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.

The existing garage had seen better days.
The main house is a wonderful shingled-sided gable bungalow with a shed dormer.
The design for the new building created half storage shed and half covered parking area, with elements that match the main house, like eave brackets and exposed rafter tails.
Building the carport shed in our shop in Brooksville.
Historic Shed built the new carport shed on the same footprint as the old garage, which is adjacent to an alley.
The building is 20' wide, with half used for locked storage and half for covered parking.
The yard side of the shed has a single door for access to the storage.
The carport ceiling has tongue and groove v-joint wood.
Eave brackets complement the main house.
The Historic Shed Carport Shed is a nice alternative to a fully enclosed garage or a standard shed, providing both covered parking and storage.

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

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

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

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.

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!... "

I've been quite remiss about posting updates on Historic Shed projects of late, but will try to make up for it over the next couple of weeks. Last week we completed this pleasing hipped roof shed in St. Petersburg and I just love how it sits in the garden, replacing the corner of the stockade fence. The shed takes some elements from the main house such as the low-sloped hipped roof and metal roof, as well as the pleasing butter-cream yellow paint. The 10'x14' shed is our standard hipped roof shed with beadboard and batten doors modified with two added windows, skylights, and a solar exhaust fan.

Hipped Shed by Historic Shed with double doors, heavy duty hinges and hipped 5-V crimp metal roof. The owner provided the keypad lock for the doors. A concrete ramp allows easy access into the shed.

The 10'x14' shed has two wood double-hung windows on the garden side. All siding and trim on the shed is cypress and treated with borate preservatives to make it rot and termite resistant.

The shed has two skylights on the roof.

The inside of the shed with two skylights and a solar exhaust fan on the roof.

Welcome to the shed.

The shed from the rear. The existing fence was removed for the shed installation. The solar exhaust fan can be seen on the rear of the shed roof.

The side yard is often where AC units, electrical meters, and garbage cans find refuge, but you can also use the side yard for covered storage, making it useful and attractive. For people with a wide side yard, you can put in a large storage unit like this 6'x12' shed, but even those with a narrow side yard can get a nice bit of storage that looks good.

A narrow storage shed against the house still allows ample passage. It also blocks views of the garbage cans and utilities.

Small storage but easily accessible with wide doors.
This 3'x7' shed features a shed roof with exposed rafter tails, cypress siding and trim, and cypress beadboard doors with heavy duty hinges.

Shed storage access doors
Wide paired doors on the shed allows easy access to the interior.

Historic Shed's most recent project was constructed in Tampa's historic Seminole Heights neighborhood to complement an interesting, and virtually unchanged Craftsman bungalow. The owners needed to replace a metal shed that had reached a state of extreme disrepair and wanted the new building to reflect the design of their home.

Historic Image of Craftsman Bungalow in Tampa
This Burgert Brothers photo shows the main house shortly after construction. The house looks very similar today, with the exception of the unusual roofing material that looks like an embossed roll roofing. Anyone know what it is?

Existing Shed
The old shed had served the property for many years, but termites had eaten most of the framing, there was a dirt floor and a tree was growing through the side.

Bungalow Shed by Historic Shed
The shed, designed by Historic Shed, incorporated the low roof slope of the main house, outriggers, exposed rafter tails, siding and traditional trim.

Bungalow style Shed by Historic Shed
The 14'x14' wood storage shed has a 4' deep porch with a wood deck, two wood windows, paired cypress bead board doors, and a 5-V Crimp metal roof.

Bead board shed doors
The shed features paired cypress bead board doors with heavy duty hinges.

Potting Shed Porch
The 4' porch will provide shade for potting plants for the yard.

While we were working on the shed, we had the pleasure of working alongside guys from Redman Fence. This is the second time we've worked on a job at the same time as Redman. Very nice guys that do really nice work.

Click the images below to see a slideshow of the entire shed construction process.

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Plans for this shed are now available for sale at: https://historicshed.com/store-4/?model_number=HS001

Historic Shed was approached by a homeowner in Palm Harbor to design and build a custom shed to serve as both storage and a covered family bar seating area. The shed we designed and built is 12'x18' with a 4' covered porch area. The shed was divided by an  interior wall into a 13' storage area and a 4' bar area to house snack and drink storage and a television. The storage area is accessed by a double set of carriage house style doors on the side. The bar area has a single door access on the side and two awning covered opening with a wide cypress counter-top. The awnings are opened using a pulley system. The project is delightfully accented by a tropical color scheme.

