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Cool Spaces: Sheds Don’t Have to be Backyard Eyesores

By Lee Snider, Detroit Free Press Special Writer, Detroit Free Press
Posted: July 7, 2013

 

The Parkers’ yard has landscaped shrubbery and a hot tub built into a raised deck. They wanted their shed to complete the upscale look.

There was no shed in the backyard of the Royal Oak house that Todd and Kim Parker bought in spring 2012. Since storage space was a problem, they decided on a shed but with appearance a high priority.

“What I was thinking was to get the cars into the garage,” said Todd Parker, a creative design manager at the General Motors Tech Center in Warren. “It seems like there are so many yard tools, kids’ toys, bikes and things like that, that some people don’t even park in the garage anymore.”

The Parkers’ yard has landscaped shrubbery and a hot tub built into a raised deck. They wanted their shed to complete the upscale look and chose an 8-by-10 structure sold and installed by Denver-based Tuff Shed.

It has a single-slope roof with dimensional shingles and a transom window above the door. The model is known as a “pro studio.”

George Bogaert, the sales consultant at the Royal Oak Tuff Shed office, said the shed of the type the Parkers bought uses 2-by-4 construction for the walls, and the components are prefabricated and assembled on-site. The cost is generally around $5,500.

“We just start out with four walls, a floor and a door, then we go from there,” Bogaert said. “Most customers participate in the design.”

Tuff Shed vice president of marketing Phil Worth said the trend toward more attractive sheds gained momentum on the West Coast, then began working its way east.

“In Northern California, they’re kind of hemmed in from a square-footage perspective, and people almost started taking it as a challenge to see how few square feet they can live in. A lot of customers use our buildings for hobbies like woodworking or sewing, and some guys even make them into man caves with bars, poker tables and flat-screen TVs.

“People often have a lot of gear if they’re hunters, fishermen, boaters or golfers, and they need a place to put everything. But the buildings can also serve as an outdoor office or even a wine cellar.”

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