• Floral City is a darling town located in Citrus County with a collection of historic buildings dating from the 1860s and later. The area experienced a large boom during the 1890s as phosphate mining became a major industry, and the town at one point had a population of over 10,000 people. The phosphate industry left by the 1920s, leaving behind Folk Victorian homes surrounded by giant live oaks. Visitors today can stop at the collection of quaint shops, including the wonderful Florida Artists Gallery and Cafe. Historic Shed was lucky to work on one of the early homes in the historic district, built c. 1883. The project was small, and included screening a portion of the wrap-around porch and installing a few wood window screens. Here's how it came out:

  • It's officially the first day of summer, although this means little to those of us living in Florida who visit the beach, swim and ride bikes year round. How long were you able to go this spring before you turned on the air conditioning? Do you open your windows at all during the pleasant winter months that Florida offers? We recently installed a shed at a lovely, well kept historic home that was not marred by modern replacement windows, but where all the historic wood windows had been caulked shut. When I looked at the neighbor's house, they had done the same thing! It blows my mind that someone would live in a house where none of the windows open (disclaimer: I've never lived in a historic house where all the windows opened). For one, it's a big safety issue. By code, every bedroom must have a secondary means of egress in case of emergency. With an inoperable window, you've removed that important safety feature. I know I always made sure that the windows in my children's bedrooms are in working order. Secondly, by caulking all the windows permanently  shut you've automatically made your home reliant on mechanical systems year round for both outside air and temperature control. This is not energy efficient since Florida has so many pleasant days that require no AC or heat, allowing you to turn off that noisy energy hog. To top it all off, you are increasing the air pollution within your home because the air exchange rate of mechanical equipment is much less than a breeze blowing through your windows and doors. I am assuming that people were told that their windows were leaking air and that their ac system would work better if the windows were sealed. While leaky windows do let cool air escape, there are better ways to address this issue while still allowing the windows to operate. A properly maintained historic window will have a tight seal when the latch is closed and can even have weatherstripping installed to further reduce infiltration. And there are many better ways to improve the energy efficiency of historic homes that will prove more effective, and less dangerous than caulking your windows shut.   Over the next few month, we will offer a series of blogs, entitled "Practical Ways to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Historic Home" will address some of these methods. In the meantime, open your windows and doors and let the fresh air in.

  • Stores have already had Christmas trees on display for couple of weeks - and Halloween is barely passed - so we know the pressure of holiday preparations is about to start. Unlike many small businesses, the holiday season isn't a big push time here at Historic Shed. It's rare that someone buys a shed as a gift (although wouldn't your husband be thrilled if you gave him his own man-cave with a big red bow on the door?) and wood window screens are hard to wrap. That's not to say that Historic Shed can't help you around the holidays though. The holidays require more than shopping;  your house needs to be ready for guests, too. Here's some ways we can help: Spruce up the outside of your old house so it looks picture perfect. Wood window screens and screen doors add a great finishing accent to historic homes, particularly when painted a contrasting color. Plus they allow you to open windows and doors without letting mosquitoes attack your guests. Imagine how thrilled your northern guests will be when they leave the snow behind and get to enjoy open windows! Foundation lattice is another attractive detail that makes a historic house worthy of being featured on the annual Christmas card. Clean up the inside of your home to make room for the festivities. Wouldn't your house be just perfect if it didn't seem so cluttered? Does it feel extra crowded around the holidays with decorations and company abounding? An attractive storage shed can provide temporary storage for collectibles, or long term storage for these things that never seem to have found a home, and then provide a place to put your decorations away after the season is over. They look awful cute with a wreath on the door, too. As  a plus, a well-designed shed will enhance your yard year round. Entertain Outdoors. Florida weather is downright lovely during the holidays. Why make everyone stay inside when you can move the party outside? Our pavilion makes a great gathering spot or outdoor kitchen. Need a place for your guests to stay? Making Aunt Wendy sleep on the sofa or blow-up bed again this year in the Living Room? Or squeezing guests into the kids' room? Our Guest Cottage is an affordable alternative to building an addition to your home, without the hassles of construction. And it makes a great home office or retreat during the times when your life is guest-free. Get away from it all. Sometimes the holidays can be a bit overwhelming. Give yourself the gift of a place to hide out and get away from it all with a finished shed. Gift shopping at Historic Shed. Get creative with your gift shopping this year. We offer small storage units, like the bench on the right, that will be appreciated by anyone on your list, custom screen doors, or gift certificates to help someone buy their dream shed. And if you don't shop with us, please try to support as many small, local businesses this season; you'll find one-of-a-kind gifts at great prices while supporting your neighbors and community.

