Step by step guide to achieving your summerhouse dream

With our lives getting busier than ever, it can be challenging to put time aside to fulfil the projects we dream about even though we know that they will increase our wellbeing and our enjoyment of our homes. You may nurture a long-held dream to transform your garden with the installation of a summerhouse but perhaps you need help to find the confidence to get started. We recommend planning your garden building project through a series of logical steps and have put together this guide to help you.

Step 1: Do your research

With an abundant supply of material online you, it is wise to scan the horizon and draw up a shortlist of preferred suppliers. Explore websites, read blogs and reviews and watch videos until you find a summerhouse building or completed garden layout that inspires you. We recommend engaging with a business that has a good reputation and evidence of longevity. Scotts has been in business for over 100 years and so you can trust that we have the necessary expertise to bring your dream to life. Talk to friends and neighbours who have experienced completing a similar project. Make a list of your concerns and quiz potential suppliers making sure that you’re satisfied with their responses before making your final choice.

planning your garden buildingStep 2: Plan ahead

Your summerhouse is a luxurious addition to your garden and should be chosen to enhance your personal outdoor space. Every garden is different, and we know that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. As a central and impactful feature at the heart of your garden, you will want your summerhouse to look great as well as being solidly built. Map out the position and location of your summerhouse to complement the entire property. Think about the garden layout and the position of your summerhouse within it. Do you want the structure to be visible from the house or tucked away in a secluded and peaceful corner? Assess the sight lines from every room including the upper floors. Monitor how the sun tracks through the sky to give yourself an idea of how much light and warmth you will be able to enjoy during an average summer and winter day. Take account of local weather conditions and the prevailing wind direction. Now is the time to think about how you will use your summerhouse.

Step 3: Seek assistance

There is no need to feel that you are on your own when planning your garden building project. Choose a supplier that is able to provide technical drawings and elevations of your chosen summerhouse model so that you can assess with precision whether it will fit your garden and meet your requirements. Planning permission is not usually required for summerhouse, but regulations vary across the UK and different rules apply to listed buildings. We always recommend that our clients check out the planning rules before proceeding with any order. There are a number of useful resources where you can obtain a useful overview, but we always advise checking with your local planning authority before making any decisions. Our expert team at Scotts would be happy to discuss any planning issues you may have before you make a purchase.

Step 4: Select your model

Once you have covered the groundwork, now is the time to choose exactly what type of summerhouse or garden building you wish to install. At this point there are a number of considerations that should be factored into your decision making. The size and shape of the structure should be chosen to complement the setting. If your summerhouse is going to be tucked into an unused space by a fence or wall, a corner summerhouse might be ideal. A stand-out octagonal summerhouse in the middle of the lawn looks stunning from every angle. You might require a larger size or a lozenge-shaped building if you are going to use your summerhouse as a gym or home office. Think about the materials that your summerhouse is made from bearing in mind that a hardwood timber construction will require less maintenance and provide greater protection from the elements. If you choose a summerhouse with a painted finish, the colour you choose should complement the style of your property and might even tone with your garden planting. Scotts offers a range of 11 different paint colours from bold dark shades to more subtle hues. Make sure that the roof on your summerhouse is durable, low maintenance and has UV protection to maintain its longevity. Scotts offers a moulded composite glass fibre roof with the appearance of lead or slate, or you can opt for a totally natural cedar shingle roof both of which require minimal maintenance. Glazing is an important factor, and you can decide to fit standard plain single or double glazing or opt for decorative leaded glass to complement a period property. Before you start the installation process, we suggest that you weigh up the benefits of installing electricity for access to power and Wi-Fi. Solar power is always an eco-friendly alternative and Scotts offers a high efficiency solar panel as an optional extra addition.

Step 5: Dig deep

The installation of your summer house within the garden may require the removal and clearance of an old garden shed or building. You can either take care of this yourself or involve a contractor, but we recommend completely clearing any old structures well before your new garden building arrives. Pay attention to the ground beneath your chosen plot and select a location that is free from the incursion of any tree roots or overhanging bushes that risk damaging the roof or foundations. Every summerhouse needs a firm and level base whether it is supported by concrete or placed on a deck. If you have a sloping garden, you might find a ground screw base helps to level the structure while also being minimally invasive and environmentally friendly.

Consider whether you would like to add a rotating base to your summer house. This is an option on several of Scott’s models and enables you to turn the entire building using simple handles. The base, which moves effortlessly on nylon wheels, is hidden by timber skirting and will significantly add to your enjoyment enabling you to turn away from the wind and into the sun at will. At the point of installation, you will need to make sure that your supplier’s team can gain access to your garden and is able to bring materials through to the final location with minimum disruption to you and your neighbours.

Step 6: Pathway to success

Before your garden building is installed, take some time to think about the planting and landscaping that will set it off to best advantage. Factor this into your original plans and vision and then you can start to bring your ideas to life once the garden building is in place. All of Scotts’ summerhouses can stand alone but it can be more convenient to create a weather-proof path to it or link it to a decking or patio area using gravel or paving. Once you have the practical steps all tied down you can start to add more decorative elements including a water feature, perhaps, and your personal planting preferences. Choose blooms that complement the colour of your summerhouse’s external paint finish or its interior décor. Theme your summerhouse based on the type of garden you prefer. You might want to take inspiration from the award-winning gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

get assistance with your planningStep 7: Dressing and décor

Once your summerhouse has been installed and all the external landscaping completed, now is the time to have some fun with the fit out and accessories. You can introduce your own furniture or, if you choose a Scotts summerhouse, opt for our modular seating which doubles up as storage space. This option brings choices about upholstery fabric styles for padded seating and loose backrest cushions. Choose from bright or subtle colourways and echo your colour scheme with your choice of accessories, pictures, rugs, mats and throws to add a touch of luxury. You can really go to town or keep the interior minimal depending on whether you aim to create an extra room to live in or a separate discrete area for quiet meditation.

Step 8: Extend your enjoyment

You have successfully planned, prepared, ordered, installed, and decorated your summerhouse and planted your garden according to your particular personal aesthetic. You may have originally chosen your summerhouse for a specific purpose or just want to use it for relaxation or entertaining. There are so many uses for a garden building and our customers have told us that they use theirs for a number of different activities including:

  • Home office
  • Gym
  • Yoga studio
  • Small business base
  • Home pub or bar
  • Games room
  • Craft studio
  • Nature watching hide
  • Swimming pool or hot tub changing room.

Step 9: Leave a review

Whatever type of summerhouse you choose we are certain that your supplier will greatly appreciate your feedback so after six months or a year why not get in touch to provide a testimonial on your experiences? This way you will be helping someone who is just starting out on their summerhouse journey. Do you already have a Scotts summerhouse in your garden? We would love to hear from former customers who are enjoying their garden buildings, so please get in touch; we would love to hear from you. For new customers we are always standing by and ready to answer your questions and we hope that you have found this step by step guide a useful starting point.

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