4 super sheds that put those ready-made shacks to shame!

A shed can be so much more than a cluttered cubby or a dank hovel where your rusty lawn chairs reside. If you're considering purchasing “pre-built” sheds, these pictures will make you think twice. With the right plan and your creativity, you can build amazing looking sheds.

Amazingly, these 4 super sheds are built by regular folks just like you and me.

This shows that with a little hard work and good shed plans, your backyard storage building can become a proper work area, perfect for taking on projects big and small.

In case, you're wondering, yes, RyanShedPlans offers a lot of shed designs similar to the 4 we are showing below. You can also use the free CAD designing tool to modify and change your design. You're limited only but your imagination

Here's a look at 4 of the “Super Sheds”:

Super Shed #1: Heart of the Garden

super shed: heart of garden

Builder: Mike Christie-Fogg | Location: Colchester, Conn. | Sq Footage: 250

Why the Shed is Super: Visually stunning, agriculturally functional, made from salvaged materials and popular with the neighbors' goats, Christie-Fogg's greenhouse and potting shed prove that one man's trash can become another's treasure.

While remodeling a 1940s Ford dealership near his home in Connecticut, woodworker Mike Christie-Fogg hit the lumber jackpot. “These big beams, rafters and solid ¾-inch pine flooring had to come out. It was a couple thousand square feet, and they were going to trash it.” Christie-Fogg helped himself to the clean, old-growth wood. “I could have made furniture out of it, but then I thought, I have enough to make an entire barn.”

The plan came together after he drove his Toyota Corolla past a pile of antique windows put out as garbage. He returned with his truck, loaded up the glass and went home to create an 18 x 10foot barn with a 10 x 7 greenhouse.

super shed: heart of garden

Now, he germinates seedlings there in spring, and in summer, tomatoes ripen among rows of shovels. In fall, he starts onions, kale, broccoli and beets in the barn, then moves the plants to a heated nursery. He also dries the hops he uses to brew a dark Dunkelweizen. “There are some beautiful barns in Connecticut,” he says. “I always wanted one.”

Hops for home-brewed beer dry in the New England shed Mike Christie-Fogg built from discarded materials he found on job sites and roadsides. “I'm a pack rat for recycled materials,” he says. “I'm trying to tone it down so I don't have big piles of garbage lying around.”

Super Shed #2: Hilltop Paradise

super shed hilltop paradise

Builder: Jeffrey Tohl | Location: Studio City, Calif. | Sq Footage: 65

Why the Shed is Super: Though it has some luxurious appointments, such as a hot tub in the deck, the shed stays humble with its modest scale and low-cost, practical materials, like corrugated plastic panels and stock redwood lumber.

Jeffrey Tohl graded his steep hillside lot in Studio City, Calif., into a cascade of terraces connected by footpaths and stairs. From the courtyard behind his house, Tohl ascends to a vegetable garden and orchard with peach, lemon and pomegranate trees.

Even higher 61 feet above the sidewalksits a redwood greenhouse anchored by 4 x 6 posts set in concrete. Tohl built the super shed as a gift for his wife. “Terracing allowed us to have a variety of landscape environments,” says Tohl, who's an architect by trade. “The greenhouse is secluded, rustic and private, but you have this amazing 200-degree view.”

super shed hilltop paradise2

To make sure his wife could enjoy the view while tending to succulents and herbs, Tohl designed a rectangular casement window that offers a panorama of the landscape and the mountains in the distance. He added a Dutch door so the room could feel open without inviting the family dog to trample the seedlings. To hold down construction costs, Tohl stuck to inexpensive materials, such as $11 corrugated plastic panels for the walls, and joined the crew to finish the job in just two weeks.

Fast work, especially considering the shed's hilltop site: “Everything had to be carried from the streetdirt, concrete, lumber… It was a colossal undertaking.”

Super Shed #3: Desert Oasis

super shed desert oasis

Builder: Ben Lepley | Sq Footage: 400

Just 12.71 inches of rain falls annually in Tucson, Ariz. To collect as much of it as possible, Ben Lepley used reclaimed lumber to build a 400-square-foot water-storage shed in his parents' yard. The structure began as a 700-gallon tank he and his brother fashioned from a discarded 4-foot-diameter steel culvert.

Lepley poured a concrete bottom in the tank and rigged gutters and drains to feed into the cistern. “The tank fills to capacity when just half an inch of rain falls,” he says. But while giving a drink one day to thirsty desert plants and native fruit trees, Lepley discovered that the hose ran dry while the tank was still half full.

He solved the problem (and gained 900 gallons of capacity) by adding a sump pump and a second tank, using gravity to increase the system's water pressure.

He also expanded the liquid-collection network to draw in graywater from the showers and washing machine. “All the water gets pumped up to the water tower, and then it's ready to use around the yard,” Lepley says. Switches inside a vertical gutter pipe automatically shut off the pump to avoid overflow, and a homemade depth gauge, made from a buoy, shows the quantity left in the tank.

Super Shed #4: Blacksmith's Barn

super shed blacksmith's barn

Builder: Mark Suchocki | Location: Royalston, Mass. | Sq Footage: 576

Why the Shed is Super: At Suchocki's Black Dog Forge, hammering a 2000-degree F iron bar on a 289-pound anvil is a typical day in the shed.

Ever since Mark Suchocki built his first coal forge, in 1999, he's been hooked on blacksmithing. “The first winter, I'd go through knee-deep snow to get to the forge,” he says.

The forge sat for a year behind his house in northern Massachusetts. But after a subzero day froze the water in his slack tub, he decided enough was enoughand in the fall of 2000, he spent $5000 to build a 24 x 24foot smithy with a steel roof and dirt floor.

“You have a hot side of the shop and a cold side,” he explains. The hot side holds the forge, anvils, fly press, chisels, tongs and punches; on the cold side, you'll find the storage racks, assembly table, sanding station and bar twister. Suchocki actually crafted many of the hammerheads and chisels that line the smithy's walls. “You know you're a blacksmith when you use one tool to make another,” he says.

“The feeling you get from taking a piece of steel, heating it and then forming it at will is just indescribable,” Mark Suchocki says.

Worth Mentioning: Garden Escape

super shed garden escape

Builder: Micky Weber | Location: North Collins, NY | Sq Footage: 144

Now this is different because no plans were involved at all! Micky Weber built a 144-square-foot garden escape in North Collins, N.Y., working off a sketch made by his wife, Lynn. “I don't need blueprints,” Weber says. He made a jig to assemble cedar-framed barn sash windows, and the couple laid a hose 200 feet across the lawn to direct water from the house into the shed through a reverse garden-hose coupler.

Lynn managed to spiff up a bargain-priced plastic utility sink from a big-box store by switching out the standard fixture with a high-neck copper faucet. “We also mounted the sink onto a cupboard,” she says. “Now everyone thinks it's a porcelain sink.”

super shed garden escape2

Cedar siding, matching roof shingles and a purple-martin birdhouse cupola grace the exterior. “When we built it, over the summer of 2007, a lot of people stopped to see what the heck we were doing,” Lynn says. “The day we moved it into place, people were driving by, honking, cheering and yelling, It looks good!'”

The Webers' homemade barn sash windows have leather-lace fasteners; an open cupboard adds a built-in look to the gardener's utility sink.

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