Last updated on June 14th, 2021
BANG-BANG-BANG! We’re hammering out a number of home-improvement projects here at Clover Hill. Earlier this season we enlarged the patio and built a pergola there. Also, we hid the roll-up door on our no-car garage. And since one project invariably leads to another, a couple of weeks ago we restored the roof and painted the eaves and shutters on our not-so-lovely garden shed. Please enjoy the before-and-after photos of this c. 1980 structure:
First, a little history! When we purchased this property, the garden shed was located at the eastern edge of a large asphalt parking lot behind the house. (I snapped the picture above in 2002, just before we made an offer on the house.)
In 2006 we removed the asphalt parking lot and planted a big boxwood garden there. At the same time, we hoisted the shed and moved it to its current position just north of the aforementioned no-car garage.
The shed deteriorated rather dramatically during the subsequent 15 years. Consequently we had two options before us: tear down the shed (my vote), or replace its sagging, leaking roof (Mr. Fox’s preference).
Mr. Fox won this save-the-shoddy-shed battle. John, our industrious handyman, scraped off the disintegrating shingles. Then he removed all traces of rotted wood from rafters, roof, and eaves.
Rotted wood was replaced with fresh wood.
Next came the roofing “fabric” and shingles!
Lastly, John painted the eaves and window shutters. The sides and back of the shed will be painted soon, I promise.
The grand eyesore is no more. Our view while dining beneath the pergola is vastly improved.
Back in 2010, in a lipstick-on-a-pig maneuver, I planted a climbing rose (thornless ‘Zephirine Droughin’) on the crumbling shed’s south wall. During the two weeks that John worked to restore the shed, the rose suddenly budded and bloomed for the first time in years. Perhaps it is happy with its newly-refreshed background.
Any home-improvement projects happening at your place just now? Speak up in the comments section below! xNosy Kevin
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Dorinda Uhl says
It all looks so wonderful!! Mr. Fox was right. <3
There are many projects to bring my 1911 home up to snuff but with the price of lumber the lack of available workers it is hard to find someone and afford it also. So all projects are on hold and really that's okay as it give us more time to do research …oh but I loathe waiting.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Dorinda – Lumber prices are through the roof just now. Hope you find all the help and materials you need!
Susan-Marie Beauchemin says
Kudos, Mr. Fox! And: I swear roses speak to us, in their flower-y language. Our soon project: Large fenced-in area for Miss Molly the Beagle to run, and a relief for me to simply open a door to let her out. Can’t let her loose here in mountain-forest-farmland … can’t risk her zoom to whatever moving creature, even if coyote, bobcat, fisher cat, bear …. Present & forever project: Creating gardens & atmospheres!!!! You know exactly what I mean.
Nice save. My parents have a similar shed called The Playhouse because while my Dad said he was building us a playhouse it was really a practice run at stick building in preparation for adding on to our house. He never finished it. A tree took out a corner a few years back and the porch is being undermined by termites. It will either have to be torn down or repaired. Torn down if my Dad dies first. Left as is if my Mother dies first.
Projects? Too many. Still only one raised bed in the front because I spent a month at my parent’s house when my Mom had an accident. (She was run over by her own car.) She’s better but I lost my best month, March, the month of rain, pulling weeds and ground soft enough to dig and clear. Then it was get ready for the delivery of the refrigerator I ordered in September. Spring cleaning and reorganizing the kitchen. Which isn’t done because….gas leak. My handyman, his helper and I dug a new trench, 50 ft, 22 inches deep. The plumbers came today and laid a new line. Inspectors should be here Thursday or Friday. Then it’s fill the trench back in and relay all of the brick in sand bricks in the patio by the house in the path that the refrigerator will need to take. When done, it’s back to get the kitchen finished before hopefully the refrigerator arrives. After the refrigerator arrives…back to the raised bed gardens and finished the trench in the back all the way to the meter.
Since I moved in in 1987 I have replaced the gas line (this is the second time), the water line and the roof. (And I’ve insulated.) I don’t want to do any more. Just little stuff. I still have some minor repairs but all of the basics are done and the yard hardscape is in except for one pergola that came down when the back fence was replaced. The front pergola and a side gate need repair. But then it’ just plants and extending some irrigation. In ten years I want everything to have been done for a few years so that I can decide if I want to stay in my house or move to a retirement community. And I want the decision to be really hard because my house is done and looks so nice.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Susan-Marie – I have a soft spot for beagles. Still miss my sweet Lily!
