Summerwood Products Posts

10 of the Most Picturesque Small Cabins From Around the World

Whether you’re looking for your next cabin retreat destination, or for inspiration for your own home cabin build, you’ve come to the right place. We have gathered together some of the most picturesque cabins from around the world to show you the versatile and stunning nature of the cabin structure.

From Tiny cedar cabins to alpine structures, check out these ten small rustic cabins and modern structures below.

hike in cabin

1. Hike-In Mason Cabin  (Canada)

Mason cabin sits nestled on the outskirts of Algonquin Provincial park in Ontario, Canada. This small wood cabin offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of life, as this is a hike-in location, meaning you must trek by foot to the location, carrying your supplies for your stay. With trees all around, and a small lake stretching alongside this secluded cabin, you have this swath of countryside all to yourself. 

Open all year round, you can experience the summer and winter months of Canada in this off-grid, yet modern cabin. The owners provide snowshoes and a canoe so you can take advantage of the outdoor activities while enjoying your stay. Remote, peaceful, and gorgeous, this cabin offers individuals the perfect opportunity to soak in some Canadian wilderness.

treehouse cabin

2. Vermont Tree Cabin (USA)

You can see why tiny cedar cabins are all the rage when you take a look at the Vermont tree cabin located just outside of Newport in Coventry, Vermont. This stunning wood structure sits atop wooden stilts, between two great White Pines, overlooking Walker Pond. Available for nightly rentals on AirBnB, this small cabin design has big things to offer guests. 

This rustic treehouse is surrounded by 40 acres of forest and wetlands. Go for nature walks, canoe rides, or enjoy the custom-built cedar hot tub on the deck as you survey the beautiful views, full of wildlife, all around you. The stairway winding up the interior of the structure is made out of tree branches sprouting out of the ground, adding to the overall aesthetic of the place. If you like trees, treehouses, and the wilderness, then this small cabin is the place to visit.

glass and wood cabin

3. Glass Cabin (Sweden)

This small wood cabin frame, complete with glass paneling makes it look like this structure was pulled straight out of a fairy tale. This Swedish design brings you closer to nature as the glass siding is the only thing separating you from the great outdoors and the wilderness all around the Arvika area. 

There are a number of these small rustic cabins populating a secluded and private island, so individuals can have their own space. Called 72h Cabin, these cabins were named after a study they were used in. Karolinska Institutet completed a study where five people stayed in these cabins for 72 hours while their stress levels were monitored throughout. All participants significantly reduced their stress levels by the end of the timeframe- and we can see why! 

Each structure was built using the local trees grown on the island- Norway Spruce. All cabins are off-grid and are raised off of the ground to minimize each building’s footprint. Simple yet elegant, these structures make for the most picturesque experience.

cabin home kits

4. AirBnB Nashville, Tennessee (USA)

This Nashville cabin was built using cabin home kits based on alpine structures to create a unique design. The small wood cabin lays claim to a cosy interior possessing a kitchenette outfitted with modern appliances, a lofted queen bed for cosy nights, and a garden complete with friendly chickens just waiting to say good morning. 

Nashville, Tennessee is one of the top vacation destinations in the United States, making this AirBnb the perfect place to unwind, relax, and explore the area. Located on a country estate, the property is only ten minutes from the bustling music-filled city of Nashville, so you get the best of both worlds. This cabin makes a nice change of pace from other nature oriented locations, as you get both the city and country feel together.

norway cabin

5. Skapet Mountain Lodges (Norway)

The Skapet Mountain Lodges stand atop a mountain plateau in Oanes, Norway, overlooking the Soddatjørn Mountain Lake. There are six cabin structures and one main lodge sprinkled throughout the rocky outcrop, all of which run on solar power. This cabin retreat is not for the faint of heart, as you must hike at least an hour from your car to the cabins. 

In the summertime, take advantage of the stunning outdoor showers attached to the small cabin design. The zinc-covered structures protect residents from the icy winds in winter but huge glas windows provide the perfect panoramic view of your surroundings. 

a-frame cabin

6. Tye River Cabin (USA)

There is something magical about the look of an A-frame structure poking its bright wooden body out of the white, winter ground. Tye house, named after its wet neighbor, the Tye River, calls the private cabin community of Timber Lane Village located in the heart of Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, home. This small cabin design looks warm and inviting from the outside while spacious and rustic on the inside. 