Shed Design by Historic Shed

The shed from the front looking at the bar seating area

The bar seating area with the shutters open

The shed seen from the side showing the double access doors to the storage area

Tropical Shed
The right side of the Snack Shack showing the bar entry

Interior of the bar area with cypress counter-top and shutters closed. The interior is finished with bead board style plywood

 

Seating area

Landscaping installed
Landscaping installed

 

And decorated
And decorated

See another version of the Snack Shack here: https://historicshed.com/craftsman-snack-shack/

Historic Shed recently completed this 10'x14' custom  garden shed to complement a 1920s residence in the Hyde Park historic neighborhood in Tampa. The storage shed features a gable roof with exposed rafter tails and eave brackets similar to the main house.

Wood storage shed in Hyde Park Historic District, Tampa, FL
The 10'x14' shed replaced a non-historic shed that had fallen into disrepair. Most likely, the spot originally was the location of a one-car garage, not much larger than this new shed.

Custom wood storage shed in Florida
The shed is simple in design, but rich in details such as the gable end brackets, custom gable louvered vent and cypress bead board double doors.

Bungalow garage gable end
The gable end vent was built out of cypress to complement one on the main house.

Custom windows and flower boxes for a bungalow shed in Tampa
A pair of 3-lite salvaged wood windows are located on the right side of the shed with cypress flower boxes supported by brackets for a finished look.

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.

Historic Shed Economy Shed
8'x10' Board and Batten Shed

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.

Historic Shed Attractive Shed
As attractive as it's useful

 

Historic Shed recently completed this custom 8'x12' hipped roof wood garden shed for an avid gardener in the historic Kenwood neighborhood in St. Petersburg, Florida. Located on a heavily treed lot with a 1940s Ranch home, the shed nestles between two palm trees and features a salvaged wood window, 15 light French door, metal roof, and bead board soffits.

 

We recently completed a project for a great customer who had saved a variety of cypress boards that she wanted incorporated in her new home office shed. We used the wide cypress planks to build the desk and shelves, and installed the random width pecky cypress on the ceiling of the 12'x14' shed. Pecky cypress is created when a tree is attacked by fungus, resulting in lens-shaped pockets throughout the wood. Studies have not revealed the exact origin of the fungus or why it attacks only certain trees. The resulting boards have a unique texture that creates a rustic but elegant look.

At the owner's request, we coated the cypress with shellac which brought out the grain of the wood, giving it a richer finish. While we have used shellac on other projects, this was our first opportunity to use the product in one of our sheds and we couldn't be more pleased with the results (and the customer was pretty happy too).

You can see the difference the shellac makes on the raw wood in one coat
The finished ceiling

Shellac is a natural, organic resin that is secreted by the small Lac bug (Laccifera lacca). This bug lives on certain trees indigenous to India and Thailand, feeding on the sap that it sucks from the twigs of these trees. The bug creates an amber colored resinous substance that forms a cocoon to incubate the eggs she lays. This cocoon is the raw material for shellac and is called "sticklac", because it contains resin, parts of the twig and bug remains. The sticklac is washed and then refined either chemically or by hand, to produce the raw material available for sale to commerce. The raw material consists of dry flakes that are then dissolved in denatured alcohol. Once dissolved, the liquid shellac has a limited shelf life.

Shellac was the preferred wood finish for wood floors, and wood paneling up to the mid 20th century. It comes in many warm colours, ranging from a very light blond ("platina") to a very dark brown ("garnet"), with all shades of brown and yellow and orange and red in between. The colour is influenced by the sap of the tree the lac bug is living on, as well as the time of harvest. Historically, the most commonly-sold shellac is called "orange shellac", and was used extensively as a combination stain and protectant.

An interesting feature of shellac is that it resists water-vapor very well. In tests done by the United States Forest Products Laboratory on the moisture-excluding effectiveness of wood finishes (the ability of a finish to prevent moisture vapor from entering the cellular structure of the wood – called MEE), shellac rated above polyurethane, alkyd and phenolic varnish and cellulose-nitrate based lacquers.

Some facts on shellac:

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