Tips & Ideas Posts

Tips And Ideas: Cabins

Building a new cabin is sure to be one of the most exciting projects you’ll ever undertake. With a careful eye and thoughtful planning you can have everything you’ve dreamed of and more.

We’ve put together some of the most common areas of consideration for your review so that you’re not overlooking any important planning concerns.

If you have other questions, which we’re sure you will, just contact us at any point in the planning process!

Cabin Sites

Location pool housesLocation – the practical and the pretty. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to finding the perfect new spot for your prefab cabin. If it’s going to be a secondary structure, maybe you’ll want to run electricity and plumbing to your cabin for a sink, toilet, bath or shower. How close is the location to hookups? Are there any factors that may hinder your ability to run the hookups?

When it comes to cabin location, the view is likely to be one of the most important considerations. Lake location, trees, surrounding foliage (and weather) can be very different from one season to the next. Some people want to maximize sunshine (and the view), all year round and build atop of a hill. Others want shade in the afternoons at the height of summer when windows magnify the heat.

What about road access? Are you more concerned with an attractive location or one with the easiest access? Or somewhere in the middle? If your property’s large, how far from the road do you want to be? If it’s a busy road, the farther away for it, the quieter it will be, but what about parking? Is there a lot of snow in the winter and will you need to dig your way through? It may make sense to lay a parking pad while creating a foundation for your cabin (more about this below).

Once you decide on a site, choose a size that’ll suit your needs (see the next topic below), andlocation cabins here is a very useful tip: Stake out your bunkie size on the chosen site. Ensure that it fits and imagine how you’ll utilize the interior space. In particular, think about door and window placement. What’s the view? How will you get from the front door to the vehicle? Try walking there from where you’ll park.

Decisions about the size and location of your bunkie are not always in your hands. Check with your municipality to ensure that you are meeting the local zoning and building permit requirements. Since it’s not likely that you’ll be building a cabin that is under 100 sq. ft. you’ll need to have all your t’s crossed and i’s dotted. Other stipulations may include a 2 or 3 foot setback from property lines, some areas even have regulations regarding how close structures can be built near water. Check first and then check again! Inspectors will make you change things if you contravene local bylaws.

Interior Cabin Design

interior design cabinsOnce again your list of cabin uses will help determine how to design the interior. Is your space to be open concept or will you divide it into rooms with partitions to allow privacy for yourself and guests? Are you considering a loft? If so, you’ll need some extra space for a staircase.

Allow plenty of space for storage. Consider cupboards, shelves, mud room, sunroom, porches etc. See our suggestions for interiors. There are so many design options unique to Summerwood cabins, that will suit to your tastes and needs. Our cabins are available as single floor, 1 1/2 floor (lofts), and even 2 story designs. Our cabin design team are literally pros at this, so use them when designing your cabin kit. You’ll save time and ensure that you get exactly what you want. With all the sumptuous styles of cabins that we offer, you’re sure to find what you want here at Summerwood. Check out our favorites to benefit from the thinking that others have done before you. Select the style that fits your landscape and reflects your taste best. Then customize the cabin to address any functional issues and to add your own personal touch.

Consider too, how you’ll “decorate” the area around your new cabin. Shrubs, flowers and running vines entwined through a trellis create an earthy English garden feel. Or perhaps you’ll want to clear the front for a nearby fire pit. (Be sure it’s far enough away from your cabin for safety.) Would you like a path of flagstone to lead to the front door? It’s the little things that personalize and make your cabin uniquely yours.

When you’re ready, select a style from below or go straight to our Custom Design Center. Don’t forget that you can involve our design team at any stage!

Cabin Sizes

This is always a bit of a tough one. We like to tell customers that there is no wrong choice; but that is, before you build it! What we really mean is that there are no rules, except what you need for your circumstances.

cabin sizesWhat you need to consider. Clearly the key is to ensure that your space is large enough for its intended purposes, while remaining proportional to the setting. How many people do you need your cabin to sleep? Do you want a porch to sit on and watch the world go by? Is it just sleeping space or do you need to apportion other rooms to read, dine in or just pass the time with a card game when the weather’s foul? Keep all the purposes of the cabin in mind while planning its size. Are you thinking storage and sleeping space? A dual-purpose cabin doesn’t have to be big, providing you assign different uses to different spaces and incorporate some thoughtful and inventive design into your plan. Be sure to view our sample floor plans and utilize our floor plan grids. They’re a huge time-saver.

