How to Choose the Best Summer House Base

Summer houses provide a perfect retreat for relaxation, work or leisure activities. However, to ensure their longevity, choosing the right base pays off.

The base is essentially a foundation on which your summer house is built. It ensures a level and stable surface to support the structure. A poorly constructed one can lead to problems down the line. This can include dampness, rot, subsidence and even structural damage to the building.

Our experts will guide you through the process of choosing the best base types for your needs. Whether you’re a DIY expert or a first-time summerhouse owner, this covers everything you need to know, so read on.

Here’s Why It Matters

BillyOh Bella Tongue and Groove Pent Summerhouse
BillyOh Bella Tongue and Groove Pent Summerhouse

The base is a crucial element when it comes to the longevity and stability of your garden room. It provides a solid and level foundation on which the structure can be built. This ensures the garden summer house remains stable even in adverse weather conditions. The base also protects it from ground moisture, rot and subsidence.

An unsuitable one can lead to a range of problems, such as:

  • warping of the structure
  • damage to doors and windows
  • structural damage

Meanwhile, the case is different, with a well-constructed base. Instead, it can increase the lifespan of your structure. Moreover, it provides a stable and reliable foundation.

With a level base, the doors will function correctly, making accessing the unit a breeze. It also ensures proper water drainage and ventilation underneath, preventing dampness and rot.

However, building the base can require some manual labour and careful consideration. You’ll need to choose the right type of base to add. But with the right guidance and preparation, it can be a manageable and rewarding project.

The Considerations

1. Climate and weather conditions

Both play a vital role in determining the durability and longevity of the shed base kit. Extreme temperatures, excessive rain, and strong winds, for instance, can be fatal. So, choose the right material and construction that can withstand such conditions.

Now, the selection will depend on the climate and weather in your region. But generally, you have two options: a concrete slab or a timber frame like this Eze base.

2. Size and weight

BillyOh Ivy Tongue and Groove Apex Summerhouse
BillyOh Ivy Tongue and Groove Apex Summerhouse

The size and weight of your summer house cabin determine the load-bearing capacity of the base. The wrong size can cause the unit to become unstable, leading to distortion.

And depending on the size and weight of the structure, you can choose a base made of timber or concrete. Also, ensure the base is level and properly supported to prevent shifting over time.

3. Type of ground surface

Soft ground can lead to instability. Hard surfaces may require specialised tools and equipment to prepare the base. Depending on the ground surface, you can choose from a range of base options, such as:

  • a concrete pad
  • a timber frame easy base
  • a plastic grid system

Consider the specific needs to choose the most appropriate base option.

4. Access and location

The location and access to your apex summerhouse can also affect the type of base you should choose. Suppose it’s in a hard-to-reach area, you may need a base that can be transported in sections and assembled on-site. But if the location is prone to flooding, one that is designed to withstand these conditions is ideal.

You can choose from a range of base options, such as a timber frame or plastic grid system.

Types of Summer House Bases

There are several types of summer house and wooden shed base, including:

  • Concrete
  • Wooden deck
  • Paving slab
  • Gravel base

The type of base you choose depends on various factors, as mentioned above.

Concrete base

Concrete base for a garden building

(Image Credit: Flickr)

A durable and long-lasting option that resists water and other environmental factors. However, it requires more labour to construct and may be more expensive.

When to choose a concrete base? Ideal for larger garden buildings that will be used for heavy equipment or machinery.

Wooden deck base

BillyOh Eze Base
BillyOh Eze Base

Easy to construct and a good option for uneven ground. It has a natural look and provides good ventilation, but it may not be as long-lasting as a concrete base.

When to choose a wooden deck base? Ideal for smaller outdoor structures and those positioned in areas with good drainage.

Paving slab base

Quick and easy to install, with a variety of sizes and styles available. However, it may be less stable than other base types, and the slabs may shift over time.

When to choose a paving slab base? Ideal for smaller garden buildings that will not be subjected to heavy use or equipment.

Gravel base

Gravel base

(Image Credit: Flickr)

A low-cost and easy-to-install option that provides good drainage and ventilation. However, it may require frequent maintenance and may not be as stable as other options.

When to choose a gravel base? Ideal for small to medium-sized units.

Steps to Prepare the Base

Step 1: Clear the area

Clear the area of any debris, vegetation, or other obstacles. This will ensure the site is clean and ready for the base construction process.

Step 2: Level the ground

The ground surface needs to be level for the base to be sturdy and stable. Use a spirit level or a laser level to ensure an even and flat ground. If uneven, you may need to add or remove soil to create a level surface.

Step 3: Create a base frame

This step guarantees the base is sturdy and durable. You can use wood or metal to construct a frame, and it should be level and square.

Step 4: Lay the base

Once the frame is in place, you can lay the base material of your choice, such as concrete, paving slabs, gravel, or wood. Ensure that the base is level and evenly distributed to support the weight of your summer house.


The right base is key to the longevity and stability of your summerhouse. When selecting, consider the following:

  • right size and weight of the structure
  • type of ground surface
  • climate and weather conditions
  • accessibility and location of the site

Concrete, wooden deck, paving slabs, and gravel are the common base types, each with their own pros and cons. It’s important to choose the one that suits your needs and budget.

We hope this guide has been helpful in your quest to find the best summer house base! If you’re ready to purchase one, consider Garden Buildings Direct. Here, we offer a wide selection, including corner summer houses and metal houses.

Next up in your reading list is: How to Build a Log Cabin Concrete Base

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