It's not really an addition, but it's not really a house either. For some homeowners, a small detached cottage can be just the ticket. Some customers are looking for a home office, study, or hobby shop. Ybor City, Fla. resident Judy Greer wanted a guest suite €” and she turned to Historic Shed for a stand-alone solution, reports the Tiny House Blog (" Historic Shed Cottage ," by Kent Griswold). "My guests will be comfortable and I'll keep my privacy," Greer remarked. "It's the perfect set-up." Experienced building movers who have re-located dozens of historic structures in the Tampa Bay area, Jo-Anne Peck and Craig DeRoin of Historic Shed decided to downsize their vision as they neared the end of a multi-year preservation project. Now, the pair is focused on small, custom-designed outbuildings for homes in historic districts, where an off-the-shelf packaged storage shed container won't pass zoning muster (see " Crafting the Historic Outbuilding In Hurricane Country ," Coastal Connection 1/11/11). The company panelizes the small buildings at an indoor facility, then sets the units up on site with a minimum of disruption to the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. A video detailing the "re-construction" of a 14-foot by 16-foot guest cottage in Ybor City, Fla. by Historic Shed. For quality control and ease of construction, Historic Shed pre-assembles and finishes each unit inside (see below), then takes it back apart and re-builds it on a site-built foundation and deck. Truss or rafter roofs are also typically site-built. Because of the high design wind speeds in the company's coastal location, foundation-to-deck connections and other key connections have to comply with code-required wind-engineering details. ( Click here for a full image and video gallery of the cottage job. )
Putting up the roof trusses. This method allows as little disruption as possible to life at the project site. It's a niche market, for sure. But Jo-Anne Peck says the idea is catching on. "We had a slow year last year, but things have picked up quite a bit since January and we are now booked several months out," she told Coastal Connection. "Not sure if it's the economy improving or that we have finally reached critical mass with our advertising efforts. Most likely a combination of both. Whatever it is, we are feeling very optimistic about Historic Shed's future."