During the summer of 2009, Sandie Cardone realized her lifelong dream when she and her husband Wes purchased a steel storage shed kit from a company in Virginia Beach, VA and built it up in a clearing on their 10 acres of wooded property in Chelsea, MI.
To be certain, it wasn’t the actual building for which she yearned, it was what it allowed her to do, which was to bring her horse and mule home from a local stable where she had been boarding them for the past five years.
Once the steel storage building was up and able to provide the shelter that the Cardone’s needed to complete their equine space, the animals were able to come home to “Equiscape Gardens” where they joined a miniature donkey, miniature horse and two goats already living on the property.
“In 2007, we began to prepare our yard to keep [the horse and mule] at home,” says Sandie. “We did this slowly as we could afford it, avoiding any debt in the process. By the summer of 2009, I could wait no more!”
The Cardone’s bought the majority of the items used to prepare their “barnyard” second-hand from the Internet. In seeking “farm-stuff”, Sandie came across a small steel shelter, which began her search for a larger one to be used as a run-in.
“I stumbled upon the SteelMaster website doing a Google search for Quonset HutsTM,” says Sandie. “I really liked the shape, size, and ease of construction that the buildings offered. I liked the fact that the side walls of the building are straight, with the round top, which allows for the most room inside for the horses. I liked the company’s industrial foundation—it made the construction a breeze! The cost also sold me! I had done a lot of research on how to create the best shelter for the animals. The SteelMaster building had the most to offer for the amount spent!”
After asking their good friend (who is also a licensed builder) to put together the storage building, it took about one week to have the footers framed and poured. After that cured for one week, the Cardone’s were then able to begin construction.
“The assembly only took three days,” says Sandie. “I wanted to keep the animals away from the metal walls, so I wanted a wood lining in the shelter. We had our trees that had been cut down to clear the corral area milled into lumber. The builder used Maple boards to build the kick walls, which took one day. We used treated wood to add the short wall in front so that a gate would fit the opening and be able to swing into the building out of the way. This was another day’s work. So in total the process took about three weeks to prepare the foundation, assemble the SteelMaster building and add the custom wood liner/gate.”
Now that Sandie has everything she has dreamed of, would she do anything differently? “Overall, I am very happy with my SteelMaster building,” says Sandie. “The product was as nice in person as it was in the photos online. My builder referred to the building as “a giant erector set” and had a ball putting it together. The animals are happy to be home, and they have the perfect shelter to protect them from the Michigan heat in the summer and brutal winter weather.”
By Brenda H. Welch, freelance writer and editor living in Hampton Roads, VA