Cross-country ski or snowshoe around the national park in wintertime, or opt for a summer getaway and explore the hundreds of hiking trails just outside your door. Book a few nights at this cabin retreat and bring your furry friends to explore the outdoors, as this cabin is pet friendly.

alpine structures in wales

7. Forest Lodge, Coed-y-glyn (UK)

The Forest Lodge roosts alongside a rock face overlooking the woodland area of Glyndyfrdwy and the River Dee. Located in the North of Wales, visitors to this treehouse cabin can also visit the Snowdonia National Park, and Llangollen Railway nearby, as well as the ruins of the 13-century Valle Crucis Abbey.

The Forest Lodge makes a perfect getaway for two guests, but this property also possesses three other alpine structures that can fit larger parties. Each cabin has its own private hot tub, so you can soak your bones after a long day of sightseeing ruins and hiking across beautiful Welsh terrain.

austrian chalet

8. Auszeit Chalet (Austria)

A bit on the grander side of a small wood cabin, the Auszeit Chalet resides in the quiet mountaineer village in the Austrian mountainside. Visiting this chalet will feel like you have been transported to another world as you are dropped in the middle of the untouched nature of the Hohe Tauern Nature Park.

Whether your goal is to enjoy the outdoors or appreciate some pampering at their spa, this remote chalet village offers something for everyone. The rocky mountains loom over your cabin but creates a feeling of protection and safety as the outdoors rises up to meet you each and every morning you awake in this majestic place.

eco pod cabin

9. Eco Cabin Pods (Switzerland)

In the small valley of Flims in the Swiss outdoors you will find a unique collection of wooden cabins known collectively as the POD Hotel. These pods are individually rented out to travellers, offering a sustainable alternative to outdoor tourism. 

These pods are made from local wood and are assembled throughout the wilderness of the Laax Falera area. Disconnect from technology for a few days and appreciate the secluded, quiet countryside- especially in winter. Two travellers can fit together in these small rustic cabins making them the perfect location for a couples retreat. 

snowy cabin

10. Whistler Cabin (Canada)

This small wood cabin, modern and sleek in design, perches atop a rocky bluff just outside of a quiet residential village in Whistler. This A-frame structure boasts a gorgeous and expansive view of the mountains jutting out across the valley over Green Lake. Inside the cabin, the open layout displays an exposed frame made out of local douglas fir lumber, with sleek kitchen surfaces, a minimalist design, complete with a private terrace.

Built as a weekend retreat for a family of snowboarders, the structure possesses a summer and winter equipment storage room making this mountain retreat the perfect getaway in all seasons. 

Your Next Cabin Retreat 

These tiny cedar cabins and secluded structure offer the perfect escape for travellers across the world. We know that it might be hard to get to some of these locations, so if you are looking for that next cabin retreat, why not bring the cabin to you? 

Don’t wait for your next holiday to enjoy the rustic feel of a beautiful cedar cabin. With cabin home kits and custom design structures, we at Summerwood would love to help you build your dream cabin. Consider working with Summerwood to find a cabin design you’ll fall in love with day after day.

What Are The Best Roofing Materials For Sheds?

The right roofing material can add life and beauty to your small structure. A quality roof creates a polished and finished look, adding the final touches to any design. Selecting the right roofing for sheds is also important as you will rely on this small structure to house your tools, toys, or whatever you choose to store inside.

But with so many types of roofing materials on the market today, which one should you choose?

 

Types of Shed Roofing Materials

The building materials used in your shed’s construction will dictate the strength, longevity, and overall quality of your small structure. As such, it is essential to consider which shed building materials you will want to use to get the most out of this addition, especially when it comes to the roofing of your shed.

That being said, what are the most popular roofing materials for sheds? Consider using one of these four materials as your roof of choice the next time you construct a shed:

  • Asphalt
  • Cedar
  • Steel
  • EPDM membrane

 

asphalt roofing for shed

Asphalt Shingles

For over a century, asphalt has reigned supreme as one of the most popular shed roofing materials on the market. Asphalt shingles provide an inexpensive yet durable form of roofing for homes, sheds, and other structures.

