• I've taken note that two of my girlfriends have recently carved out some personal space in their home. One took over a portion of a bedroom recently vacated by a relative for crafts; the other set up a scrap-booking workspace in the garage. This got me thinking about how we all need a space of our own to work, be creative, to escape, even if we have to sit in a garage to escape and do it. Ideally our personal space should enhance our creativity, be a sanctuary with peace and quiet but stimulating to the senses at the same time. I like to think that quality of space is part of the creative enhancement quota too, with an attractive interior, windows or French doors to gaze out at the garden, and with no view of the dirty dishes or other mundane chores in sight. A garden shed or cottage can provide the perfect sanctuary (more-so than a spot in the garage). Since it's small, you can be extra creative when you finish out the interior, letting it reflect your personality. You can use classic details like real wood floors, elaborate tile, or beadboard walls that might be too expensive for a larger space. Or you can try out a funky arrangement of salvaged materials that you might not be brave (or crazy) enough to install in the main house. Paint murals on the walls, install a tile mosaic, or just paint it bright colors that enhance the spirit. A space to create, a space to unwind, a space to find your inner muse. What do you envision yours to be like?

  • Because Historic Shed custom designs and builds each outbuilding to complement individual historic homes and homeowner's needs, we do not maintain an inventory of sheds like many shed manufacturers. Instead, when a new customer contacts us, we ask them to send a photograph of their home, including any details that they particularly like, and then have a discussion about the needs that the shed will accommodate. This includes whether it will be used for lawnmower and bike storage or serve as a home office or pool cabana. We then draw elevations of what the shed could look like and layout shelves and other built-ins to accommodate any special requirements. We generally provide a ballpark cost for the cost of constructing the preliminary shed design at this point as well. This initial design serves as a starting point to tweak the look of the shed to fit the homeowner's preferences and budget. Once a design is finalized, we provide an accurate cost of construction and begin the building process in our facility at the customer's approval. Most sheds are delivered in three-four weeks. If you have more questions about our design or production process, please call Historic Shed at (813) 333-2249 or email a photo of your home to design@historicshed.com along with your ideas for a perfect outbuilding.

  • We are all seeking ways to reduce costs to help weather the current economic storm. This is particularly true for those of us in business for ourselves. One of the simplest ways to reduce significant overhead costs from many small business owners is to work from home. There are ample dollar-related reasons to work from home: working from home eliminates rent or mortgage payments on a separate office, eliminates commuting costs, and reduces electrical, water utility, and internet fees. In addition, working from home recovers time lost to commuting, avoids office politics and distractions, and can allow for a more flexible work schedule. However, the idea of working from home makes many business people worried about how it will affect the balance between their professional and personal lives. They also worry about the professional image it portrays, their ability to avoid distractions and resist the temptation to stay in pajamas all day, and the amount of space that the home office will occupy in the house. One simple way to mitigate these concerns is to set up your home office outside of your home in a separate outbuilding. By moving the home office just outside, and detached from the home, you can create a perfect setting that requires you to get dressed before leaving the house, keeps work (and that always nagging email) out of your personal space, and distances you from distractions found within the home. It also provides a professional setting for meeting clients and to have phone conversations without distractions in the background. While a standard home-improvement store type shed probably does not meet most people's idea of an ideal working environment, a custom shed can provide the perfect attractive and comfortable home office situation. A made-to-order shed can be designed to meet your exact home office needs, with ample day lighting, built-in storage and sited to enhance your backyard. Costs for a custom shed vary depending on size, details, and finishes, but generally start around $8,000 for an adequately sized and outfitted office space. Compare this cost to adding a comparable sized addition to your home, and the detached home office becomes an even more attractive alternative. When planning for a comfortable detached home office, allow adequate room for a desk with rolling chair, office equipment such as a printer, fax and phone, and storage along with any other items necessary for your office to function properly. Also consider taking advantage of common shed space-saving ideas such as loft storage and built-in cabinets and shelves. Plan electrical, phone and internet outlet locations to complement the space plan. Another important item to allow for is ample daylight; installing French doors and windows on at least two walls can make a small office feel more open and spacious. Heating and cooling requirements vary based on local climate, but a space heater or wall AC unit may be all that is needed if floors, walls and ceilings of the outbuilding are fully insulated. Finish the space off with pleasant interior materials, colors, and furnishings rather than standard institutional finishes and you will have a functional and satisfying home office. Couple this with some good backyard gardening skills, and your twenty-second morning commute can become the most anticipated part of your day.