The 8 most common mistakes when building a summerhouse
09 August 2018| News| Mareike Eckhoff
Constructing a summerhouse is an extensive project and should be thought out very carefully from the beginning. Purchasing a summerhouse is a dream for many people, but this dream can quickly become a nightmare as a result of small mistakes. We give you tips below on how to avoid them.
1. Make a plan
Often, the “summerhouse project” is taken lightly and people don’t think about it enough in advance. So in the planning phase, think about what you want to use your summerhouse for. Whether you want to use it as a home office, a shed, a wellness area or as an additional storage space, there are no limits to your creativity. But how you’re going to use your summerhouse determines the thickness of the walls. If you use it only as a shed or storage space, 28 mm walls are enough. If you want to insulate it to use as a home office, for example, then a wall thicknesses of 44 or 68 mm is best.
2. Inform yourself about building permits
To avoid trouble with the authorities but also with your neighbours, find out if you need a building permit before buying a summerhouse. If you want to build a summerhouse on your own property, check the development plan for your property at your local building authority. This will provide you with all the information you need. As soon as a building reaches certain dimensions, or if it has certain characteristics, you need a building permit.
3. Pay attention to quality
Another common mistake is that many people are unwilling to spend a little more money on a high quality summerhouse. Instead they buy the cheapest of the cheap.. However, this fails to take into account that in the long run lower quality is much more expensive, as repair and maintenance work must be carried out more frequently. Invest in quality from the outset to get a long-lasting summerhouse.
4. Choose the right wood
A garden house should be an investment for eternity. The most important component is choosing the right wood, as it has to be resistant to rain, snow and other weather conditions. Most bad buys are made here, due to misinformation. The first question that arises is whether it should be hardwood or softwood. Hardwood is hard to work with, so softwood is better suited as a base material for building a summerhouse. The second question that arises is whether spruce or pine wood is better. In principle, both types of wood are suitable for the construction of a summerhouse; however, pine has larger knotholes, where there is a chance that leaks can occur, promoting water entry. For this reason, spruce wood is preferable to pine wood.
5. Choose the right base for your summerhouse
A summerhouse stands and falls with the right foundation. The wrong foundation – or rather incorrect positioning of the foundation – often leads to leakage and rapid wear. So before you lay the foundation for your project, make sure that the foundation is exactly level and 100% horizontal. Suitable materials for the foundation include slabs of clinker, paving stones or cast concrete. The latter is the easiest to handle. You should also make sure that you stay the required number of metres away from the property line and that you leave enough space around the summerhouse so that you can easily access it from all sides, for example to paint it.
6. The right insulation
If you decide to use your summerhouse as a living room or home office, we recommend insulating it. In order to be able to actively use your summerhouse even in the cold seasons, this is almost a must. There are three different options here. There is floor insulation, which consists of thermal insulation boards laid between the pressure impregnated foundation beams. You can also add roof insulation, which has only a low thermal conductivity, but is waterproof and is installed between the roof panels and shingles. Finally, there is double-wall insulation, which consists of an additional inner wall with 19 mm thick boards.
7. Choose the right roof for your summerhouse
There are a variety of different roof types that you can use for your summerhouse. However, you should bear in mind some important information when making your decision. Above all, the load-bearing capacity of the roof is important. Your roof must withstand different weather conditions, especially snow. Inform yourself in advance about the weather conditions in your area so that you know about the demands your roof has to meet. Then you’re spoiled for choice. You can have a flat roof, a pyramid roof, a pent roof, an apex roof or an asymmetrical roof. Apex roofs, for example, are very weather resistant, create a pleasant room height and, with the right alignment, even offer the option of installing solar cells. However, the height must be taken into account, as this casts shade and can lead to visual obstruction.
8. Assembling the summerhouse
As installing the summerhouse is the last step in the purchase process, it’s often neglected until the time comes to actually build the summerhouse. Nevertheless, assembly requires careful consideration and planning to avoid mistakes. If you are skilled in craftsmanship and enjoy installing things, it will certainly not be a problem for you to assemble your “dream summerhouse” yourself. However, if this isn’t you, you can also use an assembly service that specialises in summerhouses. If you do this, your garden house will be built for you in your garden while you sit back and watch.
With these tips you can now proceed with your dream summerhouse and browse through our wide range of summerhouses and log cabins.
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