Garden Sheds.
November 15, 2003 7:22 AM   Subscribe

Garden Sheds. Why is it when men reach a certain age they get a hankering after a garden shed, somewhere they can escape to, to potter or mend things or just smoke and read? Well I'm glad it's not just me. And is this a particularly British thing?
posted by rolo (21 comments total)
Because, well... it's like a club house, and me and my dog are the only members. We're like.... a really small gang.

To be honest, my "shed" is a tiny bit large. It's about 2,500 square feet, has two roll-up doors, and is carpeted in some areas. Hell, I even have a central air unit and a bathroom in it.
I DO have lots of tools, machines, and motorcycles/automobiles in various stages of development and restoration, but it is also serves as my music room. My wife prefers that I play my instruments out there anyway.
posted by bradth27 at 7:40 AM on November 15, 2003

I think the desire for a "cave," as some psychology guy suggested, is universal.

And like bradth27, mine is unapologetically large as well. It was one of the reasons why my wife and I bought the house in which we currently live.

A three-car detached garage with shop area that is a mess and I don't have to clean it up or keep it organized or let my kids in. Muhahahaha......

It needs heat though. And a bathroom...I think I have shed envy....
posted by grefo at 7:54 AM on November 15, 2003

Green with shed-envy already. I have to admit my garden is very small and my shed in only large enough to store old cans of paint and gardening tools. One day though...
posted by rolo at 8:01 AM on November 15, 2003

Colin Moulding's take on sheds.
posted by neustile at 8:24 AM on November 15, 2003

I have found a shed a nice peaceful place, alone for a time, away from the crowd, to make love to myself.
posted by Postroad at 8:36 AM on November 15, 2003

I blame Tommy Walsh.
posted by wendell at 8:43 AM on November 15, 2003

For now, it's the cab of my pickup truck. My rule is that with that hallowed space, pipe smoking is not only allowed but encouraged. ;o)
posted by alumshubby at 8:47 AM on November 15, 2003

Cornelia Parker's take on sheds.
posted by Lleyam at 9:26 AM on November 15, 2003

Sheds are also apparently a New Zealand thing, as this industrious guy shows...
posted by tss at 9:36 AM on November 15, 2003

Few gardens around here are big enough to put a shed in, and the word "shed" in modern American carries a connotation of something not large enough to hang out in -- a very large toolbox. But in typical U.S. form, the usable square footage of the average house around these parts is enough that this sort of solitary activity can have a room dedicated to it. I, for example, have an "office" in which nearly no business of the sort that ought to go on in an office is done. (Although I have just emerged from the office after a session of payday bill-paying, so it's not entirely hanky-panky, tinkering, noodling, and unspecified suspicious activities in there.) The room is more or less sacred, inviolate from intrusion or disturbance by family or guest. I find this practical for a flop on the sofa, diddling on the bass guitar, the playing of video games, staring into space, and otherwise loafing.

The kids have a similar room, which they can be swept from only upon its hasty conversion into a bedroom for guests; my wife is free to designate any portion of the house as her retreat in which she is not to be disturbed. Generally there is enough room within the house for everyone to have whatever degree of solitude they find themselves in need of.

Despite all that, it's the larger common spaces that all members of the household find themselves in most.
posted by majick at 9:50 AM on November 15, 2003

I just built a small shed for my uncle. He said he was buying a shed and having it built and I thought, who the hell PAYS someone to build a shed? I offered to make him a little pole-barn that would have stood for 50 years. Instead I got roped into building the world's cheapest shed kit that he insisted on buying at Lowe's.





Argh. Didn't even have 2x4s, just cheap 1x3 purlins. And the materials were irregular, and warped immediately, and the company knew it, so the damn instructions were planned around overlap here and there, and cheap trim to hide the inevitable cracks. Sloppy, irritating, and hell for a semi-perfectionist who wants to DO IT RIGHT (and absolutely CANNOT do it right.)

Man, just sink 4 posts, build a little pole-barn and throw some trusses and shingles up. It's the way to go. And don't ever offer to do anything for a relative...
posted by Shane at 10:02 AM on November 15, 2003

It's a married thing rather than a British thing isn't it? Or maybe it's just a shed thing.
posted by squealy at 10:06 AM on November 15, 2003

Shed, shmed.
posted by transient at 10:30 AM on November 15, 2003

Then there are real men, who can't be satisfied with just one shed. I speak of course of that mighty bloke, Arthur "Two-Sheds" Jackson.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:12 AM on November 15, 2003

I occasionally I dream of moving to Port Townsend, Wa and becoming a shedboy. I imagine it akin to living as a hermit, but with women, pizza delivery, and internet.
posted by roboto at 1:59 PM on November 15, 2003

That pretty much describes my house, except I don't have a wife.
posted by crunchburger at 2:45 PM on November 15, 2003

It's not exclusively British. My husband and I just bought a house with a huge back yard. While I am trying to get him to actually MOW the yard, he's been busy plotting out where the shed is going to go and how big to make it (so far, he's settled on 10'x10'). In fact, the shed is the only thing he has talked about for weeks now. Meanwhile, the grass (I mean weeds) is about 4 foot high now. :D
posted by Orb at 4:45 PM on November 15, 2003

While I am trying to get him to actually MOW the yard, he's been busy plotting out where the shed is going to go and how big to make it...

You do realize that, if he makes the shed big enough, there won't be any lawn left to mow? I've seen that ploy before.
posted by Shane at 5:45 PM on November 15, 2003

Yes, I do realize that. TRUST me. I have seen his plan for our enormous yard, and if there's one square foot of grass left, I'd be surprised. LOL!

We have to have a huge shed, a garage, a workshop, a pond, a rock garden ... and on and on. I'm like ... where the lawn in this plan?
posted by Orb at 1:38 AM on November 16, 2003

Shed ownership is definitely an Australian thing too.

Indeed, people of my father's generation talk about brands of sheds the same way they discuss the merits of different makes of cars, i.e. in detail and at great length.
posted by backOfYourMind at 3:44 AM on November 16, 2003

All Australian Boys Need a Shed.
posted by emf at 1:06 AM on November 18, 2003

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