Using asphalt will reduce the overall cost of constructing your shed build, but it could also shrink the lifespan. Asphalt offers individuals the lowest cost roofing option for their shed compared to other materials on this list. However, the low cost might compromise the quality and longevity of the material when compared to other, more robust roofing materials. Typically, the lifespan of asphalt ranges from 20 to 30 years, depending on the type and quality of asphalt shingles used.

That being said, asphalt is still one of the top choices for roofing as it offers builders an easy installation process and a quality look and feel at a competitive price.

 

cedar shingles for shed roof

Cedar Shingles

If you’re looking for a naturally beautiful shed roof design, consider using cedar. Cedar wood shingles or shakes are the most popular form of cedar roofing for small structures and sheds. Cedar shingle designs offer individuals a high-quality roofing option that is naturally waterproof and looks beautiful. Add character and elegance to any shed with cedar shingles.

Cedar shingle designs possess a lifespan of 50 years, so they are as durable as they are beautiful. Western red shingles are a popular wood shingle of choice, as the natural colour and grain create an eye-catching feature of any small structure.

 

steel roofing for shed

Steel Roofing

Steel roofing is a type of metal roofing material that has grown in popularity over the last few years. More and more homeowners use steel or other metals as their go-to roofing material as it provides an added layer of protection and durability to structures.

Steel roof panelling offers homeowners a unique yet versatile look that goes with various personal design preferences and aesthetics. And the best part, steel roofing possesses a lifespan greater than 50 years when cared for properly. Highly durable and pretty much impervious to snow and rain, this roofing material is the perfect fit for shed builds throughout Canada.

Steel roofing will be more expensive than the other material options on the list, especially when used on a house. But, at least with a smaller structure, you will use less material overall, and it will last longer than many other options, making metal roofing for sheds a quality choice. Learn more about the pros and cons of metal roofing.

 

EPDM roofing for shed

EPDM Roofing Membrane

EPDM, ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, is a roofing material that provides builders with a durable and watertight roofing option. This sleek, synthetic rubberized roofing material can stand up to all types of weather and climate conditions, making this option the perfect choice for the Canadian outdoors.

Typically, the EPDM roofing membrane works best on a ‘flat’ shed roof design, adding an overall modern and polished look to your structure. Available in black and white, this simplistic yet high-quality material works well with any building colour scheme.

 

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Shed Building Materials

When it comes to your roofing designs, you want to choose shed roofing materials that will work for you, your climate, and your wallet. The shed roof design must tie into the structure’s design as a whole while also providing long-lasting durability and protection for the things held within.

When shopping for the best roofing materials for sheds, consider these tips before settling on your preferred medium,

  • Seasonal weather and climate: Do you live predominantly in a warm environment, or do you experience all four seasons? You will need to choose a roofing material that can stand up to high winds, heat and droughts, heavy rains, and sleet and snow, depending on your location.
  • Purpose of the shed: What is your shed’s purpose- for storing gardening tools and outdoor supplies, or is it for comfort and relaxation? Choose a material that suits the use of your shed.
  • Length of use: Will you be using this shed for many years to come, or are you looking for a quick build? Longer lasting materials will cost more money, so you will need to weigh up the length of use against the cost of construction to help determine what you are looking for.
  • Personal aesthetic: What shed roof design and look are you going for? Opt for a material that works for your personal preferences and overall vision.
  • Trustworthy suppliers: Who are you securing your construction and roofing materials from? Are you getting the best deal and a high-quality product from this person or organization?

 

Summerwood Offers Quality Roofing Products

The right roofing for sheds will make all the difference to the structure’s look and lifespan. For quality products and shed building materials that will last a lifetime, consider working with us here at Summerwood. With numerous high-quality materials to choose from and an extensive knowledge base surrounding sheds, our company can work with you to create a long-lasting woodshed for your backyard. Why not give us a call today to learn more!

Update Your Small Space With These Ideas

The tiny spaces in your home shouldn’t be looked over just because they’re small. Many of us fall into the rhythm of using small spaces for storage, cramming as much as possible into the nooks and crannies. But you can do a lot more with that space than just piling in your old holiday decorations and rusty gardening tools.

