(Under 12m2) Specification
This article is about our former summerhouse specification, which has since been replaced by our brand-new Garden Rooms (under 12m2). It's worthwhile reading, but to jump straight to learning more about the new spec, click on!
You’re looking for a small Garden Summerhouse that’s just the right fit for you and maybe a pal or a furry friend (invite only of course).
I hear ya!
For over 30 years we’ve been making beautiful, handcrafted, timber Summerhouses that are specific to the needs of our wide variety of customers.
Large, medium or small – we’ve built them all.
However, today we’re talking just about the small Summerhouse – discreet and perfectly petite. Helping you figure out what the best summerhouse size is for you, and how much it costs.
What do we mean by a “small” summerhouse?
So, what is a ‘Small Summerhouse’ though?
What is the actual size of it right?
At its basics, a small summerhouse is one that has enough space for 2 people. Anything with 7’ and up to 8’ in its sizing is classed as small.
Let’s take our sizes as an example:
- 7’ x 7’ (2.1m x 2.1m)
- 8’ x 8’ (2.4m x 2.4m)
- 8’ x 6’ (2.4 x 1.8m)
An 8’ x 6’ is the most popular small summerhouse size and the traditional shape of a rectangle maximises the space available.
This takes us on to the prospect of a shaped Summerhouse, and by that, we mean shapes like Hexagonal or Corner. In these essentially, angles are cut off to create a design fit for more complex spaces, like… you guessed it, corner plots!
Here’s a 7’ x 7’ Corner Summerhouse for example. You can see the sizes are slightly varied because of the measurement placing, however, the external measurement of the 2 long panels would be 2.1m to create a square with the front door panel (marked as 1174) cut off.
Now, you would think that cutting the corner off it would limit the space, but it’s all a geometric illusion!!
By having the entrance at the corner it actually utilises the space in an entirely different way from the traditional rectangle shape. It creates a more central plan for how you use the Summerhouse space.
This example shows you the potential a small Summerhouse has to be the perfectly proportioned nook.
Ideally, you’ll see a Summerhouse in real life. Preferably one that’s already dressed and kitted out with furnishings, to help you understand the usable space and what you, yourself would like to do with yours. When buying any timber building, visiting a show area is a must.
What cost should you expect to pay for a small summerhouse?
I’m going deep in the next bit! So if you just want an answer as to how you’re going to afford one of these bay bays I’ll fire a couple of indicators here. But you’ll need to read on for why you’re paying it…
Uh, trying to get a price out of anyone for a single-skinned Summerhouse is impossible online. So I’ll gauge it based on my own experience.
I’ve seen a few charge as little as £1,200 and ourselves £3,700 WHA?!!!
I know right, major difference. So what is it we’re paying for…
We have our sizes and we know the difference between a rectangular Summerhouse and a Corner Summerhouse. So now we want to know:
“how much does it cost and what is it that makes one cheaper or more expensive than the other.”
You’ll know if you’ve been contacting the manufacturers directly, they can vary significantly. So let’s get rid of some of the confusion here. Two main reasons we’ll address:
- The specification is a massive factor as to why one supplier/manufacturer of Summerhouses would vary in price.
- Level of service is also going to play a part in the makeup of cost
- Related content: What costs are involved in a summerhouse project?
What are Small Summerhouses made of?
Leave the sugar and spice to the dames, because a Summerhouse must meet some G&M criteria in terms of specification.
The purpose of this garden building is recreation and relaxation.
It’s not a Shed, which is predominantly functional and practical in the sense it stores things, rather than people, although try and get me out of one.
A Summerhouse is a thing of beauty and needs to be respected.
I will always put design engineering first over anything quick or easy. And that I suppose is my prerogative (in the words of Britney Spears) because not many independent manufacturers will take the time to do so. And that’s just my observation after years of researching the timber building industry.
However, I know you’ll think I’m at it. So why don’t I show you something from Paterson’s Garden Buildings that I LOVE to help ease the bias?
Here’s a perfectly tiny Summerhouse that Paterson’s has created that fits the bill when it comes to design.
This is what I’m speaking about. You’ll find many out there that take a box shed and put some more windows, sometimes longer than average and expect that to be good enough. It’s not, ask for more. It’s also likely that their specification isn’t up to scratch either…
Speaking about specification, this is what we mean.
The external cladding needs to be substantial enough to withstand the Scottish climate. So ask what thickness it is, what profile it is and what type it is. All of this counts towards the longevity of the Summerhouse and of course the look.
- Thickness; no less than 16mm preferably 19mm
- Profile; no shiplap unless it’s got a cavity, breather membrane and an internal lining. We’re looking for tongue and groove.
- Type; I’m a Redwood girl myself, however, I hear Spruce has grown well over the past 10 years, giving similar quality depending on origin.
