She Shack

Garden Clippings for Jan 8, 2022

Call it a she shack, man cave, garden shed, pool house, hideaway, or call it what you will.  Whether you paint portraits, shoot pool, build bird houses or refinish coo-coo clocks, an out-building may be the best place to find your me-time.

Those looking for inspiration on what a she shack could look like will find a bewildering number of ideas on the internet.  Pinterest and Houzz are my go-to sources but after 15 minutes of scrolling, I find myself drained.

Rather than allowing Google to design a shed for you, I suggest making a checklist of criteria that would help meet your personal wants or needs.

Begin with size.  Check with your municipality building department, but it is likely that if you keep your shed to 100 sq ft or less, you won’t need a building permit.  If you go larger, you will need to submit plans showing construction details and property setbacks

If all you need is a quiet place to read your book, a small 8 by 12 shed might do the trick.  But if you want a place for you and your buddies to play euchre or rebuild the Honda, you will want to go bigger.

The burning question is always hydro.  Running an electrical line from the house to the shed opens up a world of possibilities but will add considerable dollars to the project.  The benefits of hydro are plentiful, including lighting both inside and out, electrical outlets to run the scroll saw, and a place to recharge the iPad.

Consider storage.  Whether it is bicycles, patio furniture, the snowblower, garden tools or the old Smith Corona, we never have enough room for storage.  If your out-building is large enough, plan for an attic where you can store stuff you rarely use.

Add a canopy to your project.  Extending the roof line beyond the structure gives a covered area to find shade, or dash under during a rainstorm.

To determine the location of your structure, go back to the house to consider the views from the patio as well as the windows indoors.  If possible, use the man cave to gain privacy or hide unsightly views from the house.

Accessorize the out-house to your heart’s content.  Indoors, you may want to leave room for the second fridge, or a sink to wash your hands after working in the garden.  Outdoors, you could add a patio, fire pit, outdoor kitchen or herb garden.

Most folks won’t think about orientation of the sun, but the favorite exposure of the front of the structure might be East, the side most protected from wind and rain.  Eastern exposure also takes advantage of morning sun.  The West side exposes you to hot afternoon sun and will build up heat inside and out.  A north facing structure will see direct sun only early in the morning or late in evening.

Do what you can to make the structure pretty.  I always recommend tying the structure to the house by mimicking colour, roof pitch, or other features.  Adding windows, window boxes, shutters, and an interesting front door will transform the shed from a simple storage facility to a work of art.