How to build a summer house step by step
Posted July 10th, 2021 by SimpliSafe
Now that we’re spending additional time at home - with more home working and garden hang-outs - it’s the perfect season to turn your restless hands to a good DIY project. Maybe the kitchen table isn’t cutting it anymore for your ‘home office’, or maybe you just need your own beautiful garden hideout. Well, have you ever thought about a summer house to complete a perfect summer garden and to give yourself more space and peace during the long hot days? What a heavenly thought. Let’s go through the process of how to build your very own summer house step by step.
1. Deciding on the purpose of your summer house
Before we go anywhere, make sure you know exactly what you’ll be using your new summer house for and who will be using it. This will help massively in terms of construction, space and decor, and there’s a ton of summer house ideas out there to draw inspiration from. Maybe it will be a lovely place for you to indulge in your books, or will it be solely for the kids to play in whilst the parents get some peace? Or, is it going to be a multipurpose garden hideout for all the family? Whatever your vision, make it clear and draft it out before you get your tools ready.
2. Every house needs a good foundation
And this is no different for your summer house. This is where the position is important. Wherever you want to build, is the ground level, first and foremost? Will it be getting in the way of anything, a path or a lovely bird-feeding spot? What do you want to see when you look out - the house? Or garden? Or are you lucky enough to have a stunning view at the back? We think the view wins hands down.
Once you’re decided on where the right spot is for you and where the house will face, you need to decide on the kind of foundation. Concrete or wood? If concrete, you can leave this material exposed for the floor or you can lay some wood flooring over the top of it. Once you’ve mixed the concrete (you can hire a concrete mixer), pour it gently to achieve a perfectly smooth surface, but make sure it slopes slightly downward on all sides to allow for drainage.
Alternatively, you can use a raised wooden base for your summer house, just like a deck. Use frame boards to anchor the house by installing them directly into the ground. Again, you can use concrete to make sure it’s sturdy. From there, you can build the deck up off the ground between frame pieces.
3. Building the frame
Using timber, build your summer house’s frame to create a strong roof and wall structure. For the ceiling beams, make sure to use heavy-duty pieces to give great support for the roof. You can use an electric drill for this. Use a level as you go to make sure everything is straight and square so that you’re building a sturdy summer house. Wherever you want your door and windows, just make sure to leave open spaces for these. You may even want a skylight!
4. Assemble the walls and roof
Next, it’s time to add to the structure. For a natural, rustic or cabin-style aesthetic, use timber for the walls - just remember to leave room for your windows - more on this later. You can also install drywall on the inside and then add siding on the outside. With this set-up, it’s easier to maintain a constant temperature inside by adding insulation. For the roof, you can opt for a tin roof or shingle roof. If you go with shingles, you can hire roofing equipment to help make the job a whole lot easier. Just make sure you keep everything straight and in line, and that it’s all connected securely.
5. Treat the timber and add flooring
Make sure your timber walls are sanded down for a smooth finish. The walls should be even and smooth. From there, you may want to spruce it up with paint, or leave as a natural look. If you do leave the timber unpainted, make sure to treat it for protection against the elements and decomposition.
For the flooring, if you went with the concrete option, you can treat it to make it smooth and shiny by adding a stain. If you went with a wooden deck flooring, make sure it’s treated for wear and tear and all the footprints it will have to withstand. You can also get hardwood flooring.
6. Add your windows and a door
What summerhouse is complete without windows to take in a lovely view? The sizes are up to you, whether you like a tall, vertical opening or a landscape one, all that’s left to do is to install your windows and door. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully, check everything can open and close properly, and don’t forget there are professionals out there to help you with all of these steps.
7. Bring your summer house to life with finishing touches
Finally, all that’s left to do is to brighten up your summer home’s interior - or darken it, whatever your style! Add blinds or curtains for a cosy feel. If this is to be a garden home office, keep things open and more spacious with added shelves and storage for your office essentials. Depending on the space you constructed and its purpose, you can add lots of quirky features inside, like a rocking horse and mini library for a children’s summer playhouse. Or, add a dining table and chairs for a romantic and peaceful hideout for whenever you want to treat a loved one. Put up frames, art, and fixtures to make the summer house really your own.
If the summer house is a place for the kids, keep them safe by still being able to keep an eye on them from the main house with an outdoor security camera. No wires needed, just a good WiFi connection! You can place one in the summer house or one on the back wall of the main house to view the whole garden. You can keep watch over loved ones from a connected smart phone app and have more peace of mind. As well as ensuring everything is locked up when the summer house is not in use - especially if you have expensive gadgets in there - you can also easily install alarm sensors (synced with your home security system) to windows and doors to detect and alert you of any break-ins.