More than a few years ago (2011 to be exact), I wrote a post about historic detached carports and included some designs of our own that we thought would be fun to build and useful in a variety of situations. Like many of my random design exercises, none of the sketches were built, until now. And I must say that it looks even better in real life than in my head.
A customer in the oldest city in the US, St. Augustine contacted us and was interested in replacing a rather rickety open garage behind her new-to-her 1920s bungalow. We started with some garage designs, but didn't find the right solution until we dusted off the carport/ shed sketches and found something that fit both the site and the customer's needs.
We are now offering plans for the Carport Shed for sale online for the DIYer or those not located in Florida: Carport Shed Construction Plans
We design a lot of custom sheds that complement historic bungalows, but most are commonly covered with lap or novelty siding. Recently we got a chance to built a slightly differently clad shed for a unique 1940s bungalow in New Port Richey. The house, and an existing garage on the lot are both covered completely in wood shingles, so we designed the new shed accordingly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 was contacted by a couple who live in the Hyde Park historic district in Tampa to design a garage and guest room for a very unusual lot. Triangular in shape, their small lot was just over 4,500 sf and contained a lovely one-story Craftsman bungalow with less than 1,000 sf. The atypical lot was further constrained by a large protected oak tree on the site, and one on a neighbor's lot, just over the property line. With Tampa's strong tree protection ordinances, this left little space to build. Building up was the only real option to maximize the remaining lot space.
After tweaking the design to fit the lot and meeting with Tampa's Historic Preservation Office and Forestry Department, the resulting project created a 12'x20' one-car garage with apartment above. A 6'x8' one-story shed allowed additional storage while accommodating the lot's shape and giving a visual step down from the two-story volume to the street. The stairs were placed at the rear of the building for privacy with an exterior design that allowed them to encroach within the required oak tree setback.
The garage design itself took its cues from the main house which had a low-sloped front-gable roof and very wide eaves. Walls were clad in lap siding and an existing skirt board was inspiration for a belt course on the new building. The new outbuilding was kept simpler in architectural detail, but clearly complementing the main residence.
See more about the Two-story Garage-apartment options. A two-car version is in the works as well.
We have found that Florida artists love our Historic Shed outbuildings for studios. Inspired by the Sunny Artist Studio Shed, an artist in Sarasota contacted us to build a similarly styled shed for their back yard painting studio.
Double French doors at the end of the new path make for an inviting studio full of light and fresh air. (Photo courtesy of the owner)
Last year we were delighted to be contacted by a couple with this email note:
My husband & and I have been stalking your site for a year, waiting until our yard was ready to get a shed. I think we're close! We are in downtown Orlando, have a 1911 colonial revival/farmhouse.
We knew we'd like them instantly.
They live in the lovely Lake Eola Heights Historic District in Orlando, located within walking distance to downtown Orlando. The houses were built primarily between 1890 and 1925 and have an amazing array of styles and detail. Theirs was full of texture and character.
They didn't need an overlarge shed, but it needed character and lots of windows. And to be a test case for the colors they planned to paint their house. Because the property is located within a designated historic district, the shed design was reviewed by the local historic preservation office.
A couple of months after we were done, we received this lovely email note with the photo below:
Just wanted to let you know how happy we are!! We don't have much in the ground yet- but the veggies are happy- waiting on electric & water to go in, then the brick paths- then garden beds will be better defined. We have spent more time in the back yard in the past few months than we have in 3 years!
This lovely 10'x10' shed was delivered to Fruitland Park, Florida, a beautiful area with many lakes. The owner had a newer stucco over block home, but wanted a shed with a little traditional Craftsman flair for the yard.
The shed is set on a wood deck, strapped down into concrete, cypress siding, and a 5-V crimp metal galvanized roof. The shed has Craftsman style eave brackets, a 3/1 double hung window, and Craftsman styling on the 4' wide beadboard shed door. It is accented nicely by the owner's classic color choices. After it was installed, we received this lovely email from the owner:
"Glenn and I couldn't be more pleased with our new garden shed. Craig spent a lot of time 'tweaking' and the pride he takes in his product is now obvious. Again, we are very pleased and have started to 'move in' today. Thank you for being so attentive to the finishing. Will send pictures when we're done installing walkway, plants, etc. Your sheds need to be featured in home and garden magazines....they are unique!"