Last fall we were approached by a woman who was interested in building a cottage in her son's back yard in St. Petersburg. We looked through the local zoning regulations and found that the property allowed for Accessory Living Units (ALUs), but not Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). The difference between the two in St. Petersburg zoning was that she could build a cottage, but would not be allowed to have a full kitchen with an oven. Other areas of St. Petersburg, mostly in the historic neighborhoods closer to downtown, do allow full cottages with full kitchens (ADUs).

When considering a secondary dwelling behind an existing home (carriage house, in law suite, granny pod, guest cottage, rental cottage, etc.), always check local zoning regulations first as it will tell you if you can build an accessory dwelling unit, if it can have a kitchen, where it can placed (setbacks), and if there are any size limitations. Most communities have their zoning regulations available online at: https://library.municode.com/fl and offer a myriad of information on what can be built where.

For this project, we adapted our 14'x16' Starlet Cottage plan for our customer's use, turning the kitchenette area into a walk-in closet and adding a roof extension over the front door to create a porch seating area. The end result is a comfortable and nicely appointed cottage. See details here, although the closet and bath ultimately were reversed: Starlet Cottage Plan In addition to meeting the zoning requirements, the cottage meets all Florida Building Codes and is legal for full time living.

The front gable roof was extended to 4' to create a covered seating area.

The 224 sf cottage is set on a concrete slab so she wouldn't have to deal with stairs.

The cottage interior under construction - bath on the right, closet on the left, storage loft above.

Historic Shed Tiny House Interior

The front area of the cottage is an open room with cathedral ceiling and a storage shelf along the top of the wall.

A small seating area fits nicely along the side wall. The flooring is ceramic tile with a weathered wood look.

While the cottage was not allowed a stove/ oven, there is room for a small refrigerator and microwave.

Tiny House Bath

The bath meets Florida Building Code requirements and includes a nice sized shower. A tankless water heater is located in the adjacent closet.

The cottage was designed with a windowless wall so that the owner could install this lovely Tuscany scene.

Once the landscaping goes in, this custom Starlet Cottage will be quite pleasant.

Historic Shed now offer the Starlet Cottage as a shell-only package with all required architectural plans: http://historicshed.com/cottage-packages/

The shed that gets the most "oohs" and "aahs" when we are out at shows is definitely the Snack Shack we built in Palm Harbor a few years ago. Painted in  fun colors, it conjures up sunny days with umbrella adorned drinks in hand. With our latest Coastal Breeze Snack Shack, I think we have another ideal tropical back yard, and this one is available as a vacation rental.

Installing theHistoric Shed Snack Shack

Installing the Coastal Breeze Snack Shack

Bar openings

The bar features two awning shutters that open for cocktail hour. The front 4' of the shed is used for the bar, the rear is for storage. The bar has a 4' covered porch deck.

Pub Shed by Pool

The 12'x14' Snack Shack Pub Shed nestles nicely by the pool.

Pub shed in pool area

A view from the yard looks rather inviting.

Tropical Shed

The shed is designed to complement the house and the yard.

Pub Shed Bar Opening

The homeowners had to make sure it worked. The inside of the bar was finished with tongue and groove pine.

Pub Shed

12'x14' Historic Shed Snack Shack Shed ready for company!

We are often asked if we can provide just a building shell that the owner can then finish out on their own. The answer is, of course, "Yes!" We don't often get to see the end results, but one of our historic homeowner customers recently sent us some photos showing how wonderful his new space is.

The 12'x16' shed was designed to complement the main house in the East Lake Morton Historic District in Lakeland.

The shed seen shortly after Historic Shed finished installation.

The homeowner built a wood deck in front of the shed and made it look "oh so homey".

The cozy inside features a futon sofa and a 3/4 bath behind the louvered doors.

The interior also has a storage shelf at the gable ends and a small kitchenette.

The 3/4 bath.

My favorite artsy photo of the finished porch.

Several years ago I was contacted by a woman who was in the process of buying a house in the historic Gillespie Park neighborhood in Sarasota. The 1920s house came with a detached garage in not-so-great shape, placed awkwardly in the middle of the yard and she wanted to replace it. Then she had a few big life changes, including moving out of the country, and the plans for the garage were put on hold. When she called back last year, she no longer wanted to just replace the garage. Instead, since the main house was being used as a vacation rental, they wanted to add a garage apartment that could also be rented out. Historic Shed designed a two-story, two car garage apartment with details that complemented the main house with a one bedroom, one bath layout. We also included a large porch for a private sitting area for visitors, accessed by an exterior stair. The cottage is available for rent at: https://www.vrbo.com/811457 So far, it has some rave reviews.

