How-To Choose an Attractive Color Scheme for Your Shed

Cabin Home Studio

With the right color scheme, you will not be able to help but grin whenever your shed enters your view. Just a glance at the perfect blend of colors can have an amazing effect on your mood, energy levels and sense of well-being. Your shed’s color scheme will also help it meld with your exterior décor to create the landscape of your dreams. Knowing how to create an ideal color scheme requires inside information about the theories and tools utilized in the design realm. Luckily, you can read through this guide to learn all you need to know about the selection of an attractive color scheme for your shed.

 

Base Color Combinations

The primary, secondary and tertiary tones on a color wheel can act as your guide during the color selection process. To create a cohesive color scheme, you need to select two base tones using popular color rules, including analogous or complementary combos.

Analogous colors sit directly next to each other on the wheel. Their direct proximity gives the tones a matching quality that looks great when paired on a large structure. Complementary colors, on the other hand, are located directly across from each other on the color wheel. The direct contrast of these tones gives your color scheme a sense of balance. You may also utilize other color rules, such as triad, compound and monochromatic, to combine attractive shades.

Your main colors will work best on the largest surfaces of your shed. You can paint your shed in a high and low two-tone scheme or use one color for the siding and the other for the doors.

Palmerston-shed-kit-North-York-Ontario-189932-1

Contrasting Elements

Select a somewhat neutral contrasting color for the trim to make your base colors really pop. Think beyond white, black, gray and tan neutrals, however, to create a truly unique color scheme. When paired with vivid tones, for example, pastels in the same color family can act as a stunning neutral for your trim pieces.

McMillan_4

Selection Tools

Before you head out to buy paint, play with color combinations by utilizing smart software programs. The programs allow you to create color schemes using a wide variety of combination rules.

You can utilize the all-inclusive color tool, Kuler by Adobe, to explore innovative combinations using all of the popular color rules. You simply use your cursor to pull the tabs into the shade you prefer to see similar tones that follow the selected rule. The tool gives you the Hex and RGB codes for each tone, so you can identify the exact colors you want when it comes time to buy paint.

If you want to match your shed tones to your outdoor décor, consider utilizing the Colr page to identify your existing color elements. You will upload a picture of your landscape or outdoor décor to have the color elements analyzed in real time. Upon revealing the colors you prefer, you can click through the options to find a paint with those exact tones.

IMG_3884

Achieving a Balanced Color Scheme

With your newfound knowledge and helpful tools, select at least three color schemes you feel would look great on your shed. Head to the hardware store or paint supply depot to pick up swatches that best match the colors in each design array. Bring the swatches home and view them next to your existing outdoor décor to view their impact on the surrounding environment. Make sure to pay close attention to how each one impacts you and narrow down your choices. The winning color scheme will likely feel just right as you view the tones against the backdrop of your shed and its surrounding decorative elements.

Cabins: For Extra Space and Privacy

Maybe you live in a rural area, or maybe you’ve just purchased or come into some land. It’s beautiful and you’re excited to show it off to friends and family. But is the place big enough to house everyone comfortably?

Often one cabin isn’t big enough for everyone to be comfortable, especially if you have a large family or love to entertain.  A second smaller guest cabin (or ‘bunkie’) helps keep families and friends close … but not too close. It can be used for various purposes – a hang out space for teens, an in-law suite, or even as a tiny home/rental income property when you aren’t using it (just like Rebecca does in “Small in Size, Big on Function: Leading the Tiny House Movement”.)

summerwood cabin with porch custom

Regardless of what you’re going to use your cabin for, there are a few things you should consider before entering into the design process. Below, we’ve got a few questions to consider before building your very own custom cabin. Let’s get those wheels turning!

Do I need to insulate?

You may need to insulate your cabin depending on what climate you live in. If it gets chilly where you live, you’re probably going to want to insulate the building so you can use it year round. If you are adding plumbing, you may also consider adding insulation to ensure your pipes don’t freeze during the colder months.

Does it need ventilation?