Hi mlaiuppa – Yikes — what a spring you’ve had. Here’s hoping your projects are completed soon, and that all goes swimmingly well.
The plumbers finished the new gas line yesterday. The inspector is supposed to come tomorrow. Once it’s passed the pressure test the meter is released and the utility company is supposed to come out the same day and turn it on. They can crawl under the house and relight the pilot to the furnace too. My days of crawling under the house are over. (I hope).
Meanwhile I am continuing on preparing the kitchen for the new stove. I’m putting wheels on my converted sideboard and moving things around in the cupboards. The last thing I’ll be doing is pulling the old refrigerator out to clean behind before they get here. I’ve already cleaned behind the stove. The rest of the floor has to be done often as….dog. I do my fair share of tracking in dirt too. Plus with the yard dug up no amount of wiping gets all of the dirt off before entry. Diana pawPrints still hasn’t mastered the use of the doormat.
After that, it’s back to getting the ground cleared in the front and building the remaining three raised beds. Temps will be in the middle to upper 80s all next week so that may signal the end of my yardwork until maybe October or November. So the raised beds may not get done until…Christmas? Easter next year?
Rosie S says
Looks wonderful! We had an absolutely beautiful Zephirine Droughan that was trellised on the side of our last garage. Miss it! Enjoy your new old shed!
Gail S says
Hi thanks so much for sharing your projects. I’m curious, how did you move your shed? We have a large one at a property we just purchased that we would love to have moved against the fence instead of smacking the middle of the yard!
Completely agree with Mr. Fox! The garden shed is lovely! What I love most about both of you is you’re saving history.
BTW, Kevin, I must comment on your beautiful complexion. What’s your secret?
Love your blog, videos and your cookbook. Time for another?
It looks absolutely beautiful.
We tore out the wire builder’s shelves in our walk-in pantry and created custom shelving with beadboard backing and a wood countertop. Painting drawer fronts today before they are installed and then just a little more trim work to do. Quite a project in a tiny space but SO much nicer!
Wendy C Zecchino says
Lori Beth says
We are trying to get some home projects done while I am still working remotely – last week we got a new roof and some sunspot skylights in our 1955 raised ranch. Then the dishwasher stopped working… Always something! I was impressed by the roofers cleanup job, we don’t seem to have lost any plants and I have only found a couple of nails. Up next… SOLAR PANELS!! I am so excited to keep investing money and sweat equity in our home. I still have winter sowing to plant out, hopefully I will get that finished today! The shed looks great! Thank you Kevin, as always, for sharing your home with us!
Zephirine Droughan is my favourite climber. It’s so generous with its flowers and heavenly perfume. Yours looks lovely.
Long story short bc your page keeps removing my post.
Fix high tunnel- items came in the mail on Friday
Tear down greenhouse
Build strawberry bed where greenhouse once sat
Wait 2 months and new retaining wall will be installed where I’ll get back 3 of my 4 feet of missing garden. Add the fence to keep deer and rabbit out saving a one foot margin to plant annual flowers to cascade over retaining wall rocks. (I won’t see that until next year).
Decide what to put on our basement foundation blocks….stone or tin.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Barb – You are too kind. My complexion is the result of tinted sunscreen and good lighting!
Hi Gail – Our contractor jacked up the shed, put wheels underneath it, and then pulled it, with his small tractor, into position. Wish I had filmed the job — it was nerve-wracking to watch!
Hi Lori Beth – I want what you’re planning to have: SOLAR PANELS!
Hi Lynn – So glad you are a fan of Zephirine!
Hi Lori – Good luck with your projects!
The work never ends! But I guess it keeps us going and-broke. LOL! Your shed looks so much better. New and improved space. Do you use it for actual garden related things? I’d love to have a little shed all my own, with nary an extension ladder in sight. (My husband stores his ladders in with all my stuff. It’s unsightly and takes up way too much space in my opinion.)
