At last, the wood anemones are appearing by the stream, snowdrops are providing a dazzling display, buds are starting to appear on the trees and bird calls are waking you each morning as the sun creeps over the windowsill earlier each day. Spring fills us all with a sense of renewal as we marvel at the natural world. This season encourages us to focus on our personal environment too, and now is the perfect time to get outside into the garden for the first time since the autumn.
You may already have a summerhouse that you can use all year around, but if you usually enjoy it most during the warmer months, now is the time to open it up, revamp the interior and carry out any essential maintenance that will extend its life and provide you with the perfect outdoor base.
In our blog, we look at the types of maintenance you may need to consider, moving on to discuss ways of bringing your summerhouse to life as spring takes us back into our gardens for another year.
Maintenance matters – our Top Ten Tips
Whether your summerhouse is well-established, or you’re thinking about a project to replace an older model, is vital to consider your approach to maintaining and protecting it, extending its useful life for many years ahead.
- Wrap up warm, put on gloves, and take a tour of your summerhouse exterior to carry out a visual check on how it has held up over the winter. Use a soft brush to sweep away any dust, debris and cobwebs.
- Check for pests and insects that may have found a home within your summerhouse.
- Test the base beneath your summerhouse and check that it remains even and solid. This will bolster the integral security of the summerhouse frame and prevent any sagging or sinking over the years.
- Examine the roof carefully, ideally from a step ladder, to gain a full perspective and clear any debris from adjacent bushes and trees. The wind can blow material across large distances and cause damage if any aspect of the roof is vulnerable. Any rips or tears in roofing felt may lead to a complete replacement as patches can let in moisture. A moulded composite glass fibre roof offers a maintenance-free life for 20-30 years so if your summerhouse has one of these, it will only need a quick wash with warm, soapy water. If your summerhouse has a cedar shingle roof, a brief session with a brush will wipe away any debris enabling your summerhouse to benefit from this warm, natural feature.
- Inspect the walls of your garden building and check for any damage. Softwood timber structures will need to be treated with wood oil or stain most years. Take care to avoid oil-based products if your summerhouse includes any pressure-treated timber. Choosing a hardwood summerhouse from the Scotts range will provide you with an extremely durable garden building with a long lifespan.
- If your summerhouse has a painted finish, it may require a touch-up in places. Scotts’ summerhouses are all painted in a choice of colours, and we will leave you with a spare tin after installation. This type of finish doesn’t usually require much maintenance and will resist the elements very well for five to seven years.
- Clean the glass in the windows and doors using white vinegar and kitchen roll or newspaper and ease the locks and fastenings with lubrication to keep them operating smoothly. Polish brass or chrome handles with a soft cloth to restore their gleam.
- Open up the doors and windows to air your summerhouse and dispel any musty odours if it has been closed up over the winter. It is vital to maintain adequate ventilation all year round to prevent moisture build-up that could lead to mould and mildew.
- Check the area around your summerhouse to make sure that any planting is not taking hold of its walls. Creepers and climbers can cause damage if ingress becomes too intrusive.
- Finally, tidy out any clutter inside your summerhouse and personalise it to boost your mood and bring joy to your enjoyment. See below for ideas on breathing new life into your garden building.
Spring into action
Here’s five easy fixes to get your summerhouse ready for the new season.
- Own your space
Whether you have a bespoke summerhouse designed for a specific use or a simple garden hideaway in which you can relax and take a break, you will enjoy it more by putting your own stamp on its style. If hobbies and crafts drive your summerhouse use, find a way to display your artworks, pottery, or needlecraft, or create a bespoke commission. From decorative bunting to plates for afternoon tea, and from quick sketches to careful watercolours, put your skills to good use and bring your personality to life in your very own garden building. Books and vinyl are enjoying a resurgence as the swing to digital slows, so opt for a shelf detail, stock up on your favourite reading material or add a solarhub that can power a record player.
- Commune with nature
Whether you have a subtle corner summerhouse like Scott’s Newhaven model tucked away discreetly or a stand-out statement octagonal garden building, you will want to ensure that it blends perfectly with your outdoor space. By including houseplants from kalanchoe and aspidistra to the pineapple plant and areca palm in lively pots, you will benefit from the cleansing properties of greenery. The view from your house will become seamless as the plants flourish and foster fusion between your summerhouse and garden.
- Photo finish
All too often the photos we collect on the ubiquitous smartphones find themselves stashed away in the cloud and are rarely seen. Your summerhouse could provide the ideal gallery to showcase the best of your snaps, or a lasting celebration of good times. From an individual canvas to a collage of prints, use the wall space to display your favourite photographs so that every visit to your summerhouse triggers a happy memory. There are many innovative and creative ways to display images so you could choose to hang them from illuminated pegs, or fix them with stands, holders, and hooks. Suspend frames from a curtain pole or tree branch and try using command strips instead of nails to protect your summerhouse walls.
- Blend old and new
You may not wish to create a fully themed summerhouse but it can be fun to add accents from any cultural era to which you are drawn.
- 1930s: choose Art Deco-style furniture and accessories such as glassware, lamps and ornaments deliver bright and lavish designs with sleek lines. Pick up economical versions at car boot sales or via online listings.
- 1950s: there’s no need to go all out on an Eames reclining chair but you can create a stunning mid-century modern (MCM) ambience by including sleek modern art, a mushroom lamp or dial telephone.
- 1970s: a classic drinks trolley, tray-style side table, a lava lamp, rattan seat or macrame potholder will secure your summerhouse firmly within the super Seventies.
- Firm footing
Don’t forget what’s underfoot in your garden building as the floor covering serves many functions from protecting the base and preventing draughts, to providing a winning opportunity to introduce colour, style, and texture. Choose a smooth flooring material to ease wheeled furniture pieces. Use a stencil design to recreate an on-trend tile effect. Scotts offer a unique and durable flooring option made from a woven vinyl that provides the natural feel of sisal and seagrass beneath your feet. Add a colourful rug to soften the atmosphere and create a cosy vibe.
When you have completed your maintenance tasks and taken time to deliver some TLC to your summerhouse, we’re sure that you will have created the perfect atmosphere for outdoor living throughout the year no matter how you choose to use your garden building.
We hope that we have inspired you with a number of good reasons to consider replacing a time-served summerhouse with a robust and durable model that you can enjoy in all seasons.
Talk to our expert team and we will be happily to make suggestions and recommendations to help you choose exactly the right summerhouse for you.