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How To Build A Summer House

We’ve learned a lot over the course of two years of the pandemic, during which we’ve been forced to spend a lot more time at home, while many of us have also had to adapt to working from home. Making the best possible use of both the indoor and outdoor spaces at our homes has therefore become something of an imperative.

That’s particularly true of our gardens. While some of us have got into growing fruit and veg, built some decking or dug a pond, those with the space to spare are realising that you can also create extra living space by building a summer house or garden room.

There are any number of things you can do with one: it can be your home office, separated from your living space to remove distractions; you can turn it into a gym, saving on costly memberships and enabling you to keep on working out should further lockdowns occur; it could become a games or cinema room, complete with a fridge for cold beers and snacks; or why not turn it into a spare room for guests to stay in and free up some space inside the house for you to use?

Whatever you decide to do with it, the good news is that you’ll find it a considerably less expensive option than building an extension, while it could still add value to your property should you decide to sell.

That all sounds great, and you could certainly find someone willing to build one for you, although most decent home improvement traders seem to be fully booked up for the foreseeable future! On the other hand, if you want to save money and get it done sooner, you could always consider building your own summer house – but how would you go about it? 

Start at the bottom

Whatever you’re using your summer house for, it’s going to need a good, solid base to sit on. That’s true for all summer houses, but goes double if you’re going to be putting heavy items such as gym equipment into it.

While it is possible to use an existing patio – if it’s fully level – or to buy a timber deck, nothing beats a good concrete base. Your decision might be dictated by the access you have to your garden and whether you can get all the necessary building materials through. 

If you do go for a concrete base, you’ll need to excavate about 150-200mm to the same dimensions as your summer house and fill about half with aggregates such as scalpings (MOT Type 1), making sure that it’s well compacted.

Your formwork should go to about 30-50mm above ground level. Before filling in with the concrete, add a damp proof course to stop moisture getting into the timber. Once your concrete is down, level and set, you’re ready to build your summer house.

Putting up your summer house

Whatever you want to use your summer house for, there are a few things you need to sort out even before you start laying your base. For example, do you want mains electricity and/or water? 

You also need to think about how it’s going to look from the outside so that it blends in well with its surroundings. There are options of all shapes and sizes that you can buy online, and this will always be the quickest and most cost-effective choice. And you still have the means of making it more individual by painting or staining the wood, or adding other personal touches.

A bespoke summer house is likely to take longer and – assuming you’re getting someone else to design and build it – be more expensive. However, it does mean that you can make sure it’s exactly as you want it. It also allows you to go for something a bit more quirky!

At Essex Mix, we supply aggregates and concrete ideal for creating the base for a summer house, as well as many other home projects. With the perfect concrete mix delivered where and when you need it, plus a range of aggregates available for same or next-day delivery, we’re always ready to help you get on with the job in hand.

Contact us today for more information or to place your order.

Call us today on 0800 030 6025 for your domestic or commercial aggregate supplies


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