Like a lot of Americans, the King family dreamed of owning a home in the country - a quiet place with lots of trees and grass where a dog could run in the big back yard. Finally, the couple saved up enough money and bought the house of their dreams - a roomy ranch on six acres with an over-sized, attached garage which they loved for its convenient storage potential. What the Kings didn't realize was how quickly that space would be eaten up by all the 'stuff' they accumulated to maintain their new, much larger home.
First came the lawnmower, soon followed by a larger one to tackle the back acreage. Eventually Mr. King decided that he really needed a tractor to work on the land so he moved things around in his garage. One of two cars moved out to driveway, leaving two lawn mowers and a tractor really crowding Mrs. Kings car. They were managing until their love for the Labrador Retreiver grew by four.
'Oh, we fell for those pups hard' said Mr. King. We just like having them around. But it was getting really hard to keep them all in the house. We wanted to section off a portion of the garage for them but there was just too much stuff.' At first the Kings tried to manage by fencing off an area of their garage but it became clear that it was just too crowded.
They considered building a kennel for the dogs but King said, 'Our dogs are family members. They need their own space but we like them to be near us..' Soon it was clear, the Kings needed a storage shed for their growing number of yard implements.
'I was bound and determined to get a shed no matter what' said King. 'I did my research and started shopping around. Some of the people that I talked to were just your average sales people - they didn't really know their products and had no idea beyond the basic building - how to customize a shed to suit my family's needs.' Luckily, King soon met an expert in shed building who spent a great deal of time interviewing King - asking him about his lifestyle and his needs. 'I didn't realize that I could have a loft and shelves in my shed' said King. 'When I heard this, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. Of course, why didn't I think of that?'
In the end, the Kings chose a 12 x 16 foot gambrel-roofed building with two rows of shelving and a loft at one end, with a roll up garage door on the other end.
They completed the building with an easy-entry ramp so they can drive their equipment in and out of their shed with ease. 'Having it installed was amazing' said King. I was worried about how they were going to get that big building delivered to my home but there was really no problem. My shed came on the back of a pick-up truck - all bundled materials with pre-cut rafters. All the other materials - walls, shelves, windows, doors, were custom built on the spot. That little truck got through the trees with no problem and it was amazing to see the shed go up so fast.
With room to spare, the Kings decided to expand their enjoyment of their place in the country. Soon a go-cart was sharing space with the two lawn mowers and the family uses it to drive on their own wooded trails while the dogs run along side barking happily through the trees. Their lives have gotten better too - no longer confined to a corner of the garage, at night they spread out to sleep on large cushy dog beds in the large, fenced in portion of the heated garage.'Every morning they greet us at the door. They eat while I put on my boots and then they follow me out to the shed for another day of fun.' What a time to be a dog!
The Kings, Columbia Station, Ohio
As the sun sinks behind the spacious creme colored colonial home with the raspberry shutters, the young couple prepares for another glorious evening picnic at home. At the back of the house is a flagstone patio with big, cedar chairs, strategically placed for easy conversation over drinks and barbecue. To the patio's right, up on a tiny knoll surrounded by pine trees, two sling back chairs and a wrought iron fire pit create the perfect setting for late night star gazing and romance.
Between the patio and the fire pit is a smaller building that looks almost like the house in miniature. Carefully chosen for its architectural similarities to the creme and raspberry home, the family storage shed has been painted the same as the house, bedecked with raspberry shutters, fascia trim work, a flower box and a sweet, little raised walking ramp that finishes the building's look - that of a mini -country estate. 'We store all of our barbecue equipment and yard tools in that shed says the lady of the house. We love being outdoors and the shed really makes it easier for us, we don't have to make so many trips back into the house but it's not ugly at all. We were originally looking at sheds through a different company. We had resigned ourselves to a plain, square, building for the backyard. We thought we'd have to disguise it with trees and paint but then, by accident, we stumbled upon Just A Shed and met John Holling who helped us figure out what we really wanted.'
'I didn't realize that a shed could have so many options. The design we chose, the way we were able to accessorise it, the building really is a reflection of our personal taste and style. It went up in one day and having the extra space has made our lives more simple and its so cute. Really, it's just darling to look at.'
Jill Pangas, Copley, Ohio
When outdoors writer, Kerrin Winter Churchill moved home to care for her aging mother, she found she didn’t have enough space for her professional life. “There was no room for my considerable research materials or a place for me to quietly write” says Churchill. Not wanting to rent office space, Churchill was further stymied by new zoning laws. “Our property was too narrow to build an addition. I really was stuck with what I had.”
Early one summer, while pulling the lawnmower out of the old garden shed, Churchill had an epiphany. “Maybe I could have a shed of my own for my books and magazines,” she thought. “The more I tried to shake off the idea as Nuts the more I realized what a perfect solution it really was.”Churchill began searching for a shed dealer. “Most of the companies
offered standard products delivered to your door already nailed together. I knew that wasn’t going to work for me. Some of the Amish built sheds were pretty ” she admits adding, “But the prices were beyond my reach. I had to stay within a strict budget but I’m a snob about what I want. I felt like Goldilocks and the Three Bears” laughs Churchill “Some companies were too plain, some were too expensive and then, I found the company that was just right.”
That company was “Just a Shed”, located in Medina with a second location in Canal Fulton, Ohio. “I drove down there and talked to the owner and he got right to work, designing a building with what he calls standard options. My shed would have book shelves, a work bench, a loft, special doors, three windows and a really cute cupola that nicely completes the look. It was perfect, what I wanted,affordable and no hassle. They even offered to pull the city permit
for me.”, says Churchill.
Within two weeks, the materials needed to build a 12x16 gambrel roof- style barn with a cupola were driven to Churchill’s door. “In one day, they completely built the shed except for the roof. The next morning brought pouring rain but the Just a Shed guys worked steadily, finishing the job on schedule”, says the writer.
Since then, Churchill has painted the building in her old champion kennel colors of brown and green. Since zoning does not permit electric hardwiring, an extension runs from the house back to the cabin and a wood stove adds warmth. Completing the project is a split rail fence lined in wire that is attached to a doggy door on the side of the building so Kerrin’s dogs can be with her at all times.
Happily back at work, Churchill is writing again full time. “I’ve always known that every problem has a solution. When I told my friends that I was going to turn a garden shed into my office they
thought I was crazy but now they think I’m brilliant. It’s my own little Walden’s Pond. My husband and I call it the “Writer’s Cabin” but you know what? It’s really Just a Shed - and I absolutely love it.” Please feel free to visit Dale & Kerrin Churchill at www.dogphoto.com
The Churchills, Broadview Heights, Ohio