Sunday, February 7, 2010

Japanese Style Shed

      Not long before we sold our house I wanted to build a "nice" shed not only to have extra space but also to the block the view to the parking area and a two story apartment next door.

      Please Note: To see a reworked version of this post go to A Japanese Style Shed.

      I decided on a 12' x 12' foot print to avoid getting a building permit. I don't like squares particularly but it solved the permit problem and saved waste in the plywood sheeting used under the stucco. The framing is conventional 2x4 studs with a dutch hip roof using a 4 in 12 pitch. I am a big fan of the dutch hip and installed one on the main house as well as the house next door which we used to own.

        The dutch hip is different from the hip in that there are vent openings on each end of the ridge. I also put a home made ridge cap vent on, being a big fan of roof venting even on a shed.  

     This is the parking side. The shed is built on a temporary foundation of cement blocks that go down below grade about 6 or more inches.  They are filled with short pieces of rebar and concrete. For aesthetic purposes as well as practical there is a large roof overhang. This helps keep the ground around the foundation dry to prevent the frozen earth from heaving. Grading water away is also very important. The gutters are the last ingredient to keeping the ground dry. You will notice the the rain barrel for collecting rain water. Over flow from the barrel is directed to a nearby apple tree. My biggest mistake with the overhang was that it shades the only two windows (south facing) from the winter sun. I wanted them high to keep people along the street side from seeing in. And they make it harder for thieves from breaking in. Santa Fe has a huge breaking and entering problem. But the lack of winter sun is a drag.
     The vertical slats which I think have a nice visual effect were actually quite easy. I ripped plywood spacers (5/8" but 3/4" would work better) and applied them over the joints of the ply. I brought the surface of the  stucco flush with the top of the strips so the last step was to rip the slats slightly wider than the plywood strips and nail them on. The stucco was conventional three coat work. I think the slats were about 3/8" thick which gave a nice trim look as well as created expansion joints for the stucco. It is hard to see the horizontal slat just under the overhang but it is located at the top of the underlying 8' ply.
     The wooden grid at the bottom is decorative as well as keeps animals out and allows access for future upgrades like wiring. It is also a good way to use up wood scraps. This shed is too nice to stay a shed.

     Having some extra cold weather time and finding some bamboo flooring on clearance at a big box store, what could I do but finish out the inside. My first time with bamboo and and the light cream color is so nice. Allison picked out an appropriate matching green wall color.

     The new owners added a small porch, put in electric and use it for Jin Shin studio. I knew it would not stay a shed for long. Other uses could be an artists studio, meditation area, an office, or even a seasonal bedroom.