How to Build a Summerhouse

Building a summerhouse is a great project that can add a lot to your garden. Whether you have a very large yard and want to add a space where guests can stay or just want to add a small summerhouse to your garden for relaxation during the summer, the process is similar.

You can alter these guidelines any way you want to fit your needs and taste. But, these steps can act as a foundation for your plans and give you a starting point.

Important note: Before you take on any kind of do-it-yourself or construction project, always wear proper safety equipment. A hardhat, gloves, long pants, sturdy boots and safety goggles will protect you as you work. Carefully read all instructions that come with tools and equipment so you know how to operate them safely.

Step 1: Build the Foundation

First, choose a smooth, flat area where your summerhouse will stand. Take things like accessibility, shade and location into account. Then, decide what kind of foundation you will use.

Some summerhouses have a concrete foundation. With this approach, you can leave the concrete exposed for the floor or you can lay a wood floor on top of the concrete. To do this, use a concrete mixer to prepare the concrete and then pour it so it is perfectly smooth but slopes slightly downward on all sides to allow for drainage.

Hire a concrete mixer here, or learn all there is to know about concrete mixers by reading one of our older blog posts.

Other summerhouses have a raised wooden base, similar to a deck, for the flooring. To do this, you’ll use some of the frame boards to anchor the house by installing them directly into the ground. You can use concrete to make sure they are sturdy. Then, you’ll build the deck, up off the ground, between the frame pieces.

Step 2: Build the Frame

Now, build the frame by using lumber to create a skeleton of the walls and roof. Use heavy-duty pieces for the ceiling beams so they will support the roof. The easiest way to do this is to use a timber nailer or an electric drill. (Hire a timber nailer here: www.hss.com/g/52531/Timber-Nailer.html)

As you install these pieces, it’s vital that you use a level to make sure each piece is straight and square so that your summerhouse will be sturdy. When you build the frames, leave open spaces for the door, windows and skylight as necessary.

Step 3: Construct the Walls and Roof

Now you can construct the walls and roof. For the walls, you can use timber for a cabin or natural look, or you can install drywall on the inside and then add siding on the outside. With this option, you can add insulation to make it easier to maintain a constant temperature inside.

Then, add the roof. You have lots of options here too. You can install a tin roof or you can go the extra mile and install a shingled roof. If you decide to use shingles, you can hire roofing equipment to make your job easier.

Step 4: Finish the Timber and Add Flooring

If you decided to go with natural, wood walls, now is the time to finish the timber. Use an orbital sander to make sure all the surfaces are smooth and even. The quickest and easiest way to paint a summerhouse is to use a paint spray system. This tool lets you paint large surfaces very quickly and makes it easy to apply an even, smooth coat of paint. If you don’t want to paint the timber, be sure to treat it so it can withstand the elements and won’t rot or decompose.

Now you can go inside and install the flooring. If you decided to leave the concrete floor, you can treat it to make it shiny and smooth and you can even stain it to add character. If you used the deck method, you can treat this wood floor so it will stand up to wear and tear. Installing a wood floor over a concrete floor is also easy. You can use your own timber or purchase hardwood flooring and use a floor nailer to add it to your summerhouse.

Step 5: Install Windows and a Door

Your summerhouse is starting to look complete, so now is the time to install the windows and a door. Start with the windows and install them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The instructions will tell you exactly how to fit them in your walls and install them so they are safe and won’t leak air in or out of your summerhouse.

Choose a door that complements the style of your summerhouse and again, use the instructions that came with it when you install it. Before you fully install it, check that it is level and try to open and close it so you can be sure it is working properly.

Your summerhouse is finished! You can add some touches that add personality and style and that make it more functional to use. For example, add some decorations to the outside, hang some window boxes, add trim or hang some lanterns or bird feeders.

You can add some patio furniture outside or inside your summerhouse and fill it with anything you want to make it more functional. If you plan to use it for an office, add a desk and comfortable chair. Depending on what you want to use the summerhouse for, you can add long tables for hobbies, potting accessories, a bookshelf, comfortable seating, a sofa sleeper or a game table.

Summerhouses are the perfect place to relax at the end of the day, make the perfect hobby space and can even house overnight guests. With the right tools and a little planning, building your own summerhouse is easy. Before you start, make a sketch and decide what you want the house to look like and hire the equipment you will need. Follow all safety instructions and construct your house starting with the foundation. Move to the walls, roof, windows and door and then add the finishing touches to make the summerhouse a cozy retreat.


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About the Author

Laura Harris

Laura works in our Ecommerce Team, with 6 years of experience at HSS. Speaking to customers on a daily basis, she brings a wealth of product knowledge and is able to give her advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.


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