Get Inspired Posts

Backyard Gym In A Shed: Get Your Fit On

If you are continuously rescheduling your daily community gym or yoga studio trips and then failing to find time the next day, you are likely in need of a big change. Instead of shuffling around your full schedule, how about simply changing the location of your workouts? If this seems like a great idea, you are in luck. You can actually create a backyard gym-in-a-shed to always have a rejuvenating workout session waiting right outside your door. This innovative, flexible, and easy to access fitness structure provides all of the benefits of a home gym without taking up precious real estate inside your home. It is also a perfect place for relaxation and free of distraction.

pair of sport shoes hang on a nail on a brown wooden wall

pair of sport shoes hang on a nail on a brown wooden wall

 

Enjoy the instant accessibility and convenience of the gym from your backyard

The time you spend getting ready to go to the gym, and battling traffic to get there, would be much better spent working out in the comfort of your very own fitness space. With a backyard gym-in-a-shed, you can take a quick one-minute walk out back to instantly access your workout room. Instead of striving to visit the gym twice a week, you can actually make it to your home gym just about every day. You can fit your exercise routine into your daily routine, without trying to manage your schedule to get to the gym. If you still do not have the time for workouts, consider pairing up activities with your exercise sessions. For example, you can make sure you do not miss your favorite shows while you work out by placing a TV near your treadmill. Alternatively, spend your time making phone calls or talking with family while you power through an evening session on your elliptical.

 

Backyard gyms allow total privacy

Feeling intimidated and self-conscious often discourages many people from heading to the gym for an exercise session. Furthermore, it just takes one wrong move or compromising incident and you may feel too embarrassed to ever return. Your backyard gym gives you total privacy as you try out new exercises or use the machines as you see fit. You do not have to worry about feeling embarrassed as you perform your favorite moves or push your prior limits. You will never fret about how you look when you are working out in your own private space.

 

Complete freedom to create your own gym atmosphere

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To enjoy your own tunes at the gym, you must charge your MP3 player, load up your playlist ahead of time and battle your headphones throughout your exercise session. If you have ever run out of battery mid-workout, you already well know the pain of drudging through a workout to the radio piped in overhead. Luckily, you can avoid that whole mess in your very own gym-in-a-shed. You can equip your shed with a powerful stereo system to listen to motivational songs and belt out the lyrics at full volume. Arrange the speakers around your fitness equipment to enjoy a personalized surround sound environment.

 

You can choose to make your gym entirely customizable

At the community gym, you might feel pressure to conform to a certain fitness role and stick with it until the end of time. Unfortunately, that is just not realistic in the long run. As you search for your niche, you may go from cardio extraordinaire to weightlifting superhero, and back again, in just a matter of years. Switching around does not just allow you to find your favorite exercises and routines – It also helps you build the perfect balance of strength and endurance. By having your own gym space, you can customize it with the fitness equipment and tools you need for each of the exercise programs you try out. You can split the room down the middle to utilize one side for your power rack and the other for your treadmill and elliptical. You may even want to keep the extra equipment well organized in a separate shed for immediate access when you switch back to your prior routines. Make sure that you are keeping your gym organized, even if you are keeping all the equipment in one shed.

 

The landscape around your backyard gym

It doesn’t make sense to add a gym to your backyard and then neglect your backyard and its landscaping. Before you start building your workout shed, be sure to do some work on your backyard landscape and clear the area around where you plan on setting up your backyard gym. Make sure that you are also keeping the area maintained, so that you can enjoy the views of your backyard and you are not trudging through thick weeds to get into your gym.

 

Add some light to your gym
backyard gym and exercise equipment

Most home gyms are set up in the basement, garage, or some other light-deprived, white-walled room around the house. Wouldn’t it be nice to set up a gym in the backyard that you’re excited to exercise inside of and not one that you dread stepping into? Building a backyard gym is a great way to alleviate all of those problems as it offers fresh air, natural light and some (more) scenic views.

