American Garden Tool Co.
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                 The AGT blog "My Shed Has Crown Molding But My House Doesn't"                                         gives you the run-down and adventures of taking a free 
                shabby shed and turning it into a fabulous relaxation space. Of course,                              there is always a place for my tools. Scroll down and you'll see it all. 

                         
    
All pictures below...enjoy!
Delivery Day: We were given the shed by my brother. All I had to do was get it to moved  to my home.  The stars aligned and we were able to get it to our home. It suffered a few dings along the way, but otherwise it made it safely onto the pad we had prepared a month beforehand. It measures 16' x 10' and is about 11 feet tall. 

Roof repair: At first, the roof looked ok to us. However, a few shingles were lost in the move but we also realized that there was water damage over the years from a leaking roof. When we removed the roof to replace the underlayment and shingles, we discovered there was never any underlayment. We replaced a few of the pieces of wood on the roof and then set to reroofing it. 

We are entrepreneurs, not roofers. So, thanks to YouTube, we found a very helpful eight-minute video that completely told us how to do the roof. The hardest part was dealing with the April wind when we were trying to attach the underlayment. I worked very hard on the roofing shingles, all the way until 20 minutes prior to my child's school play start time! The finished product looked really great and my super Dad was kind enough to trim all of the nail ends that were sticking into the shed ceiling area. And no more leaks!

Paint job: One of the best way to transform a space is to paint it. Even if my neighbors couldn't tell what was going on with the shed from the road, I wanted them to know it was heading in a positive direction. My family and I worked to paint it in one afternoon. At first, we weren't so sure about the color but we quickly grew to love it. My husband and I love to gaze at barns when we drive around the countryside, so we painted it barn red. The difference was phenomenal. 

New Shutters:  So far in the project, my husband has been doing any electric sawing that was needed. Our schedules don't always mesh, so I finally asked him to show me how to use the saw and let me just say, "And then there was light!". Right away, I took off and cut all of the wood for my new shutters, watched my generous Dad improve them with his router, painted them and assembled them. My husband installed the shutters while I was at work and I think they made a great finishing touch to the outside of the shed. 

Interior:  The interior of the mini-barn shed had two lofts and pretty good bones. We invited several neighborhood kids over to check out the space and to draw pictures of what they thought we should do to improve the shed. The first thing we did was correct the water damaged door, paint it and install new hinges. Next, we improved the daylight and breeze factor by increasing the number of windows from two to eight! 

We have never done such carpentry work beforehand, but we took good advice from a friend and set to building our frames. The advice actually came during the course of a breakfast at a restaurant. We used sugar packets, straws, coffee cups and napkins to get a lesson on 2 x 4 wall reinforcement and creating a proper window frame. Rudimentary but it worked! We completed the windows over the course of a weekend. The rectangle cut-outs for the window were repurposed later on for a lean-to shed for my tools. 

Interior upgrades: Since the shed will become a cozy, relaxation space, I needed to upgrade the interior. First, I sadly said goodbye to our handy-dandy window framing we were so proud of. I covered the walls with insulation, a plastic layer and then installed the drywall. It took about a week or so to complete this portion, especially because I did it all by myself. I enjoyed all of the work--until I didn't really enjoy spackling much more. Anyway, after I painted it a light yellow (left over from a previous living room project), I basically told myself that I will just hang more art in the bumpy places. Oh, well!

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 My best Charlie's Angel pose with my caulk gun. I caulked every nook and cranny to seal it up and to help prevent future water damage. 

These are the only pictures I have of my trim work pre-painting. I used a lot of the trim work my husband acquired while he was dumpster diving during the time our neighborhood was being built. It had been sitting in the garage for years and it felt really good to finally use a lot of it. More trim work pictures below. I had to do a little puzzle-making to get all of my pieces to work for the project, but in the end I am pretty happy with the product. 

After much Pinterest-consulting and thinking, I decided to white wash the ceiling and to do the same for the floor, but instead I used a teal color for the floor. My neck hurt when I was finished with the ceiling, but overall it wasn't too hard. 

