Country Tractor Shed: With a Modern Twist

Country Tractor Shed: With a Modern Twist

We've been seeing a proliferation of sheds on Apartment Therapy sites lately, so we decided to share a little project we (Wes) did a few years ago. Originally conceived as a simple replacement to an unsightly tarp hut for storing a John Deere, the shed has taken on a life of its own, serving a variety of functions, from wood shop to wedding altar. The shed wanted to fit in with the surroundings but be transparent to maintain the view from the road to the lush garden. Adding transparent polycarbonate to the roof transformed what could have been an average shed into an inspired space by drawing in natural light and highlighting the post and beam construction...

Much of the design was based on the fact that the entire structure had to be built by two people — myself (Wes) and my dad — using basic tools, while reducing as much labor and waste material as possible. Even the detail of the rafter tails with sloping V's was based on the fact that our circular saw could only cut halfway through the beam. Two cuts were required so if they had been cut straight they would never line up.

The polycarbonate roofing — clear on the sides, tinted on the roof — was not only a design decision but also a labor saving decision. The plastic roofing was much easier, lighter and safer to handle and cut than traditional metal roofing. All this additional light made the space an ideal workshop and now the back third of the shed is officially that, complete with concrete pavers providing a hard floor and additional benches built into the simple wood frame walls that are filled with nails for hanging tools. In the summer the space is used so much that the tractor is rarely parked inside.

The overhang in the back created a small porch that became a place to sit and view the garden as well as a place to keep garden tools out of the rain. With a little decorating — covering the transparent end wall with white paper to make it opaque, and hanging fresh cut limbs to create a canopy of color — it became the ideal altar for our October wedding.

Finished for over 5 years, now the shed is taking on the patina of the neighboring barn. It was meant to blend in while providing an inspiring new experience within and we couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

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