Yes, a cabin definitely needs ventilation. Consider that someone may not be there all the time to open a window, perhaps it’s a vacation property that you only visit on weekends or holidays. Air will get stale and can lead to rot and major air quality problems down the line – such as mold. No thanks!

Summerwood cabins come with cedar or maintenance-free vents in the gable roof, to ensure your building is always breathing in the fresh forest air!

Do I need a permit?

In most cases you will need a permit for a cabin as you’ll probably want it to be a bit larger than the average shed or pool cabana. If you’re planning on making it larger than 100 square feet, or adding plumbing, you will have to go through the permit process. Learn more about obtaining a permit, and how we can help in “Building Permits: What You Need to Know”.

A cabin this size definitely needs a permit.

A cabin this size definitely needs a permit.

Should I stain it?

Yes! You should always stain or paint a cedar sided building. Unlike a deck or a fence, which you can let grey and whether over time, when cedar is used as a siding material it should be maintained. Since the idea is to keep the elements out, you’ll want to stain the structure to ensure the wood does not warp or rot. If occasional staining just isn’t for you, consider a maintenance-free option, such as Canexel. It has a 25 year warranty and comes in a multitude of colours. Read more about weathering in “Understanding Weathering: The Effects of Rain or Shine on Your Outdoor Storage Unit”.

Paint your building whatever colour you like!

Paint your building whatever colour you like!

What about Storage?

Storage can be tricky in a small cabin space, but a loft is an ever popular solution. If you’re working with a gable roof building, it’s very easy to incorporate a loft space. If a loft is what you desire, we’ll add a floor and a ladder, and voila! A loft can be used for storage, but is also beloved by children. The little ones won’t mind sleeping in a loft space either, but you may have trouble convincing them to ever leave!

Our Ultimate Cottage Bunkie provides a loft, and an overhang without impacting your footprint.

Our Ultimate Cottage Bunkie provides a loft, and an overhang without impacting your footprint.

What goes on the roof?

Shingles are by far the most popular roof material. The options for colours and styles of shingles are truly endless. If you do choose to add a loft space as mentioned above, consider whether or not visitors will be sleeping upstairs. A tin or metal roof, although durable can create a noisy atmosphere when it rains, so it’s important to keep interior comfort in mind when choosing roof materials.

Can I include outdoor living space?

You absolutely can include this in your cabin design! After all, you’re there to enjoy the great outdoors. If you would like to add a porch to your building, keep in mind that it will count towards your overall footprint. A porch is included in this calculation as it is supported by posts. If this is a concern, perhaps our Ultimate Cottage Bunkie would be preferable. It also provides a front-porch like space, but with just an overhang. Because the structure is cantilevered, this overhand does not count towards your overall square footage. Read more in “Spring Best Seller: Permit Free Cottage Bunkie”.

summerwood custom cabin

summerwood cedar tiny home cabin

What about foundation?

Foundation is dependent on a few factors: is the ground beneath flat and level? Is there a slope? Can rock or stone be found under the ground? Is the structure near water? Our design experts are here to help determine what kind of foundation is best for your particular situation, that’s why we call ourselves custom builders! The underlay of your building can be as simple as gravel and patio stones, although this is generally more appropriate for smaller or shed-like structures. A concrete slab, or piers is more likely what you’ll need to support your cabin foundation.

Concrete piers can help get your right on the water.

Concrete piers can help get you right on the water.

A few years ago, we assisted Tracy and her husband when they bought a cottage in Muskoka, Ontario. Initially, they didn’t consider a guest cabin, and they lived comfortably in their space for quite some time. As the family grew, and new grand-kids, nieces and nephews began to visit the property, they realized they could use some more space. The need for more space for friends and family was apparent, but they didn’t have time to build something themselves.

Instead, they decided a little elbow grease was just what they needed to solve their problem. The old cabin needed some work anyway, so when they renovated it they also had a Summerwood Canmore cabin built. “Now everyone has their own space to relax and spread out. Our mothers come up a lot and feel right at home in the Canmore. The kids love it too. They play up in the loft.”

Tracy and her family had the cabin built just off the driveway, right behind the main cabin. “It’s the first thing you see when you come up the driveway.” First impressions matter, so it needed to be adorable!

