Prefab Garden Shed

Quick Fix: Prefab sheds are erected in one day over a poured-concrete foundation.

  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
    Made in the Shade: Crisp white is a classic, but clients can choose any stock or custom color.
    Green Thumb: This summerhouse will soon be converted to a potting shed, with the addition of a sink and center floor drain.
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
    Looking up: The sheet lead roof (a company trademark) gains a patina over time.
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
    Floored: Plywood floors can be covered with anything from bluestone to indoor-outdoor rugs.
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan

What: Garden shed
Where: Lake of the Isles
Landscape Architect: Ron Beining

Nestled in the backyard of this year’s ASID Showcase Home is a timeless garden shed that evokes scenes straight out of The Sound of Music. The 120-square-foot “summerhouse” is entirely prefabricated (even the ornate lead roof) in the UK and shipped in a box, all finished, painted, and ready to install.

Minneapolis landscape architect Ron Beining is the Midwest distributor for HSP Garden Buildings, and while the product is relatively new to our region, he says he’s seen the dwellings used as potting sheds, outdoor living rooms, offices, guesthouses, airlock entries, pool houses, golf shacks, and even restaurants. They can be done smaller than half this size or up to six times the size and fully customized within the framework. “You could put glass all around for a greenhouse effect,” Beining adds.

This garden shed, the “Chelsea,” is fully insulated and has been retrofitted with interior lighting, and it will soon have plumbing when it’s converted from a summerhouse to a potting shed and studio for the homeowners.

Like any addition, it’s an investment—summerhouses start around $16,000—but with all its alfresco possibilities and romantic charm, it’s bound to have you singing with happiness.