  • We designed what I consider our cutest shed to date (it is pink, after all) for a 1920s jerkinhead Florida bungalow with Craftsman and Tudor influences. The stucco house has a prominent chimney on the front elevation, rounded rafter tails, wonderful arched brackets supporting broad eaves, and decorative cut outriggers on the clipped gable ends. The owners contacted Historic Shed for a series of home improvement projects including building a new fence and custom gate, installing new carriage house style doors on the historic garage, and constructing a new jerkinhead shed. With the exception of replacement windows at the sunporch, this romantic bungalow remains largely unaltered with many great architectural details Decorative elements on the main elevation The first project we undertook at the bungalow was to relocate the side fence towards the front of the property in order to increase the backyard size. As part of the fence relocation, we installed a custom cypress gate with a speakeasy door with metal grill. The arch of the gate door was designed to reflect the arched front door of the home. Arched garden gate Speakeasy door detail The historic garage on the property was largely intact, complete with a historic screened addition on one side, but with a 1950s-era metal garage door that looked out of character on the building. Historic Shed built and installed new carriage house type doors made of cypress bead board hung with heave duty strap hinges for a more compatible historic appearance. Garage with new carriage house style doors installed The new outbuilding project that we constructed at the home was an 8'x10' jerkinhead shed that incorporated design elements from both the main house and historic garage. The owners were exploring ideas to hide the pool pump in the backyard and had considered several options before finding our HistoricShed.com ad in a historic neighborhood newsletter. They decided that our shed styles were the perfect solution for maintaining the historic look of their property, gaining useful space, and hiding the pool pump. The yard with pool equipment visible The pool equipment hidden inside the new shed The shed incorporated the jerkinhead roof line, rounded rafter tails and arched screen door of the main house.  The dropped siding used matched the historic garage screened addition. A screened door, two screened window openings protected by batten shutters, and gable end vents were utilized to ensure that the shed and equipment had adequate ventilation. Arched screen door and exposed rounded rafter tails Batten awning shutters over screened openings The shed nestled in the yard The owners had this to say about their new shed, "We had a large group of people visit this weekend. People who had never visited assumed the shed was original to the property; people who knew it was new were amazed that it 'looks like it's always been here!' Good job!" To see how this shed was built, watch the slideshow on the home page of our website at www.HistoricShed.com.

  • The crisp morning air today is our first real indication that fall is coming! So perfect outside, and inside if you open all the windows and doors... Now you only need one thing: screens. Luckily we offer wood window screens and traditional screen doors that will both enhance your home's architecture and your enjoyment of great Fall weather. Check out HistoricShed.com to find the perfect accessory for Fall!

  • Cooler weather has arrived in Florida; the kind of weather that makes you eager to turn off the AC and throw open windows and doors. However, the bugs come right in along with the cool air. The answer to this problem has been available for homeowners for quite a while now: screens. Unfortunately, many owners of historic homes no longer have their original window and door screens. Because window screens are easily removed when in need of repair, they usually get stacked in the garage and added to the bottom of the To Do List. Wood screen doors typically get removed directly to the trash. The result is both a loss of historic character and a loss of comfort and function.While the majority of wood window screens tend to be similar in design, the wood screen door has a greater degree of design variety to suit various architectural styles. The screen door also is subject to much more daily wear than the average window screen. Add Florida's high humidity and temperature fluctuations and you do have to spend some time thinking about screen doors if you want them to look appropriate and last for a reasonable amount of time.Although basic wood screen doors are available at local home improvement stores, they are rarely suited to historic homes or to Florida's climate. Many of the available screen doors are built of finger jointed, soft woods with narrow frames. The result is an oddly proportioned door that tends to sag and stick shortly after installation and rot within a season or two. They also are available only in stock sizes that often need to be modified in order to fit existing historic door openings. A better, longer lasting solution is to install a custom built screen door that is designed to complement the architectural style of the home and built of rot resistant materials using durable joinery techniques. Screen door styles range from simple rectangular frames suited to vernacular homes to ornate ginger-breaded doors for Victorian era homes. Several designs are available for the Craftsman-influenced and Mission style homes so common to Florida as well. Materials such as cypress and dense pine are suited for wood screen doors in Florida due to their rot resistance and dimensional stability. Strong joints, such as mortise and tenon connections add to the strength and durability of screen doors as well. Finished with period-appropriate hardware, a well designed and built wood screen door can add character to a historic home and serve as a welcome to Florida’s wonderful winter weather.