You decide just how cute, or rustic your perfect custom cabin will be!

Contact Us:
Check out our website: www.summerwood.com
Email us: design@summerwood.com
Call us toll-free: 1 866 519-4634

5 Activities to Never Try in Your Outdoor Building

45815-81137207-IMG_20160925_173939

After constructing your new outdoor building, you may find yourself searching for reasons to spend time there. As you organize the space and plan fun activities to enjoy during your visit, make sure you know your limits – and the limits of your structure. Although the vast number of pastime options may feel limitless at first blush, there are a few activities you should never try in your outdoor building, so long as you wish to avoid suffering the swift repercussions. To remain safe and sound, and consequence free, remember to avoid the temptation to try the five following activities in your outdoor structure.

Roast Marshmallows

Although roasting marshmallows in the comfy confines of your outdoor structure sounds incredibly decadent, it is also quite a dangerous proposition. Unless you have a fireplace, leave the flames and smoke outdoors where they belong by creating a fire pit and seating area a safe distance away from your buildings. If you absolutely must gaze upon the crackling logs while relaxing in your outdoor building, install a TV screen and tune into one of the many simulated fires to get your fix.

canmore-cabin-combermere-ontario-166515-3

Paint with the Windows Closed

An outdoor building can give you the peace and quiet you need to churn out beautifully painted masterpieces one after another. If, in your frenzy to get painting, you forget to pop open your doors and windows, the fumes could build up and knock you through a loop. Avoid the fumes, and their dizzying effects, by either painting elsewhere or installing centrifugal fans to actively circulate the air as you create your works of art. Opening the windows and doors probably couldn’t hurt either.

Feed the Wildlife

Feeding the wildlife from the doorway of your outdoor building will only serve to draw them to that structure in great numbers. Since life is, sadly, not a Disney movie, the wildlife will likely end up causing more harm than good. To keep their potential for destruction to a minimum, avoid setting out snacks or treats for birds, squirrels or any other wildlife anywhere near your inviting outdoor building structures.

sonoma-garden-shed-mississauga-ontario-194280-2

Grow Mystery Shrubs

Although an outdoor building makes an excellent sprout station and garden depot, you must actively identify your plants to keep your garden, and you, safe and sound. After all, you just never know when the mystery shrub from the corner shop will grow far too large and demand the finest of foods in song. Keep your garden tame by growing your favorite fruit, vegetables and flowers under a combination of natural and artificial light.

Throw a Pool Party

Outdoor buildings seem fit for a bash, but planning a pool party might be taking that sentiment a bit too far. The splashing and laughing – and fun filled chaos – will do little for the health and wellbeing of your newfound favorite outdoor structure. A spa session, on the other hand, might be just what the doctor ordered.

no_id_-e30c37be-IMG_3208_1_

Smartly Utilizing Your Outdoor Buildings

With a little thought about your favorite activities, you can easily transform your outdoor buildings into true extensions of your living space. You can use your imagination to turn each space into an office, computer lab or even an art studio. As your interests change, do not shy away from updating the space yet again to support your latest endeavors. With extra outbuildings at your fingertips, you will always have the space you need for your hobbies and projects.

 

7 Common Maintenance Tasks Required for the Upkeep of Outdoor Buildings

San-Cristobal-Gazebo-Combermere-Ontario-206902-1

You can ensure your outdoor building retains its like-new luster for years to come by performing timely maintenance tasks. These important procedures allow you to rectify small issues before they escalate and cause irreparable damage. In fact, you can actively prevent the need for huge overhauls or total structure replacements by completing maintenance tasks on a yearly schedule. Although you will need to inspect your structure for specific areas in need of attention, almost all outbuildings require the seven following tasks performed each year.

Seal Replacement

Exposure to sunlight, rainfall and constant temperature fluctuations take a serious toll on the health of the seals around your outbuilding’s windows and doors. Without these seals, moisture and drafts would easily enter the structure. You can replace the seals quite easily, however, by scraping away the old caulk and applying a new bead. With proper application around window and door gaps, the caulk will provide another year’s worth of protection against the elements.

