FAQ

Looking for a quick answer to your question? We've assembled a bunch of FAQ's where we hope you can find the information you're looking for. Feel free to contact us at any time as well. We're here to help!

Most Popular Questions

Can I order online?

Absolutely, just follow the easy steps through the checkout. We will be in touch with you promptly to make sure nothing was missed. That said, we would be more than happy to help you out on the phone as well; we can often provide some helpful tips along the way.

Where do you ship your products?

All over the world, from our door to yours! View our shipping information for more details.

Will you do a custom building?

Absolutely. If you have an idea in mind run it by us and we will work with you to bring it to life. Some of our best designs come from our customers.

Will I need a building permit?

Building permits are generally not required for structures under 100 ft.². It's always best if you check with your local building department to make sure, though. If you do need one, we can give you a helping hand to make things go smoothly. Have a look at our building permit page to learn more.

Can I assemble one of your buildings myself?

Our prefab building kits are made for the do-it-yourselfer. Every building comes with printed instruction as well as an assembly video. We are also just a call or email away if you need a little help along the way. View our assembly page for more helpful info.

What if I want to hire a contractor?

Great idea. DIY is not for everybody but we can be a big help if you decide you want to hire a contractor as well. Contractors love our convenient pre-cut and pre-assembled kit formats and generally assemble our products with relative ease.

I don’t want to worry about staining. Do you have a maintenance-free option?

Boy, do we ever. Our Canexel maintenance-free siding comes in 20 vibrant colors. Paired with our Versatex white trim the building is virtually maintenance-free. View our siding section for more info.

Sales

How does your site work?

Essentially, we provide three ways of choosing the design that works best for you. Take a look at our favorites, browse our styles, or design your own in our Custom Design Center. You can also just pick up the phone and give us a call and one of our design professionals will walk you through it. Check out our how it works video to learn more.

Where can I find pricing?

Clicking photos will generally take you to a page where there is a detailed quote for that building. Alternatively, you will also find pricing for the individual styles on the style pages. You can also use our Custom Design Center to design and price your own building.

What siding options do you have available?

We have a few tempting options ranging from Western Red Cedar to a colorful Canexel maintenance free option. Please check our siding page for more details.

Is shipping included?

Shipping rates vary depending on the location and size of building, so they are not included in the price. Generally, though, the rates are very reasonable and can be found in the individual quote for the building that you are looking at.

Are shingles included?

Shingles add to the shipping cost and can be easily sourced locally and therefore are not included with our prefab kits. (The exception here is prefabricated gazebos where the cedar shingles are applied to the roof sections beforehand). Shingles are, however, included with our installed service. Learn more about roofing shingles.

What do you mean by “pre-cut” and “pre-assembled” kits?

The pre-cut format is ideal for the consummate do-it-yourselfer. We've designed the product, purchased and cut all the materials, built the doors and windows, and are handing it over to you. Our pre-assembled format is designed for quick, convenient install, with most of the components pre-assembled and ready for you to put together on site. Learn more about our prefab kit formats.

What is the turnaround time on an order?

Lead times for products are typically about 3-4 weeks depending on the time of year (in the winter it's a little quicker). We are very good at estimating our schedule, though, and will keep you up-to-date if there are any changes at all.

Where are you located?

Our show room, offices, and manufacturing facility are at 735 Progress Ave. in Toronto, Ontario. If you live in the area or happen to be visiting, please drop by and say hello! We have a number of stylish designs on display and lots of friendly people (and dogs) to entertain you. See contact for more info.

Do you offer financing?

Sorry, not at the present time, but we are pretty reasonable if you have something in mind. Otherwise we do take credit cards and your local bank would probably be eager to help.

What warranty do you offer?

All of our buildings are covered for a period of two years for defects in materials and workmanship. Generally, if you have an issue of any sort we will take care of it for you. There are no moving parts in our building, so there's not a lot that can go wrong :)

What hardware is included?

We include standard hardware for all of our doors and windows at no additional cost and also offer hardware upgrades for a more stylish finish. If you have your own hardware that you’d like to repurpose please let us know and we’ll ensure our doors and windows are compatible.

What do you mean when you say "base price"?

The "base price" includes the essential components of the building. Because everybody's tastes are different, we allow you to stylize your design with doors, windows, shutters, flower boxes – whatever you like - to meet your individual tastes.

Design / Customization

Can I attach the shed to my home?

Yes. In a situation like this we would omit the back wall and you could attach the shed directly onto your home. Be sure to check into any local permitting rules pertaining to attaching structures to your home to prevent any problems with your building office.

Is it possible to reduce the roof height?