What you need to know. Remember that in most areas, structures of less than 100 sq. feet usually don’t require permits. Maxing out at about 80 sq ft of living space, our Canmore Bunkie is designed just for that. For many that may be a bit too “cozy”. It all depends on your needs. Again, check with your local municipality for permit requirements. This library of regional listings may have the local government office you should contact. Once you’ve decided on a size, it’s a good idea to test it. Place some stakes in the ground and outline the sides of your proposed cabin with a string. It sounds odd, but for most people it’s hard to get an idea of what they need until they do it. This mock space gives you the opportunity to experiment before you’ve put down any money. Adjust the stakes until you’re happy with the size and record the dimensions.

Cabin Materials

cabin materialsIt’s not uncommon for people to love their cabin more than their primary residence. They want it to last for a lifetime and pass it on to loved ones. That’s why Summerwood only uses the finest materials on the market. Most of our cabin kits are constructed from a premium grade of western red cedar. However we also offer our structures in durable and attractive Canexel maintenance-free wood fiber siding in a variety of vibrant and outdoorsy colors.

Different materials create different looks – remember that when you’re adding new structures on your property. You can have them complement one another or be a little eccentric and let them stand on their own. There’s no wrong decisions, just interesting ones! Learn more about our materials and siding choices.

Cabin Roofing

cabin materialsShingles – Available at your local hardware store and can be installed on any of our cabin kits. Whatever type you choose, be sure to follow the installation instructions closely. Please refer to the shingles section on our website to determine the quantity of shingles that you will require.

Roofing – In most applications we use 4 x 8 sheets of 7/16″ OSB sheets for sheathing. You may want to upgrade to fir plywood, or consider cedar for a more finished appearance.

Trusses & rafters – In most applications we use spruce (dimensions vary depending on size and style). Other materials such as cedar may be preferred. View detailed information on all our material choices.

See detailed information on all our material choices.

Do it yourself or Hire a Contractor?

Summerwood cabin kits are a do-it-yourselfer’s dream come true – even if you’re only dreaming about becoming a do-it-yourselfer. There’s a detailed, step-by-step set of instructions and live help that is always just an email or toll-free phone call away. Just be sure that you have the time, energy and tools to complete the project. Our cabin kits make building a cabin a project anyone can do, whether you’re handy or not. Learn more about its assembly and required tools. Or if you think you’d rather have someone build it for you, this how to hire a contractor package is very helpful.

Cabin Designs

Choose your favorite cabin style – we love them all! Remember, our buildings can be customized to your own personal requirements. They range in size from as small to as big as you want. View many of these cabin styles below in 3D.

Summerwood Cabins:

canmore cabinsCanmore Cabins – With its generous front porch and soaring loft area, it’s no wonder the Canmore is a favorite with our customers. It’s the look that says bring on the weekend!

 

Keppler creek cabinsKepler Creek Cabins – The Kepler Creek’s gently sloping roof provides a roomy open loft. The optional dormer adds charm and the extra light is welcome all year round.

 

sonoma cabinsSonoma Cabins – Sonoma cabins can rewrite family histories. Its steep gabled roof provides the owner plenty of loft space to store camping equipment or use as a sleeping area. Its modern charm is at home in any setting. So get out of the city and enjoy the lake like you’ve been dreaming about with our cabin kits.

 

breckenridgeBreckenridge Cabins – There’s a down-home simplicity to the Breckenridge that seems to instill calm. The gable roof provides much needed upper storage space. Customize the Breckenridge to suit your tastes.

 

cheyenne cabinsCheyenne Cabins – Its steep gabled roof provides the Cheyenne’s owner plenty of loft space. Its rustic charm is enhanced by the cozy porch and overhanging roof.

 

mountin brook cabinsMountain Brook Cabins – Practical and charming. The gently sloping 7:12 pitch roof offers extra space for storage or sleeping. Speaking of sleep, relax and spread out on the 4 ft deep porch!

 

Glen Echo cabinsGlen Echo Cabins – An attractive favorite for cabiners. The canopy created by the 2- or 3-foot overhang provides welcome shade on a sunny day and protection from the rain on a cloudy one.

 

bala bunkie cabinsBala Bunkie Cabins – A brand-new version of our Glen Echo style, 10 x 10 bunkie featuring a front and back dormer and an increased roof pitch. In most cases this small cabin will save you the trouble of getting a permit!

 

If you’re not sure, view our cabin favorites for inspiration. See how others in your shoes have modified Summerwood styles to make them their very own.