We tore down an old garden shed with lean to years ago and my husband built a nice gabled barn in it’s place with a patio attached. Unfortunately the door has leaked ever since and needs to be taken out and either replaced or reframed. The floor under it is rotted. Really annoying since it’s not that old of a barn. Painted a dark green it gives me something green to look at during the long brown and gray winter months and in the spring and summer the clematis vines disappear but the flowers pop against the green. The patio next to it is our favorite spot on a summers night.
Hoping we can tear down the 100 year old farmhouse on our property soon. It’s not been lived in for almost 30 years. Previous owners built new and just left it in the yard to molder. We’ve been meaning to tear it down for 17 years, but haven’t had the money or the time (children’s medical issues all around!) But this is the year, just like last year and the year before. I’ve started to refer to it as my garden folly. Perhaps I should train some clematis and roses up the side of it. That would either improve the looks of it, or more than likely get my husband to buy the equipment (for his business) and get it torn down.
Jersey Shore Amy says
Always look forward to your Sunday emails with updates (and lots of PHOTOS) and of course the recipes.
And yes, your patio view is now just as wonderful as the patio and pergola!
I have a “relatively” new fence that I’m planting shrubs and trees in front of – I think I will save space and try to find a Zephirine Drouhin – if it smells as grand as it looks, then I’m sold!
The shed looks great! My garden shed is in desperate need of repairs—the roof got damaged and a pair of squirrels has taken up residence inside! I still love having all the storage space though.
As far as home improvement projects, they’re either needed or ongoing in pretty much every room of the house. Mostly we’re working on repairs and renovation in our finished attic space.
I thought it would take a month or two and now I’m just trying to finish before we hit the 1-year mark in September!
Suzanne K says
After decades of grumbling about the location of the washer and dryer, I’m FINALLY moving them! They have been in the garage forever. To get to them, I have to carry the laundry basket out the back door, down a steep and wicked set of stone steps, out into the elements (high heat, wind, rain or whatever), and then repeat the trip to put into dryer and then bring back into house. It was mildly irritating when I was younger. As I’ve added years, it’s become more irritating. I spent years trying to figure out somewhere IN the house that would work with no luck. I’ve long thought about putting them on the covered patio just outside the kitchen/family room.
This week, it’s happening! I’m actually very lucky! The wall that they will be on is under the kitchen window where the kitchen sink is located. That means relatively easy access to hot and cold water AND a drain complete with already installed cleanout! NO breaking up of concrete patio to install drain lines/water lines! And, having the electrician pull a 220 line for the electric dryer isn’t going to be huge either – about 30′ in the attic and reasonable access as well. Fortunately, both plumber and electrician are able to do it this coming week (I got the estimates last week)! Sadly, plumber picked a day with forecast of 107 and electrician 105 (oh ouch, the attic where the new electric line will be will be scorching). But, they’ll be under a covered patio and electricians said YES to starting early (7am) to get some of the worst (attic stuff) done before the heat.
I’ve already ordered new covers for the W/D and am SO looking forward to stepping out of my sliding glass door and being right by the W/D! Someday, if I get very ambitious, I might enclose part of the patio. It’s under the roof of the house, already insulated roof, has power to it… I’ve been watching ‘Escape to the Country’ and all of the conservatory rooms are calling to me. I’m thinking windows all around to keep the view from kitchen and living room, but cupboards about halfway up all around and nice countertop. Added storage and work space. But, in the meantime, I’m thrilled with getting this done!
And, while the electricians are here, I’m having them install new lighting in the master bedroom. Originally built in 1969 with brass swag chains, hanging lights on either side of bed with old shades… I read in bed and don’t want to have to get up to turn off lights and don’t want lamps sitting on bedside tables. I will be replacing all the old stuff with new, sleek track light with 4 heads to adjust to read and light room AND it can be controlled with wi-fi app on my phone! Well worth a bit added to estimate to replace lights and put in new switches while they are here.
Laura Robinson says
So glad your shed was saved. Our is being removed for two reasons. One – its not really a shed but but some sort of ‘outhouse’ sized building with a deck and railing that no one can stand on and two – it is about to fall down on its own and we need to evict the ground hog that is living underneath it. I guess that makes three – oh well.
Other projects – a new roof (tomorrow), two trees remove (done) and lawn restoration (sometime soon now that the trees are gone). Then on to planting a new flowering tree in the front yard to replace the tree we removed. Trying to get a new driveway but most contractors are booking those into the new year.