Last year we built a storage shed for a south Tampa customer with a transom over the front door. Recently, he called us again asking if we had ever built a chicken coop since he wanted one that matched his house and shed. Our response was, "No, but we designed a nice one that we had intended as a prototype but haven't gotten around to building." With a few tweaks to the design, he ordered the coop and we set to building.

Chicken Coop Elevations

Chicken Coop by Historic Shed

The new coop consists of a 4'x6' elevated hen house with a 6'x8' screened yard. the screened yard was set on 4x6 rails recessed partially below grade.

The screened yard has a full height access door.

The nesting box has a hinged door to access eggs.

The nesting box is subdivided.

A pair of doors allow access to the hen house for cleaning.

A ladder inside provides a nesting perch for the chickens to rest.

The new coop sits next to the shed Historic Shed built for the same owner.

The chickens had not moved in yet when our installation guys finished, so we will wait to hear how the future inhabitants like their new home. For now, we have to settle for it looking nice in the yard.

Many thanks to the backyardchickens.com website for providing a wealth of knowledge as we designed and built the coop.

One of our customer favorites is the tropical Snack Shack that we built in Palm Harbor with combination bar and storage shed. The shed design was recently adapted for a narrow site behind a historic Craftsman style home in the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood in Tampa. The resulting shed was 8'x18' version with framing details that complemented the historic home. The shed was approved by the local historic preservation office.

Craftsman porch framing

Details from the main house that drove the shed design

Shed Construction

Building the shed at the Historic Shed shop

Craftsman Pub Shed

Installation of the Craftsman Snack Shack shed on site

pub shed interior

Bar interior

Pub Shed Interior detail

Ventilation door between the pub and storage areas

Pub doors

Awning doors locked down

Shed interior

Interior of the storage shed area

Bar shed

The finished shed with awnings closed

Awning pulleys

Pulleys that open the bar doors

Pool Shed

The shed sits nicely by the pool

One of the perks of being in the preservation business is seeing all sorts of great historic sites that aren't always available to the public. When we worked primarily as historic preservation consultants under our Preservation Resource, Inc. mantle, we got to crawl in attics and private rooms of house museums, disused hotels, and even airplane hangers. Now, as we focus on making outbuildings for historic neighborhoods, we get to see private homes that aren't open to the public (I never say no when invited inside for a moment). One of the recent highlights was seeing a high-style Craftsman style bungalow in the Old Northeast neighborhood in St. Petersburg that was under rehabilitation.

Sargent House

The house has heavy timber framing details, great clinker brick porch piers, wide eaves and long, low lines.

Known as the Sargent House, 806 18th Avenue NE was recently designated as a historic landmark by its newest owners, Sharon Winters and Kendall Reid. Originally built in 1923 by LeRoy and Marjorie Sargent, the house is significant for its architecture as a rare example of higher-style Craftsman design and construction in the airplane bungalow type. (See the full report at: http://www.stpete.org/committee%20packets/Community%20Planning%20and%20Preservation%20Commission/2016-04-12%20Reports.pdf). A local landmark designation recognizes structures or places that have historic value or that exemplify cultural, economic, or social value to the city, state, or nation. The benefits of this designation include neighborhood stabilization, increased heritage tourism through the maintenance of our historic character, relief from some of the requirements of the Florida Building Code, and an ad valorem tax exemption.

Historic Shed was hired to design and build a small storage shed to be placed behind the house. The simple shed incorporated elements from the house such as the gable detailing, roof pitch, and outrigger design.

Craftsman Shed

The shed is located within a flood zone and has flood vents along the back and alley side.

Custom Shed Roof Outriggers

The roof outriggers are prominent on the main house. The shed has scaled down versions to visually complement the main house. The gable vents are also geometrically similar.

Custom Storage Shed

While the main house is covered in shingles, the shed uses cypress siding. The doors reflect the Craftsman design of the main house.

Craftsman Shed

The shed nestled behind the main house

Earlier this year we built a custom garage in the historic Lake Lawsona- Ferncreek neighborhood in Orlando, Florida. Unfortunately, when the garage was first finished, we didn't get very good photos. Luckily, when we went back in April for the Lake Lawsona Garden Tour, we were able to swing by and see the garage nestled beautifully in the finished yard.

Orlando Historic Bungalow Detached Garage

The new garage looks like it has always been in the yard

Craftsman Bungalow Garage Orlando

The 14'x20' garage has an overhead door that is faced to look like a traditional carriage house door

Orlando Detached Garage Side Door

A board and batten cypress beadboard door leads off the side of the garage

Garage double hung wood window

Garage double hung wood window

Carriage House style overhead garage door

Carriage House style overhead garage door and classic outdoor lights

The Lake Lawsona - Ferncreek Garden Tour takes place every other year, alternating annually with the Lake Eola Heights Neighborhood Garden Tour and is well worth attending. This year, we were given booth space near H. H. Dickson Azalea Park, which is a phenomenal historic natural landscape park comprised of a ravine down the middle of the neighborhood. It is a great asset that complements the lovely 1920s homes that make up the neighborhood.

