Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Out-buildings around town

Back on the subject of building things... I have been taking a close look at the vernacular buildings around town to get ideas for the construction of a shed and sauna at my home.  The first building I took a photo of was the ramshackle sauna at Calypso Farm and Ecology Center (image 1, at left).  These guys will try just about anything, and they keep it all low budget, which shows.  But I gotta give them props for being true to their mission.  The sauna you see at left has a simple shed type roof.  It has a small changing room in the front and the enclosed sauna is in the rear.  The lower half of the roof is a large overhang, and a gutter directs all runoff to a standing water tank with a simple garden hose siphon.  The owner said he'd like to talk sometime about the changes he'd make if he were to do it over again.  I'll have to get back to him.

(image group 2) Also at Calypso Farm is this very eclectic looking shed.  I like this building, it has clear similarities to a Norwegian trestle frame shed.  Round tree posts, beams, and trusses; it doesn't get much simpler.  The close up picture below shows that it all rests on simple concrete blocks in the ground.  The soil on hillsides around town is very dry and well drained.  It looks like this building has stood here for more than a handful of years.

(3) This next building is a shed built at Rosie Creek Farm.  It is very similar to the one above at Calypso Farm, but it has a full concrete foundation and uses all dimensional lumber.  The room at the back is insulated and used as refrigerated storage for the produce they grow and harvest before it is distributed to customers.

(4) This is a cabin built just this year at Rosie Creek Farm.  Last year only a plywood platform stood at this location.  This cabin has a wide overhang along the roof on one side.  The exposed beam ends are probably not a good idea.  They have another small shed that is of the common rafter-roof form, to use Ted Benson's timber frame terminology.  Last year this may have had a canvas roof and not the tarp roof it does now.

(5) With the exception of the sauna, all the above buildings have gable roofs. But a simple shed roof is the simplest form. Back in February I took this picture of a woodshed at Calypso Farm while I was there for a workshop. The picture below it is of a woodshed at my workplace at about the same time of year.

(6) Another local storage shed.  This one belongs to an acquaintance of mine and is built on a hillside similar in slope to my lot.  It was designed as lockable secure and weather proof storage for the owner's tools while he was out of town on extended leave.  You can see the simple post and beam construction and overall modest size of this building.  I think he built it single handed.  It rests on treated posts sunk into the ground; the natural grade of the site was not disturbed.  The covered deck surrounding it on two sides makes convenient shelter for frequently used items.  Two identical buildings like this (shed and sauna each) separated by at least 20 feet and oriented parallel to each other and at right angles to my house (though at least 60+ feet distant from it) would look very sharp.

(7) This little neglected shed used to be home for a few hogs. Most recently it became a chicken coop. It has a dirt floor. Barely visible in the photo on the right side of the building is a small chicken wire fenced area is attached on the opposite side. Bottom section constructed with logs, upper part is framed. The exterior dimensions, including siding, are about 15x15, and the roof slope is about 2/12. The roof overhangs by at least two feet all around. I'm not sure what the ramp on the side was intended for. Very compact and sturdy looking. The roof slopes down toward the north. You can see that the door was left open. 

(8) You may remember these two pictures from my earlier entry in January. A simple pole framed woodshed and a diagram of how to build a deck floor.


Katie said...

Very cool. Have you decided which outbuilding type/shed that you want to build?

Keir said...

It will probably most resemble the shed in photo group (6), minus the porch. Very simple and utilitarian.