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A New Project for the New Year:

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Need a project? Ready to tackle something new before spring arrives? Perhaps you´re a little short on space. Have you wondered how you could expand without doing the whole remodeling thing? How about erecting one of the sturdy little garden sheds we see advertised in the shelter magazines? It looks easy since they come in sections to be assembled on site. This could be a gardening shed—which would be every master gardener´s dream—with ample space for a potting bench and for storing tools, pots and other gardening paraphernalia. Or how about a little studio or retreat for the person in your family who writes, paints, or quilts? How about a playhouse for your grandchildren when they visit tosleep over?” Maybe your teen-ager´s band needs a place to practice. Perhaps your pool requires a pool house for equipment and storage. Or maybe you need your own little spa, using one of the new soaking tubs. Or just a place tohang out” when the spirit moves you.

We´ve been hearing for years about how we each need ourspace.” Here´s your chance.

Can´t you just picture creating an inviting path to the new building? Perhaps dress up your retreat by adding shutters and a window box. How about an arbor? You may want to add windows for light and fresh air. What color scheme would best blend with your existing home? You could add simple landscaping, keeping in mind fire safe clearance suggestions. This project could take you through winter, spring and into summer, or longer…if you take your time.

Assuming you have the space on your property, you must check with the city or county planning department to learn about their requirements. You may need a building permit, depending upon your plans. At the very least, you will need to observe the set-backs from your property lines: front, side yard and back. Will you insulate the new space? You´ll most likely want power to the structure, so research the best method to extend power from your home. You can probably do without plumbing, which makes the project easier and less expensive, unless you´re hankering for that cozy little spa. You can pour a slab or use concrete piers for the foundation. With the onset of some mild weather, aren´t you anxious to get outside?

You have several choices:

Andy´s, Orchard Supply and Sears have a variety of sheds to offer. They are all mail order, but you can see what they look like by stopping by and studying the samples and their brochures. They come in heavy duty plastic, rust proof aluminum, or vinyl coated steel, and require little or no maintenance. Some are delivered to your property and installed on your level site or foundation for no extra charge. Others are delivered to the store and charge an additional amount to deliver to your home. Some are strictly utilitarian, most likely for storage only. Others could be embellished with your choice of custom detail.

Below Jamestown along Highway 108 you can view some of the wooden sheds at Hurst Ranch Supply. Check out the sizes and styles available. Hurst has constructed a western village, behind their sales office, which will give you ideas for a custom approach. Note the roof lines and external trims. Several of their sheds measure 10´ x 12´ and cost about $2300, plus a freight charge of $95. They will deliver to your site and set up the sides and roof for no additional charge. The wooden exterior should be stained or painted in your choice of colors. These sheds will require some maintenance over the years.

Another possibility is Moore Room, located on Rawhide Road just past the Tuolumne County Sheriff´s Posse Building. They have several styles and sizes on display. Their 10´x12´ shed, commercial quality steel, is $3095 assembled, and $2321 knock-down, which you assemble on site. They are available in tan, white, gray or green. The steel sheds feature a window and door plus a locking device. The advantage of the steel shed is no maintenance, ever, so they say.

How about the Tuff Sheds advertised on television? This shed combines plywood and steel in its construction, and the 10´x 12´ size is about $2400, delivered to your site and installed on your foundation. There are many colors to choose from. Check out their website and then see them at showrooms in both Modesto and Stockton.

If this project is speaking to you, you´ll want to augment the information given here with more specific details. Make it a family project and have everyone involved. What a great way to start the new gardening year.

Upcoming Master Gardener Public Events: Saturday, March 3, from 10-12, learn about care and pruning of table grapes (information also applies to wine grapes). Tuolumne County Master Gardener Gary Fowler will host a grape care clinic at his home on Highway 49. Call 533-2059 for information, registration and directions.

Joan Bergsund is a Tuolumne County Master Gardener who doesn´t need extra space. It just needs better organizing.


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