Dickson Azalea Park Historic Marker Orlando

"Dickson Azalea Park began as a natural stream, later named Fern Creek, in a deep ravine surrounded by native ferns, palms, and oaks. It once was a watering hole for cattle herders driving their animals south. State Senator Walter Rose (1888-1958) purchased 40 acres of land here in 1916 and platted most of it for development. He set aside five acres adjacent to the creek for a park, called Senator Rose park, which he deeded to the City of Orlando in 1924. In 1933, the Civitan Club presented the City Council with a proposal to beautify the overgrown park and asked the city to re-name it in honor of Colonel Henry Hill Dickson (1849-1935). An Orlando business pioneer and civic leader, Dickson devoted his energies to the beautification of Orlando, and was instrumental in planting azaleas throughout the city. In 1935, ground was broken for restoration of the overgrown property. Local landscape architect Mulford Foster designed the scheme for the park's plants, water features, bridges and paths, and Works Progress Adminsitration labor built the park's walls and steps. Dickson Azalea Park was designated an Orlando Historic Landmark in 1991."

Dickson Azalea Park Bridge

One of many natural style bridges in Dickson Azalea Park in Orlando

Tree in Dickson Azalea Park Orlando

Tree emerging from the ravive in Dickson Azalea Park Orlando

Some home details are just so lovely they just have to be replicated. For this 10'x12' shed that Historic Shed built in the historic Duckpond Neighborhood in Gainesville, Florida, the eave brackets and unique gable vents were replicated to create a one of a kind shed. The result is a main house and shed that harmonize very well. The shed design was reviewed and approved by the local historic preservation office.

Gainesville custom storage shed with eave brackets

10'x12' custom shed with French doors and interesting eave brackets

Historic Shed Vent detail

Shed vent detail complements the main house

Craftsman eave brackets

Craftsman eave brackets being prepped for for a Historic Shed storage shed

Historic Shed installation Gainesville Florida

Historic Shed installation

Craftsman Bracket Detail on Historic House

The original Craftsman bracket detail on the historic Duckpond house

Craftsman Gable Vent

The existing gable vent on the historic home - note the different outrigger detail on this side of the house

Every time we are approached by an artist in need of a studio, we end up with a unique shed design that is worthy of showing off. In this case, a local artist in Citrus County requested a fairly large 14'x16' shed with lots of windows. The design has great balance, is filled with light and looks lovely with a great set of accent French doors. It will serve as a great "She Shed" for the owner.

Historic Shed 14x16 custom shed

This clasic shed is accented nicely with a fun colored set of French doors.

Historic Shed 14x16 Front Facade

The front elevation has nice symmetry.

14x16 Historic Shed with multi-pane windows

The shed has a nice bank of three windows on the left side.

Rear of 14'x16' Artists Shed

The rear of the shed has two operable transom windows, allowing light, but also wall space inside.

Historic Shed with Retractable Screen Door

Retractable screen doors were installed behind the French doors to give protection from bugs but not taking up interior floor space.

Historic Shed Interior

The interior walls were insulated and tongue and groove pine installed.

Historic Shed Finished Interior

The finished interior has exposed roof framing with board sheathing and pine T & G walls with simple trim.

Historic Shed Finished Interior

The finished interior looking out.

Finished Shed Interior

The interior after some fun creative moments - photo courtesy the Owner.

Shed Interior

Ready to move in - photo courtesy the Owner.

Shed by a Pool

And a beautiful view of the shed in the yard, courtesy the Owner.

Historic Shed™ recently completed a lovely flamingo pink shed set by a pool in a well landscaped backyard in Dania Beach. The shed had SmartSide smooth lap siding, cypress trim, 4x4 eave brackets, JeldWen double-hung wood windows, and a pair of French doors.

Pool House Shed

The tropical color contrasts nicely with the relaxing blue of the pool

Tropical Pool House

A pair of French doors makes an inviting elevation

Outdoor kitchen by pool

The shed helps frame in the outdoor kitchen and seating area

Tropical Pool Shed

The shed from above

Last summer we built a shed in the historic Village of Longboat on Longboat Key, which was the talk of the neighborhood according to our customers. The home where the shed was built is the oldest building on the island, built in 1902 and was originally an Inn and Restaurant. The shed we built for them used elements of the main building, including novelty wood siding and a metal roof. It was the first one we built with a transom over the shed doors, which turned out to be a really nice architectural feature.

Sign commemorating the first house constructed on Longboat Key

Sign commemorating the first house constructed on Longboat Key that has unfortunately been lost

The shed was set to the rear of the main building, along the side yard with access to the rear alley. It was set far enough from the side property line to allow storage of kayaks and other  equipment, so the owners had the concrete pad extended to the side.

