In my post on the new wheel garden in my back yard I showed a glimpse of the shed. Pam Penick from the blog Digging left a comment asking to know more about the shed. I was planning to post photos at some point so here by special request is the story of our Texas style shed along with some how-to tips.
Building it became a necessity to hold a growing collection of garden stuff, but it also needed to have some Texas style and mimic the "shed style" of our house. The plans were inspired by old wooden buildings still in use around our area and the look is simple and functional. Once I found my inspiration, it was easy to come up with a plan we could build ourselves.
The City of San Antonio does not require permits for sheds under 120 square feet so the size limit was a given. But instead of a typical 10'x12' footprint to meet the requirement, I made the building 8' deep and 12' wide to reduce wasted floor space in the center and use standard sized materials more efficiently.
There are no windows on the sides because they take away a lot of storage. In that way this shed is more functional than decorative. I may add faux windows using framed mirrors at some point.
The city code does not put a height limit on this type of shed so we went with 12' in the front which allowed for a clerestory window above the door to light the interior. The height also made a porch cover possible. So the 12' height provides a good mix of proportion and function. Running electrical lines way out there would have required a lot of digging (must be 18" deep and inside conduit pipe) and also required a permit, something we were trying to avoid, so it was not added.
Siting the shed was easy; we placed it in the back corner since the spot was somewhat level and out of the way. (And yes, we also replaced the ugly fence.)
Once the materials were in place, the work began with the base, where proper leveling is key to a good building. This took a lot of effort, but was worth it. Note that the treated cross-timbers do not contact the ground.
Anchoring posts in the corners for wind bracing, and stones to prevent critters from making a home under the shed.
3/4" interlocking MDF for the floor. Note how the 8x12 dimensions fit the materials without splicing or cutting and also reduce waste.
Then the frame went up. Roof slope is approximately 18" front to rear since metal roofing will be used. Double bracing at the door adds strength.
The siding added and it's beginning to look like a shed. While I would have loved a natural wood shed, we used hardiboard siding with cedar trim to limit maintenance. We do plan to add vertical battens for more of an old building look.
Metal roof for low maintenance. A few months later we put a metal roof on the house, so now they match.
With the main building finished it was time for the porch to go on. Cedar 4x4 posts and cedar joists provide for a rustic Texas look.
This porch turns a boring, boxy shed into an interesting feature in the yard. The window was found on Craigslist super cheap and the steel door was free on Craigslist. The porch floor bricks were free from our neighbor, a landscaping contractor. The square spaces in the bricks are for mosaic inserts I plan to add in the future. All the wood trim is cedar.
It's been in use for about two years now. Although the shed is primarily functional we did spruce it up a bit by using an old shelf and a table rescued from the neighborhood curb trash as storage for pots. A garden themed wreath made from thrift shop items dresses up the windowless steel door. The bulb planter to the left of the door belonged to my grandparents (non-functional in our caliche soil).
Although many sheds rot out within 15 years, this shed will last for
decades because we used the proper materials and building techniques.
Now that the new garage is finished the shed will be used for my garden projects. A potting bench with sink will be added along the left side where the garden is now. We kept the old deep cast iron double sink removed from our kitchen when we remodeled so all I need now is cooler weather and time for more projects.