Guest House Adds Livability to Historic Home

Share this page:

Historic homes have plenty of charm and character, but are often short on space. This is especially true when company arrives. Ybor City resident Judy Greer has found an affordable solution to that problem: she is installing a guest cottage behind her home. Designed and built by Historic Shed, a Brooksville-based outbuilding specialty company, the cottage complements her historic home and adds to the neighborhood character. The cottage has a bedroom and full bath, and is roughly the size of a typical hotel room.

Construction of a detached building was a less expensive alternative to building an addition to her home. Moreover, there was no construction inconvenience since all the work took place in her back yard, without disturbing her house. “My guests will be comfortable and I’ll keep my privacy,” say Ms. Greer. “It’s the perfect set-up. My neighbor is considering something similar for her mother-in law.”

224 sf Starlet Guest Cottage

The Greer Cottage was an adaptation of the 224 sf Starlet Guest Cottage

Tampa Tiny House

Cottage under construction

Historic Shed designs and builds outbuildings for historic homes, from simple garden sheds, to garages, to cottages like Ms. Greer’s. The custom designs incorporate architectural elements from existing historic homes and use traditional materials and detailing. Historic preservation consultant, Jo-Anne Peck and her contractor husband, Craig DeRoin began building Historic Shed outbuildings in 2008 to fill a void in the market for historic homeowners. “Many historic homeowners don’t want a stock metal or vinyl shed in their backyard, and in many cases they are actually prohibited by local historic district design guidelines,” says Ms. Peck. “We also get many calls from owners of newer homes who just want an attractive backyard building.”

Each Historic Shed outbuilding is constructed in a warehouse, broken back down into individual walls and roof for delivery, and then reassembled on site. Installation typically takes 2-3 days for garden sheds and two or more weeks for a more complex structure such as the cottage due to coordination with electrical and plumbing contractors. For more information, see the website at

Posted on October 3, 2011 8:05 am
  1. BCobb

    This is great! When you coordinate with the electrical and plumbing contractors is this arranged by you or the owner? How far will you travel to install a cottage? I’m in North Florida.

    1. Historic Shed

      Thanks! We can coordinate the plumber and electrician or you can. We are flexible since some homeowners don’t want the hassle, others want the cost savings of doing it themselves. We will go anywhere in FL.

  2. Joe3

    That’s very nice looking, was any special permitting necessary? As a Guest House does it have to comply with all the hurricane codes?
    I think it’s great to see some activity in Florida, unfortunately I have to work on Sundays, or I’d sure love to see this in person.
    I’d definitely consider this for my backyard in St. Pete.

    1. Historic Shed

      Thanks! We did have to meet all FL Building Codes, including hurricane strapping. The project required a residential new construction building permit plus had to be reviewed by the local historic preservation review board.


Leave a Reply to Joe3 Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *