Profiles, V5I6

The Shed-I-Master

John Sheanshang (center) with his Shed-I-Master Sheds crew (from left) Dale Hughes, George Ayers, John Sheanshang II, and Nick Koucky. (Photo courtesy of Sophia Sheanshang)

The Skywalker Saga ended on the big screen with the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

What does that have to do with sheds? Well, when you call your business Shed-I-Master Sheds, it’s a good bet you’re a Star Wars fan.

And you’re pretty good at building sheds.

John Sheanshang is both, and like the Skywalkers, he’s growing his shed-building business in Cincinnati along family lines (although they do have a better relationship than Luke, Anakin, and the rest of the Skywalker clan).

Shed Builder Magazine had a chance to ask Sheanshang about the shed-building “saga” he’s creating with Shed-I-Master Sheds.

How did you get started in the shed business? 

I originally was building shed kits for a big box retailer. After about a year working for little pay I decided to start advertising and build for myself on the weekends. 

I eventually became so busy that I quit from there and started out on my own.

How did you come up with the name Shed-I-Master Sheds? 

This is my favorite story. When I originally started my business, it was J&M Contracting. About the fifth shed I built was for my brother in law, Tim Goshorn from the band Pure Prairie League. He had a cabin on a local lake and needed a shed. 

So, I went down one Saturday and built him a 10 by 12 gable shed by myself in about five hours. When I finished he came out and said, “John, you’re the shed-i-master.” He was so impressed that I was able to do that in that short of time. 

I immediately changed my company name to Shed-I-Master.

Are you looking forward to the last of the Skywalker Star Wars movies?

Absolutely, I was 10 when the first Star Wars movie came out and I was hooked. I keep up on all the current trailers and news releases about anything new about Star Wars. 

What types of structures do you offer? 

We custom build everything from scratch. Of course, we have a line of basic models we offer, but if you can dream it or show me a picture we’ll figure out how to build it. It does help when your brother is an architect and can draw up pretty much anything. We do sheds, garages, animal shelters, and shade structures.

Describe your operation today.

On average we are building between 350 to 400 sheds a year. The number of sheds has been going down some due to the fact most sheds are becoming more custom and for specific uses, which cuts down on how many, but the average price is increasing to make up for that.

We usually run with between five to eight employees depending on the time of year. Since we are strictly a build-on-site company, each crew is set up with a truck and a trailer with toolboxes to carry the tools and materials. They are all equipped with the usual air compressor nail and staple guns, as well as saws and screw guns. 

We use LP SmartSide trim and siding for our shed construction. We have had great success with this product. It’s easy to install and holds up great.

What’s your build process like?

The shop is where we build the trusses and doors for the sheds. All the walls and floors are built on site.

George Ayers works in the Shed-I-Master Sheds shop. (Photo courtesy of Sophia Sheanshang)

The way the shop is set up, we have different stations for cutting the different components. There’s the chop saw where we cut all studs for wall and floor framing as well as for the trusses, then the panel saw for cutting all the sheeting, siding and flooring, then the pre-assembly section. 

How long does it take from first contact to delivery of a shed?


This depends on the time of year. In peak season, it is usually about three to four weeks from order to build. When it’s a slower time, it takes about seven to 10 days. 

Most sheds are a one-day build. For like a 10 by 12 gable, it takes my guys about four hours to build on site. Larger ones, like a 12 by 28, take about seven to eight hours. The only time it takes more than a day is when we do the high-end upgrades like porches and dormers in the roof.

How much customization can a buyer make to a shed? 

Anything. Since we are a stick builder, we cut all our own materials. That way we control the quality and can manufacture anything the customer wants. You can show us a picture of one you like or we’ll walk them through their own custom design.

 What are some of the more popular features requested? 

The big thing lately has been dormers in the roof-line and single-slant studio design sheds with a lot of transom windows.

What have been the challenges in your business, and how have you overcome them? 

The first is our timeline on building. Being three to four weeks out is something we addressed by adding a second crew, but that is usually only six months a year. 

The other is cutting build time on the high-end custom features. We’ve been trying to pre-build more of the dormers and window banks on studio sheds to get them to one-day instead of two-day jobs.

What shed-building success really stands out to you? 

My son, John Sheanshang II. The fact that I know I can send him and his crew out to build a custom shed with features we may not have even done before, and they are able to accomplish it. I don’t always have to be on all special builds. That just frees me up more to oversee other aspects of the business.

What does the future look like for your business? 

Bright. We have continued to grow year over year, and the amount of referral business continues to grow as well. Referrals are key in this business. We don’t advertise much, which saves us a lot of money. Referrals are free and a great way to get business. 

We are also expanding in different areas. The past year we did more non-shed structures, like pergolas and gazebos. This winter we are going to come up with a chicken coop design to have pre-built and ready for delivery as this market continues to grow. 

I feel that there’s a place for sheds that are manufactured in mass quantity and just dropped off to the customer, but the ability the customer has with us to design anything they want and not have to take down fences or worry about hills give the on-site custom build a major advantage over the competition.

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