Hardware Lubrication

The hardware used for your outbuilding, including door locks, hinges and window mechanisms, require regular attention to remain functional through the years. You can use a can of petroleum based lubricant to oil up the moving parts and add a layer of protection against moisture in the air. The lubricant will actively prevent rust from forming and locking the moving parts stubbornly in place.

Palmerston-garden-shed-Virgin-Utah-206705-1

Siding Restoration

Constant weathering can strip away the sealant or paint from your siding materials. If your siding looks worn or discolored, consider applying a new coat of stain or paint to renew its outer surface. When you refresh this layer, you not only improve the appearance of your outdoor building, you also restore its shield against rain, sunlight, wind and other destructive elements.

Foundation Repair

As the ground settles beneath your outbuilding, cracks may appear in the concrete foundation. Take the time to fill in the cracks as they appear to keep them from going through the entire slab. If the cracks push all the way through the concrete, you may need to have the slab replaced outright to protect your outdoor structure.

bar-harbor-garden-shed-toronto-ontario-195488-1

Vegetation Control

When the vegetation around your outbuilding starts to grow out of control, it could cause damage to the entire structure. Plants with strong, fast growing branches can actually push through your siding or foundation and split the building materials. Prune or remove the offending plants to keep them from leaving immense destruction in their wake.

Roof Rehabilitation

At the very least, your roof will require a visual inspection to check for damage caused by storms, trees and wildlife. You should take a look at the flashing and shingles to check for wear or damage around the edges. If you find any loose elements, examine the underlayment for rips or tears. Promptly repair all damage to this layer before securing your shingles and flashing back down or your roof may leak when it rains.

San-Cristobal-Gazebo-Combermere-Ontario-206902-2

Pest Elimination

If you spot just one pest in the vicinity of your outdoor building, you can safely assume there are many more lurking in the shadows. Spiders, field mice, squirrels and even raccoons will start to search for warmer ground as the winter season approaches. Take the time to close up entry points and set traps to protect your outbuilding from potentially costly damage.

Creating a Maintenance Schedule

When you choose to stick to a strict maintenance schedule, you continually rejuvenate your structures, inside and out, to protect your investment for the long term. To ensure you always complete your maintenance procedures on time, write out a yearly task list and hang it on the inside of the door to your outbuilding. Each time you complete the scheduled maintenance, sign and date the paper to check it off your to-do list. Your commitment to timely maintenance will keep your shed looking new far longer than you ever imagined possible.

A Playhouse Designed by the Kids

Imagine being a kid and trying to convey to your parents exactly what you want from a playhouse. Everything’s adult-sized and you’re rarely allowed your own space. That’s why kids love Summerwood playhouses so much. We encourage including your kids in the design of their playhouses. The little touches they add make them proud to call it their play-home. Besides, getting the kids involved means extra help during the building process, right!?

custom colorful playhouse summerwood

Playhouses are an easy backyard addition. Due to their size and purpose, you probably won’t need a building permit. But, there are a few important things to consider before purchasing your playhouse: does your backyard have the available space for a playhouse? How can you ensure safely for the little ones? Is a playhouse the best option for your family, or would a small shed prove to be more useful?

Playhouse Styles & Placement

Summerwood offers three standard playhouse models to choose from, The Bear Claw, The Peach Pickers Porch, and The Petite Pentagon. These can be left as is, or customized to your, and your child’s content. When considering where in your backyard it would be best to place your playhouse, consider whether a rectangular, or 5-sided shape would best suit your space (read more about our space-saving 5-sided buildings for grown ups: “The Catalina: Our 5 Sided Corner Building”).

The mini-porch space is the highlight of our Peach Pickers Porch model.

The mini-porch space is the highlight of our Peach Pickers Porch model.

