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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Oct 2019 > The Little Shed that Could

The Little Shed that Could

Kayaks, tools, lawn chairs, lifejackets... there’s no end to cottage stuff. Where to put it all? Build this clever storage hut— with a perfect place for everything
illustrations LEN CHURCHILL

Thanks to the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association for supplying the cedar for this project.

It’s a universal cottage problem. All manner of accoutrements make their way to the lakeside. And then Dad or Mom usually gets stuck with having to drag that stuff back up to the cottage at the end of the weekend. There’s gotta be some alternative, right?

A utilitarian lakeside storage outbuilding is the answer. Our version is not only attractive, it has loads of features, such as built-in canoe/kayak racks, a work bench, shelving, and more—plus an optional accessory mini deck. Our build included two boat racks, but if you need more you could easily add two additional supports to your shed on the opposite wall.

Difficulty is 6.75 out of 10, with some challenges.


Building these custom doors is a bit of a challenge because of the routing for the recessed T&G. Remember to adjust the plan dimensions if you use readymade doors (they’ll likely cost more too).


1 Cut all the 2x8s to length, excluding the bridging (as indicated in Fig. 8), and treat all end cuts before assembly.

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About Cottage Life

Between crimson leaves, cool starry nights, and warming up by the woodstove, everyone loves fall at the lake. If you find yourself short of sleeping space for your guests, we’ve got 35 snooze-tastic ideas for where to stash a visitor (or 12). And as you start to put away all those kayaks, lawn chairs, tools, etc., consider building our super storage shack to give you a place for everything (and a nice deck!). Take a peek into a compact, livable cabin for a family of four using a shipping container: it’s only 265 sq. ft., but it has plenty of custom style and small space solutions. Meet a Canoe Lake cottager who transformed her passion for Algonquin Park into her life’s work. Worried about flooding? Learn from the experiences of a lakeside community in New Brunswick that has been hit with extreme flooding for decades, and see how one family has modified their cottage to fight back. Find answers to reader questions about rusty barbecues, wildlife–car collisions, deck railing rules, what to do if a rattlesnake bites your dog, and whether it’s ever okay to feed the deer. For the putterers, we’ve got a sandpaper guide, why you should install a keypad lock, how to check your spirit level, a device to help you drain your pipes for winter (successfully!), and a cool floating sauna. Plus, make these five easy recipes using up the leftover beer in your shed fridge—no barley sandwiches included, and a handy cheat sheet to beer types. Get the October 2019 issue of Cottage Life today!