Early last year my mother-in-law did a post on RYGblog about one of her friend’s beautiful potting shed. If you haven’t seen it…check it out…because you’ll see that not only is it incredibly functional (why most people want a shed), but it is gorgeous as well (something few think is possible).
I included that post on RYGblog to make the point that sheds don’t have to be shoved into some dark out-of-the-way place because they’re just not that nice to look at. Instead, with a bit of intentional design and creativity, your shed can add so much to your outdoor spaces – both functionally and aesthetically.
So to drive that point home even further, when I saw the pics of an Irish garden shed that my buddy Jon Carr built, I wanted to share that special shed with you too. (You might remember Jon…he did a post on RYGblog last year too on the amazing treehouse he built for his sons. Check it out too if you’re interested.)
But back to the Irish garden shed…below you will find a quick interview I did with Jon on this really cool project.
RYG: Jon, I’ve been on the Right Angle Remodeling Facebook page and have loved looking at the pics of all of your projects. It’s clear that you can build almost anything, but what really stands out to me is that each project seems special…nothing’s standard or run-of-the-mill…everything you build seems to have a story. I’d say that you’re more of a craftsman…an artist…than anything else.
Jon Carr: Well…thank you very much. [Said in his best Elvis impersonation.]
RYG: But if I were to pick the project that really jumps out at me as being the most special, it would have to be the Irish garden shed that you built. How did that one come about?
JC: A few years ago a client asked me to meet to discuss building a shed for him. I was thinking we’d be discussing designs of your basic utility shed…4 walls, a roof, a door, some shelves, and maybe a couple of windows. But when we met he pulled out David Stiles’ Sheds: The Do-It-Yourself Guide for Backyard Builders…and pointed to the Irish garden shed. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to build it…so I jumped at the chance.
RYG: What excited you most about building an Irish garden shed?
JC: I really like building primitive, rustic-looking things…and clearly this shed is that. It looks like it could have been built 100 years ago and will still likely be standing for 100 more. With the massive timbers for corners and the 5” log segments for walls…how could you not get excited about it?
RYG: Now…it looks like it would have been fairly complicated to build. Was it?
JC: That’s what was so great about this project, it really wasn’t that difficult. Stiles’ book really helped because it provided easy to understand instructions. Anyone with the right tools and a basic understanding of building or wood-working could build it.
RYG: But humor this novice wood worker, what was the most difficult part?
JC: I’m not sure difficult is the right word, but what it lacks in complexity it more than makes up for in time. The walls are made of 6”-10” diameter logs cut into segments 5” long…then stacked and mortared into place. The roof is made of individual cedar shakes…all laid into place. So although relatively easy to do, it just took a very long time to do it…and a healthy dose of patience.
RYG: What did you like most about this project?
JC: My favorite part of any project is stepping back and seeing how everything came together…looking at the final product. This one was no exception. But given the unique construction that building an Irish garden shed required, stepping back to see what I was able to do with this project was especially satisfying. Clearly…more satisfying than if I had built a standard utility shed.
[Thanks Jon for letting me share your Irish garden shed project on RYGblog. There are a number of other projects you’ve done that I’d love to share as well…so keep’em coming.]
If you want to see more of Jon’s craftsmanship, check out his company’s Facebook page. And click here if you want to buy David Stiles’ Sheds: The Do-It-Yourself Guide for Backyard Builders. But if Irish garden sheds aren’t your thing, Stiles has plenty more designs to choose from in his book. So check it out.
Regardless, don’t limit yourself to thinking that a shed is only functional…it can really be the centerpiece to your outdoor spaces.