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Flgargoyle, I admire your vision for the new property. It will be a great way to explore different styles, as you say.
And by keeping them smallish, the expenses will have a small bite on your pocket book too.

You really should take a look at the shed websites online. Some in England are out of this world, and quite eccentric. The link to Debra Prinzing can lead you a long distance into the world of sheds. For sure when you make your move to SC, you cannot forsake this forum.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 7:46PM
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finally found the pictures of what I called my granny shed. I had this at the last house. It was supposed to be my studio work space but never worked for that. It is 10 by 16 and the lady that bought the house from us was going to set it up as a guest room. the was going to finish the walls. I just had insulation in it no sheet rock.

Here is a link that might be useful: Last three pictures.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 9:50PM
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Hey Shades. Nice shed, even w/o the drywall. It is the functional use which is important, after all.

I rather think that for a 3 season approach, leaving out insulation and having the 2x4s show and paint everything all white is a good way to go. It will really make a summer cottage look. But I know practicalities demand insulation and a finished wall surface in most climates. I don't think even GOD can keep Idaho warm in the winter w/o insulation. God helps those who help themselves by building for the elements, right?

Also, to digress.
I found on the Gardening side of GWeb another forum you could find of some interest. It is GREENHOUSES AND GARDEN STRUCTURES. Many of those people are hard core agricultural folks trying to raise crops under protective cover, but I think there are some ornamental and urban postings too.

I posted there about converting my derelict garage into a greenhouse etc, but so far no response.. I suppose SMALL HOMES is the forum most attuned to my philosophy about living large in a small space even discussing SHEDS.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 3:48PM
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ML the granny shed was too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer even with the insulation. BUT had we stayed there I was considering just stapling fabric on the walls over the insulation like I did the old camp blanket behind the bed. I had that shed re arranged so many different ways. I spent more time arranging it and changing the storage areas than I did anything else out there. Well it was a learning experience. Wish I could find a picture of the front. AND wishes come true. Really was a fun shed. And even though I never really use it as intended I enjoyed the creativity of the space. If only to learn how to organize. I did store lots of stuff here and it made it easy to find things.

I have not been to the other GW green house board. There is so much involved in doing a green house proper I decided a long time ago to not even try it. I am too lazy. I would love to have a lath house though and I do not think there is as many special needs. AND you could also have a nice space to sit. I really liked the looks of the carport space before they put the roof on. Was wishing we could have left the roof off.


Here is a link that might be useful: Granny house painted.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 4:28PM
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This post sure came up here in a timely manner. My husband and I started to draw up blueprints for our house with a sewing loft on his Chief Architect software. The loft was coming along beautifully, we found a nice spot for the stairs and the outside facade of the house was very pretty. Then I started waking up at 4:00 a.m. in a sweat, and no, it wasn't hot flashes.

What was wrong was having a fairly small (15 by 15) great room with the huge vault in the middle of it. It makes a tube effect we didn't like. Putting a flat wood tongue and groove flat ceiling over the whole downstairs to fix the vault issue would make the whole downstairs feel closed in. Building half a loft helped, but what a waste of construction costs for half of a loft (and heating and cooling). So....we were back to square one....until the shed discussion came up again here.

Since we do not want to mess up our wrap around porch with a bumped out addition, I have resigned myself (or should I say opened up my closed mind in this regard), that in order to have a wonderful sewing area, and not make a huge house in the process, I would have to consider the sewing "shed" once again.

Well, I think I'm going to go with it.

When I was a kid, I used to play in the barn, and had made an old chicken coop into a really neat clubhouse for my friends and I. We spent hours out there. So, I'm thinking there is a strong possibility this "shed" could make me feel young being in a playhouse.

The other advantage I can think of with a studio being a bit outside the house itself is that it gives a physical and emotional seperation from household chores that always nag at one. There have been lots of times over the years that I didn't sew because I walked by a pile of laundry or something else I felt "should" be done "first", and so consequently I didn't sew that day. There is ALWAYS something that could be done first. And in the whole scheme of things, they don't really matter much.

