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John Uttenreither

Yes! You Can Build A Beautiful Shed!

The how to, food for thought, ideas, and plans

to fuel your project.

John Uttenreither

Designer, builder, husband, father...

Don’t be afraid to be creative!

Design and build a beautiful shed, patio shed, DIY shed ideas

The ever practical backyard shed, great for so many reasons, if not just to hide your junk. 


But do they have to look like junk?  Like the typical stale cookie cutter, looks like every other shed in the world, not blending or complimenting anything but a sore thumb.


Yes! Yes! Yes!

You can build a darling of a shed!  You certainly have my permission; if not that of your nosy community association. Who, as rumor has it, is investigating charges you may really be planning an out house.


And not only do you have my permission, and blessing, I think you have it in you to build the thing! 


But before the excitement of construction begins, it’s important to have a great plan.


This darling, standing at the patio’s edge, was dubbed the “Patio Closet”. Quaint, convenient, and just large enough to shelter patio items at the ready. 


You never know when a pleasant day will draw you out for some sunshine therapy.

I believe design is the most important part of any successful project.  Too often this critical step is skipped leaving the final project lacking.


So now lets touch on a few design considerations.

Be on the lookout for inspiration when it crosses your path. The shed pictured above was born from left over construction materials 

Door head pediment

clogging up my garage. I thought it would be great to free up the space.  Maybe? I don’t know, park the cars in there?! 


We needed a small patio shed and I had enough of this and that to cover most of the job.  I just needed a spark of inspiration to make all the odd leftover’s work together. 


Rummaging around the garage, I saw a door head pediment collecting dust in the rafters. That’s when inspiration struck.  The central idea that would drive the whole design. I could simply match the roof of the shed to the pitch of the pediment, and the width of the shed to the width of the pediment. 

Keep reading, before I’m done I’ll give you a 4 step action plan outlining what you need to design your own beautiful shed.

Choosing a shed color, color ideas

Compliment with color


Your favorite color is beautiful, yes, but consider what exists in the surroundings. The safest bet may be to match the color of your house. That may be a great choice. But if the color is too dominant. Consider breaking things up with a complimentary color. 


In this case we chose the color of the window shutters, and spread the color on the shed, deck skirt and some furniture to create balance for the color. We also matched the roof shingles to help tie things together.

Under deck shed, storage, deck skirt, deck design ideas

Combine and conquer for efficiency


Have an elevated deck?  Maybe the wasted space below would be a great area for
storage.  Lots of junk could hide out under there!


Garden hose storage solution ideas

Consider Your basic needs


Two heads are better than one, unless you only have one hat! 


That aside, my oldest son Ben, who I often asked to roll up the hose, had the idea to incorporate a hose reel inside the shed with it’s own through way.



This idea wasn’t even on my radar. I asked the young lad to head up the project. Great way to build confidence in your youngin'.

Shed placement in the landscape

“Looks great Ben!"

Location, location, location


Where is the perfect place for your shed?


Stand back, imagine painting a picture in your landscape.  observe the lay of the land.  What would make a beautiful environment in your yard?  Looking at the big picture will take your focus off a single project. Consider things that can work together to create something special to enjoy.  

Garden shed

The gothic style window was all the inspiration I needed to create the design for this shed. Once I found the window, the rest of the design found me.  So find that special something that lights your fire.  

Do it yourself shed plans
DIY shed designs

To add further design interest, I layered a simple trim pattern with 1x4's and applied decorative blocks at the intersections, cut out from scrap 1x4. 


OK, I could go on and on with ideas, but now let me give you the tools you need to harness your own ideas. The 4 SIMPLE things you need to design a beautiful shed.


1.  You need one striking design element.  Just one. 

A special window, door, sign…

Something that inspires you to guide your design decisions.


2.  You need to settle on how your shed will be outfitted.


If your a little crazy like me, you’ll hear your inspirational design element speak to you. So set the item you chose in step 1 where you can see it, while you go about your day, even if it’s only a picture. Your special design element will suddenly interrupt you, whispering how the shed should look. Eureka!  Make notes while the whispers are still blowing in you ears.


3.  You need to know what the shed is for and precisely how it will be used.


I know you think this is too simple to mention, but it’s not. It really is important!  Thinking on this will help you fill in the blanks like what size and weather the shed should have a window, a garage door, or a mote full of hungry crocks.


4.  You need construction plans and how to’s that guide you through the building of the structure.


After you have designed the visual aspects of the shed (steps 1-2), and the function of the shed (step 3), you need structure to hang it all on. Choose plans that approximate the size and shape you want and adapt them to your personal ideas.  plans will look generic, that’s OK, it’s the accessories and what you cover it with that will make it look all your own. 


Playhouse design idea

How do you want to experience life in your outdoor oasis?   

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Are you looking for remodeling design solutions? 

Do you live near the Baltimore area?

Want John and Ben Uttenreither to be your remodeler?

We are award winning remodeling experts, ready to serve you!

Lazzell Design Works is our remodeling company. Visit our website to learn more

Live near the Baltimore area?

John and Ben Uttenreither are award winning remodeling experts, ready to serve you!

Visit their remodeling website to learn more.

Live near the Baltimore area?

John and Ben Uttenreither are award winning remodeling experts, ready to serve you!

Visit their remodeling website to learn more.

Live near the Baltimore area?

John and Ben Uttenreither are award winning remodeling experts, ready to serve you!

Visit their remodeling website to learn more.

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