New summer houses, sun rooms, sheds and more
Until recently, garden buildings generally came into two versions (and designs for new summer houses with few and far between). There were sheds, which were mostly utilitarian, and standard summer houses, which were mostly draughty (and often just looked like large sheds). Beyond that, the choices mainly involved deciding between large, medium and small, and, perhaps, what the doors were like.
In 2017, the picture looks very different. Garden buildings are now integral to how many of us live – places to work, entertain, chill out or exercise all year round. Because of this, the old choices of shed versus summer house, large versus small don’t cut it anymore.
Summer houses with bi-fold doors
At GardenLife, we continually add new models, designs and features to our range of timber garden buildings. We’re always in pursuit of your ideal – helping you find the dimensions, layout and design details that perfectly match your aesthetic or the way you want to use a garden building.
Take the new choices we’ve added to our range this year (some of which we’ve teased our Facebook followers with):
Already proving popular are our new bi-fold doors, available on our Ines and Lea summer houses. They open up most of the building width, ideal for parties or enjoying the sunshine.
The doors are double-glazed, insulated enough for year-round use. And to maximise light and airiness – in summer or winter – both models have optional side windows.
A gazebo with glass or timber sides (or neither)
‘Optional’ is a word we use a lot at GardenLife. As great believers in flexibility, we offer our new models with different configurations.
With our Lucy gazebo, for instance, you can have it with open sides; with solid timber wall elements; or with an option we’re especially proud of – wall elements with glass panels. You can tailor it perfectly to your garden and preferences, having wind shelter and views exactly where you want them.
New summer houses in different sizes, configurations and shapes
Another model that spoils you for choice is Melanie, now available in six– yes, six – sizes and configurations.
The underlying idea is the same for all six– it’s a corner summer house (for efficient use of garden space) with views and light on three sides. But you can choose between different dimensions or window sizes, and even add a splendid 8.3 sq m of covered space – somewhere for a barbecue, sandpit or hot tub, perhaps?
Other new sun rooms also come into different sizes and shapes. For example, Mary has the option of different sizes or roof extensions – great for storing logs, bikes or other equipment.
And our popular Lotta and Klara log cabins each come in three sizes. And we’re not talking small variations here.
The smallest version of Klara offers a useful and attractive 4.7sq m – perfect for a playhouse, summer house or painting space in a compact garden. In contrast, the largest Klara cabin has a whopping 17 sq m of space – enough for an entire painting class or army of small children.
On trend: new wood treatment and roof options
Another innovation for this summer is our new dip treatment options. As before, you can buy the cabins untreated, and apply wood preservative yourself. Or you can now buy them dip-treated, to protect the timber against mould, rot, wood-destroying fungi and insects.
You can choose between:
- grey, which makes the timber look aged and weathered (in a good way)
- brown, which intensifies the natural appearance of the timber, making it richer in colour
- clear, which gives you a blank canvas for any paint colour
On roofs too, there are new choices, with shingles now available in black, red and green.
And the rest: from a stunning verandah to guinea pig paradise
If you’re not already dazzled by the choice of new summer houses and sun room designs, we should mention a few new styles that are far outside the traditional shed/garden building spectrum.
A stunning addition is the Agneta garden cottage. As you’d expect if you’ve read this far, it comes into a choice of sizes. The larger version has a huge terrace on two sides – so much verandah space, you’re practically in Gone with the Wind territory.
Less grand but more contemporary and urban are Hedwig and Ethel – both slick, QuickFit designs with modern fine-sawn cladding – as well as large multi-room storage sheds Jari, Olaf and Kalle.
And last but certainly not least, there’s Roger, a seriously large and robust garage that could fit not only a large vehicle but probably several record collections, old mowers, a table football table and every bike your children have ever grown out of. And with 70mm timber walls, this garage should be warm and insulated enough for even the most pampered of guinea pigs.
So there are plenty of new summer houses and design features to tempt you, but as ever, we’ve kept the details that set our range apart – slow-grown timber, solid construction, robust fittings, durability, and good service. If you’d like to chat through any of the options, choices and practicalities, just get in touch – we’d be delighted to help.