There are many ways to utilize the space and make them uniquely your own. Time to clean out those small backyard sheds or modular garages and give your small space a facelift with these decorating tips listed below!

Decorating Tips for Small Spaces:

Next time you’re looking for a quick home project for that long weekend, why not consider freshening up one of your small spaces in your home or backyard. You can even get the whole family involved to make redecorating a fun affair for everyone. Make an old area feel like new, no matter the square footage, with these fresh decorating tips for small spaces.

 

Brighten things up with a fresh coat of paint

new paint job for small spaces

 

Instantly brighten up a small pool house or tiny modular garages with a nice new coat of paint. If your backyard pool house or shed is looking a little rough around the edges, then a few layers of a new paint color could be just the thing to liven up the space.

Take into account the function and feel of the room and pick out a colour that suits the mood. Worried the colour might overpower the small space? Consider these color and pattern tips for small rooms. It also doesn’t have to be a wall you splash in colour. Why not an old dresser, mirror, or chair? Breathe new life into your furniture with a colour that grabs attention.

 

Put new handles on doors and drawers

new knobs on small studios

Switching up those old handles with something new and fresh is an easy and cheap way to liven up those small studios and backyard sheds. Handles and knobs might not be the first thing you notice in a room, but with tiny spaces, they can still bring a pop of colour that will draw the eye and can tie into the rest of the theme throughout.

You can look for cool vintage doorknobs or drawer handles at thrift stores and second-hand shops that will nicely tie in your space and make a statement. Switch out that old rusty doorknob for a fun vintage find to make a quick and easy update to the small space.

 

Upgrade the lighting

improve lighting for modular garages

 

We might not notice great lighting when it works well, but we definitely notice it when it’s lacking! Take a look around your old space and see how you can improve your lighting in the room. This is especially important when working in small studios or using modular garages as a workshop or storage unit.

The right lighting will do wonders for your eyesight and space. Consider new light fixtures for bright, warm, artificial light that won’t strain the eyes. Or why not create or enlarge windows to naturally brighten up the place for a sunlight studio.

 

Use multipurpose furniture

interior tiny space

 

Maximize the flow and capabilities of minimal space by using multipurpose furniture. If you have a dedicated small space you use for hobbies or activities, like a small pool house or studio, why not fill it with furniture that will do more for you.

More than ever, furniture designs have pushed the boundaries to fit into smaller and smaller spaces, like tables turned bookshelves and dining areas stowed away and turned into a bench. You could even make your own stow-away furniture or multi-functioning pieces! Replacing your furniture with convertible and compact items could free up more space and provide extra functionality for you!

 

Be bold

bold wooden small backyard sheds

 

Even if you don’t feel bold all of the time, you can still make brave choices when it comes to your interior and exterior designs. A bland and washed out space can really make the room feel smaller, less inviting. Make a statement with your small space instead, and bring attention to the room with an accent wall of exposed wood or focal piece of furniture.

One eye-grabbing feature can be the linchpin to a good design plan. Consider how you could catch the eye when turning that small pool house into a luxurious spa with lush accent pieces. Or bring out the beauty in your small backyard sheds with a little power washing to loosen away years of dirt to uncover the original splendour of cedarwood.

 

Add a large rug into the mix

decorating tips for small spaces

 

Small studios can look bigger by tricking the eye. Do this by adding a large rug to the area to make it feel more expansive. Thick carpets can make a room feel plush and inviting while also adding a new focal point to the site. They also provide the perfect tool for hiding those less than perfect floors from view. Do away with scratched flooring and add a large area rug into the mix for a fresh take on an old space.

 

Get the most out of those nooks and crannies

corner shelves for small spaces

 

Clear away the cobwebs in those nooks and crannies and take advantage of the vertical space with storage solutions. Small backyard sheds might feel too cramped for all your gardening tools and lawn supplies. Still, by cleaning out those tight corner spaces and placing hooks or shelving units there, you can efficiently utilize the whole corner.

Optimizing storage space also means bringing a bit more organization into your life- something everyone can appreciate!

 

Update Your Small Spaces With Summerwood

If these decorating ideas fail to freshen up your small studios, modular garages, or small backyard sheds, why not start over! Summerwood offers a wide range of small pool house kits or prefab modular garages for a new take on tiny spaces.

