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    5 Summerhouse Design Mistakes To Avoid

    8 February 2021

    Category: General

    5 Summerhouse Design Mistakes To Avoid

    Here at Olympian, it’s safe to say that we’ve seen our fair share of design disasters. Sometimes, clients are replacing an older summerhouse that a previous owner had constructed; other times, a garden building construction company has bitten off a little more than they can chew.  The good news is that summerhouse design can be simple and straightforward – and mistakes are rarely impossible to fix.

    5 Summerhouse Design Mistakes To Avoid

    At Olympian Garden Buildings, we’ve decided to share a little bit of our expertise when it comes to designing your summerhouse. After all, it’s far easier to correct mistakes before you’ve really started – which is why we’ve put together a troubleshooting guide when it comes to designing your summerhouse. Check out our 5 most common design mistakes below to make sure your design is really as good as it looks. 

    1.Not Planning Out Your Space

    The first, key question to consider is: what are you hoping to use your summerhouse for?

    It might sound like an easy question, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget this one in the planning. Are you simply looking for storage space for all the garden tools, or will you be relaxing with a nice glass of wine in a secluded spot away from the house? You might even be planning on having some home comforts in there, such as a mini-fridge or a TV. 

    Whatever your goal, make sure you’re keeping it front and centre when you come to drawing out and designating your space. 

    Olympian’s Top Tip:

    Mock up the space with some timber planks. Set them out on the ground and walk around in the areas you’ve created to make sure the space is working how you want it to. Alternatively, work out the sizes of rooms in your house and use furniture to get a real feel for the space. 

     2.Not Insulating Your Summerhouse

    We know – it’s a summerhouse, and it should be warm when you’re using it! However, insulation can also keep it cool by not allowing the interior to be affected by the sun warming up the outside walls.

    We also know that summerhouses are often used all year round, as the family are keen to continue using the additional space. Thankfully, our range of cladding boards and various insulation options ensure that you are covered, whatever the weather! Here at Olympian, we offer everything from a substantial exterior board, a part-insulated building, through to a fully insulated and boarded building. Depending on your budget and DIY skills, everything is possible.

    Olympian’s Top Tip:

    Again, you want to be considering all the possible uses. If the summerhouse is likely to be needed as a garden office or workspace at some point, it is well-advised to add a number of additional extras at this stage rather than once the building is already designed and installed.

     3.Low-Cost = Low-Quality 

    Financial planning for home improvements of any kind is always a tricky subject and most of us are operating on a budget of some sort. 

    When buying a summerhouse, many people mistakenly think that an outdoor building doesn’t require the same careful planning as a home extension and buy it with the same mentality as buying a simple garden shed. It is, however, far better to think of this garden addition as an extra room in your house – particularly if you plan to spend lots of time in there. 

    Here at Olympian Garden Buildings, we always recommend purchasing the highest-quality timber that your budget allows, then insulate it if your budget allows. That way, you can use your summerhouse all year round as the perfect hideaway. 

    Our range of Olympian summerhouses all come with a substantial 3” x 2” framework as standard, and with a range of cladding boards up to 38mm, meaning all options are covered.

    Olympian’s Top Tip: 

    Take the time to understand the timber and building specifications, as not all are made equal. At Olympian all our timber is fully tanalised and air-dried, making it less likely to split or twist.

    Also take the time to look at buildings up close – after all, everything looks good in a brochure. Our showroom is the perfect place to fully experience the quality of our buildings – make an appointment today. 

     4.Choosing The Wrong Roof 

    There are a number of roof options these days from flat roofs to pent roofs to apex roofs.

    When it comes to summerhouses, the apex roof is a very popular choice. It’s higher, and its design offers a lighter and airier feel to the interior space. That said, the pent (single sloping) roof is an increasingly popular option, with a more contemporary feel. With any roof, we offer a number of roof coverings including Felt shingles and Cedar shingles that are not only aesthetically pleasing, they can also significantly increase the longevity of the roof – if budgets permit, but these are also highly recommended.

    Olympian’s Top Tip: 

    Consider the space around your building. Many people don’t factor in bushes and overhanging branches and these can often cause issues further down the line when they grow up against the roof, often rubbing away at the roof covering, causing leaks and requiring additional work.

    We would also recommend, where possible, that you add guttering to your summerhouse to help with rain dispersal.


    Painting your building not only helps to protect it, but allows you to add your personal touch. Everybody wants to put their individual stamp in the garden and painted building really helps to achieve this. Our thorough, 5-part paint process ensures it not only looks great up close but lasts! At Olympian, we recommend Sikkens primers and Dulux Weathershield topcoats  to ensure a quality finish.

    Olympian’s Top Tip:

    Don’t skimp on the paint! We know it’s easy to look for a cheap option; however, if you want your summerhouse to look its best and last for years to come, choosing a quality paint in the first instance and thorough preparation (including knot blockers and primers) makes a huge difference to the overall quality.

    If you’d like to discuss any aspects of the design of your perfect summerhouse, just call 01270 350965 and we’ll be happy to help. With over 37 years of experience designing, building and installing summerhouses, Olympian Garden Buildings are here for any summerhouse design questions you may have. 

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