It’s great to dream. Stuck in traffic or unable to get a seat on train, your thoughts turn to different lifestyles. An office in your back garden. Setting up your own cafe or online business. A log cabin in the countryside.
But really these thoughts don’t have to be dreams. Thanks to technology, the internet and wifi, you can work from pretty much anywhere. You can also find brilliant ideas and inspiration online for starting your own business, building an online empire from your back garden, changing to a job that would let you move out of the city, or simply transforming your home and garden.
Many of GardenLife’s customers have used our timber garden buildings to turn their daydreams into reality – from setting up a stunning home office, to gaining an art studio or a dining space for 16. And the different designs on our website cater for all tastes and all purposes. Occasionally a customer comes along who wants something a bit different however – maybe bigger than even our largest log cabin. Or with thicker timber. Or that blends different designs and uses together – a garage and office combined, or a two-roomed teenage hangout.
The good news is that we are happy to help. In addition to all the various timber garden buildings on our website, GardenLife offer a bespoke timber building service that really does bring daydreams to reality.
Our custom-built projects have included timber shops and cafes; lodges with several bedrooms or features such as balconies; eco-friendly timber offices; large log cabins and wonderful garden rooms. The versatility, durability and beauty of timber is so great that it’s possible to do some inspirational cabin projects without having to sign away months or years of your life and earnings.
As an alternative to going completely bespoke, it may also be possible to adapt one of our standard timber building designs by purchasing extra doors, windows or internal walls.
Designing a bespoke timber building
To design and manufacture a bespoke timber garden building, GardenLife first need a rough floor plan showing the size, number of rooms, and approximate position of doors and windows.
Other information is useful too – say, you like two different designs on our website and want to blend them together. Or love a specific design but want to add another room or change the specifications – for example, we recently manufactured a version of our Laggan garden room with 88mm timber. All those details will help us work out an initial price estimate.
We also have a few basic requirements for our bespoke designs:
- The floor area must be at least 12m square
- We can only do square or rectangular bespoke designs. Unfortunately, we cannot do bespoke versions of octagonal or corner designs (though if you look around the GardenLife website, you’ll find these do come in several sizes and dimensions, so there is already plenty of choice)
- Log thicknesses can be: 44mm, 70mm, 88mm, 114mm or, an amazing, 134mm
- Doors and windows must be double-glazed (though there is a choice of glass thicknesses)
So, with those few minimum requirements in mind, it’s time to start dreaming. Look at magazines, websites, TV programmes other people’s back gardens, and all around you, to start planning and thinking. The home office that you spot on Pinterest or the log cabin holiday home that you see on your travels could easily feature in your life too! All you need do is get in touch with us and tell us your requirements.
Garden building contruction video guides now online
When it comes to buying online it’s not possible to get a real feel for the item that you’re interested in purchasing. That’s not so important with some things, but when it comes to understanding the quality, materials and construction of a timber building, summerhouse, garden room or log cabin, getting detailed information and advice is a must.
In addition to the photos, descriptions, specifications, PDF manuals and FAQs on the GardenLife website (not to mention the wealth of information in the heads of our knowledgeable staff available on 0131 660 6333) GardenLife has added a range of garden building contruction video guides to help showcase even more of the details our garden buildings.
These helpful video guides cover the delivery of a garden building and how to unpack the parts. When constructing a summerhouse or garden building getting the base right is of vital importance, so we’ve also showcased that. Another video guide shows how the easy fit tongue and groove timbers fit together and how window and door frames are slotted into place.
Construction video guides also cover roof elements such as fitting roof boards and making a summerhouse water tight by adding felt shingles, as well as installing insulation and floorboards to keep the building warm. We’ve also included a video that highlights how our modular Quick Fit buildings are constructed too (ideal if you’re not so good at DIY).
We hope to be adding more garden building contruction video guides in the future, but as ever, if you have any questions or comments just get in touch with us.