At Summerwood, we find inspiration in the small things, and you can too. Find out more about our company’s product before undertaking that next home improvement project!

 

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.

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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.

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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.

Style matters – shed quality matters, too

There’s no question that style is absolutely important – that is why there is this whole blog post dedicated to it. However it is also important to make sure that your new shed will last. We feel that our structures will outperform the average hardware option. A Summerwood building can be used as a typical backyard storage building, or can become an extension of your home. The choice is yours! Functionality, practicality and gorgeous design can not only co-exist, they can make your life a lot easier with a few simple styling secrets.

We’re dedicated to helping build your perfect shed, which You can customize the shed’s size and layout using the Custom Design Center lets you personalize a building to fit your home, landscape, and lifestyle. Once you create your perfect build, simply order and construct the prefabricated building on your lot. With your shed in place, you will have the space you need to create the perfect shed for your needs.

Whether you need a little or a lot of help, contacting our experienced design specialist team here can help you get the ball rolling on the man cave of your dreams, and build the foundation for a great year ahead.

Cleaning Cedar Wood & Fall Maintenance Checklist

Outdoor care and maintenance of cedar

The surfaces of finished Western Red Cedar decks, siding and trim boards exposed outdoors inevitably become dirty and can also be discolored by mildew, algae and moss. These natural elements slowly erode the finishes and as a result, all finishes applied to cedar require regular cleaning and maintenance to perform.

Maintaining a cedar shed, cabin, or cottage should be a bi-annual activity, specifically during the spring and fall seasons. Regular maintenance of your cedar cabin can help to reduce the damage from UV, water, insects and air infiltration, keeping your cedar cabin looking as good as the day you first bought it.

While maintenance on your cedar cabin, shed, or other summerwood product is a necessary chore, it is also a great time to do some work on the exterior of your cabin before the cold weather hits. Although autumn can be one of the busiest seasons for repairs and maintenance, it is also the best time to take advantage of the moderate weather and repair any damages to the exterior before the snow hits. That is why we have come up with a checklist of fall maintenance activities to go over before the winter season hits.

Summerwood Products - Office with a view

Roof inspection

The fall and spring are also a great time to do a roof inspection, especially while you are up on the roof cleaning the gutters. Make sure to keep your eye out for cracks, holes, and areas that may be susceptible to leaks and make sure they are sealed properly.

 

Clean the cedar siding & wash the exterior

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.

Usually dirt is the most common cause of discolouration. We suggest that you wash the exterior of your cedar cabin with a brush and mild water mixed with soap. We generally recommend not using a pressure washer, as this can strip the wood away if you are not careful. By thoroughly cleaning the exterior and letting it dry off, you will be able to conduct an inspection of the cedar. By looking at the condition of the stain on the cedar after they have dried off, you can see if any of the parts of the cedar cabin might need additional work or staining.

 

Watch for mold, mildew or rot

Because your cabin’s exterior is exposed to moisture, it’s important to get rid of mold or mildew build-up, which will likely appear in the form of a black or grayish-green film on the logs. Most preservatives have a mildewcide built in, but regular inspections will ensure they’re doing their job.

Clear the landscaping around the cedar cabin, shed or cottage

 

When you are doing a quick walk around the exterior, have a look to make sure the dirt on the ground has not shifted. If the dirt has encroached towards your building such that it’s touching the bottom of your siding, it can cause the siding to rot due to the absorption of the ground’s moisture. Also be sure to check if there are any plants, bushes or weeds that are rubbing up against the exterior as it’s best to keep an eye on these. A good rule of thumb when it comes to this is that you should be able to have a walk along the outside of your cedar cabin without touching the plants or the cedar cabin. If you do see that there are plants or any other things touching the wood, you can trim them back or consider replanting them somewhere else.

 

Pack up the patio and outdoor furniture
cedar shingles

If you do have a patio at your cabin, it is best to pack it in for the fall. It costs you time and money to set your outdoor space up, so you should make sure that it is packed up safely in a garage or shed to help make sure that you will get another season out of it. 

Test your winter equipment

If you do plan on heading up to your cabin during the winter, it is best to test out your equipment for the winter before the winter. Checking it now will make your life a lot easier and will help make sure that come winter you don’t run into any problems.

