At the very top of my “honey-do” list is a much needed garden shed to store tools, pots, fertilizer and chicken feed. After years of dragging my heels for years, the project went from napkin sketch to construction in under a week.
I set as my goal to build the world’s most pretentious garden shed and, as much as possible, to use salvaged materials. Yes, I’m crazy. I have to admit that when British hedge fund manager Crispen Odey tried to build a $250,000 neo-classical chicken coop at the height of the 2008 economic crisis I couldn’t help but admire the design.
For ideas I thumbed through a coffee table book of 18th century French revolutionary architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux’s oddball sketches But fabricating a waterproof sphere from used headboards and pallets is beyond my carpentry abilities. Nevertheless, I came up with a few scribbles:
Thankfully, most of my thoughtstylings stay in the sketchbook like the idea of a 20-foot tall observation chair on top of the shed. Kelly pointed out that the neighbors might not like that idea.
After dashing off a few sketches I created a Pinterest board to gather more notions, mostly from Ian Hamilton Finlay’s garden, Little Sparta:
The garden shed design I settled on is a kind of mashup of Ian Hamilton Finlay and the front of an “airplane” bungalow (a common type of house in our neighborhood).
Next it was time to put the idea into Sketchup. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Sketchup rocks. All DIYers should know how to use it. With Sketchup I was able to come up with a framing plan that allowed me to cut all the pieces out of the hot sun in the comfort of my garage workshop. Then I just had to carry my stack of pre-cut lumber up the hill and hammer it together.
Another goal of mine was not to hoard materials ahead of time. I’ve been aided by two great resources, Reuse People of America and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. They both hoard materials so you don’t have to. Those two resources have kept me mostly out of the big orange store. And all of the doors I needed came from the street.
I’ll post an update and maybe even a video tour when I finish construction. Rents are so high in our neighborhood that Kelly and I might just move into the shed and rent out the house!