Get Inspired Posts

Understanding How Outdoor Buildings Can Boost Your Property Value


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


Home Value Factors

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

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


Completing Your Outbuilding Arrangement

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

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


Outdoor Building Considerations

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


11 Unique Theme Ideas For Your Outdoor Buildings And Landscape Design


An overarching theme for your outdoor buildings has the power to really tie your landscape design together. You can use the theme to transform the interior and exterior of your outbuildings into a unique custom structure perfectly fit for your personality and interests. From that point, just smartly utilize a few key landscape elements to apply the final touches to your personalized design. Here are 11 interesting theme ideas for you to consider.

Star Field

Make your landscape design look like an extension of the gorgeous night sky with a star field theme. Work with a palette of deep purples and blues, dotted with white starbursts, to recreate the space scene of your dreams.

Mystic Retreat

Rich earth-toned colors integrated with crystals, wind chimes and otherworldly creatures quickly transforms your outbuildings and garden into a mystic retreat. Use silky scarf accents and rich fragrant flowers, such as patchouli and lavender, to take this calming theme to the next level.

Rustic Sanctuary

Harness the colors and textures of rusted metal, reclaimed wood and dried grasses to make your landscape design exude rustic charm. Heavily rely on found materials and hearty plants while creating rustic accent spaces around your outdoor buildings.


Castle Grounds

The commanding atmosphere of castle grounds is captured using regal purple and rich green tones. Try to work stone blocks, hedges and spires into your overall design to recreate this iconic look.

Western Saloon

The western saloon made great use of reds, yellows and oranges across all saturation levels. Wagon wheels, hitching racks and horse sculptures make great accent pieces for this throwback theme.

Coastal Resort

Blues, greens and yellows encapsulate the beauty of the coastal region without overpowering inland features. To recreate the coastal resort theme, include nautical décor, such as lighthouses, life preservers and starfish.

English Cottage

The English cottage often features brown, white and green tones throughout its design. Bird baths, planter boxes and wildlife sculptures give the cottage theme a ton of cute character and charm.

Woodland Refuge

The woodland refuge hides within the forest thickets, so you should use ample brown and green tones on your build. A handmade fire pit, log furniture and stone walkways will bring this theme to life.

Tea Garden

The traditional tea garden appears as rolling hills full of highly fragrant edible plants, so focus on the green spectrum while customizing your outbuildings. Add small koi ponds, woven basket planters and an elegant seating area nearby to complete this invigorating theme.


Vintage Getaway

Shabby chic never fails to impress with its teal, pink and white color scheme. Apply a distressed finish to wood benches and chairs to create inviting seating areas. Create an eccentric garden using distressed bedframes, dressers and cabinets in unique ways.

Fairy Tale

Bright pink, blue, yellow and green work well together when creating instantly recognizable fairy tale landscapes. Waterfalls, topiaries and oversized mushroom sculptures are the perfect elements for this magical theme. Replace your gate with an arched door to ensure you can waltz into you fairy tale wonderland in style.

Completing Your Vision

As you sketch out your outbuilding layout, you may notice that you need to add a small shed, pool house or other outdoor building to your design. To find and acquire the perfect structure, browse through the pre-fabricated buildings created by Summerwood.

An Office Away from the Office

As Monday morning and a new week approaches, you may find yourself wondering where the weekend went. Maybe you’re not looking forward to a long commute, a stack of papers awaiting you on your desk, or responding to all of those emails. So, how do you make the work week a little bit better?

For those that freelance, or are entrepreneurs, it may be most cost-effective to work from home. But working and living in the same space can cause stress, anxiety and make some feel a little stir-crazy. It’s important to separate work and play, and let your mind relax after a long work day. No one wants to see that stack of papers on their kitchen table! We’re all more productive if we make room for a break, out of sight and out of mind after a long day. But if you’re living in a small space, it can be difficult to achieve this. So what’s the solution? Well, how about moving that space outdoors?

summerwood modern backyard home office

For those with a large enough backyard, a simple home office can completely revitalize the way that you work from home. A home office is a necessity for many, especially with many businesses operating right from their homes. However, for many families the office often becomes a catch-all space where papers and documents are dumped, computers are taken over by kids, and decor is an unfortunately, just an afterthought. So that got us thinking, what if we create an office away from the office, and the home?

Moving your office outside can provide you with privacy and a quiet place to work. We’ll help you create a custom office and separate space in which you can create and explore, while enjoying the nature and solitude of your yard. Whether you work from home, or merely bring your work home with you (as many of us do), having a space that is conducive to getting things done without distraction is essential for many. If you’re tired of interruptions and papers piling up in your office (or anywhere else in the home), a custom office might be just what you’re looking for. Summerwood Products can help you create an office space and private work sanctuary for you, your family or your business, all for less than a home add-on or reno.

Not sure where to get started? Below we’ve got a few points to consider before you begin designing your personal custom home office.


When searching for the perfect backyard home office for you, you must first decide how large a space will fit your needs. You want to ensure that you have enough space to work comfortably, without feeling cramped, but also ensure that the constructed office does not overwhelm the entire backyard. That’s why starting with a plan is ideal. You have the freedom to choose an exact size and truly customize your home office to fit the outdoor space you’re placing it in. Just brainstroming? Visit our Design Center to start generating ideas for your new office studio.

Copper Creek home office with painted cedar shingles

It is also important that you research the bylaws of your municipality to ensure that it is legal to begin building on your property. Generally, any structures larger than 100 sq. ft. require a permit in order to be built, but the rules differ street by street. While building permits are an easy thing to overlook, it is worth taking the time to find out the permit laws in your municipality are in order to avoid a much larger headache – or even a fine – in the future. Find out what you’re allowed to build and we’ll help you build exactly that! For a brief rundown, check out our blog post on the topic: “Building Permits: What You Need To Know”.