 

Building your backyard gym-in-a-shed

To start constructing your very own dedicated backyard gym-in-a-shed, obtain a spacious outdoor structure from Summerwood. You can customize the shed’s size and layout using the Custom Design Center right on the site. 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 home gym environment for your needs. Quickly equip the backyard gym with your favorite fitness equipment and get going on your brand new fitness routine.

Family Time: Top 10 Advantages Of Involving Kids In Outdoor Projects

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Family Day came and went and it was a nice reminder that spending time with family, unplugged and in-the-moment, is really important. Our Summerwood family practices the age-old saying, “Families that play together, stay together.” It got us thinking that a cohesive family is like a Summerwood build – where all the parts fit together to create something special and built to last.

Life can get busy and sometimes it feels like a luxury for families to come together, but we feel that it can happen at anytime, without a special occasion or holiday. As everyone in the family grows older, it’s important to stay engaged with adventures, experiences and home projects because those memories will last a lifetime. How do we know? For more than 20 years, our customers have shared images and stories of their families working together to create their fabulous builds, whether a gazebo, cabin, playhouse or workshop. We’ve seen multi-generations enjoy their outdoor space, from celebrating life milestones, backyard play dates, to spending relaxing long weekends together.

Proactively scheduling family time is important, so what could be more appropriate than starting on Family Day? With Spring just around the corner, it’s the perfect season to get the family together to construct your Summerwood build, like a shed or workshop in time for gardening. Maybe it’s that cabana, gazebo or pool house your family has wanted to enjoy for the hot Summer months. These outdoor projects are a great way for families to build closer relationships while making memories, and possibly coming across some teachable moments.

Along with the obvious advantage of getting children away from electronics and into the fresh air, there are a wealth of other benefits to including kids in outdoor projects. Here are our Top 10 advantages to involve kids.

 

1. You get to know your child better

Kids grow and change quickly, so scheduled family time is ideal for busy parents to connect with their children. Especially when enjoying an activity together, parents will get to know their developing child better, and see their strengths and aptitudes.

Also, older children tend to share more information about their lives while engaged in an exercise with their parents, rather than when they are asked “What did you do today?”

2. Strengthens family bonds

Working together as a family will not just help build a playhouse or whatever your Summerwood building may be, it also builds strong and caring family relationships.

Families who share activities together as a group form solid, emotional ties, as a special relationship of trust and security develops. Studies have found that families who share in group activities that allow for mindful interaction hold a stronger emotional bond, and an ability to adapt well to situations as a family.

3. Teaches important life skills

Spending time together working on a project, family members learn how to listen and work together, while the child learns the value of communicating effectively and supporting others, important interpersonal skills they can take through life.

Working toward a common goal, they understand there is a plan and that teamwork will make it happen. Kids learn commitment, responsibility, patience, work ethic, and the benefits of being part of a team to make a dream a reality!

4. Builds confidence and self-esteem

Children who spend time with their parents carrying out tasks are learning in a safe and supportive environment.  With the freedom to make mistakes and find solutions on their own in a non-judgmental setting, children begin to gain self-confidence at an early developmental stage in their lives.

When children have a real say in what happens and their views are heard, they will build a positive sense of self-worth, as they know that their parents value them. When children feel that they are valued, they feel greater self-esteem and are better equipped to succeed in life.

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5. Encourages positive behaviours

When families take the time to participate in meaningful activities together, behavioural problems decrease, and kids are less likely to act out. Research has shown that teenagers with families who spend quality time together are less likely to use alcohol, drugs and engage in risky actions. If children know they can come to you with their tricky situations, they will likely choose better solutions to the issues they face in life.


6. Better school performance

Learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom, but what the child learns outside of school can have a positive impact on their performance in school. A healthy emotional well-being, along with positive self-esteem, confidence, and good communication skills can work wonders in the classroom. Numerous studies have shown that children whose parents spend quality time with them perform better in school.

