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Characteristics Of New England Sheds

Homeowners looking for a backyard tool storage solution and wanting to present a New England-style architecture have little concern that a suitable shed can be found. The backyard shed is the ideal homeowner solution for storage of landscaping and gardening tools.

Sheds can be built from originally conceived plans of a New England shed such as Cape Cod or Saltbox designs, or purchased and delivered as a completed, manufactured shed, or as a kit to be built on-site by the homeowner.

New England sheds are a very popular style because of the simple design symmetry of shape and placement of doors and windows. The wall sheathing is typically painted wooden tongue-in-groove vertical or horizontal panels, or cedar shingle siding. The pitch of the roof is usually steep to prevent build-up of a winter snow-pack. The roof is usually sheathed with asphalt shingles, however, cedar shingles, or artificial cedar, could be employed with a Cape Cod-styled shed.

Typically, sheathing color and window and door trim are painted in complimentary, simple colors. Or, you might choose to sheath the shed with red cedar and leave it to age naturally to silver gray. Faux shutters usually frame the sides of windows.

If gravel is used for the shed floor, the ground should be leveled, then lay down a sturdy plastic sheet as a barrier, and then pour a four-inch gravel base over the sheet. However, a more sturdy and winterized flooring such as described below is suggested due to winter weather.

If a plywood floor is used, the wood should be raised from the ground by concrete blocks or equivalent and should be leveled. Treated wood should be applied to resist rot and warp. A sealing coat or paint will offer further protection.

A concrete floor is a permanent fixture, so be certain of location before preparing the ground and framing for the pour, making certain the framing is level. If a concrete floor is chosen, it should rise a few inches above the grade level and provide a ramp to roll heavier equipment such as a lawn mower or riding mower into the shed.

A shed can be designed and constructed to serve a dual purpose, such as storage for gardening equipment plus a children’s all-weather play room. However, a solid partition should be designed and built so that younger children do not have access to sharp gardening equipment. Separate doors for each shed purpose should be included in the design. A saltbox design might be ideal for a shared-purpose shed since the lower roof line on the back side of the shed would accommodate a playroom for young ones.

If a portion of a dual-purpose shed is going to accommodate a playroom and if liquid chemicals that readily vaporize are to be stored in a portion of the shed, or if the entire shed is for garden tool storage with vaporizing liquids, always provide adequate ventilation.

A New England shed can add storage of gardening equipment, provide a children’s playroom and architectural interest to the backyard.

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