Tips And Ideas: Pool Cabanas

Tips And Ideas: Pool Cabanas

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There are several things to consider when planning to build a pool house cabana, but with an eye for detail and careful planning, you can have everything you dreamed of and more. The first question to consider is “what do I intend to use my pool cabana for”? To some extent the answer to this question will impact all others. We suggest you make a list of all the functions you would like your Pool House to serve, as part of the planning process. If you are installing a new pool, be sure to involve your pool company in the decision making process; they will have some good suggestions and certainly the experience to know what’s important for your structure.

Also thinking about a storage shed for your other backyard needs? See our detailed guide on how to choose one first.

Pool Cabana Sites

Location

There aren’t too many choices here; generally youlocationn will locate your pool house cabana within striking distance of your pool. There are some things to consider though: how to maximize sunlight; do I want the cabana to be front and center or blend into the landscape a little; do I need to run electricity and, do I need to plumb it for a bar sink, toilet, or outdoor shower. Evaluate the pros and cons of your preferred site in all four seasons. The 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 build your pool house.

Once you have decided on a site, choose a cabana size that’ll suit your needs (see ‘choosing a size’ below). It’s a good idea to stake out your pool house to ensure that the fit is comfortable for your needs and that the location is harmonious with your landscape.

Zoning

Decisions made on the size, location, and style of your pool house cabana are not entirely in your hands.zoning options pool cabanas Be sure to check with your municipality to ensure that you are meeting the local zoning and permit requirements. If you are under 100 sq. ft. you will not likely require a permit; however, there are usually some restrictions such as a two or three foot set back from a property line to contend with (please see zoning and permits for more information). In some regions there may even be specific regulations pertaining to the construction of structures near a pool. Always check first with your local municipality before building!

Grade

Typically, pool houses are built on concrete pad foundations. grade  pool cabanasOften customers are pouring concrete for their pool, so it’s very economical to pour an additional pad at the same time. It’s not usually necessary to pour a pad though; patio stones or a crushed stone base work just fine. Regardless of your choice, be sure that the grade is level and that it has good drainage.

Pool Cabana Designs – Interior Design & Exterior Style

Our range of poointerior pool cabanasl house styles, sizes, and options will allow you to design your cabana for functionality without having to compromise on style. Be sure to spend sufficient time browsing in our pool cabana photo gallery and benefit from all the designs that others have come up over the years. Choose a pool house style that reflects your personal taste and fits in to the landscape. Don’t worry about matching your cabana to your house, not every thing needs to match…and why not be a little eclectic! You can customize your pool house to your heart’s content, implementing your personal flair along the way. Most of our styles are differentiated primarily by roof lines (i.e. gable, hip, salt box) so this is an important consideration.

It’s also important from the beginning to think about the interior design of your pool house. Partitions often work well to divide space for the various different uses (although the ‘open’ concept has its appeal as well). Benches, shelving, and hooks are very handy and if you are considering one of our beautiful bifold bar windows, extra overhang and height are necessary to ensure that the design balance is correct and that water doesn’t drip off your roof onto the serving bar. Whatever your requirements, we have oodles of options to choose from so you shouldn’t have much trouble achieving a good fit to your tastes and needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact one of our design experts who will be more than happy to help guide you through the process.

If you are ready to get started, begin with the main pool house styles. Then if you can’t find it there, visit our photo gallery or head over to our Custom Design Center.We also have a team of design experts that can come up with a virtual drawing of your ideas. Give us a call and we’ll get it to you in no time!

 

Pool Houses – Exterior Finishing Touches

extrasIt’s smart to think about how you may want to cultivate the landscape in the immediate surroundings. Shrubs, flowers, and trellises draped with vines can complement your Pool Cabana design and will help to define the space. If you have pool equipment, it’s also a nice way to make it less conspicuous.

Many people also choose to lay flagstone or other pavers to create a pathway to the door.

A little decor always provides a nice touch. Strategically placed, things like trellises, life preservers, cupolas, lights, wind chimes, weather vanes, birdhouses – and even your favorite piece of weathered furniture can go along way to creating the style you are after.