Clean the gutters

If you have gutters on your cabin, it’s important to keep them clean as this will help keep water from down the logs. Cleaning the gutters will also help prevent damage to them and avoid having an unwanted mess when you return in the spring.

Stain your cedar

We have had great success in the past using this log and siding stain for staining cabins or sheds. Since these are high quality stains and seals, you will not need to reapply them annually. Remember to check out our other blog post about things you should do before staining your shed, for some other helpful tips. Extreme heat or constant sunlight can work against you when you are staining wood. By exposing the cedar wood to constant sunlight, this can cause the wood to dry too quickly and also leave water marks. If you do plan on staining during the fall, you should follow the recommended instructions on the stains to get the best use out of them.

The Fall Season Will Help Keep Your On Track For Maintenance
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While the fall brings in crisp and nice weather, it is also a sign that colder weather is on the way. Stay on track with your regular fall maintenance activities by taking advantage of the ‘in-between’ seasons. While you are staining your shed, you can also stain your deck and try to get other maintenance done around the shed. By starting this in the fall, it will help to protect your shed from the weather and fluctuating temperatures that will follow, which can cause wood to crack and warp over time. 

Finishing Tips

summerwood cabin with porch custom

For more info on the best type of staining and finishes to use on our kits, refer to our staining guidelines and some of our other helpful tips before starting to stain your shed.
Remember, if you do have any questions about staining your Summerwood shed, be sure to reach out to us. We are more than happy to help or assist in any questions you may have.

Tips And Ideas For Helping To Build The Perfect DIY Shed

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Here at Summerwood, we’ve compiled some of the most common planning concerns in an effort to help guide you to the perfect shed. From gardening and equipment storage to poolside storage, to whatever you’ll be using your shed for, we’re sure you’ll find these tips and ideas helpful. And don’t forget we’re here to help with any specific questions you’re sure to have along the way.

 

Choosing a location for your shed

From a practical standpoint, it’s a smart choice to build one of our storage sheds close to where they’ll be needed most. For example, kids are much more likely to put bicycles and toys away if the access to the shed is convenient. On the other hand, if you are looking at garden sheds, you may want to locate it next to your garden, in a spot that receives lots of natural light. Aesthetics are always important; you may choose to highlight your structure by making it the center of attention, or blend it into your landscape and make it a secret hideaway. You should also be mindful of the sheds relation to other structures that you may have on your property. Achieving a balance is very important in the overall aesthetic of your shed.

Other things to think of when choosing your sheds location may be it’s proximity to water (do I need a hose, do I want to plumb it), natural light, ventilation (although vents are available), and electricity (artificial lighting and electrical for gardening and other tools may be desired). Consider the way the shed will look year round. Surrounding foliage (and weather) can be very different from one season to the next. All of these considerations may have some impact on where you decide to place your shed.

Once you have decided on a size for your shed and the location of the shed (see ‘shed sizes’ below), it’s a good idea to physically stake it out on your property to ensure that the fit is comfortable for you and is harmonious with your surroundings.

Grade – Ideally your site should be level, with a slight pitch towards the rear. This will allow drainage of water without having to excavate around your shed. A shed may be located where the ground slopes more steeply (i.e. greater than 12″ from one side to the other) however, if this is the case, more thought should be put into the foundation you are going to build. Try to avoid positioning a shed at the bottom of a hill but, if you must, ensure that you beef up the drainage with a 6″ gravel bed around your shed or some other appropriate foundation. If you are planning to store wheel barrels and lawn mowers, and there is a slope, be sure to consider adding a ramp to your shed.

 

How to choose the perfect design for your shed

Our range of shed styles, sizes, and options will allow you to design and build your shed for functionality without having to compromise on style. Be sure to take your time browsing through our shed photo galleries and you will benefit from all the designs that others have come up with before you.

Choose a shed style that reflects your personal taste and fits in to the landscape. Don’t worry about your shed matching your house; not every thing needs to match…and why not be a little eclectic! You can customize your shed to your heart’s content, implementing your personal flair along the way. Most of our shed styles are differentiated primarily by roof lines (i.e. gable, hip, lean to, salt box), so this is an important consideration.

