Historic Shed Cottage

Historic Shed Cottage


Historic homes have plenty of charm and character, but are often short on space. This is especially true when company arrives. Ybor City resident, Judy Greer, has found an affordable solution to that problem: she is installing a guest cottage behind her home. Designed and built by Historic Shed, a Brooksville-based outbuilding specialty company, the cottage complements her historic home and adds to the neighborhood character. The cottage has a bedroom and full bath, and is roughly the size of a typical hotel room.

Construction of a detached building was a less expensive alternative to building an addition to her home. There was no construction inconvenience since all the work took place in her back yard, without disturbing her house. “My guests will be comfortable and I’ll keep my privacy,” say Ms. Greer. “It’s the perfect set-up. My neighbor is considering something similar for her mother-in law.”

Historic Shed designs and builds outbuildings for historic homes, from simple garden sheds, to garages, to cottages like Ms. Greer’s. The custom designs incorporate architectural elements from existing historic homes and use traditional materials and detailing. Historic preservation consultant, Jo-Anne Peck and her contractor husband, Craig DeRoin began building Historic Shed outbuildings in 2008 to fill a void in the market for historic homeowners. “Many historic homeowners don’t want a stock metal or vinyl shed in their backyard, and in many cases they are actually prohibited by local historic district design guidelines,” says Ms. Peck. “We also get many calls from owners of newer homes who just want an attractive backyard building.”

Each Historic Shed outbuilding is constructed in a warehouse, broken back down into individual walls and roof for delivery, and then reassembled on site. Installation typically takes 2-3 days for garden sheds and two or more weeks for a more complex structure such as the cottage due to coordination with electrical and plumbing contractors. For more information, see the website at HistoricShed.com. View photos of construction here.


    • This particular cottage was actually at the higher end of construction costs ($17,000) because of the brick pier construction, which is time-intensive to construct. I think it might be less expensive in some areas to build something similar, especially if you can use salvaged windows and doors (our window and door cost alone was around $2000, not including installation) and don’t have to meet Florida’s wind load requirements which requires the use of lots of straps and connectors. We are also particular in which woods we use: cypress siding, pressure treated sills, #2 dense southern pine framing and full 1″ cypress roof sheathing. Anything less rots quickly in Florida’s climate, but it is a more expensive than some other materials we could choose.

    • Well, one does have to account for the fact that those building it have to make a living, and run a business.

      From one builder to another, I applaud their use of quality materials, and historic styling.

      $17000 is cheap as well, when you compare it to a shed of comparable size from Home Depot, which will cost almost half that without any interior fittings.

  1. Very intelligent concept. Saves an owner money and remodeling inconvenience. Only thing making it better would be wheels and fold-down skirting if tolerated by zoning, which would save on real estate taxes and allow you the flexibility to use as an RV, sell it separately and avoid realtor commission on it..

  2. Kent, thanks for sharing… I’d never really thought of “historic” homes in Florida, just double wides and lots of retired people… guess it’s a side of Florida I didn’t know about.

    • Us native Floridians don’t really appreciate those that have come down here with the houses in tow to give that rep.;) St. Augustine is the oldest city in the US. Most of the old beach towns like I grew up in show Spanish influence and Key West has the Conch houses. Lots of interesting building material down there….coral, coquina, etc. Everything from cracker houses to massive plantations and ranches. Most people don’t know the original cowboys were from the area as well.

      • Ouch, cheap shot at the “house in tow”, “Geriatric Gypsies” or whatever! I and many friends travel house in tow and have never had a complaint when at a cash register. I have walked away felling more like a cash cow for the area. Sorry, I didn’t realize we offended the good people of Florida! Humm, I wonder why they cater to us so much? A friend in his $250,000 house in tow is heading your way. Sorry. I like you little house. Please keep the wheels of of it.

  3. This is the best-looking tiny house I’ve seen because of the attractive dimensions. I’m not a huge fan of the typical super narrow tiny houses, so this looks great. I understand that 8 ft being the highway requirement is why so many of them are narrow, but if you’re not ever going to move your tiny house, I like this a lot better.

  4. I think it is just beautiful, and I think the price for something with a kitchenette and bathroom is quite reasonable. Would love to see photos of the interior.

  5. Mystery: The photo shows a wide door where the floor-plan shows a narrow kitchen window.

    I love the colors. Has a railroad feel to it.

    Did anyone notice the colors are appropriate for today, Halloween?

    • Mystery answer: The floorplan shows our base model but the owner decided to use the space for storage instead of a Kitchenette so we modified it with an exterior door and a ramp for her lawnmower. She plans to feed her guests in the main house rather than have them cook for themselves.

      Thanks for the compliments!

  6. Very nice!As I built a storage shed about 4 years ago I imagined how nice it would have been to make a guest house out of it.With the price of wood,$15000.00 is not out of control,plus the bathroom and windows.My thoughts to save even more space was a loft bed,but for younger guests,don’t want Grandma climbing a ladder.

  7. Yes, it is in the colors of the season. I’d put Charlie Brown in the window looking for the Great Pumpkin to arrive next year. I like the ramp – must make it ADA accessible; nice touch. Looks like some of the old small rail depots in my area.

  8. what about insulation and the almost constant need for AIR CONDITIONING? How are those issues addressed?

    I too, would love to see the inside! Love this concept.

    • We installed standard batt insulation in the walls and ceiling. A small AC unit was installed on the opposite side wall for summer visitors with a built-in thermostat. For most of the winter you can open windows and be comfortable in Tampa, with an occasional need for a small space heater.

  9. I just tried to purchase your house plans, but after putting in all my invormation, I received a “fatal error”. I don’t know if my payment went through.

    Please check on this for me….


  10. It is a cute little structure even if they used unhistoric plywood and gang-nails. They should have access the local sawmill for row-pine boards…

  11. Sending cattle to the auction yard begins with finding an auction that
    will sell the type of cattle you own. Many places might
    be throwing away things that you can use in your play-acting with your
    children. In our area, old house parts such as doors, cabinets, and hardware show up on freecycle.

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