By Kate Lovelady
Greetings! I joined Wild Ones last year, and it’s been great getting to know people who are also obsessed with gardening and especially with native gardening and sustainability.
We have a small yard in the city, and we needed a small tool and gardening shed. There’s so much rehabbing of older houses going on St. Louis, I decided to build a shed out of reclaimed doors. Basically this shed is simply four old doors screwed together and attached with metal brackets to a foundation of left-over treated 2x6s, sitting on an existing crushed-rock foundation. I chose two doors with windows to let in light, and two solid doors so that I could hang shelves on the back “wall” and pocket holders on the inside of the front “door.” (I got the doors from a guy who had been collecting them from alleyways.)
The doors weren’t the same height, so I build a shed roof (that’s actually the name of those roofs that are higher on one side than the other) using reclaimed corrugated plastic. I filled in the extra space with scrap window-screen—it keeps out most rain and allows for ventilation. The only materials I had to buy were the brackets to attach the doors to the foundation, and one new door hinge (my poor old doors only had one hinge left between them, but I was able to reuse a door handle).
Here’s a picture of the shed in progress. You can see the foundation and the “walls,” with a reclaimed 2×4 “door” header to add stability (and a helpful friend; doors are heavy—Thanks Joe!)
And here’s a couple pictures of it completed, with paint that was also salvaged. I decided not to decorate it as an outhouse or a Tardis (Google it), though in a few years when it needs a new coat of paint I’m open to a new look!
This project was fun to design and build, and it was relatively easy and forgiving of imperfect carpentry skills. You could easily scale this up with more doors if you wanted to make a bigger shed. When you need new storage structures of any kind, I recommend trying to use as much reclaimed material as you can—it saves the energy needed to manufacture new material and keeps existing material out of landfills.