7. Develops creative and problem-solving abilities

Children have curious minds and love to see how things work. They are also eager to create something and to feel proud of the finished achievement. By involving your child in practical pursuits like a Summerwood build, you are nurturing their problem solving and creative skills, which can help develop aptitudes and interests in math, art and other subjects. Before long, the answer to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up” may not be a superhero or an astronaut, but instead be; “an architect”, “a designer” or “an engineer.”

8. Relieves stress

In today’s fast paced, competitive, and technological world, children and teenagers are experiencing higher stress levels than ever before. Time spent in a non-judgemental family situation working with purpose towards a goal, takes children away from the social and school pressures that surround their lives, lowering stress and stimulating feel-good chemicals in their brain.

Talking through the challenges encountered in the project, can also help children learn that the best solution to problems is to talk about them, something that can carry over into the rest of their life, helping them deal with worries.


9. Develops parenting skills

Quality time together with their parents helps kids develop parenting skills for later in their lives.  As children from happy families are more likely to create a loving environment for their own children when they grow up, what you do this Family Day may well have a bearing on how your grandchildren enjoy Family Day in the future.


10. Creates memories

Lastly, active family time creates warm and treasured memories that can last a lifetime. For years to come, every time they enjoy their Summerwood building, parents and children alike will be reminded of happy family times that made it happen.

The adjective “cohesive” comes from the Latin word cohæsio, or “to cleave together.” Cohesive things stick together so they are unified just like your new Summerwood building, and your happy family.

For inspiration on what type of building style your family can choose from, take a look at our 3D tours that showcase the interior and exteriors of some of our most popular builds. For families with younger children, we also have our playhouses that might spark some imagination! Never hesitate to contact us or visit our Custom Design Centre to create a Summerwood build to meet all of your family’s needs.

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Going to Work from Home in 2020? Avoid the Pitfalls by Creating a Dedicated Space

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In our recent post ‘New Year, New Project’ we spoke about making life changes in 2020. One of these changes might be to achieve a better work/life balance. Working from home can be a dream come true, so why not let Summerwood make it a reality?

Cutting out the daily commute can free up 10+ hours a week, so it’s not surprising that many people consider working from home as a blessing. In fact, working from home is a trend that is here to stay according to labour market research. The New York Times reported last year that 43% of employed Americans spent time working remotely, while CNN reports a 115% increase in telecommuting workers in the decade between 2005 and 2015.

Ambitions to work from home could be one or two days a week, or full time if you have the flexibility or have started your own business from home. Regardless, a home office can be the perfect solution to achieving that greater work/life balance you desire. But how do you do it right?

A shared space where you’re contained within the same four walls, days or weeks on end, can cause cabin fever, where maybe your dining table doubles as your office desk or your couch is the most comfortable office chair. It can mean having to clear away your laptop and work documents so dinner can be served, or family trailing in and out to chat while you’re on the phone. Maybe you can’t fully relax, because rather than the age-old problem of taking work home with you, work literally surrounds you 24/7.

Are we painting an idyllic picture? Probably not, because we know you need a dedicated working space, away from the distractions and interruptions, but also a place where you can close the door and say that it’s the end of the work day.

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A separate backyard prefabricated build may be the answer. Here at Summerwood, we’ve noticed a growing demand for backyard offices and studios, and worked with hundreds of customers to help make their dream a viable reality. We support you in your goals to work from home – to be productive, be comfortable, and be happy while you work.

Working meters from your home has all the advantages you imagined; no more early rises to beat the morning traffic, no more humdrum commutes, and no more comprises to convert your work station back into a dining room. Instead, you have your own devoted office, a place in which you know you are there to work, away from the main house, and personalized to your liking. You can add features to keep the space organized, like module shelves, or livable spaces to gather your thoughts and be creative, like a lounge chair or reading nook. Many of our customers also add a stylish dormer window to create a little more natural light. And best of all, your family gives you space so you can work effectively and efficiently without being disturbed.