Back to the software. I'll keep you posted.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 4:30PM
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I think it is a great idea Sandy. Being close to your house is so much better than what I had far away. Maybe you can make it like your old play house again or just one little step back into the past.

Totally agree there is a need to walk away from the chores. the chores are always there. Never done. If you do not play with your creative measle when he calls he will desert you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Victorian cottage shed)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 6:21PM
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Shades, thanks for the encouragement! I love that litle victorian cottage. I'll have to make a little bigger version to hold all my sewing stuff:)) My husband is thrilled as well about my decision because he was always uneasy about the loft. A premonition of sorts. He wants me to be happy so he was willing to do a loft anyway.

I had to weigh ALL the pros and cons of each house design we could have done. The shed is the best all around compromise. It'll have to be built after the house is done so that we tie everything in together nicely.

When I get the basic floor plan drawn I'm still planning on getting comments from all of you on how to tweak things. I feel we are getting closer, which is good. My sense of humor left me a while back.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 10:16PM
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I adore sheds, I'm so glad that you posted this! I would love to have a gambrel roofed little barn in the backyard :) We have been looking at the ones at home improvement places lately thinking that getting one of these would be less expensive than building one ourselves. Lately though I've been considering a greenhouse instead. Either one will have to be tiny...I would love to build it into the side of the hill so it doesn't take up extra space.

I love the blog you linked! Years ago I had a magazine with beautiful "guest room" sheds in it that I absolutely cannot find. Around here unfortunately there are laws about "occupancy of outbuildings" so you have to be a little subtle about using your shed for anything other than storage.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 10:33PM
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Sandy, I am happy as a pig in mud!

So this thread or the one about the Victorian cottage shed is what did the trick for your decision about your sewing room. I cannot tell you how happy I am for you. Now your house build can continue unimpeded, and you can create a fairy tale place of your own, which will inspire you every time you see it.

Way to go!!!

And I love sheds too. Up a little higher it was mentioning the lathe structures as an option instead of greenhouses?
Or was that another thread....I grow confused..

But in a hot climate, yes, the lathe will allow air circulation and not build up interior heat as much as glass will.

Instead of a hard solid roof on the shed attached to the garage, Shades, you could pop some Lexan roofing panels on top there. They disappear and all you see will be the wood roofing. Now that I've seen what you had done to YOUR new leanto shed, I have a new approach to the reroofing of our derelick cement block garage. I need the translucence of the Lexan, but the shade provided by at least a little bit of lathing or latticing.

When you are building your own shed, do it the way you like.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 1:26PM
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ML we did get a metal roof added to match the existing garage roof. The Lexan would have been great though.I adored the half shaded space but it was covered up the very next day. BUT if the space ends up not being used for the boat and mower and four wheeler and and and it will become a shaded area for me to enjoy. Our front porch is way too hot. Even with the shade cloth. WWWAAAHHHHH


    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 3:16PM
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Insulate, insulate, insulate. Out of all the insulations available and that we have tried, I sill like the Corning fiberglass batts the best.

We have been trying out a European style climate control system called a Ductless mini split system in our barn. It cools and heats like a charm and is about 50% more efficient than a standard common air conditioner/heating system. This is what I will use in my shed, and we are seriously considering these for our house.

When we built our barn, we had a nice concrete floor poured, and it was built using standard pole barn construction. We used high quality metal to skin it and the roof. My husband insulated an office area, and rather than use sheetrock, he finished the walls with the same white metal roofing material. The result has impressed me. It is clean, nicely finished, inexpensive, and will never need to be painted. Works great for him. (I, however, want a more "feminine" finish in my space).

