There should be a better word. “Shed” just doesn’t capture it. One imagines a neglected structure at the edge of a property, full of shovels and rusted rakes, an afterthought. And a homeowner who feels it’s time to update a tired old storage shed can do so cheaply with one of the structures we see assembled in home-supply-store parking lots. There is nothing wrong with these if generic is good enough for you. But sheds can be so much more than that. In fact, when function is married to a fun and/or funky design, sheds can sing.
The Bike Shed
One of the best parts of my job is meeting a client who knows exactly what she wants and we get to help realize her vision. This occurred when an avid bike commuter and enthusiast came to me needing a place to store and work on her many bikes. Riding and maintaining her bikes was an important part of her life. It relaxed her and gave her something to look forward to. Having a customized structure dedicated to her pastime made sense practically; all the bikes and equipment could be safely and securely stored and maintained in one convenient location. But it also made sense psychologically; it was a fun place for her to be. It was about more than simple utility.
The Garden Shed
Minnesotans love to garden and few of us need to be sold on the convenience of having a dedicated space. Shelves for the pots, tables for the seedlings, hooks for the tools, a pallet for neatly stacking bags of topsoil. As soon as you enter you know where you are and why you’re there. And that’s just the inside. With the right color, design and materials, the shed itself can be a beautiful addition to your garden, something that attracts and pleases the eye, that says “this is who I am” with style and perhaps a sense of play.
The “I Haven’t Decided but I Love It” Shed
The octagonal shed (pictured above) was designed for a friend whose husband wanted it for excess yard equipment. They had a wonderful backyard that was completely landscaped – yet they wanted to add this structure to house some of their equipment. We wanted to make sure it wasn’t just a “shed” so we began to look at different shapes. We loved the “witches hat” roof and so did the client.
We made a full-scale model with 2 x 4s to make sure we had the right size and proportion for their yard as well as the perfect location. We wanted a round door, priced out new ones and found they were really expensive. So we suggested that they visit antique stores or salvage yards to find a door. They one they found was from an old restaurant that happened to be the place where they had had their first date…magic!
It was a joy to build. Once she saw how fun the shed was going to be, our client’s wife claimed it as her potting shed. Then their grandson walked into the shed, looked around with big eyes and said, “Wow, thank you, grandma!” We’re not sure who is getting to use it these days.
As someone who does it for a living, I know remodeling puts a burden on homeowners. For a period of time, they must adapt their patterns and routines to the needs of the project and admit strangers to the home. By contrast building a shed is easy! Sheds can be placed anywhere on your lot if you stay below 120 square feet, unlike a deck or garage which must go through zoning. Your daily routines can continue without interruption. And at the end of the project, you can have a useful addition to your property that also adds a splash of color or a note of whimsy, an accent or a signature. If you have a hobby or pastime that needs its own space, or just some stylish extra storage, we can help you accessorize your property with a customized shed.
If only there were a better word than “shed.”
Give John a call at 612-861-0188 or fill out our Getting Started Form if you want to explore the possibilities for your own shed!