DIY & How-to’s Posts

How To Design Your Perfect Pool House

Dressing up your pool with a dedicated, customized cabana can really maximize the aesthetic and functional value of your property. A pool house also helps protect the value of your home by keeping waterside activities far from your abode. To enjoy the appearance and utility of your pool house for decades to come, you must design the perfect dwelling to fit your residence. Follow the guidelines below to design and construct the pool house of your dreams.

Select Your Location


Start the design process by selecting the perfect location for your pool house. The location should provide a sense of privacy, yet remain in acceptable proximity to the main house. In other words, you should be able to keep an eye on the pool house and poolside activities without swimmers having the ability to waltz through your living space in wet suits. Furthermore, the location should abide by all of the local building codes to ensure your structure remains authorized well into the future.

Selecting a location will help you find the pool house structure that fits your needs the best. For cramped spaces, you may prefer the five-sided corner cabana or open-bar designs. Large properties can accommodate a full size cabana modeled after rustic cabins, iconic houses and modern studios.

Match Architectural Details


While browsing through the pool house layout options, reflect on the architectural cues used for your own home. By mimicking the design elements, you can create a cohesive design across your entire property. Dormer windows and support columns, for example, can provide an undeniable link between your residence and the new pool house. Look at the lines on your house to select a cabana with a similar roof slope, window placements and gutter styles. Confirm that the pool house size, with the planned foundation, will match your home in proportion as well.

Balance Interior And Exterior Spaces

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An effective pool house design features both indoor and outdoor relaxation points. You can balance these interior and exterior spaces by pairing your pool house with French doors that open up beneath a full coverage trellis. The ability to move freely between these spaces will maximize the square footage and keep the dwelling feeling open and airy. If you prefer a fully open structure, the poolside bar designs will likely fulfill your needs.

Integrate Storage Options

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Your pool house should have room to store all of the supplies your swimmers could ever need to keep everyone from running through the house between dips in the pool. If you select a pool house with a steep roof slope, you may have ample room above the rafters for storage. Otherwise, you can integrate shelves and containers into the cabana design for storage of your towels, dishes, pool toys and other supplies. You should also make sure the pool house has a mini fridge for drinks and cupboard space for food to keep the structure well stocked all season long.

Add Interior Embellishments


The interior space in your pool house is for you alone to design and customize. Once you build or place your structure, you can start furnishing it with comfortable chairs, gorgeous tables and decorative pieces to fit your liking. Focus on including plenty of lounge spaces outdoors for relaxing after a brisk swim. The outdoor lounge space can also provide you with space to entertain your guests on nice days. All surfaces should be made from waterproof fabric or other materials to ensure guests feel welcome moving around your pool house right after jumping out of the pool. This all assumes that you are running power to the pool house.

Summerwood creates all of the high quality, prefab structures you could ever want or require for your property improvements.  Summerwood even provides an online custom design center to help you see what your design can become, before you buy.  You can acquire custom sheds, garages, cabins, playhouses and more by calling 1-866-519-4634 or visiting our Contact Us page. Modern and traditional designs abound, so you are sure to find structures you love while browsing the current offerings.

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How To Paint Your Shed, Garage, or Cabin

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Whether you just built a brand new garden shed, garage, or cabin, or whether your previously built structure needs an update, painting can be a complicated and daunting task. If you choose to paint your shed, garage or cabin, you can achieve the best results by obtaining the correct combination of tools and following the directions below.

Gather Your Tools

To prep, tape and paint your outdoor structure, you will need:

  • Pressure washer
  • Paint brushes
  • Rollers
  • Paint tray
  • Painter’s tape
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Stir stick
  • Your Choice of Paint

You will need to select your brand and type of primer and paint for this project. Start your selection process by deciding between oil and water based varieties. The oil based paints spread on thicker, so you need fewer coats, but water based formulas are more forgiving for do-it-yourself products. No matter what you choose, make sure the paint and primer have the same base.

You will also have to determine the ideal color for your paint. You can paint the entire structure a single color or select different tones for the trim and other elements. You will likely want to go with a satin sheen throughout, though semi-gloss is acceptable for bright trim pieces.

Clean The Surface

Use the pressure washer to blast debris and paint chips off the surface of the outdoor structure. You need to hit every spot with the pressure washer to prevent the new finish from chipping off prematurely.

Palmerston-shed-kit-North-York-Ontario-189932-1Allow the structure to dry for several days before moving forward with the project. The wet surface will cause the paint to bubble and fail to adhere, so it is wise to wait until the rainy days have passed as well. In consistently rainy areas, you can build a canopy over the structure or use tarps to block the rain. You will still have to account for the high moisture levels in the air by applying thin coats and waiting longer between painting sessions.

Tape Off

Use painter’s tape and plastic sheeting to cover all of the unpaintable surfaces with a protective layer. You should avoid pressing the tape down around the entire surface of the area you are trying to protect. You just want the very edge to remain adhered to avoid damaging the surface with the adhesive.

