• I got a little over-excited about the 2016 Florida Tiny House Festival and applied to speak on two topics. Surprisingly, both were accepted, leading me to a little extra stress as I prepared for our weekend in Elkton, FL. I both love and hate speaking in front of groups, as I imagine a lot of people feel. Saturday afternoon I was scheduled to speak on Tiny Houses & Historic Districts, but unfortunately the location for my talk wasn't conducive to a Power Point presentation. After a little confusion, speaker Brian Kennedy and I were able to switch locations and we progressed just fine. Below is the presentation that I used for the talk. You can also see the presentation for my Codes & Tiny Houses talk on Sunday morning. Feel free to email or comment below with any questions.

  • Presentation given at the 2016 Historic Homes Workshop in Tampa and the Lakeland Historic Home Workshop. The presentation touched on the history of outbuildings in historic neighborhoods, preserving existing outbuildings, and designing new compatible accessory buildings, including accessory dwelling units (aka Tiny Homes). Outbuildings for Historic Homes from Historic Shed

  • We've been advertisers in Hyde Park Living and Palma Ceia Living magazines (really nice full-sized glossy magazines) since they were first published a few years ago, as these are two of our favorite south Tampa neighborhoods. When I mentioned a recent project to the magazine director, Bradley Hassen, she very nicely offered to do a feature article in the magazines. The project highlighted is a two-story garage-apartment recently built in the Historic Hyde Park neighborhood. The article appears in the February issue of Hyde Park Living and will also be in the March issue of Palma Ceia Living. The magazines are mailed to residents of each neighborhood. Click on the link below to see the article in better detail. Hyde Park_Feb15 (dragged) For advertising info for your own company, contact Bradley Hassen at 813-494-0130. While this building will not be on the upcoming Historic Hyde Park Home Tour on February 28, Historic Shed will have a booth there and you can see the exterior of the two-story garage-apartment from the street, in between touring the fabulous historic homes. Stop by the booth and we will give you the address.

  • Annual Survey and Analysis of 16 Million Monthly Users Reveals Top-Rated Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals Historic Shed of Brooksville, FL has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The custom shed, cottage and garage company was chosen by the more than 16 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community. The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2013. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 16 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 230 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal ideabooks via the Houzz site, iPad/iPhone app and Android app.  "We are very pleased to win in the Design Category this year. To know our work is popular enough on such a large site with so many great designer's work is an honor," said Historic Shed president, Jo-Anne Peck. Historic Shed Featured on Houzz Kitchen ideas, bathroom ideas, and more ∨ Whether granite countertops, a custom kitchen island, or built-in wine storage are new kitchen musts, discover thousands of kitchen designs to help make your dream come true. Share photos of the cabinets and kitchen sink you like with a top kitchen remodeler in your area. “Houzz provides homeowners with the most comprehensive view of a home improvement professional on the Web, empowering them to find and hire the right professional to execute their vision,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of community for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognize Historic Shed among our “Best Of” professionals for design as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.” With Houzz, homeowners can identify not only the top-rated professionals like Historic Shed, but also those whose work matches their own aspirations for their home. Homeowners can also evaluate professionals by contacting them directly on the Houzz platform, asking questions about their work and reviewing their responses to questions from others in the Houzz community. Follow Historic Shed on Houzz. About Houzz Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality. For more information, visit www.houzz.com. Houzz