Again, to conserve, I used the smallest trim I had available to complete windows. My 45's aren't so good, so I made cute corner accents with flowers to cover up my edges. 

The floor at this point is just plywood. It is in good shape but I wanted a splash of color for the floor. We had left over seafoam blue-green from a bathroom paint job. I used the same white-wash technique for the floor. Eventually, a tan carpet will be placed over most of the floor, and about a foot of color will stick out from either side. 

Interior Bridge: The neighborhood kids drew what they think the inside of our shed should look like.  Their drawings were our inspiration for the bridge. In order to connect the two lofts, we built a very sturdy bridge and made the area safe and secure by connecting to the roof and by adding a railing. The railing was cut in half from a whole railing (about the only thing bought from a big box store for this whole project). The remaining portions of railing will be used for ends of a hanging bed for the shed. The left and right loft were reinforced with newer and straighter 2 x 4's.

 We had a lot of fun planning, building and attaching the bridge. When it was completed, my engineer brother asked who came over to help us with it. (No one did; we did it all by ourselves). I'll take that as a compliment :)

The Little Engine That Could:  About three years ago, I planted asparagus. Most were destroyed by some pesky animals but this one survived. However, no one told him a shed was set on top of him, tons of rocks were poured onto him and no light was available easily.  However, this little asparagus shoot made its way through the rocks and dark and made its way to the light.  It's pretty amazing how nature can survive so much.




Upcycling a ladder: For years, my grandfather was an electrician. He used wooden ladders and my dad has had a few hanging on a backyard fence for years. He let me cut one down to use inside the shed. We sanded it, cleaned it up and wiped it down with tung oil to bring out the natural grain.





Landscaping:  Since so much has been accomplished with the building improvements, I felt a strong pull to improve the landscape around the shed. I used my Ultra-Lite spade to transfer the compost into this large raised bed. The bed also serves as part of a retaining wall to keep the stones of the base in place. It worked perfectly and even ended up sprouting a pumpkin in September.


So after so many months of improving the shed, I finally get to furnish it. I have been talking for a while about having a hanging bed/swinging chair. So, one recent day I pulled out all of the spare wood pieces I had, anticipating I would make it out of scraps. I hadn't yet figured out how to make it open into a bed and close up a little into a chair. My husband reminded me that we had a pair of heavy oak doors in our basement. We were given them a few years ago but hadn't figured out what to do with them yet. So, the two doors became our bed/swinging chair/table!! The table was a bonus! We used hinges we already had and only spent about $60 on screw-in hooks and chains. Of course, we supported our local hardware store, because they are the best to help me brainstorm for what I need to make my projects a success and safe, at the same time. 


The chair has angle iron underneath of it to give it extra support. It can be converted into a bed, also. 

I white washed the doors to match the shed ceiling. I will be added a cushion to the chair to make it extra comfy. 

Below are also some of the shed interior decorations we have made or updated, plus the fab new ceiling I created using underlayment and some long strips of 1" x 3". I whitewashed all of the ceiling, as well.
The lean-to:  Since my shed will become a beautiful, relaxing space, I didn't want to put any of my tools in it. Instead, I repurposed all of the rectangular wood pieces we cut out for the six new window installations, used parts of the former window shutters and the spare 1" x 3"'s to build a lean-to on the back side of the shed. 


 For the roof, I used left-over vinyl fence sections that I had remaining from building my raised bed boxes. I put a strip of clear silicone caulk in between each vinyl fence piece, painted the walls red and added a few spare shelving brackets to turn Victorian-era heater vents into potting shelves. 

My favorite American Garden Tool Co. tools are hung there. You can see the Ultra-lite spade, digging fork, landscaping rake, Lesche digging tool,  feather weight mini-pick and heavy weight mini-pick hanging there. Our Doberman dog rests nearby very often to keep everything safe. You can also see the progress of my stone landing pad and the retention wall I built after the lean-to was finished. I have thoroughly  enjoyed working on this project.
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