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Traditions & Belief

Amish Sheds Inc. offers kits for those who don’t have truck access.

Amish Sheds Inc. in Thorold, Ontario, has been in business since 2007.

And since the beginning, the company has had its sheds built by the Amish in the small town of South Dayton, New York. Why? Because the Amish there use Hemlock wood, which resists insects and lasts a long time.

The wood also isn’t abundant around the company’s headquarters.

A “bunkie” offers cabin living for customers.

Bobby Kozjan is the current owner of Amish Sheds Inc., and he’s kept the same standards the company was founded on. Shed Builder Magazine spent some time with Kozjan to learn more about Amish Sheds Inc.

I see that you get sheds from the Amish in New York. How did the business get started?

I took the business over from an older gentleman four years ago. He found the sheds driving through New York state one summer and wanted one for himself, as they were built from Hemlock wood and steel roofs.

He ordered one, got himself a trailer, and went to pick it up. By the time he got home, someone had pulled him over and asked where he got the shed. That was his first Amish shed sale in Canada, and that’s how the business was born.

What’s the demand for sheds like in Ontario? What is your sales range? Do you have a “typical” client?

 

Amish Sheds Inc. in Canada uses an Amish builder in New York.

The furthest we have delivered to is Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan.

The sheds range from as small as an outhouse (4 by 6) at about $1,000 to a 12 by 32 (garage size) with $16,600 as a base price and they go up from there, depending on how we outfit them with windows and doors. The most expensive one we sold was $19,000. It was a 12 by 32 building meant as an outbuilding next to a large pond that was used as a skating house.

Our “typical” client is one that appreciates the quality of our sheds. Our Amish sheds are not your run-of-the-mill sheds that are built with 2 by 3s and plywood. We have true dimensional lumber and use 1-inch Hemlock board and batten siding.

I see that you have “upgrade” options, but do you offer custom sheds?

All of our sheds are custom built to order. Size, roof color, window/door size and placement, bunks, benches…. We spend as much time as we need with each client to make sure they get the shed they want.

Some clients have asked us to rough-in electrical, plumbing, and insulate for them as well, which is all custom priced.

What’s the process (options, order, build, installation) when a customer comes to you looking for a shed?

All of our information is online, but we can do local visits and phone calls. We have order forms that clients can print out, fill out, and email back to us. From there, we give them a price, finalize the design, and place the order by taking a 30 percent deposit.

The shed takes about three weeks from the time of order to delivery (depending on our build schedule). Once the truck and trailer pull up to the delivery site, it usually takes less than an hour for us place the shed.

How often do you need to use a crane to install a shed? When do you need to use a crane? How often have you had to, and what’s the biggest challenge?

Clients have used a crane three times over the past four years. Typically, they are for those who don’t have truck access and that don’t want to assemble a kit.

The biggest challenge for the crane is how far it has to boom out (the distance away from the crane that it has to place the shed). The further the boom, the larger the crane is needed.

Over the years, Amish Sheds Inc. has had to use
a crane to place sheds.

I think the largest shed that has been craned thus far is a 10 by 16 that weighed about 6,000 pounds.

Tell us about the Amish shed kits and how customers have responded to them.

I had designed the kits due to the demand of clients who wanted our sheds but didn’t have truck access—clients who had island cottages or small side yards.

I had to redesign our basic shed design so that the basic principles would be used for fully built or shed kits, essentially standardizing the build process to which I can make the build as easy as possible for the do-it-yourselfer and provide general instructions.

The response has been great. We actually designed a two story bunkie kit for a bunch of buddies who got together and built it on their property.

Your website says you’re going to be on an episode of HGTV’s Back Yard Builds in Canada. What can you tell us about that experience?

HGTV approached us about providing a kit for one of their episodes in Oshawa. We had delivered the 9 by 12 kit, and I went up for the day to help them with the build.

Given that there was a lot of waiting time for cast and crew to get their shots “just right,” we managed to get 99 percent the shed built in the day. All that I left for them to do was install the steel roof panels and battens.

I look forward to seeing ]the episode. What does the future look like for Amish Sheds Inc.?

I think as long as people will be appreciating “quality,” then we will be keeping the Amish busy building sheds. We are getting more landscaping companies interested in our sheds, as they like to incorporate them into their plans. They also have the capability of assembling the kits if they have to as well.

Each shed is custom for every customer.

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