How to Build a Summer House

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There was an upsurge in the popularity of garden design in the 1980s thanks to the garden renovation programs on television and personalities like Alan Titchmarsh.

Also, thanks to the rise in the popularity of DIY stores and garden centres, materials were widely available to the general public in a way that they never were before. People began seeing their gardens as an extension of their home, to be used for relaxation, fun, and entertainment.

This mix of ideas and products opened up a whole new world to us Brits.

Shire Buckingham Summer House

  • 7' x 7' internal space
  • High-quality double doors to the front
  • Side window can go on the left or the right
  • Canopy over front gable
  • Made in Britain from high-grade pine

With the use of a summerhouse, one can almost go on a day trip to the end of the garden and spend the day a little differently. Pack up the things you need and lock up the house. Children love spending a day like this as it provides them with a little adventure.

We will take a look in this article, at how you can build your own summer house.


Dig a trench from the house to your summerhouse and lay a conduit in the bottom. This is to protect the electric cable running within it. Flex cable is okay to use if it’s correctly protected and plugged into a residual current device in the main house. If in any doubt, consult a qualified electrician.

Lighting in the summerhouse can come in the form of a table lamp. You may wish to use a kettle too.

The Base

Prepare a good base for your summer house. This can be in the form of concrete slabs, paving slabs or a timber frame. Dig about six inches of soil out and replace it with sand and hardcore if laying slabs. Put a waterproof membrane down before pouring concrete if you are using that method.


Materials for your build can be found here and at other high-quality outlets. Build your summer house in sections so it can be assembled in place and moved if required. How you design the house is up to you. Your imagination will guide you.

Great things can be achieved. Each section should have its own frame. Use at least 2 x 2 inch timber for this. Clad the frame with shiplap timber for a good quality building. This can be achieved simply using only a hammer, general-purpose saw and nails.

Coat the roof with at least two layers of roofing felt. This is simple to apply with roofing nails. The easiest style of roof to build is a simple pent roof. The side walls have the slope shape built into the top of them onto which the roof is lifted. Apex roofs are a little more complicated while the one in the above image will be a challenge.


It is the finish and trimmings that will set your summer house apart from the rest. Using window boxes for plants and bright colours can give a real seaside feel. A lot of thought has gone into the house in the second image and it looks stunning.

In just a couple of weekends, you can be the owner of an exciting new place to spend time with the children on those hot summer days. Sitting in the shade and watching them play will make all of your hard effort worthwhile. There is no downside to this project so everyone should make a start before the summer arrives.

Photo Credit: Elliot Brown

Video – How to build a summerhouse

The instructions above are aimed at people who want to build a summerhouse from scratch. If you prefer to buy a prefabricated version, you can see how the build process works in this video.


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