Spend time browsing through our home office studio styles and our photo galleries of customer favorites. We have a number of designs that other Summerwood customers have designed, or you can use our Custom Design Center to make the perfect office space for you. Don’t forget: all of our builds, including home studios, include easy-to-follow instructions, diagrams, and assembly videos to help you through the process and we’re always here to answer any of your questions.

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How To Choose A Cabin

Whether you enjoy alone time or spending time with others, prefer mountains or oceans, seek thrills or relaxation, there’s a cabin lifestyle for you.

 

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Start with the spot for the cabin

First consider which natural setting appeals to you and why. Is it near a riverbank, farmland, lakeshore, deeply wooded area, or the mountains or valleys? How far are you willing to venture? If you are considering entire summers away, the distance from home to cabin can be less than year-round weekend jaunts.

Does proximity to amenities matter or are you okay with being far off the beaten path? Some of us crave seclusion while others like the comfort of a community nearby.

What’s your leisurely pleasure? While cabin life can satisfy many lifestyles — artsy, sporty, foodie, crafty, romantic or relaxing — the way you want to use your space most often will help you narrow down the options of where you want to build.

Once you have an ideal location or cabin lifestyle in mind, be sure to scout the area, view open houses, or rent a similar place for a night to ensure that your romantic notions are in line with reality. While you may imagine the idea of waking up to distant sweeping views of a lake or mountain range is heavenly, you might realize you prefer to be on the water or closer to the action. Long for life amid the woods with the fresh aroma of crushed pine needles? In reality, a bright open sky may feel more uplifting long term. Much like eating foreign foods, you won’t know what you like until you try.

Remember to consider safety, zoning and permits, price and taxes, and plumbing and electrical access  just as you would consider the view, foliage, weather or temperature. All of these are equally important.

 

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Picture the build and put yourself in the picture

Much like choosing the location, deciding on the size, features, layout and structural elements of your cabin come from combining the fun fantasy with the reality of cabin life.

Beyond the essentials — like water, power and waste treatment — consider the size of the cabin and position on the lot. Ensure the cabin fits the space, maximizes the outlook and orients to the sun patterns. Consider how time outside of the cabin will be spent when picking a location. Do you want a firepit, an accessible driveway, a garden or hot tub, and other add ons? Remember the big picture and how elements will flow together.

It’s also helpful to think about the number of people likely to stay, visit or be entertained in your cabin.  Are you eager to host a party or prefer enough room for yourself and your thoughts? We offer options for both camps. Loft-beds are a great way to maximize vertical space for storage or sleeping.

 

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Design the cabin for life

Style and function come together in every Summerwood cabin. How that looks is up to you.

Our cabin styles vary by unique design with distinct advantages and personalities. Explore the features that feel right for you and we will customize from there.

The classic cabin with a peaked loft and generous porch — like our Canmore Cabin — is a perennial favourite. Tremendous natural light year-round and ample space for storage defines the Kepler Creek Cabin. Feel better with basic? Check out the 10 x 10 Bala Bunkie Cabin for its compact minimalism that delivers big personality. Still uncertain? Visit our cabin favourites for inspiration and take a 3D tour through some of our popular designs.

Now for the really fun part. Consider the details to make your cabin your own. Roofing, siding, paints or stains, skylights and trims – the options are endless on our material choices list.

Regardless of design nuances, be assured Summerwood only uses the finest materials on the market. Most of our cabin kits are constructed from premium grade western red cedar while offering durable and attractive Canexel maintenance-free wood fiber siding. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed! Simply take your time and consider how these details will make this build feel like your own personal space.

 

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Construction commentary

Summerwood cabin kits are a DIY dream come true. Each cabin comes with detailed, step-by-step instructions and live help is available, only an email or toll-free phone call away. Carve the time, build the energy and organize the tools needed to complete the project. Learn more about its assembly and required tools here. Prefer help? View our how to hire a contractor package for more information.