It’s important from the beginning of your decision making process to think about the interior design of your shed. If you are storing large items like a lawn mower, you don’t want to constantly be moving it in order to get to smaller items like shovels and rakes. Double doors on your shed make for easy storage of and access to large and small items alike.

Partition walls often work well to divide space within your

shed and help separate bikes from strollers, from gardening supplies. If you’re going to be using your shed for storage, consider the placement of doors and windows. Keep in mind that storage space is lost where windows are placed. Placement of doors is also important to ensure convenient access to all the stuff inside. Obviously hooks, shelving, benches, bins and other creative ideas are useful in helping to keep things organized. Whatever your requirements are, we have oodles of shed options to choose from, so you shouldn’t have much trouble achieving a good fit to your tastes and needs.

 

Backdrops & landscaping for your shed

It’s smart to think about how you may want to cultivate the landscape in your shed’s immediate surroundings. Shrubs, flowers, and vines on trellises can be a nice complement to a shed and will help to define the space. Many people will also choose to lay flagstone or other pavers to create a pathway to their shed.

A little garden decor will also help to create a tranquil space. Strategically placed accents like trellises, pergolas, cupolas, lights, wind chimes, wheelbarrows, birdhouses – and even your favorite piece of weathered furniture can go a long way in creating that outdoor sanctuary you desire.

 

Choosing the perfectly sized shed

There is often much deliberation over what the perfect size is for a shed. There is no wrong choice, and to make it easier, we offer a wide range of sizes (custom as well), so rest assured we’ll have the right size for you. Clearly, the key is to ensure that your shed is large enough for its intended purposes. Think of what you’ll be using the shed for and what is going to go inside. An easy way to do this is to physically map it out in your yard. Get some stakes and string and physically stake out the size – 10 x 12, 12 x 14, etc… Then, if you’re feeling energetic, gather all of the items that you might be storing in your shed (bearing in mind that many items may be stored on shelves), and see how they fit within this staked out area.

If you’re going to be using the shed as a potting shed, storage shed, pool shed, etc.. be sure to measure bench depth, shelving heights and pool equipment such as pumps & filters, to ensure you’ll have enough room.

A partition wall may be worth considering if you want to separate contents or activities. If you intend to combine your storage needs with work space, make sure to allow for enough space for both you and your stored items. A dual purpose shed doesn’t have to be massive, providing you assign different uses to different spaces and incorporate some thoughtful and inventive design into your plan.

Decisions made on the size, location, and style of your shed are not entirely in your hands. Check with your local municipality to ensure that you are meeting all zoning and permit requirements. Generally, if your structure is under 100 sq. ft. you will not require a permit however, there can be restrictions such as a two or three foot set back from a property line. See permits and zoning for more information, and be sure to check with your zoning office, better safe than sorry!

Please feel free to contact us at any point in the planning process and we will provide you with as much help as you need.

 

Shed building materials

All our shed building materials are hand selected and thoroughly inspected before we use them to build your shed. The following details provide some basic information on the materials and construction methods you can expect with your Summerwood shed kit.

Sheathing: We use square edge 4 x 8 sheets of 3/4″ T & G. You may want to upgrade to fir plywood, or consider a T & G pine for a different look.

Shed Joists: We use 2 x 4 spruce (with perpendicular 2 x 6 (or greater) P.T. runners underneath). Although not necessary, some people prefer to go with P.T. for the floor joists as well.

Shed Shingles: We offer cedar shingles that can be purchased for your structure at the time of sale, but there are other choices that may be purchased from your local hardware store (asphalt shingles, for example). Whatever you choose, be sure to follow the installation instructions closely. Please refer to the roofing section on our website for more information.

Garden Shed Siding: We generally use four types of siding in the production of our products: cedar channel siding, cedar log siding, cedar shingle siding and Canexel wood fiber siding.

Canexel wood fiber siding: 1″ x 12″ and it covers approximately 11 feet per row. It has a 15-year manufacturers warranty and comes in a compelling range of colors with virtually no required maintenance.

Cedar siding: 8″ wide western red cedar channel siding with either the rough or smooth side out. It covers 6 3/8″ per row and is a lovely material that looks beautiful on every shed style.

Cedar log siding: 2 x 8″ and gives a truly rustic effect

Cedar shingles: 18″ in length and 7/16″ thick, they give a truly distinct look to the building that they’re put on.