Yes, often this means altering the standard pitch of the roof. While a small adjustment to roof pitch can be advantageous, major changes to pitch are often not recommended as they may affect the structural integrity of the building or may not be building code compliant in your area. Best practice is always to consult your local planning or building office prior to making design changes.

Can you produce a building that in an 'L' shape?

We have built a handful of "L-shaped" buildings over the years and there are several different ways (design-wise) to go about doing so. Please contact one of our design professionals to design and your perfect custom structure.

How big can you make it?

We can really build anything that you have in mind... we’ve built up to 800 square feet and larger. Let us know what you have in mind and we'll work with you to design the perfect cabin.

My backyard is very small... What's the smallest shed you can build?

Realistically the smallest size we’d typically build to is around 15 square feet (roughly 3ft. x 5ft). A structure of this size can fit a single door on the 5ft. wall and a window on the 3ft. wall (s).

If I send you design specs, can you draw my building?

Yes, we'll definitely try to draw a building from your design specs! If you have sketched a design of your own, run it by us and we'll come up with something that's 2 dimensional so that you can visualize it better!

Does Summerwood deal with pergola designs and kits?

We do sell trellises and pergolas. For more specific information, including pricing and timeline on delivery/installation, please give one of our designers a call at (866) 519-4634.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of doors and windows I can have on my building?

Not really. While we do still need to support the structure adequately with proper framing you can generally place a large number of doors and windows on just about any building.

Can I buy just doors and windows from you?

You sure can. Take a look at our Accessories section for details and prices. Note that most accessory items are custom built-to-order and carry a short lead-time, please contact us for timing prior to placing your order.

Delivery

How are your buildings packed?

The structure will come to you on a wooden skid(s). It is in pieces and will be securely wrapped in plastic. You should use a cordless drill to open the wooden skids, carefully remove the plastic and begin unloading the pieces off the truck to the sidewalk, and then take it to the site where it will be installed.

Do you ship overseas? If so, how much does it cost?

Yes, we ship any of our kits all over the world from our door to your door, or to a port nearest your town. Call or email us directly with your address and what product you are interested in to get a quote for the freight cost.

How do I know if I require cartage?

If you live in an area where a 53' tractor trailer truck can not get to or maneuver around, you will require cartage. This would include areas with hills, cul de sac, remote areas, narrow roads, or low hanging trees and wires (15ft and below). Modern mapping technology often allows us to identify when cartage is and isn’t required, if you’re unsure if you’ll require it please contact us and we’ll confirm for you.

Can I pick which day I want my unit to arrive? And what time?

It's not always possible to schedule a delivery day because there may be unexpected delays. We try to give you a very close range, though!

How do I unpack my structure once it arrives at my house?

You require a cordless drill to unscrew the skid. Once that's done, you require help from at least one or two other people to take each of the pieces off the truck to the assembly site.

How many people do I need to help offload my unit from the truck?

On smaller or pre-cut units, you will need at least two people to help get the unit off the truck. On larger units or pre-assembled units, you will require at least three-four people. This way one person can stay up in the truck and they can pass the sections down to the people on the ground. However, the more people you have, the easier and faster the offloading process goes.

How much does it cost to ship one of your units to my city?

Freight is determined by the size of your structure and the shipping location. Call or email us directly with your address and what product you are interested in, to get a quote for the freight cost. Please be sure to look at our delivery details for important information about freight and shipping.

We live close to the Summerwood "basecamp" in southwestern Ontario… How will our building be delivered and do we need to be home at the time?

If you live in Ontario, we will deliver your building on a crane truck and drop it on your driveway or somewhere close by. Nobody needs to be home, but it is nice to have the personal contact.

Permits / Drawings

Will your buildings meet the structural requirements of my Building Department?

All Summerwood structures are engineered to conform to the most rigid building codes. If you require, generic permit drawings are available for all of our products and styles. If necessary, we are also able to provide specific custom permit drawings for a small fee.

Do you offer BCIN (Building Code Insurance Number)?

Yes, we offer BCIN stamps on all of our permit drawings for a small fee.

How will I know if I need a permit?

Building permits are not always required for structures under 100 sq. ft. but if you require one, we will be happy to help you submit the appropriate information. Be sure to check with your local by-law office for the regulations and specifications in your area. In Canada - Either visit in person or look up your local town website, they will almost certainly have information that will direct you to your local department. In the USA – see our information about US permits.

My permit drawings require engineering - what should I do?

In the province of Ontario where Summerwood is located, we offer BCIN (Building Code Insurance Number) stamps on all of our permit drawings for a small fee. Outside of Ontario, engineering is typically something that you can find and have taken care of locally. We may have a past customer with an engineer reference in your area, so be sure to check with us first to see if we have a reference on file.