Playhouse Safety

Like all Summerwood structures, our playhouses are built according to the highest standards and building code regulations. Playhouses can also include Plexiglas windows, or no glass at all to ensure that the children are free to cast spells and slay magical dragons without concern. Keep in mind as well that you may want to be able to supervise from afar while the children are at play, so when considering where to build your playhouse, ensure that you have a good vantage point.

summerwood playhouse custom

Long-Term Considerations

Although the children may love and appreciate everything miniature, it may not be the right option for your family in the long term. Summerwood structures are built to last, so it’s important to consider whether or not a playhouse fits your present and future lifestyle. If your storage needs are met, and you believe a playhouse will be thoroughly enjoyed for years to come, it could be the perfect backyard addition. However, a small shed may also be able to serve as a playhouse for the time being, and later function as a storage solution. A playhouse is constructed with the children in mind, so although it may be the perfect size at the present time, your family may outgrow it in due time. The design experts at Summerwood are happy to help you make a selection that will serve your family for years to come.

A Five-Sided Corner Catalina, adapted to function as a playhouse until they're all grown up.

A Five-Sided Corner Catalina, adapted to function as a playhouse until they’re all grown up.

Kids are more likely to take care of their playhouse if they're involved in the process.

Kids are more likely to take care of their playhouse if they’re involved in the process.

If you’re just starting to consider the addition of a custom backyard playhouse, don’t forget to take the opportunity to treat the kids like your personal design consultants. Have them join you at our Custom Design Centre. It’s an intuitive “drag n’ drop” tool that they’ll love fiddling with.

Sharon of Brampton, Ontario did just that. “We talked it over with the kids, and then we talked to Summerwood. They were very helpful and knew the product inside out. We showed the kids the design online. They ‘approved’ it.”

Contact Us:
Check out our website: www.summerwood.com
Email us: design@summerwood.com
Call us toll-free: 1 866 519-4634

Don’t forget to play…

Understanding How Outdoor Buildings Can Boost Your Property Value

Belanger

The modern housing market demands the inclusion of unique landscape designs and versatile outdoor buildings. Without these features, you will likely see your property value remain stagnant even as other homes in your neighborhood increase in price. Luckily, upgrading your outdoor buildings can provide a great return on investment when you go to sell your property and increase the overall utility of your home in the meantime. You may love the functionality of the outbuildings so much that you decide to stay rather than sell. In any case, you can facilitate consistent home value increases simply by smartly placing functional and attractive outdoor buildings within the confines of your property.

IMG_3533

Home Value Factors

When you add tastefully placed outbuildings to your property, you improve the aesthetic value and overall utility of your home. A simple detached garage structure, for example, can net you a return of up to 80% of your investment. A purpose built structure, such as a studio shed, however, has the power to push that return past 100%.

Furthermore, the return is not the only reason to invest in outbuildings for your home. The addition of detached buildings on the property helps drum up interest faster when you do decide to place your home on the market. Quickly attracting the interest of buyers, and obtaining bids in droves, can reduce your overhead costs throughout the sales process. As a result, more of your funds will remain in your hands just by making this simple investment.

Auslander40698

Completing Your Outbuilding Arrangement

Determining the best outbuildings for your home requires a bit of guesswork on your part. You should reflect on the lifestyle and interests of the surrounding community, and take a close look at the layout of your home, to determine the best outbuilding for your project. If you have a pool, for example, consider adding a pool house or Bunkie to the backyard to improve upon that feature considerably. If you live near a lake known for good fishing, consider a detached garage and shed that are both big enough to hold gear for an entire family.

If you decide to add another outdoor building or two to your property but don’t want to start from scratch, many companies sell pre-fabricated buildings that require minimal installation.

highlands-garage-whitby-ontario-194272-8

Outdoor Building Considerations

To keep costs down, and maximize the return on investment, you can perform the install yourself using the construction video as a guide. You will need to set up a foundation, obtain finish materials, such as shingles and stain or paint, and gather your tools before you start building the shed. Take the time to select an ideal location for your outdoor building to accentuate the layout of your property and increase your home value many times over through the years. Make sure to inquire about the need for a building permit in your jurisdiction, though most structures under 110 square feet are exempt from this rule. Also, double check the zoning rules in your area to ensure your selected placement will abide by the regional guidelines