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Summer House Buying Guide
Looking for a great way to maximise the use of your outdoor space? Introduce a summer house into the mix.
A garden summer house is an extremely versatile home addition that you can utilise for a number of different purposes. From a home office or an extra living room to a gym or a playroom for your little ones, there’s no end to what you could use the extra space for. Some homeowners simply choose to use them for storage, which always comes in handy.
Choose from the wide range of different summer house styles and sizes to choose from to find the right one for you. Whether you opt for a modern or traditional design, what you’ll find most summer houses have in common is that they tend to have lots of windows. Which makes them a great spot to enjoy what little sunshine we get!
So, where do you get started and what do you need to look out for? Here are some key considerations and tips to help as you kick off your search for your very own summerhouse:
You don’t usually need planning permission for a summer house
You may be surprised (and quite pleased) to hear that in most cases, homeowners don’t need planning permission to install a summer house. This is because a summer house is an outbuilding, and outbuildings are generally considered to be ‘permitted developments’.
There are a few exceptions to this. You’ll need to get planning permission before getting a summer house if:
- Your home is located within a national park or any other type of designated land
- You live in a listed property
- You’re planning for your summer house to be located within 5 metres of your home, in which case it may be seen as an extension rather than an outbuilding
- Your summer house will take up more than half of the surrounding area
- You want a summer house in the front and facing a motorway
There are unlikely to be any building regulations
Getting a summer house is a lot easier than you might think. There aren’t even any building regulations to adhere to, as summer houses are classified as temporary structures. However, if you’d like to install any electrics or plumbing into your summer house, get in touch with your local authority to double check.
Keep these questions in mind when deciding on the placement of your summer house
Decided to get a summer house but not entirely sure where to place it? Well, this depends on a number of factors and there’s no ‘one size fits all’. Here are some of the key questions to ask yourself when deciding on the placement of your summer house:
- Would you prefer it to be exposed to sunlight or in the shade? If like many people, you’d like lots of natural light streaming into your summer house, then figure out which areas receive the most direct sunlight and plan accordingly. Buildings that are south-facing generally get the most sun.
- How much spare garden space do you want left? It’s important to consider the size of your garden when buying a summer house as you don’t want it to dominate or take over your outdoor space completely
- Where are the drainage areas? Position your summer house away from any drainage areas to avoid any damp getting in
- What kind of view are you looking for? If possible, position your summer house so the windows face out into the most attractive part of your garden
Get your summer house professionally installed for safety and convenience
Yes, it is possible to put together many summer houses without professional help. However, there’s no need to despair if you’re not a DIY pro. There are skilled installation experts that can come and take care of it for you. They’ll have all the tools needed to get the job done at a time that’s convenient for you, as well as the necessary safety training.
If you do have DIY knowledge and the necessary tools, you’ll find that installing a summer house is quite a straight-forward task. We’d recommend asking a friend (or two)to help out.
Summer houses are generally very low maintenance
Most summer houses come with an anti-rot guarantee of at least ten years and you won’t need to put in much effort on maintenance. You may want to retouch the paint every few years though, as the colour can fade slightly due to direct sun exposure.
We’d recommend getting a summer house built with treated timber
Generally, most people opt for wooden summerhouses. Choose timber that has been treated for water resistance and get it retreated every year to prevent any issues or decay.
If your summer house is built with untreated wood, you can get a number of protective paint products to treat it yourself. You could also use this opportunity to change up the colour of your summer house and keep things fresh.