Setting the shed

Setting the 10'x16 shed on a concrete slab

The shed had a very steep roof, gable vent that complemented the main house, and a double set of doors that faced the rear alley.

Custom 10x16 Shed

Custom 10x16 shed as seen from the alley

The side of the shed has a central doors flanked by two windows

The side of the shed has a central doors flanked by two 6/1 windows. There are also flood vents since the area is located in a flood zone.

And a year later, with lighting.

And a year later, with lighting to set it off nicely.


About 9 months after completing the shed, we were contacted by a neighbor in Longboat Key who also lived in a historic home. His home was originally the one-room school house for the village, which had been transformed into a residence in the 1950s. He liked the neighbor's shed just the way it was, so asked for something similar, using elements that complemented his home.

10'x16' custom shed

10'x16' custom shed with 6/6 wood windows set on a concrete slab

The shed also features a transom over the double shed doors

The shed also features a transom over the double shed doors

The shed sits nicely in the lushly landscaped yard

The shed sits nicely in the lushly landscaped yard

The Village of Longboat Key has an interesting history and is worth a walk around if you are heading to the beach in that area (which is definitely worth visiting as well). For a walking tour, see: http://www.longboatkeyhistory.com/tour-route--history.html and  http://www.longboatkeyhistory.com/map--details-of-tour-route.html. As you walk around, keep an eye out for the roaming peacocks, which add a nice eccentric touch to the area.

We were approached by someone in the historic Duckpond neighborhood in Gainesville looking to add an accessory cottage in her back yard. After some design iterations, we ended up building a 16'x20' version of our Starlet cottage with elements that complemented her historic home. The design was approved by the Gainesville Preservation Board.

Historic Shed Tiny House

The cottage under construction in the Historic Shed shop

16'x20' Cottage Floor Plan

16'x20' Cottage Floor Plan

The cottage shell installed on a concrete block pier foundation

The cottage shell installed on a concrete block pier foundation

Historic Shed Cottage

The cottage was set on concrete block piers with lattice panels

A French door and arched gable window add extra light into the space

A French door and arched gable window add extra light into the space

Interior framing

Interior framing

The cottage was insulated with batt insulation on the walls and spray foam on the ceiling and under the floor

The cottage was insulated with batt insulation on the walls and spray foam on the ceiling and under the floor

The steep roof allowed a storage loft to be placed over the kitchen and bath area

The steep roof allowed a storage loft to be placed over the kitchen and bath area

The customer choose Ikea cabinets for the kitchen

The customer chose Ikea cabinets for the kitchen

A small corner sink fit in behind the washer/dryer closet

A small corner sink fit in behind the washer/dryer closet

The loft is over 5' at the peak

The loft is over 5' at the peak and gets light through the gable window

The 5'-6"x5'-6" bath has a shower, vanity and toilet, as well as a washer/dryer closet

The 5'-6"x5'-6" bath has a shower, vanity and toilet, as well as a washer/dryer closet

A mini split AC system provides heat and cooling

A mini split AC system provides heat and cooling

A 2' deep storage shelf was installed opposite the loft

A 2' deep storage shelf was installed opposite the loft

A batten door leads to the bath

A batten door leads to the bath

A gas tankless heater is located on the rear of the building

A gas tankless heater is located on the rear of the building

What do you do with a recessed planter at your house? Aside from growing some measly flowers, you might consider scrapping the planter and add some attractive storage.

Recessed planter

Recessed planters are common features in concrete block homes in Florida, but they rarely allow attractive plantings to grow since they are shaded and sheltered from the rain

A small shed fit nicely into the planter space, under the main roof

A small shed fits nicely into the planter space, under the main roof

The owners' response after the shed was complete: "It looks fantastic...it's looks like it was part of the original house ... Love it!... "

Historic Shed recently completed this new heavy timber pool pavilion with exposed rafters set on a concrete pad, with a 5-V Crimp metal roof. Set in a new neighborhood in Florida, the shelter will provide much-needed shaded seating near the pool. The owner is having the area professionally landscaped and we hope to show off finished photos of the yard when it is complete.

The residential pool pavilion was constructed to give shade in a new neighborhood with few trees near Orlando.

The 10'x14' residential pool pavilion was constructed to give shade in a new neighborhood with few mature trees near Orlando.

6x6 posts and beams give the building a strong presence. Blue brackets give it some whimsy.

6x6 posts and beams give the building a strong presence. Blue brackets give it some whimsy.

The building has a metal 5-V Crimp galvalume roof.

The building has a metal 5-V Crimp galvalume roof.

The 1x6 cypress roof sheathing was left exposed and unpainted to accentuate the 3x6 rafters.

The 1x6 cypress roof sheathing was left exposed and unpainted to accentuate the 3x6 rafters.

 

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