I'm getting ready to construct an 8x12' structure that will function as a storage shed and also serve as a place to do a bit of gardening and/or seed starting. The spot I have chosen places the long side of the structure facing south with a full exposure to the sun. The eastern side will be shaded and the western side will be partially shaded, so the south is where I'll get almost all of my light. I am planning to create a concrete floor (with a drain so I can hose it out) and masonry walls up to about 3' all the way around. The rest of the structure will be wood and the roof will be a gable with about a 4 x 4 pitch (I think that's how to explain the roof...).
I am planning to put mostly windows along the southern facing wall and also to have glass on the roof of the southern side. It will have power, but not water. I'll have a hose bib near the door.
My questions are:
I was planning to use regular double-hung windows that I could get at Home Depot. Is that a good or bad idea?
For the roof glass, I'll want something safe and non-breakable (which rules out real glass, I guess). Any suggestions?
Should I look into getting a roof system that automatically ventilates (i.e., windows that open on a thermostat - I think I have seen those somwhere), or should I use a fan instead?
Should I insulate the structure?
I'm open to any suggestions, especially if I'm forgetting something that might be useful.