Selecting a size for your Pool House

This is always a bit of a tough one, but there is no wrong choice, so don’t fret. The average size for a pool cabana is somewhere between 8′ x 12′ and 10′ x 14′ (or the 10′ or 11′ five sided design) but, there are no rules. Clearly the key is to ensure that your space is large enough for its intended purposes, while remaining proportional to the setting. A changing area, pool equipment and accessory storage, mini kitchen, bar serving area, shower and/or toilet – think of the activities that you have in mind to take place in your pool cabana, and plan the space out accordingly.

size pool houses

If you intend to share your space with items currently residing in your yard, make sure to allow for enough room for both your pool needs and your stored items (mind you if it’s only ‘off season’ storage you need not worry). Dual-purpose pool cabanas don’t have to be big, providing you assign different uses to different spaces and incorporate some thoughtful and inventive design. Once you’ve decided on a size for your pool house, place some stakes in the ground and outline the sides of your proposed cabana with a string or garden hose. Adjust the stakes until you’re happy with the size and record the dimensions. Note that if you have chosen an inward opening ‘D’ series door, you will need to have four feet of clearance inside your pool cabana.

Again, 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.

Pool Cabana Construction Materials

Most of our products are constructed from a premium grade of western red cedar or Canexel maintenance free wood fiber siding (available in many vibrant colors). We only use the finest materials on the market, so be assured that what you get is truly top of the line – we don’t mess around. Different materials create different looks so you may want to consider that if you want your design to extend or complement the architectural style of your house and other structures on your property. Click for detailed information on our materials and siding.

Pool House Roofing Options

asphalt shingles pool houses

There are a variety of options when it comes to roofing materials and here you will have to make an important decision.

Obviously asphalt shingles are the most economical and are readily available in a variety of colors at your local building supply store.

Although asphalt shingles are not packaged with our structures, cedar shingles are

cedar shinglesavailable as an option. They are truly beautiful and will last a lifetime. Corrugated metal roofing is another possibility. Available in many colors, this is an attractive option and is very adept at keeping the snow off your roof (if you live in colder climates). Another popular choice is clay roofing tiles. Many homes use this tile and it’s nice to have the two structures share this similarity. Just be sure to mention this to our design team, as clay tiles add extra weight and the structure needs to be beefed up a little to accommodate these tiles.

Building your Pool Cabana on your own, or Hire a Contractor?

hiring a contractorDecide on whether you’re going to take on the project of building your pool cabana 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. Often the neighbors will wonder over and offer assistance as well. We offer two types of pool house kits, pre-cut and pre-assembled. The pre-assembled goes together much faster, so if you’re building your pool house yourself you may want to choose this option. If you are an accomplished ‘do-it yourselfer’, or ready to make your debut, make sure that you have both the time and the energy required for the task at hand. If not, be sure to have a look at our how to hire a contractor information.

Choosing a Pool House Style

When it comes down to which style suits you best, it’s all about your own personal tastes and the application requirements for your pool house. Remember, all of our buildings can be customized to your own personal requirements. Since they’re made to order, we have just the right style to suit you.

Summerwood Pool Cabana Styles:


palmerston pool housePalmerston Pool Cabanas – The lines of our Palmerston style pool cabana make it at home in almost any poolside setting. The look is clean and the space is functional, ideal for equipment storage and changing space. Dress it up with a dormer, an assortment of windows, and one of our deluxe series of doors.

 

surfside summerwood pool houseSurfside  Pool Cabanas - Take entertaining poolside to a new level with our outstanding Surfside pool cabana design. Outfitted with a built in bar, this pool cabana is sure to be the center of all the action this summer! Install plumbing for a kitchenette and run electrical to keep the party going after dark. For summertime fun just add ice!

 

barside summerwood pool houseBarside Pool Cabanas – Summerwood has another option for those who live entertain. The built-in bar is located on the long wall which provides so much more space for summer fun with friends and family! You can create your own design in our Custom Design Centre.

 

dune surfside summerwood pool houseDune Pool Cabanas – Our Dune style cabana is a favorite of our professional pool and landscape clientele. The charm and splendor of its design provides a striking and contemporary poolside look. Your guests and neighbors will be asking a lot of interesting questions.

 

Urban Studio surfside summerwood pool houseUrban Studio Pool Cabanas - Style that is sleek and simple at the same time. With its flat roof and lots of add-on options, Urban Studio makes for a perfect storage house, changing room or a cooling-off area.

 

Catalina surfside summerwood pool houseCatalina Pool Cabanas - Our Catalina five-sided design is a Summerwood original and a very popular choice for a pool cabana. The style nestles beautifully into any corner and makes efficient use of otherwise wasted space. Clear cedar French doors, a dormer and Sojo styled architectural windows make wonderful appointments.