Studs: We use at least 2 x 4 spruce studs every 16″ OC. If you love cedar, consider upgrading to our cedar package.

 

Construction & contractors

You’ll need to decide whether you’re going to take on the project of building your shed yourself or if you’re going to hire someone to do it for you. Most of our customers tackle the project themselves and quite enjoy it; a form of therapy or family bonding if you will. Many will get their friends and neighbors involved, basically anyone who’s going to be spending time your backyard is fair game.  If you are an accomplished ‘do-it yourselfer’, or are ready to make your debut, make sure that you have both the time and the energy required for the task at hand.

For detailed information on assembly and the tools required for the assembly of your shed, please read our shed assembly.

If you’d rather have a professional build your shed for you, be sure to have a look at our how to hire a contractor package. It will provide you with all the information you’ll need to know to get someone else involved. We have a database full of trustworthy and reliable contractors located all over Canada and the US, so we’ll be able to connect you with one, almost anywhere.  We can also help you find reliable contractors for related issues such as landscaping, gardening, architecture, pools, spas and more. Have a look at our resources page for more information and links to partner websites.

 

Choosing a shed style

We know style is a personal issue. That’s why at Summerwood we offer choices. Remember all our sheds can be customized to your personal requirements. They range in size from as small as you want to as big as you want.  From basic storage and garden sheds, to elaborate dual purpose sheds – we’ve got you covered.

Garden Sheds & Storage Sheds – Our Styles

Palmerston Sheds – The Palmerston gable roof design is our most basic and most popular style. The look is clean and the space functional; roof trusses double as storage space for sports equipment and other items that need to be tucked away. A dormer adds a nice touch to this style.

 Sarawak Storage Sheds – If space is tight, our Sarawak lean-to shed is designed to offer you the optimal storage solution. It works well partitioned into a multi functional space or with a large set of double doors for easy access.

 Bar Harbor Sheds – An ideal shed for the avid gardener as a potting or storage shed for your garden tools. The saltbox style roof features exposed cedar rafters and 1 x 6 cedar roof boards.

 Pioneer Barn Sheds – Our Pioneer barn shed combines new world construction with old world design and craftsmanship. The shed features a roomy loft with 1 x 8 pine flooring, a barn door hatch, and a wood ladder.

 Catalina Corner Sheds – The five sided roof design of this shed certainly adds an interesting dimension to your landscape. A great choice nestled into a corner facing your yard.

 Sonoma Sheds – The Hip Roof design of this shed offers a little more flair and versatility. The use of rafters instead of trusses also creates more of an open feeling. This style is easily dressed up with numerous door and window options.

 Melbourne Sheds – This unique shed design offers an understated elegance that is not usually associated with garden sheds. The Melbourne is a big hit with our landscape architect clientele.

 Telluride Sheds – Our Telluride is defined by its steep roof pitch and rugged natural good looks. This spacious design is ideal for both storing and working with tools. It comes all dressed up with large double doors, antique hardware, vertical cedar siding, country quaint windows, and may be dressed up with some very stylish cedar wall lattice.

 Copper Creek Sheds – This shed features a steep roof pitch, providing just the right amount of drama. Bring in a steep peak over the door and you have an irresistible structure that’s just waiting to be personalized. This style is an idea potting shed, providing the space that’s required and the storage in the trusses that we can’t live without.

 Glen Echo Sheds – A great utility shed, this building offers a bright and spacious addition to any setting. An extra foot of wall height and windows make it versatile and the extension of the gable roof is very unique. The 2 or 3ft. overhang (your choice) provides more loft storage space and it doubles as a porch. A great place to sit and relax.

 Chimalis/Haida Small Sheds – Don’t let their size fool you; these shed designs are extremely practical for those with a tight space. The 10:12 roof pitch maximizes storage space to accommodate ladders, skis, and more. Gable front, gable side: a great style – customize it any way you like.

 Santa Cruz Sheds – California inspired, this shed provides a lot of headroom with the beautiful Dutch Hip Roof and plenty of light with the spanning doors and windows. It’s perfect for use as a shed and it doubles as an entertainment facility. There’s no need to run back and forth from the house.