Renovation & Design

A backyard shed that blends utility and beauty

A need for storage is met with a structure whose design ties it to the recently built deck, sunroom and pergolas

When a homeowner is hell-bent on a yard shed that will meet the exact specifications required for the desired placement, as well as match the existing elements of the backyard oasis, it quickly becomes a custom build on site.

As such, a shed design was established to accommodate both the sought-after size and style. From the remaining pile of treated lumber, a custom shed arose from the ground.

With the new deck, a sunroom facelift and a couple of pergolas having already been completed on the property, the shed would encompass building styles from each of these amenities, to maintain congruence throughout.

As such, 6×6 posts would be positioned at each corner. To erect the posts, the framed floor structure was first built atop the previously laid patio blocks. And because the patio blocks had been installed with a slight slope for water run-off towards the fence line, the framed floor was built on the level, with shims positioned every 12 inches below every 2×4 joist.

Once the inner footprint of the shed floor was completed, the 6×6 posts were fastened to the corners with a two-inch reveal along the long sides. Additional framing was then added on each short side to create the same two-inch reveal. With the four posts in place (temporarily supported along the tops to maintain plumb and level), the floor was then sheeted with half-inch treated plywood.

The walls were tackled by introducing framed wall sections between the posts, fastened to allow the same two-inch reveal on all sides.

The front face was designed to allow a 48-inch rough opening, for what would become two 24-inch french doors. The front posts had been cut roughly 12 inches longer than the back posts to create a sloped roof, graded towards the fence line.

To frame the roof support, 2×6 joists were positioned every 24 inches, fastened to the wall-framing cap plates. With the roof joists in place and the 2×4 cross members affixed to the roof-joist tops every 12 inches, the structure was ready for the wall-sheeting stage.

After double-checking that the entire structure had remained plumb and level, half-inch plywood was cut into sections that would fill the gaps between the 6×6 posts, fastened to the 2×4 wall studs set every 24 inches.

With the ply up everywhere other than the location of the impending doors, centred along the front face, the decorative horizontal 1×6 planks were mounted throughout.

Starting at the back, the 1×6 fence boards were cut to meet the vertical 2×6 break midway along the length of the shed, from both ends. The short sides were finished in much the same way, minus the need for a centred vertical board (the fence boards were long enough).

Along the front face, a vertical centre 2×6 was mounted above the rough opening for the doors, which had been given a 2×4 casing mitered at the top corners. Horizontal planks were then mounted along the top, and both sides.

With the decorative aspects of the shed completed, the French doors were constructed using two sheets of half-inch plywood cut to 24-inch width by six feet high.

The plywood was then reinforced with 2×4 framing along the inside, while 1×6 boards were mounted horizontally along the fronts. Each door was then mounted on two heavy-duty hinges.

A vertical board was fastened to one of the doors, with an overlap along the other — this prevents either door being opened once the latch is affixed along the top of the door with the vertical plank.

To allow daylight into the shed (and to match the roofs of both pergolas in the yard), a smoky-clear corrugated roof panel system was installed along the sloped roof of the shed.

And because the roof extends 24 inches past the front wall of the shed, this roof provides shelter from the rain for anyone standing at the french doors, as well as within the shed itself.

At roughly 11.5 feet wide and five feet deep, this shed will provide much needed storage space for pool and patio accessories throughout the winter months. And, it matches ever so nicely the other recently built elements throughout the backyard.

Specific requirements often preclude an off-the-rack purchase. The homeowner wanted a shed of a certain size, and for it to look a certain way.

As such, this shed was built out of necessity, from a big pile of lumber. Although the design appears to be closely associated to that of a pergola, it also encompasses a traditional framing approach for the walls and floor.

Fortunately, it all came together as the homeowner had hoped, and that of course is always the point of a custom build.


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