 

Sonoma surfside summerwood pool houseSonoma  Pool Cabanas – Our Sonoma style is a favorite for those of you who are looking for a multi-functional pool house. Change room, bar, storage area, it can accommodate all that and more. Dressed up with architectural windows and beautiful clear cedar doors, the Sonoma is a lovely enhancement to your poolside oasis.

 

Verana surfside summerwood pool houseVerana  Pool Cabanas – Our Telluride is defined by its steep roof pitch and rugged natural good looks. The design is spacious and roomy. Can come all dressed up with large doors, beautiful windows and may be dressed up with some very stylish cedar wall lattice. A bold look if the space calls for it.

 

San Cristobal surfside summerwood pool houseSan Cristobal Pool House – is a classic beauty that is truly gorgeous poolside. This exquisite structure is fully enclosed and comes with French doors and beautiful opening windows (complete with screens). If natural light is a priority, the San Cristobal is a wise choice.

 

Windsor surfside summerwood pool houseWindsor  Pool Cabanas – The Windsor is perhaps the most striking pool cabana we offer. Its’ regal look makes it a favorite for those who want to entertain in style. It’s best suited with large windows and French doors to let the sun shine in.

 

Santa Cruz surfside summerwood pool houseSanta Cruz  Pool Cabanas – California inspired, this pool cabana is luxurious and functional. The Dutch Hip Roof offers a ton of head room and the large windows, plenty of natural light. It’s perfect for use as a pool house and it doubles as an entertainment facility. There’s no need to run back and forth from the house.

 

Copper creek surfside summerwood pool houseCopper Creek  Pool Cabanas – This cabana has a steep roof pitch, providing just the right amount of drama to this poolside beauty. It’s elegant design performs well by the pool, it allows for the storage of pool related items in the roof and gives you enough room inside to change and house all the equipment.

 

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.

5 Activities To Never Try In Your Outdoor Building

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

8 Essential Garage Storage Tips You Must Try

 

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If you’ve ever entered your garage with the motivation to start your next big project only to spend the day searching for tools and organizing your work space, then you’ve already started to suffer from the detrimental effects of garage clutter. However – you’re certainly not alone in your constant battle against the growing chaos in your garage organization. Approximately 25% of two car garages are so packed with belongings that the homeowners don’t even have room to park a single vehicle in the space. An additional 32% can only squeeze one of their vehicles into the wide stall built for two cars. This is where we’ve come in with these eight useful tips for you to banish the clutter for good, and ultimately commandeer control of your garage space.

1. Tool Towers

The messy collection of rakes, shovels, brooms and other tall tools can take up a lot of floor and wall space. Furthermore, when you amass quite the stack of these items in the same location, it can feel like quite a chore to dig through and unearth the tool you need. To solve this problem, invest in a rolling tool tower that keeps these long, unwieldy tools standing free and separate in individual sections.

2. Ceiling Slides

The ceiling space is often an incredibly underutilized storage area in the average garage. All of the space above you can hold seasonal clothing, sports equipment and other items that you do not use all throughout the year. These innovative hangers allow you to suspend plastic bins just below ceiling level, leaving plenty of work space below.

3. Magnetic Strips

Throwing all of your hand tools in drawers and hoping you can find what you need later will be a thing of the past once you line your garage with magnetic strips. The strong magnets can hold the heaviest of metal tools firmly against the wall until you need them again. You can place the strips on the edge of your toolbox, workbench or just along the walls in your normal work space.

4. Jar Storage

You can use the underside of your shelves for storage by integrating jar storage into your garage space. You will need to secure the jar lids to the bottom of the shelf using short screws to create your innovative storage compartments. Fill the small jars with bolts, nails, washers and other small pieces you routinely need, and then screw them back onto the lid for easy access anytime.

5. Bungee Bins

Your oft used sports equipment, including life-jackets, basketballs and catcher’s mitts, likely ends up strewed through the garage after a busy day on the go. You can change all that by creating bungee bins along your walls to hold these stray items. You will just need to attach bungee cords across the interior framing studs in your garage at about four inch intervals to create this storage compartment. 

6. Chain Hooks

Unraveled hoses, cords and lines across your floor space is considered a trip and fall hazard. You can keep these items out of the way by using plastic chain and coat hooks to suspend them from the wall. You will roll up these items like normal, and then slide the chain through the center, securing it at the top. At that point, you can hang the chain from the hook to keep your lines and hoses organized at all times. 