  • This week's Let's Blog Off title is If you can’t afford the tip, you can’t afford the meal and the topic is Price vs. Value, or "what are we willing to pay for products and services, and what do we expect to get in return?" Like all small businesses, it's something we think about often here at Historic Shed. Clearly we are not your typical shed maker, but how specialized can we afford to be without pricing ourselves out of our market or not being able to afford to cover our expenses?  It's a balance we are always trying to maintain, and one that will get more difficult as we continue to grow. Some thoughts on value added, or what extras you get from Historic Shed: We are sticklers for authentic historic detail. Even if you are not an old building specialist, you can tell when windows have been replaced or an addition has been built onto a historic house incorrectly. Our outbuildings make architectural historians do a double take (and no, it's not faking history or going against the Secretary of the Interior's Standard for Historic Preservation, but that's for another post) and we take great pride in this. Our buildings look right at home in any historic district. We offer design services for all our products at no charge, even for customization. Construction drawings even for small outbuildings can cost from $500 to $3000, and are needed whenever a permit is required. Sometimes we forget to emphasize this service. And the quality and experience of our designer. We choose to build with quality materials that will last. We could built a shed with lesser quality wood for framing and roof sheathing, which reduce our costs (and be much lighter for delivery) but we wouldn't feel good about the longevity of our product. We received a call not too long ago from a woman who bought a manufactured shed from another company. The doors were rotting in less than 2 years and she hoped to install a pair of our doors as a replacement. I told her we'd gladly sell her new doors, but we'd have to look at her existing shed to see if it was built sturdy enough for our much heavier-duty shed doors. Less than 2 years of service from her shed seems like a poor return on her investment. A few months ago we added an "economy" shed to our product line. The shed looks like a historically accurate board and batten shed, and is as durable as our regular sheds, but we use exterior grade plywood sheathing instead of true boards for the exterior. We have slightly lower material costs, but much quicker assembly so we can offer it for substantially less than our regular shed line. The trade-off is that the shed may not have the same exterior materials as the main house on the lot. We choose to build our sheds in a warehouse instead of on site. This gives us much better quality control during construction, allows us to service a larger area from our central location, and reduces set-up time on site. This gives us an advantage over site built contractors who would show up at your house every day for weeks, or even months to build structures like ours. We typically take 2-3 days to set up a shed, 1-2 weeks for a garage , and 2-3 weeks for a finished cottage. We are very amenable to customization. We know every old house is unique and our sheds, cottages and garages reflect this. We paint our outbuildings to your color choice at our shop. Not only does this give you a completed shed, ready to use as soon as we finish set-up, but it helps the longevity of our product by applying a proper protective coating on your building under a controlled setting. Our business model from day one has been to create attractive, historically appropriate outbuildings that will last as long as the historic buildings they complement. We hope to be in business for many years with many happy customers who feel like they got a good return on their investment.  

  • In Florida, we don't always need a full garage to protect our vehicles. We prefer to keep our cars out of the sun and rain, but since we don't deal with snow, walls are nice, but not required. Therefore, many homes built after the 1920s, when cars became commonplace, have integral carports as part of the design in Florida, even when they also have a detached garage. Other Florida homes have a detached carport design that is easy to add to any historic home property. These designs date from the 1880s through today, with elements from Craftsman Bungalows, Colonial Revival, and Mid-Century Modern all used to make unique and useful structures. Historic Shed can custom design a detached car port to complement your historic home to protect your car and enhance your yard. Each design can incorporate details from the main house, using traditional materials and design elements that will look right at home at your historic property. These structures can double as entertainment pavilions as well for special occasions. Some various carport/ storage options that may work for you:  

  • We have a lot of people in love with our shed designs, but because we use high-end materials, they don't always fit into everyone's budget. So, we've spent some serious time discussing how we can create a more economical design without compromising the charm, detailing and longevity of our product. A shed with faux board and batten siding was one of our design solutions, using pressure treated plywood to simulate the board siding and then applying cypress battens for a finished look. This would reduce both material and labor costs, but when detailed properly, still looks appropriate behind historic homes. Board and batten is a traditional historic siding that originated in Norway and Sweden. It was popularized in the United States by Andrew Jackson Downing in the mid 1800s in his picturesque residential designs.  The siding was commonly used in Florida for outbuildings, including barns and garages, making it an appropriate material for use on sheds in historic districts. (See a Florida property built in the 1880s with board and batten outbuildings and the shed we built to complement it.) We'd been discussing building a prototype of the board and batten economy shed for a while, but hadn't managed to find the time. Then we were contacted by a Clearwater couple who wanted an 8'x10'  shed that complemented their 1920s bungalow with a stucco exterior. Since they did not need cypress lap siding to match their house, we suggested trying the board and batten shed. They jumped at the chance since the interior of their home features board and batten on their built-in cabinets and as their bath interior finish. We customized the shed to reflect elements from the main house; we installed a checkerboard gable vent, angle cut the rafter tails, and installed brackets that mimicked the ones on the main house. The end result created a very pleasing shed design that was less expensive to build, yet that maintained historic character and still uses durable materials. We are now pleased to offer the Historic Shed™  Board and Batten Shed line. We think you'll like it.  

  • Other than a few new McMansions that have crept in, most buildings in the historic Gulf Coast town of Aripeka, FL are pretty small. Quaint and picturesque, set next to the Gulf of Mexico with spectacular sunsets every night, it's easy to envision a simpler coastal lifestyle in Aripeka. In particular, this quaint stilt shack that is less than 500 sf, built far out over the marsh makes one think of relaxing days swinging in a hammock with a cold drink in hand. Located on part of the Old Dixie Highway, the former Aripeka Post Office, next door to the newer (yet not much larger) Post Office built in the 1950s, also is a reminder of simpler days. It appears to be under 200 sf.

  • Pavilion in the National Register-listed Saratoga Spa State Park along the Karista Trail. I don't know the specifics for this particular pavilion, but much of the Park was built out in the 1930s as precursors to WPA type projects. To read some history of this fascinating and gorgeous park, see http://www.saratogaspastatepark.org/history.html.