Moccasin I had a good laugh about being as happy as a pig in mud....until I remembered what the wild hogs have recently done to my pond area. They tore the h....out of it and ate all my frogs! What a mess! I am so mad. They even uprooted some trees I planted. We're putting some nasty barbed wire fencing up around our whole property as we speak, but we'll see if it actually stops them.

enigmaquandry, the more we all keep letting the government get away with telling us how to use our property, the more they will take more and more of our freedoms away. Frankly, in my opinion, it is absolutely NONE of their business what someone does on their own property as long as it harms no one. If you build a shed and want to use it for something, tell them it's a tack room. Or a potting shed. And then politely invite them to leave. Legally all they can do is measure the outside dimensions for tax purposes.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 10:52PM
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AH but Sandy think on how handy that metal wall would be to use magnets to hold up thoughts and patterns. LOL I agree it would look nice. Builder here wanted to use colored on roof and garage. NO I wanted white. Colored fades too quickly. AND the white reflects some of the heat away in the summer. Not so sure that is good in winter . Then again you are not as cold there as we get here.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 11:33PM
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Sandy, here here!

I hate hate HATE the restrictions that are in city limits, it is ridiculous that you are not allowed to do with your land what you wish...I'm considering going ahead and getting chickens as well despite the "barnyard and fowl" legislations (my next door neighbor though is a little prone to calling the police, definitely called them on the previous owner, but he wasn't very nice at all), though a friend of mine had them when she was younger and she got them from a policeman's wife, so maybe it is alright if you get bantams.

I don't see how it is legal that they can traipse on our property any hour of the morning unannounced and hack down our beautiful trees in case they grow too near a power line. GRRRRRR. I was sitting on the front step all morning watching them to make sure they stayed away from my crabapple while my dog patrolled the backyard! Snort, I couldn't agree more.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 1:11AM
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Not that I condone violence, but wild hog is tasty on the smoker.....

I recently hatched another PBI (Partially Baked Idea) in my never-ending logistical challenges for when we build in SC. I plan to build the barn first, so I can live in it and store stuff while I build the house. But where do I live while I build the barn? A shed! I think I'm going to borrow the tiny house idea, and build a shed on a trailer. With a tall roof pitch, I can build a sleeping loft upstairs, and living quarters down. I can fill it with all my tools to get them up there and to keep them out of the weather until the barn is done. I have a 12' trailer already, so I can go 8'X12', 6' ceiling, and a loft space. I could extend just the roof 4' off the back so I can have a little porch once it is situated. If I'm clever enough, I may even be able to take it off the trailer at a later date so I can use it for a proper shed. I just need to be sure that whatever I roof it with can handle 65 MPH winds for 10 hours!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 4:37PM
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Here they at least ask about coming on the property. In reality I am glad they trim, those branches can cause fires in our area leaning on the power lines. And neigbhors would just let all go which leads to power outages, especially during the winter. They have always done a decent job, just the leftover twigs bug me.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 9:10AM
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Enigmaquandry, it just dawned on me that the gambrel roofed shed from a home improvement store is EXACTLY what we have in our back yard. And what DH has in his back yard up north. I really love both of them. And I will show you what the one in Mobile looks like since it got a new paint job and an arbor for kiwi vines across the front. We also plan to install a roof vent and at least a box fan to allow DH to work out there during the summer days. I had him build the arbor on the west end to give at least a little shade to the doors, and thankfully the kiwi vines are doing their best to create a shaded entry. The new color is awesome, and goes very well with the roofing color. It is Behr ORANGE CONFECTION....I'm thinking of using it for the master bath too. When you view the color in full sun, it looks white, but when the day is overcast or less bright, it shows how well the color blends with the shingles.
Here are shots of both sheds. In Alabama, the shed is 12 x 16, and up north I think it is 10x 14 or something like that. That smaller one is what I want to turn into a play house and studio before we sell the property.

And the one in Alabama.

and the whole side, showing the former chicken coop area now used to store my gardening tools. If I had it to do over again, I'd put hardware cloth behind the lattice skirting the shed bottom--to make sure rats and other critters did not hide or nest under there. We put that up to keep our dachshund from becoming wedged beneath while chasing her critters.

And if used in another setup, the arbor could be extended and a bistro table and chairs would be a nice conversation or reading area, especially when the plants give some shade and a sense of enclosure.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 1:13PM
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    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 1:10PM
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