(I photoshopped out my neighbors because when I'm in my back yard, I like to pretend I'm in my own little forest, but it is harder to ignore stuff like chainlink in photos.)
When we bought our house, we had a nasty ol' rusty, short, metal shed that was dented and caved in. (I would post a picture, but it would ruin my blog.) I surveyed my new property and, having little tots, I knew we'd immediately tear it down. It was also full of wasp nests, spiders, box elder beetles. Along comes my brother on moving day and tells BFJ, "Oh! You'll be glad you have a shed for all those things you don't want in your garage! Wish I had one." BFJ's eyes got hazy as the internal slideshow started: all the things he can put in his new shed. Nevermind that we didn't own any of them.
So a few years went by, we acquired a few lawn care items, but for 8 months out of the year, the screechy door stayed shut. Finally one day I asked BFJ, "What will it take for you to let me tear that thing down?" "Build a new one," says he. Well of course; silly question. In the meantime, I have fallen in much like with my MIL's cute little shed. The lights go dim and my own internal slideshow starts.
The following spring, the tax return came and I suggested we get on that project. BFJ: "Why would you want to spend all that time and money on something no one will see? What about that pile of dirt up against the house in the front yard?" Now hmmmm. Who do you suppose put that big pile of dirt up against the house? (I'll give you a hint: only two of us in the house can heft a shovel, and it wasn't me.) So, we built a little retaining wall that year. I didn't know flagstone cost so much. Mere cents a pound - ha!
January 2008: I begged him not to talk me out of building a new shed again.
Oh, I forgot to mention as I was visiting with my neighbor one day, she said, "A transient lived in that shed before you bought the house." Good to know.
March 2008: I took the old one down, piece by piece. My local recycle guy took it off my hands; the roof was aluminum - I got money back! My dad came and stayed with us for a week and helped me build a new shed. It has studs 16" on center; it has headers and cripple studs. It has doors and windows that open. We used pieces of lumber that the old house owners had left; we used reclaimed windows; one of my dad's friends donated shingles for the roof. I had to buy most of the supplies, but it was nice to recycle a few things. It has Hardie Board siding. Did I really need that? Probably not. It was my dad's suggestion, and then the guy at the lumber yard sold me leftovers from Jason Elam's house; supposedly I got a good deal, and my husband thinks the shed should be orange and blue. (He's a Falcon now but which team was he on for the past fourteen years?) My shed should be around a long time. My dad custom-made the doors for me. My dad made the ramp. My dad did the roofing. I swing a hammer when I have to but obviously, I was the GC and my dad was the labor. Didn't he do a great job? Everyone who stopped by during building said, "(BFJ) can have a smoking den!" "(BFJ) should throw some electricity out here so he can watch games!" Who built the shed? Well actually, BFJ did help quite a bit. We share it; he has to put the lawnmower somewhere.
One of my favorite parts of the shed are the windows. My uncle called from Nebraska one day and asked if I wanted a bunch of windows. Do I? He was helping someone tear down a house, and they were going to toss all the windows in the trash. He knew I would do something better with them. I did, didn't I. Three sides have windows and I have a couple spares. If you take a good look, you can see ripples in the glass.
There are also recycled bricks, flagstone pavers, stumps that serve as Seats For Friends, and the handle on the little door is from an old sink faucet. My grandfather, who never threw anything away, used to be a plumber, and I found it in a box of Stuff at his house.
Were you curious about the little door? That is for the short people in my house. They have their own door, with their own lock, which they can reach. This way, they can put their own trowels and gloves and trucks and cars away. I can put weed killer and paint in my part of the shed, and I know they will not be able to reach it until they are tall enough to reach the hook at the top of the door.
So, there's my shed for you. I LOVE MY SHED. If you like sheds as much as I do, you'll want to check out the Garden Shed Hall of Fame sometime. By the way, my dad's not a builder by trade; he's a minister.
Oh, one more thing: my shed is still mostly empty, but it is full of possibilities.