Do you sell permit drawings?

Permit drawings are something that we offer! Upon ordering a building from Summerwood you may choose (or be required) to buy drawings specific to your building for submission to your local building department.

Can you submit my building permit application for me?

We’ll give you everything we can to help complete your building permit application and are happy to provide any supplemental information that may be required for a permit application. You (or your contractor) are required to submit a permit application and advise Summerwood when you have obtained planning permission so that we can construct your building.

Assembly / Hiring a contractor

Can I build the structure myself?

Yes. Most of our kits are made for the do-it-yourselfer. You will require at least one other person to help with the walls and roofing materials, as well as a couple of people to offload the pieces. We provide instructions, videos and much more to help you build your structure!

How long does it take to put one of your structures together?

Our structures are usually put together in a couple of days by our crew... you can count on doubling the time if you don't know very much about construction. Be sure to ask your sales rep for a more accurate estimate when placing your order or see our assembly time estimated online with each quote.

What's the quickest way to install shingles?

Instead of using nails and a hammer (unless you'd like to build some muscles), rent or borrow a pneumatic nail gun. It's fast and easy! See more instructions to assemble your structure.

All my trim is too long, and it only has one end that is angled? What’s the deal?

All trim provided is left long. This is to avoid some cracking of the material as it dries. It will be up to you to correctly cut the material down to the proper size.

Who should I call if I have problems assembling my building?

If you have any questions or problems assembling your structure, simply contact us!

How do I find a contractor?

Personal Referral: A friend or neighbor can recommend a good contractor if they were happy with the work done on a previous project. Professional Referral: Your local building materials store may be able to provide a list of recommended contractors who perform quality work and are in your area. Newspapers: Look in the classified section of your local paper. Remember to check the references of the advertised contractor to ensure that they are reputable and suitable for your project. Online Review Sites: Places like Houzz.com and HomeStars.com are review sites where customers can rate their experiences with contractors and professionals in the industry. Take a look online to learn what other people are saying about the contractor(s) you’re considering hiring. Oh, and check out the great reviews Summerwood Products has on each site while you’re there!

What should I take into consideration when hiring a contractor?

Apart from the basic assembly of your structure, there are other important considerations to review with your contractor to ensure that nothing is overlooked. Foundation, shingling, staining-these and other important items are discussed on Summerwood Contractor Estimate.

What should a contract contain?

There are a bunch of things a contract should contain, such as outline of work, schedule, insurance, warranties, payment, and other issues. As with any contract it’s important to have the scope of work and services outlined in a signed contract to prevent unanticipated problems.

Do you install your buildings?

For those who live in our Southwestern Ontario local market we offer an extensive installation service where we take care of all of the details for you. For those who don't, we have a vast list of contractors that we can refer depending on where you live.

Installation / Services

Do you install your buildings?

For those who live in our Southwestern Ontario local market we offer an extensive installation service where we take care of all of the details for you. For those who don't, we have a vast list of contractors that we can refer depending on where you live.

How long do your installations take?

The install time depends on the size of the building but often can be done in just one day. Increasing the size and number of options will also increase the installation time. Your salesperson will give you more information at the time of order.

What type of materials do you use in the construction of your buildings?

We use the finest materials available and provide options whenever possible. Our buildings are designed and manufactured to exacting standards and are built to last. Learn more about materials.

I am looking at a cabin’s price sheet and on the last row there is a price for Installed. Does this mean that the kit is installed by the manufacturer?

Yes, if you live in Ontario then we do offer full installation services. If you'd like a quote on an installed cabin, please don't hesitate to give us a call at (800) 663-5042. Note that a number of factors, such as site access and location, play into our installed prices, and as such we suggest that you contact us to obtain an accurate installed quote.

Do you have a referral?

We take enormous pride in our work and are never satisfied unless our customers are too! Please have a look at the reviews found on HomeStars and Houzz to see what our customers are saying about us.

Do I need to send photos of the site?

When purchasing an installed building, we require some pictures of the site before releasing the order to production. We want to make sure that we can deliver and install your building according to your expectations, and that our installers are able to assemble the structure you are purchasing.

Can I choose the day of my install?

We work on time range schedule when it comes to installations. On the construction field we depend on many variables, such as weather conditions, estimation of previous installs duration and of course, workmanship. But we will do our best to meet your expectations scheduling wise!

Materials / Construction

Can you paint pressure-treated lumber? (and other wood species)

Yes, but the approach is very different from normal lumber.

What type of materials are used in Summerwood products?

One of the defining characteristics of our Summerwood products is quality. Every structure, regardless of style or size, is designed and manufactured to exacting standards. We use the finest materials available and provide options where possible. Learn more about materials.

