December 5, 2011

Potting Shed Project

This past summer I embarked on an ambitious project to build a shed in
our backyard. This timely endeavour was necessary storage space.
This was a challenging and exciting project and it was a break from my
usual artistic work. Aside from my artistic abilities I'm an avid hobby carpenter
and woodworker. I have built many things over the years, and this shed proved
the biggest.

It began with a working drawn plan, by-law enquiries, location and foundation
prep. This shed project took me some time to complete, and the exterior
finishing touches was just finished this fall. I took photos to chronicle my progress,
as much as possible. Working around my children and free time meant slow, slow, slow
progression. I believe in educating through modeling so my kids also learned a lot
about construction through using tools through safe supervision and the joy they
experience through learning.Here are some photos showing the natural progression.

The shed is considered a Potting Shed by building enthusiasts because of
its size. It measures 6.5 ft wide by 9 ft length and 12 ft height (from ground to ridge).
It is an on-grade foundation using pier blocks and the base being an 8 inch gravel bed.

This is the foundation of the shed after the gravel was tampered down vigorously.
Leveling was necessary at this point and very challenging. Once leveled
I built the foundation using pressure treated wood to resist moisture and rot.

A huge chunk of time elapsed between the foundation and
the framing. True to plan, I accounted for the door and windows.
The roof pitch was the most challenging at this stage. I wanted
to maximize the storage space inside the shed and not have the pitch
interfere with the tree behind it and the neighbouring property line.

Alas the sheathing goes up and thankfully my father was always
on call to help me when I needed it-especially with the roof.

Board and Batten was the style I wanted for the exterior.
I'm a big fan of this simple concept. I decided to use small boards
and narrow battens to coincide with the size of the shed. I found out,
through research, that there are style guides for board and batten design.

I incorporated the Dutch Door design into the project. It can
take some time aligning both doors, but very interesting design, and
effective if you want air to circulate while maintaining some privacy.

I used red cedar shingles for the roof. This is the
amount typical of one bundle. Hmm, how many
bundles do I need? 5 more bundles! Yikes!

It's an expensive alternative to petroleum products
but it can last a very long time with treatment and much
more pleasant to look at.

The shakes are up and yours truly is cutting the door and window trim.

Yeah! The finished shed. I primed and painted the exterior
to keep it protected. The platform was retrofitted afterwards and
the ramp proved a good idea for moving bikes in and out.

Decorating the shed with bird houses and feeders was
the fun part. No birds living in the bird house yet.
I used plexiglass for the windows to keep them unbreakable.

I insulated the inside because this is often a artist's retreat in the
fall and winter. Bring in a space heater and it gets cozy fast.

The loft space measures 4 ft to the ridge and is an excellent
space saving room to help keep things off the floor.


  1. Nice job Gus! I see renovation projects are keeping you busy! :)

  2. Thanks for all the great pics and ideas! What a nice little shed you built.