Cottage Reno

Let’s Not Call It A Shed

How to store things at the cottage has been an ongoing dilemma that we have had. Regulations state that a shed has to be 100 feet from the waters edge, so how do you store all those life jackets, paddles etc. that we need every time we take out the boat? We have been storing them in the cottage, but they take up quite a bit of room and it is a pain to keep carting them down to the dock each time. We talked about buying one of those large patio chests to put things in, but our dock isn’t very big and we felt it would be in the way when putting the boats into the water.

At the end of the dock there is a space which seemed like a good location to position storage. So what to put there? A chest solution could sit there, but it wouldn’t be big enough for the paddles.

At what size does a small storage unit become a shed? What makes a shed a shed? Can we argue that if you can pick it up and move it, it isn’t a shed? We decided that we would make that assumption and if we find there is an issue, we will do just that.

DSC_5449Maggie on shed base

We found that the tree behind that area gave us roots we could use to sit our base on. We dug down to the roots and then made legs of different lengths that sit on the roots so that we have a level platform.


We bought cedar, which we will leave untreated, so that it blends in with our new dock and won’t harm the environment.


With it nestled in between the trees, it is hardly noticeable and it doesn’t spoil the view. Dare we take it a step further and make a boathouse that isn’t a boathouse? If we put a couple of brackets on the back of it, we could store the two kayaks there…

There isn’t enough room for the canoe in that area. Storage of the canoe also needs a better solution than what we have right now. We cover it in a green tarp to protect it from UV and chose green so that it “blended” in with the environment. It isn’t the right green for that and it doesn’t look good sitting there. We would like to build a stand with a roof over it to protect it from the UV, for it to live in, but that would be a larger roof than our new “storage solution”. Would that be in danger of being called a shed if it has no walls? It is something for us to ponder over the winter and think about tackling next year. For now we will enjoy the convenience of having things close to hand, for the few remaining weeks of this season and hope that we are not asked to relocate it!



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