 

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Summerwood is here to help

From cozy rustic to minimalist contemporary, Summerwood can help bring your vision to reality and perfect your cabin in no time. Our pre-cut designs are easy to customize. Our process takes the stress out of what can be a daunting notion: creating the cabin of your dreams. The Summerwood team is always happy to help.

Whether it’s questions about materials, sizing, styles or customizing any of our builds, no question is too small nor idea too big. We welcome you to be in touch through email or by phone here.  

How To Make Your Small Space Instantly Cozy

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Let’s agree there is no better time than winter to enjoy the great indoors!

 

When the weather outside is less than delightful, the search for warm surroundings is universal.

 

The Danish have a word for it —hygge (pronounced hue-guh)—which roughly translates to that feeling of familiarity and welcoming coziness that has been adapted into decor and design inspiration, particularly during the colder months out of the year.

 

Scandinavian or not, making favourite places a little cozier encourages creative wintertime use of our Summerwood spaces, whether it’s a back garden studio, workshop, she-shed, pool house or cabin.

 

From prized spaces of solitude to social hubs, winter-time comfort is never far off in a smaller dwelling.

 

Here are some of our favourite ways to make your place warm retreat from bitter weather and early dark nights.

 

Layers

 

Winter is no time for bare surfaces. When the temperature drops, we pull out the knits. Blankets, carpets and throw-pillows are all great additions to making a space feel comfortable and intimate, and can easily be introduced or removed based on the season and changing decor preferences. Drape the layers over benches, toss them over couches, and nestle them on your favourite chair for a a warmer, softer, and more welcoming vibe on crisp day and chilly nights.

 

Touch and texture

Eliminate starkness from your space by including different textures across your furnishings. The difference in textures will contribute to overall hominess of your dwelling, where variations in pattern, fabric and even types of art can add depth to your decor.

 

This mix-and-match of textures will make for a unique coziness. For example, an old leather chair, a worn wooden table, sheepskin throw or a knit blanket all provide different tactile experiences that together add visual interest and a welcoming softness to a space.

 

 

Lighting

 

An easy way to influence the mood of any room is through lighting. For a simple way to make your space more peaceful, swap out cooler lighting for yellow-toned bulbs that cast a warming glow. Consider additional lighting beyond a single overhead bulb to usher in warmth and offer a sense of scale—think dedicated reading nooks, shelf lights and any other features you’d like to bring focus to.

 

 

Colour

 

 Nearly every colour has a mood, and can offer both warmer and cooler hues across different shades. Cooler colours make a space feel larger and airier, while warm colours make a space feel more intimate and are generally more welcoming.

 

For friendlier, warming influences in your space, choose options with yellow, red and gold undertones. For example, opt beige or cream instead of stark white, or deeper, more richly pigmented shades of your favourite colours for the walls.

 

 

Personal pieces

Warmth in decor is often related to a sense of comfort and inviting hominess. A great way to conjure this feeling is to include our personal items in our spaces.

 

Whether it is a set of vintage skis hung off the wall of a cabin, a stack of favorite books, an old framed poster, or even a chair that no longer matches a remodeled living room, personal pieces offer our spaces familiarity—an essential for lasting comfort.

 

 

Do you use your Summerwood build during the winter? What are your favourite ways for adding cold-weather pleasures to your space? Let us know by joining the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

 

 

5 Reasons Why Man Caves Should Be On Top of Your Christmas List

Movember has come to a close, and even though the month might be past us, it’s a great reminder to celebrate the positive impacts that the month has every year on men’s health. In keeping with this, we have taken a closer look at the importance of a man cave and the benefits these masculine spaces offer.

 

Elvis had Graceland, Tony Soprano had his Bada Bing room, and Al Bundy had his garage – men carving out their own places is nothing new in popular culture. Even before TV, men have found peace in a number of male-oriented spots, whether in a pub, workshop or den. Places away from the stresses and demands of everyday life aren’t a distant dream; they’re just going by a new name– the man cave.

