Budget Breakdown: A Seattle Architect Crafts a Hardworking Shed for Just Over $2,200

budget-breakdown:-a-seattle-architect-crafts-a-hardworking-shed-for-just-over-$2,200

A humble composition of two-by-fours, plywood, and polycarbonate, the Uphill Utilitarian is a flexible storage space and studio.

A clear polycarbonate door conceals the workshop while still allowing light to penetrate. When it’s closed, says Aaron,

The beauty of a shed, according to Aaron Trampush, lies in its potential. The Seattle-based architect and founder of Analog Architecture & Design has built a cantilevered backyard addition with transparent doors for himself and his wife, Bailey, that acts as storage, studio, and gathering spot. 

“We needed a little workspace, and my wife loves to garden,” says Aaron. “But sheds are really fun because they can be anything.”

$775
Roofing & Gutter
$987
Lumber, Fasteners & Hardware
$43
Door Hardware
$48
Concrete
$56
Paint
$95
Polycarbonate
$202
Seattle Sales Tax
Grand Total: $2,206
The Uphill Utilitarian sits at the back of a sloping site, which the owners left as natural as possible, while adding a small seating area.

The Uphill Utilitarian shed sits at the back of a sloping site, which the owners left as natural as possible while adding a small seating area.

Aaron Trampush

The Uphill Utilitarian’s 120 square feet not only hold Bailey’s gardening tools and a workshop for Aaron; because the couple’s house provides only 1,110 square feet for a family of four, it increases their overall living space by 10 percent.

“It’s cozy, but it’s totally doable,” Aaron says. “A lot of people just want more space. You don’t need more space. You need better space that’s better organized. We didn’t need a whole DADU [detached additional dwelling unit] at 1,000 square feet. And it’s working out great. We’re there often, and the kids are always playing on it.”

The small studio, adjacent to the storage compartments, gives Aaron Trampush a workshop and a place to hang out.

The small studio, adjacent to the storage compartments, gives Aaron a workshop and a place to hang out.

Aaron Trampush

The whole thing was built for $2,206, including a 10 percent city sales tax. To keep costs down as well as to maintain aesthetic clarity, Aaron relied on just a few key materials: two-by-fours, plywood, metal for the roof, and clear polycarbonate for the door.

“With the young family, the goal was to make it as inexpensive as possible, however artistically done,” he says. “But the craft was important.”

A general contractor’s son who grew up building in his small eastern Washington hometown of Chewelah and who has also taught furniture design, Aaron built the Uphill Utilitarian almost entirely by himself. “A friend came by and helped me stand some of the walls,” he says. “My wife helped on some of the sheet metal roof.”

The shed's garden-storage space opens outward, with the door itself doubling as storage.

The shed’s garden storage space opens outward, with the door itself doubling as storage.

Aaron Trampush

See the full story on Dwell.com: Budget Breakdown: A Seattle Architect Crafts a Hardworking Shed for Just Over $2,200