The framing is just as important, it’s what makes the building stand up and it has to ‘stand up’ to the test. This Summerhouse is meant for enjoyment and doesn’t come with splinters, so you’re wanting it clean, dressed and of course, preferably Redwood.
The size needs to be strong enough, as a minimum of 60 x 30 but a preference of 70 x 40 is ours.
Window and door summerhouse specification
Windows and doors, HA!
I laugh because we spend 10 weeks of the year making ours from scratch and if you ask my joiners they’ll tell you to bolt. There’s nothing like the soul-crushing realisation of 4,800 tenon joints.
The attention to detail and the amount of accuracy that depends on a good season of Summerhouses is all about the doors and windows. Mortise and Tenon frame with a toughened pane, triple sealed, appropriate drip strips and bang-on square. It’s all I’ve heard from our Ops Director Gordon these past couple of days!
What I’m saying is YOU need to pay attention to them when choosing your Summerhouse. There will always be some allowance for movement but a good company will have your back should they become difficult.
What’s happening here?
How are they covering this Summerhouse, what is the roof made up of?
I’m telling you, this is absolutely where most falter. They don’t think about design, they crack on with a roof to fit the wall instead of a roof to protect the building. We’re talking about overhangs and eaves.
Make sure to get decent coverage and that the roof is made of the same or at least very similar materials to the wall before covering it in a long-lasting Bitumen, Steel, and Rubber – steering away from felt altogether on this one, sorry guys.
That sticky-out bit is a drip line – takes the water off the roof without the need for gutters.
Clever… Fauncy… Engineered… Designed. See?
Level of service to expect with a Small Summerhouse
Some of us are born different. Acts of service are one of the five love languages and typically the serving giver feels love by doing and reciprocating equally. I told you I was going deep and let’s be honest, this article is getting into the 30% still reading ratio…
So let’s keep it entertaining…
The level of service you get very much depends on the cost you’re paying for your little summerhouse.
The Bare Baws.
Mass-produced off the shelf dropped at the door by shamazon – absolutely okay if you’re willing to put in the work. Self-assembly, make it your own and likely modify it. Kind of like an IKEA Billy Bookcase that you can make into a fully functional kitchen.
£900 is your max spend (please not any more, not at least until you ask me about spec).
The Budget Independents.
These guys will go hard on price comparison, Summerhouses that are made for any budget, kind of guys. Expect the box design with the big windows. They will however likely assemble the building and offer a discount for it.
Looking at around £1200 for these guys.
They’re a step up from the Budgets, been at it a while now and have learnt a bit more about the specification and how to keep customers satisfied. They’ll give you some level of reassurance, customer reviews and a loyal following on ‘the Facebook’ that tells you they’re trying.
They hit about £1000 – £2000
The High – YAHS.
Focusing on customer experience from start to finish. They’ll make a song and dance about how you complete them as Sheddies and tell you what makes YOU special. You’ll get a building that’s not only fit for purpose, it becomes your pride and joy, you tell the neighbours, you all get one and that’s how Shedonism begins. You’ll get aftercare, guarantees and if it’s Gillies and Mackay, the MD will spend time writing content to help you with making your buying decision.
Oh hello big’yin kickin’ about £2800 – £3900
Add-on costs for Small Summerhouses
What else do we have to pay for when it comes to fulfilling our Summerhouse dream?
Groundworks. Aye it’s a sore subject. No-one likes to hear it but the groundworks are the foundation to your happy place. The best Summerhouses are built on proper foundations. Without them you’re looking at a very short fling with the idea of a perfect ideal.
Level is imperative, we need it to level so many aspects of the build (especially the doors, to get in, y’know) and that’s why first and foremost a properly formed slabbed base is where it starts.
Lucky if you’re already in the possession of a perfect patio, but not as straightforward if you’re on a messy incline. Fear not there are options…
- Groundscrews – between £600 – £1200 for a Small Summerhouse
- Properly formed slabbed base – between £800 – £1800 for a Small Summerhouse
- Timber frame – between £400 – £1000 for a Small Summerhouse
I say in between because all of this is purely dependent on the current state of your site. If you’re a crazy wilderness with a multitude of access and obstacle issues they will cost you more (think, only access through the house!!)
If you’re a straight lawn 20 yards to a nice little, well-drained corner in the garden that has double-gated access then you’re likely to spend a little less. How you go about this is, you ask the manufacturer to recommend a base layer and then they do a site visit, and then they give you a quote and then you decide if that’s affordable.
Aaand that’ll do eh?
Ready for your small summerhouse?
How much does a small Summerhouse cost?
It’s been a blast, but ultimately as always, you get what you pay for. These wee cuties don’t come cheap first off – but if you’re buying once and it’ll see you out, then the most expensive (us obvs) works out about £0.04 a day.
And that’s better than the rate it takes to keep a house warm so get out in the garden and share the tranquillity with your favourite hobby or the one you love. Small Summerhouses, we love you.