Prime The Wood

Use a stir stick to thoroughly mix the primer. Pour the primer into the paint tray, and cut in around the edges using your brush. Apply the rest of the primer coat using the paint roller. Apply thin coats and wait at least 12 hours for each coat to dry before moving onto the next one. You will need up to three coats of primer to create a sealed base for the paint.

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Apply The Paint

Allow the primer to dry overnight one last time before starting to apply the paint. If you chose a separate color for the trim, you will want to complete that section last. Start with the main structure to create a solid base for your accent sections.

Stir the can of paint. Cut in around the edges again with the brush, and then continue painting the inner surface with the roller. Repeat two to three times until the dried finish looks even in depth and tone. Paint the trim with your chosen color selections, if necessary. Allow the final coat of paint to dry until it feels tacky, and then gently remove the painter’s tape and plastic sheeting to complete the job.

Enjoy The View

After cleaning up the jobsite, take a moment to step back and enjoy the view. Despite the rich vibrancy of the paint, the natural wood grain should accentuate the appearance of the finish. The combination produces a striking look that makes all your preparation and work well worth it. If you ever want to renew the paint or change the color combination, simply acquire more paint and supplies to get started. You can revitalize the structure with new paint anytime, but each paintjob’s finish should last at least a decade before requiring a total renewal.

Summerwood has an immense number of shed, garage, playhouse and cabin design options to suit nearly any architectural preference—with customizable options that even include the pre-fabricated paint structure. The design options remain fully customizable, so you can alter the dwelling to fit your exact needs. When it comes time to purchase your next outdoor structure, visit our Contact Us page or call 1-866-519-4634 to discuss your upcoming project.

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Your Guide to Building the Perfect She Shed

garden house 075As the “mancave” recently exploded in popularity, women everywhere started dreaming of outfitting their own space – and the she shed was born. By transforming a shed into your dedicated area for quiet relaxation, reflection and focus, you can maintain your sense of self and independence while remaining close to the family. For this project, an old garden shed tucked into the corner of the yard just will not do. Instead, to make your perfect she shed, you can acquire a stylishly designed, pre-fab structure, place it in the perfect location and equip it as you see fit. Here’s how to proceed with this fun project.

Determine Your Location

There are many factors to consider when selecting the best location for your she shed. Think about the sun’s path across your yard, especially in relation to the shed windows, when finding an ideal place for your structure. Tall trees and structures in proximity of the shed may alter the way sunlight streams in the window and alters the building temperature. With careful planning, you can even place the building in such a way that allows you to catch the sunrise or sunset as you enjoy your new space. Remember to also factor in your preferences when it comes to the proximity of your home, surrounding noise levels and overall landscape layout when deciding where to place your shed.

Select Your Design

Despite their relatively small stature, sheds may mimic the appearance and layout of barns, cabins, lean-tos and houses. Your planned activities in your she shed will influence the best style to select as the platform for your custom build. If you plan to use your she shed as your main art studio, for example, you may want to select a design with plenty of windows and shutters that allow you to directly control your lighting as you work on your latest project. If you prefer to switch hobbies with the seasons, sheds featuring tall roofs for extra storage can help you keep all of your supplies organized.

Upon choosing your perfect shed design, it is wise to check with your local permit office to see if you need to secure a permit to build the intended structure. For most buildings of less than 110 square feet, a permit is not normally needed.


Add Decorative Elements

Upon selecting your ideal shed structure, you can begin the customization process by selecting decorative elements. The elements should support your intended uses to ensure your shed meets your aesthetic and functional expectations.

Exposed trusses, for example, can act as a decorative and functional element inside your shed. The trusses are the frame of the roof, which normally remain hidden behind a layer of sheetrock. Leaving the trusses bare raises the roofline and gives the space rustic charm. You may expand the size of the exposed trusses by altering the overall height of your shed before ordering.

Dormer windows and French doors allow you to bring natural light into your she shed all throughout the day. On many models, you can choose where to place the windows and doors to create a shed that suits your preferences.

Place The Finishing Touches

The final step is selecting the finishing touches that will transform your shed into your ideal structure. The features you add to your shed dramatically alter its finished appearance.

You have the ability to add:

  • Flowerboxes
  • Shutters
  • Coach Lamps
  • Weathervane
  • Columns
  • Antique Hardware

Palmerston-shed-design-Atherton-California-192325-1To select the best finishing touches for your shed, reflect on the way you would like it to look when you walk out to enjoy your space. Think of the flowers, signs and other decorations you will use to dress up the area around your shed. Select items that will complement or contrast those elements to create a stylish and cohesive outdoor area.

To get started on your project, browse through the eleven shed options available from Summerwood. You can easily take any one of the available structures and transform them into the she shed of your dreams. Summerwood expertly designs and fabricates outdoor structures for every location and purpose. Extensive customization options allow you to make your selected structure completely unique in style and function.