7. Bench Crates

The area below your garage benches can be used to store small parts, tools and cleaning supplies. Simply place small bins or crates beneath the bench and fill them with carefully organized items. Make sure to label the bins with their contents to quickly spot the items you need as you prepare to start your next project. 

8. Gutter Racks

Hang old gutters along your walls to create partially enclosed shelves for your spray cans, automotive fluids and cleaning products. The gutter keeps all of the items together in a single area, so you can quickly find the product you need for the job at hand. The line of cans will never block your view of adjacent products to help you avoid spending money on hidden items. 

Organizing Your Garage Space

You can update your garage space, or overhaul your entire build, with help from the specialists at Summerwood. Purpose built shelves, benches and wall partitions can help you eliminate clutter and organize the space within your garage, which they will be able to guide you in the process of selecting. You may even want to upgrade your garage or add a shed to your yard once you browse through the building options offered by this prefabricated outbuilding supplier. 

Custom Design Centre Call to Action

Visit the design center located on Summerwood’s website for more options in customizing and creating your personalized garage with the ultimate space and structure that you desire. You can also call (1-866 519-4634) for assistance from one of Summerwood’s building specialists who can lead you in the right direction to achieve the vision you have for your garage.

 

3 Smart Considerations To Keep In Mind While Choosing Your Shed Location

The location you select for your shed can have just as much of an impact on its functionality as its overall design.

Even if your shed has the perfect amount of storage and convenient access points, it will not live up to your expectations if it is placed in an awkward area or distant location.

Your shed should be front and center, yet out of the way, so you can access your tools and other belongings with ease without feeling inconvenienced by its presence.

Furthermore, the shed should balance the look and feel of your outdoor space without overwhelming the overall design.

Thankfully, you can keep the following considerations in mind while selecting your shed location to find the perfect spot for your new outbuilding.

 

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1. Look At Your Yard Size

The size of your yard often has the biggest influence on the proper location for your shed. In addition to having space for the footprint of your shed and its trellis extension, if selected, the yard must also have room for a generous path to the doorway of your structure.
Even if you do not immediately select a trellis extension, you may want to keep room open around the perimeter of the shed for other add-ons you might like to install in the future. Unless you only have one single suitably sized spot in your yard for the shed, you will need to weigh each of the other factors equally to identify the best placement location.

 

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2. Consider Outdoor Activities

Your shed should be placed within a reasonable distance from the areas you spend most of your time outdoors. If you have a garden in the backyard, for example, you will benefit from placing your shed in the same general area, as that will make it easier to grab the tools and supplies you need for daily maintenance tasks and complete overhauls. If you prefer to use your shed solely as an extra storage space, however, it may not be a bother if your structure is placed far from your favored relaxation spots.

It is also beneficial to take a moment and think about the types of items you will keep in the shed. If any of the items are heat or light sensitive, you may need to think about the way the sunlight will stream through the windows in each area of your yard. You will want to select a location and layout that will keep the sunlight from constantly streaming into the shed to protect your heat sensitive belongings. If you do not have other placement options, you can add UV ray inhibiting film to the east and west windows, as those windows allow sunlight to quickly heat up the building.

 

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3. Envision Decorative Elements

Your shed has the potential to look much more fitting and personalized in your yard once it is surrounded with decorative elements that integrate it into your space. Ornamental plants are an ideal decorative element due to their potentially positive impact on your mood and overall sense of well being. If you want to adorn your shed with luscious greenery, you may reap the greatest benefits by keeping the structure in sight of the areas you spend the most time in the yard.

 

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If you prefer to place a water feature near your shed, such as a pond or fountain, this is another situation where it is important to consider the size constraints of your intended placement point. It’s also very effective to do a bit of research about water lines and other elements required for these features to avoid unpleasant surprises during or after the shed construction process. Metal and rock retaining walls, raised garden beds and a patio space can all help establish the new shed as a permanent piece of your outdoor décor as well.

 

Make Your Location Selection

After weighing all of the above factors, you likely have an ideal place in mind for your garden shed. Despite the majority of sheds ending up in the backyard, do not discount a location in the front yard as the perfect spot if it meets your given criteria. Remember that you can customize your shed to better fit within the confines of your yard by using Summerwood’s Design Center tool on their website.

Custom Design Centre Call to Action

You can also call the team at 1-866-519-4634 to discuss your yard configuration and receive help identifying the perfect shed design and placement option.