Local Business News on the Southern Oregon Coast
Local Businesses on the Southern Oregon Coast Featured in the South Coast Shopper
BUSINESS OF THE WEEK:
Backyard Buildings, LLC  

By Lisa Carroll, Staff Writer

Backyard Buildings LLC. is the entrepreneurship of husband and wife team Robert and Brenda Hall.  

It was Brenda who spearheaded the business back in the 1990’s, when tasked with building a shed for her daughter. “She needed it to be portable,” Brenda shares, “and something a woman could pick up and put in the back of her truck without having to ask her husband to do it.” Over time and with the help of her girlfriends, a determined Brenda honed her carpentry skills until she developed the techniques to create structures she was proud of.

During this process Brenda met Robert, who was working at the lumberyard where Brenda purchased supplies. Robert was thoroughly taken with this woman who was teaching herself to be a carpenter. “I was flabbergasted,” he told me, smiling warmly at his wife. Robert was impressed by more than Brenda’s woodworking finesse. Brenda  survived two brain aneurisms during the time she was building her business. “She is the toughest lady. We met in 1996, but she wouldn’t marry me until she found out she was going to live.” In 2003,  Brenda underwent gamma knife radiosurgery to deal with the aneurisms. The procedure was a success, and the two of them were married four days later. Robert, along with a menagerie of friends, helped Brenda in her recovery, encouraging her along the way. As soon as she was able, Brenda was up and running again.

Robert and Brenda Hall of Backyard Buildings are an inspired couple who really love their work of creating functional structures for people.

While Brenda initially focused on smaller buildings that were easy to move around, once Robert got on board, they began building larger structures up to 10' x 20'.  The Halls construct their sheds from the ground up  on 4" x 6" pressure-treated runners, using 16" centers, 2 x 4 wall construction (16” o.c.), 5/8” all wood T111 siding, 2 x 6 floor joists, 3/4” CDX subflooring, 1/2” CDX roof sheathing, and a 30-year dimensional shingled roof. The overhangs on the roofs extend 8" on the sides and 12" on the ends, which is an important consideration in our rainy locale.  “For every shed, we go to the local lumberyards with a list of what we need, pick up our  supplies, bring them home, and start the saws up,”  said Robert.  Once erected, Brenda coats them with mildew-resistent primer and good quality paint in the customer's choice of color. Clearly these sheds are built to last. “We’re not taking any shortcuts with these buildings at all,” Robert affirms. “We take the time to build a real quality product. We have high standards and won’t compromise them for anything.”  The buildings are delivered to your site ready to use and leveled with concrete blocks as needed.

Creating structures for people is relational process, and thus each shed becomes its own unique experience. “We meet a lot of nice people doing this,” says Robert, “and you know, while the shed design doesn’t change that much from building to building, every one of them is different.”  Brenda agrees. “You get to know people over the course of building them a shed. A lot of them have become our friends.”

Those who buy these buildings consider them an investment. A quality building adds to property values, and people find uses for them that enhance their lives in some way. A Backyard Building might become anything from a computer game room to a cat house. Some are birthed into greenhouses, while others develop into finished cabins. Many are used simply for storage, as people realize the value of having extra room for their stuff. The chicken houses Brenda designed are built with the happiness of the chicken in mind, and are sturdy enough to withstand Oregon’s toughest weather for decades.  

Brenda and Robert live in a vintage home on the banks of the Coquille River, where they bring into being colorful lampwork beads, bottles, and jewelry. This started out as a hobby and has become another creative business venture on the side.  Robert forges the kaleidoscopic glass in the flame,then Brenda fashions it into exquisite jewelry. “She’s the creative one, “ Robert says. “If it was up to me, I’d be building boring old sheds over and over. Every idea we ever had is her idea. I listen to her because of her proven track record. I’m accomplished at getting things done, and she doesn’t even have to nag me anymore!” Robert said, as Brenda burst out laughing.

When they manage to find spare time, Brenda and Robert like to travel up the coast to visit artsy little shops and just enjoy living in this beautiful place. To learn more about Backyard Buildings, LLC, visit the website backyardbuildings.net, or give them a call at 541-396-7433. To check out their lampwork artistry, visit their online shop, High Water Studios, at http://www.etsy.com/shop/highwaterstudios


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