Thanks for showing us your progress. I tried your trick of newspaper under the mulch last spring and it worked like a charm!
Carolyn D Contois says
Its perfect… you never fail us, Keven & Mr Fox…thank you for my Sunday read..
So funny to hear about your rose budding! For some reason we have plants flowering this season that have never flowered and also many of the shrubs and creepers have an abundance of buds and flowers this year.
Some say it was the mild winter in PA but whatever it was we’ll take it and love every minute of the new blooms !
Love your new shed roof, Mr. Fox was right 🙂
(Perhaps my comments will help Dorinda, who replied June 8, keep the faith!)
Since 2013, we’ve been seeking construction help for a very small, very old house that was originally my great-grandfather’s sister’s home.
Needless to say, this project scared off several carpenter/construction folks. Many prefer new work and this is c 1870.
But finally, this year, we found someone who loves little old houses and is a joy to work with. (Just in time for lumber yards to announce “rationing” and their prices to go sky-high!) Work is underway; our carpenter, electrician, plumber and hvac guys are very capable and they’re pleasant company too. The little 4-room house has a sweet cottage facade, a detailed front porch and roof of older tin shingles. So far, we’ve replaced all floor joists, installed new sub-floors, stored the original heart pine flooring (soon to be re-installed.) The old-fashioned tin roof, amazingly, has no leaks. New “modern” construction across the back is underway and will include the plumbed parts — kitchen, sunroom, small bath and screened porch. And an outdoor shower with hot and cold water — what a treat! A wonderful electrician worked us into his schedule; now we have reliable wiring in the old and new sections. Next week, more modern conveniences . . . plumbing and hvac! My great-aunt, niece of the little house’s owner, used to recite this (part of a longer poem): “Plan more than you can do, then do it! . . . Hitch your wagon to a star, keep your seat and there you are!” It’s my mantra.
Home & Farm improvements. Farmer hired a contractor to replace the old wooden shingles on the west side of the corncrib with corrugated steel. He also had the contractor adjust some facia on the big barn and cut down a limb that was hanging over the pumpkin garden.
House: We are getting an estimate to fix some water damage inside the house Finally! We replaced the window that leaked probably 10 years ago! I want to get the main floor painted and I can’t until this is done. And then new carpet. 🙂
We added new landscaping to the front of the house. Installed rock enclosures around the mounded beds. Covered it all in weed barrier and mulch and planted hostas (north side) and some flowering bushes on the east.
We also added some art pieces to the house & yard side of the garage; lots of potted annuals and just today planted 4 sticks, I mean Trees. 2 Redbud, 1 white Dogwood and 1 Hawthorne. I probably will never see them taller than myself, but my children and grandchildren will. 🙂
I am putting a border wall around the new grass killing area in my back yard nee butterfly garden. Using salvaged blocks ithers wanted gone. Also put together a cheap garden arch for newly planted mock orange to climb on. The rest of my paisley shaped bed is filled with butterfly bushes, coneflowers, rudebeckia, russian sage, Echinacea, sage,dill,rosemary, sedum, monardia, rose of sharon, and a jane magnolia. I also put up my own cattle panel for my squash in my vegie garden. It was a challenge for my 70ish year old arms to pound in 4 posts, especially when I had to move them several times to get the spacing right but I am very happy with the out come!
The academics should read you-all to get a picture of what is really going to happen to the economy, and me, I read you to get ideas of what I can accomplish, right here, right now. Go, go! Kevin, you and your people, mwa (chef-kiss).
Kevin, after what seems like years your “Garden for the House” reappeared in my mailbox today. I haven’t caught up with what I missed but I have to respond to your ? about the projects here. Very little was accomplished during the 15 months of Covid-19 but this summer is a different story. My biggest project of getting solar energy is nearly complete. The deck projects form last year got delayed by cost until they have become hazardous. Now I wait for the contractor to replace the first now that the materials are here. When that is done I will need to move plants and complete some landscaping around the house and clear another garden bed so another deck can be done before the snow flies this fall and I reach my 80th birthday! Mr. Fox was correct in pushing for the shed repairs now rather than waiting for more years to pass. I have been a slow learner! I’m happy to be receiving your posts again.