Wood sheds are a perfect example of functional + practical design. They are made for one purpose: storing wood.
It’s simple, right? Not exactly. When SBaird Design was put in charge of designing a modern wood shed we had to think about all the design parameters that this structure had to follow:
- Hold a Cord of wood. The cord is a unit of measure of dry volume used to measure firewood and pulpwood in the United States and Canada. It is the amount of wood that, when “ranked and well stowed” (arranged so pieces are aligned, parallel, touching and compact), occupies a volume of 128 cubic feet (3.62 m3). This corresponds to a well stacked woodpile 4 feet (122 cm) high, 8 feet (244 cm) long, and 4 feet (122 cm) deep; or any other arrangement of linear measurements that yields the same volume.
- Provide Ventilation. Stacking the firewood in a shed with good ventilation lets the wood dry out without rotting so it will be ready for burning. In fact, stacking is so important that you do it ASAP. If your wood is left in a large heap it will absorb ground moisture, attract insects, and start to rot. Stacking firewood helps accelerate the drying process. The stacking pattern you choose can also increase the amount of ventilation your woodpile is exposed to. The Old Farmer’s Almanac says that the space between each log should be “large enough for a mouse to run through, but tight enough to prevent a cat from chasing it.”
- Give Protection. It might seem like a given but it is quite an important factor to consider. Wood is cellular, and will reabsorb water like a sponge. Here in the rainy Pacific Northwest, if you take dry, seasoned fuel wood and stack it without proper protection, it can soak up enough water to revert to its original water content in just a matter of hours.
Now that we had the 3 necessary functions defined, SBaird Design also had to meet the needs of our client:
- Public Storage. The wood shed is on a property that will be a vacation rental. There needed to be an area to store items that renters can access, like patio tables and grilling items.
- Private Storage. Although the property is a rental, it is the home base for the client when they are in town. They wanted a separate compartment to store their beach belongings, like sand buckets, clamming guns and beach chairs.
- Contain the Containers. The property is next to a public beach access point. The client wanted to eliminate strangers trespassing on the property to throw away their debris and trash in the private bins. The wood shed needed to be able to hide the trash bins and keep them locked up.
Armed with these needs and functions, we started thinking about the design. Modern. Mimic the main house. Simple beauty.
Our craftsman on the job is a god send and gave us some great information on the layout and parameters to stick with:
- The highest point of the wood shed can not exceed 7′. It needs to be aligned with the existing roof structure of the main house to create one continuous line.
- The slope of the wood shed needs to be 1:12 to match the host home.
- The maximum footprint is a 15′x5′ rectangle made of 8″ CMU block.
Here is SBaird Design’s initial mock-up of the wood shed. Top bay and largest bay to the right add up to hold a volume of 130 cubic feet. Enough room to stack a cod of wood and easily access it. Wood will be kept secure with locking doors made of open metal grating. Center bay will hold the garbage bins, while the bay to the left is for the owner’s private use. The large full size access will be the public/rental storage equipped with shelving and still have enough space to store the patio furniture. The exterior will be clad with Ipe to match the main house.
It will be finessed and design changes will be made but it is a good start.