A Good-Looking, Long-Lasting Tool Shed
When Mike Davis’ clients asked him to design a small outdoor storage shed for their potting equipment, he saw it as a fun project that would be complicated only by New Orleans’s balmy, wood-attacking climate. To keep the little shed from succumbing to the elements, Mike used a series of techniques he’s developed over his 30 years as a New Orleans restoration carpenter.
The first line of defense is a sturdy frame built with ACQ pressure-treated stock that has a 0.60 retention level. Most folks don’t realize it, but pressure-treated lumber is available in treatment levels from 0.15 to 0.60. The numbers translate to the amount of treatment chemical (in pounds) per cubic foot of lumber. Higher numbers mean more resistance to insects and decay.
Stainless-steel fasteners are used throughout, and Enkamat (www.colbond-usa.com) drainage mats between the frame and the siding prevent rot and mold from getting a foothold. Mike capped the little structure with slate roofing bought from a salvage dealer. Louvered doors and bronze screening over a pair of soffit vents provide lots of ventilation, which prevents the objects inside from mildewing.
Mike’s clients wanted a small shed, but you could easily adapt the design to match the scale of your outdoor living space. Unless you’re willing to spend several hundred dollars for custom shutters, start the design process with stock shutters or louvered doors.
Inspired by brick. The Spanish-cedar skirting is textured with a router-made beaded profile so that it better matches the home's brick foundation. Gray paint between courses mimics mortar.
Built on a sturdy frame made from .60 pressure treated ACQ lumber, the little tool shed has cypress siding, stainless-steel and powder-coated hardware, and a slate roof with copper flashing and drip edge. The shutters which have real louvers provide ventilation, so the shed's contents don't get moldy.
Salvaged slate caps the roof. To match the main residence, the shed sports slate roofing bought from an architectural salvage dealer. A space between the slate roofing and copper flashing aids ventilation.