 

The benefits that come with a dedicated, males-only space make a great case for why a ‘mantuary’ is the perfect Christmas present to yourself or the special man in your life—here’s why.

 

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1. Decompress and de-stress

 

Stress relief is the basic reason that every man needs a man cave. There’s no arguing that sometimes you need to escape the everyday grind of life, but vacations aren’t always an option. After the demands and challenges of a long day or workweek, we all seek a place to unwind, where we can surround ourselves with creature comforts to relax. Can you think of a better way to do this than in a space of your own making?

 

2. Rediscover how to “fire-gaze”, reflect and refuel

 

This point really does pay homage to the ‘cave’ in man cave.

 

The act of gathering around a fire dates to prehistoric times. At the end of a long day’s hunt, man would sit and rest in front of the fire, watching the flames. He needed time to recharge his energy for the next day’s hunt. Today, the natural instinct of a man after a long period of work or intense activity, is still to ‘fire-gaze’, or to ‘zone-out’ in another way, like simply watching Netflix or reading a newspaper.

 

Both physical space and headspace are needed for us to decompress and prepare ourselves to jump back into the grind. A man cave offers a space free of demands, where a man has the freedom to completely turn off from the world and prepare for the next hunt, sales meeting, or family dinner.

 

3. Embrace individuality, creativity and masculine expression

 

Female-led decorating and interior design is common in many homes, sometimes leaving male-tastes unfilled. This can be disheartening to men, as their favourite sports paraphernalia, video games, or large-screen television from bachelor days are relegated to the attic or not-so-accidently sold at last week’s garage sale.

 

A man cave is the perfect spot for a man to carve out his own domain, allowing for more masculine items, that may not be suited to the main house, items like a pool table, exercise equipment, game station, reclining chairs, or a bar.

 

Men can style their man cave’s interior to fit the vibe they want, whether this is minimalist and spartan, a traditional pub scene, or an inspired workshop for dreaming, planning and building. Decorating the man cave to reflect personal taste and individuality can be satisfying. While each man cave can be as different as the men who inhabit them, there are no right or wrong ways to decorate. If the space is filled with things that make him happy, how could it be wrong?

 

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4. Explore your interests

 

As we go through life, and face more demands on our time, we can lose touch with earlier life passions – where hobbies fall by the wayside or we forget to explore new interests.

 

Whatever your interests might be, having a space to maintain a lifelong passion or discover a new pursuit and spending time on our hobbies helps our mental health and mood balance. From constructing model planes and miniature railway sets, to fixing motorbikes or household items, many men find working on logical or practical projects is both mentally stimulating and therapeutic.

 

As well as having this mental health benefit for men, a dedicated outdoor building as a hobby or workspace carries the added benefit of keeping the home and garage clutter free!

 

5. Personal space for better relationships

 

Less tense, more inspired— this is how most men feel after an hour spent in their man cave. A man who feels recharged is able to be his very best self, allowing him to bring more to his everyday, including his relationships, especially with friends and family.

 

Personal spaces are important in maintaining overall happiness and a sense of self—and have proved themselves as helpful outlets for those with significant others. What’s more, in some cases they’ve inspired partners to seek out a space of their own, like She Sheds.

 

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Let Summerwood help

 

The benefits of a man cave are numerous, and far-reaching, but the process of setting up your own is easy. The assembly process for Summerwood buildings is safe, simple and fun, as our pre-cut and pre-assembled kits allow you to do-it-yourself, or to hire a contractor for extra help, while our Custom Design Center lets you personalize a building to fit your home, landscape, and lifestyle.

 

We cover the whole spectrum of design choices, and ship our products throughout North America and beyond. For inspiration, browse our cabins and studios or search here among over 1,000 finished project photos submitted by delighted Summerwood customers.

 

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.