Do I need to caulk around doors, windows, vents and the trim at the corners of the building and along the soffits?

Depending on the intended use of the building you may or may not need to use caulking around the building. You'll also want to take into account weather conditions, the location of the building and if you intend on insulating the building. If you're not insulating and leaks aren't a potential concern then caulking isn't a necessity, so really the choice is yours. Insulated buildings require a tight seal from the outer elements and require caulking.

Why do some buildings have flat roofs? Won’t my flat roof leak when water sits on it?

The first reason is because some structures may have height restrictions and they want to maximize their interior space. By building a flat roof, the overall height of a building can remain the same and there could be more usable space inside. Another reason is strictly design. It’s important to point out that our “flat” roof buildings actually have a gradual front-to-back slope, so water runoff is promoted and water does not have the ability to pool on the roof.

Foundation / Staining

What do you recommend as a foundation?

It really depends on the size of the building, its location and intended use, and local building code regulations. Most of our garden sheds sit on patio stones while pool cabanas and garages are commonly placed on concrete pads. Cabins will require something a little more substantial like concrete footings. We’ve seen decks, docks, trailers, boats, and trees used as foundations as well. Learn more about foundations here where we go in-depth on various foundation options available to you and provide recommendations on the ideal outdoor structure foundation.

How big should my foundation be?

If you are pouring a concrete pad, it should be the exact size of your building and square and level. If you are using patio stones, they should be recessed slightly and positioned under the runners on the floor. If you’re unsure about anything having to do with your foundation please contact us prior to commencing site work, we’re more than happy to assist!

Do you recommend staining cedar shingles? What is the benefit of doing it?

Yes, we do recommend that you stain your structure, including the cedar shingles, in order to prevent water damage and to maintain your warranty. Please take a look at the information we provide about staining. We recommend using Sikkens Cetol 1 as a base for your siding and Cetol 23 as a natural topcoat. For roof shingles, Sikkens SRD is best.

My wood is wet. When should I stain it?

It is important that you wait until the wood is completely dry before you stain it. If you stain on a wet surface, the stain could bubble or peel. To find out how long you should wait after it rains, contact the stain supplier for precise information relating to the product you are using.

Do you have any recommendations for staining, painting or treating the building?

We recommend the Sikkens line of products for the exterior of our structures, as it is a great product! The manufacturer also makes interior finishes. Feel free to use an alternative stain product as well. At the end of the day you should be using a product that will seal the board rather than act as a decorative coating as you want to neutralize the cedar’s ability to absorb water.

Removing the existing stain and re-stain: what suggestions would you have to both effectively strip and re-stain the cabana?

If you'd like to strip all of the current stain off and completely re-stain your building, we recommend power washing your siding with a light chemical wash (available at the hardware store) to loosen up the stain and perhaps even lightly sanding. If you'd like to remove the bubbling sections only, you can lightly sand them off. There are a variety of factors at play here so it is always worth consulting a local professional or paint store for their suggestions on removing/re-staining.

How can I stain the doors and windows without getting paint on the window panes?

Take the time to tape around the outside of the window. Special tape that leaves no residue when it's removed can be bought. An important step in staining your doors is to make sure that the bottom, top, and all sides of the door are stained using several coats. The ends of the doors will pull water into them if not correctly stained.

Interior / Finishing / Insulation

Can I upgrade the floor material?

A strong 5/8” tongue and groove spruce plywood is our standard floor sheathing. There are other attractive floor finishes that you may choose from as well.

Can I insulate my building?

Absolutely. This is a very popular choice on our small cabins and studios. View our materials for more info.

What if I want cedar on the interior as well?

There are many interior cedar upgrades for those who love the look and fragrance of Western red cedar. You may upgrade the studs, rafters, and roof boards to cedar, or you may choose to clad the interior walls and ceiling with interior cedar siding as well.

What are my heating options?

Many customers use their buildings year round and a wood stove or electric heater is often required. While we don't sell these items, we can work with you to make sure that you get good advice.

Do you take care of electrical or plumbing?

For those who want to run electricity for lighting and power or plumb their building for a washroom or shower, it is best to coordinate it at the time of installation. It is important to plan this carefully so that everything is done in the right order. While we don't handle electrical or plumbing, your sales person would be happy to provide you with any advice that you might need.

What are the floor plans for larger structures like cabins?

Due to the custom nature of our buildings we offer virtually endless customization ability to just about all of our structures. As a result, we do not have “set” floor plans for our buildings. Have a look at our sample floor plans for some ideas, or start assembling your own building using our Custom Design Center. If you have an idea of a floor plan you’d like to incorporate into one of our designs, please send it to us and one of our design staff will work with you to design your perfect structure.