Our 5-sided Catalina style fits perfect in a tight corner!
Exterior Options

Customizing your home office exterior can be the perfect way to integrate it into your backyard, creating a fluidity of style that suits your aesthetic tastes and perhaps even matches your home. Have fun with the exterior and customize to your heart’s content. We’ll help you adjust your roof pitch, add a dormer or a cupola, increase wall height, choose siding and pick the perfect windows and doors. We have over 50 to choose from!

Our flat-roof styles are a great option for your modern backyard. See more interior shots of this beautiful space in: “The Modern Verana Pool House”.

9 Hobbies That Need An Entire Shed’s Worth Of Dedicated Space


When you start to dedicate the bulk of your time to a particular hobby, the collection of gear and materials you accrue can quickly take over your living space. As the items pile up, you might find yourself wishing for a place to store and utilize your hobby supplies without taking up room in your home. Luckily, you can create a dedicated space for your hobby in a backyard shed structure. A shed allows you to establish a smart organizational system for your items and even create a workspace for your tasks. If you fancy yourself one of the following nine hobbyists, you may benefit from moving your hobby items and endeavors into a dedicated shed space.


Whether you work with acrylics, oils or watercolors, painting is equal parts messy and gratifying. To really let your creative energy flow, you must have room to manipulate your canvas and splatter your paint at will. In a dedicated shed workspace, you can really let the paint fly without worrying about the state of your surroundings.


To take your photography hobby to the next level, you must have a private space for staged photo shoots and other fun projects. You also need an easily accessible place to store your backdrops, lights and other gear, so you never miss a photo opportunity. A shed equipped with a partition will provide the room you need for continued growth in the world of photography.


Halminen36614 (5)

“How many bikes do you need?” is the funniest question that a bicycle enthusiast is ever asked. As the number of bikes is sure to increase, so does the gear to use while riding and tools to work on them when not riding. A bicycle shed is a great place to keep everything in one place and keep it all secure. Plus this will keep the house cleaner and lets you actually park your cars in the garage.

RC Car Extraordinaire

Although RC cars are 1/10th of the size of their real counterparts, their chassis and parts can quickly dominate all of the flat surfaces in your home. Working on your RC cars in a shared space is often a nightmare as well due to the risk of losing extremely tiny parts. Switch to a shed space for your RC cars to reclaim your home’s surfaces and keep drafts, pets and family members from knocking your parts into the unknown.

Candle Maker

Candle making takes messy to the next level as the wax quickly becomes rock hard. Although candles usually smell pleasant enough, melting scented wax in bulk can leave an overpowering scent lingering in the air. Take your candle projects into a shed space to keep your home squeaky clean and free of strong odors.


When the mood to compose music strikes, you cannot cork the creative energy until everyone awakens from their slumber. You must immediately let the music flow through your instruments and jot down your notes to keep the song from escaping for good. You can equip a shed with sound deadening materials to create a quiet place to compose anytime of the day or night.

Rock Hound

When you are a rock hound, the world is truly your oyster. A trip to the creek, park or forest can leave your pockets heavy with interesting rocks of all sizes. Unfortunately, storing those rocks, and the supplies needed for polishing, examining and cataloging them, can take up an ever increasing amount of room. With a shed, you can have your rocks and polish them too without worry about overwhelming your living space.


With dozens of major gaming consoles released in the last few decades, it does not take long to fill your shelves and cupboards with systems, cartridges and discs. As a resolute gamer, you may never say die when it comes to building up your collection. To keep the peace, relocate your gear to a shed and set up the ultimate gaming center for all of your favorite systems.

Card Shark

Although you can host successful card games with nary more than a card table, chairs and a deck of cards, more space means more participants. As a card shark, you build your skills up by playing as many different people as possible so take your games to a shed to draw in the crowd. With the ability to decorate a shed however you want without affecting the feng shui of your house you will soon be hosting the most successful card games on the block.

Establishing A Shed For Your Hobbies

If you do not already have an open outbuilding available for your hobby supplies, you can select the perfect structure by browsing through the options available from Summerwood. With so many different designs available, you will easily find an aesthetically pleasing shed design with a perfectly sized footprint for your yard. Contact the team at Summerwood or visit the Design Center to get started today.


10 Ways To Make Your Backyard More Younique

42270 Sam Hua final 10

If you want your backyard to reflect your unique personality, the ordinary lawn and garden has got to go. You must integrate personalized elements into your backyard design to make it truly one-of-a-kind. With the right blend of elements, your friends and family will instantly recognize your backyard as an extension of your individuality. Combine any number of the innovative elements listed below to create a fully customized backyard space to enjoy for years to come.

1. Rock Garden

Your backyard space will take a unique turn with the inclusion of a Zen rock garden. Frame out the area with simple bricks and place your rocks in an interesting configuration. Fill the rest of the area with tiny, round pebbles to complete your garden. Make sure to regularly rake the pebbles into smooth ripples that mimic the movement of water.

2. Miniature Orchard

If you do not have room for a full size orchard, utilize dwarf fruit trees to create a miniature version right in your backyard. Place your dwarf fruit trees in containers to limit their normal 10-foot height to about four feet at maturity. You can find almost all fruit tree varieties in this tiny size, including peaches, lemons, limes, oranges, cherries, bananas, apple and figs.


3. Log Pathways

Utilize log slices of various circumferences to create a pathway you will be proud to walk down. The wood stain covered logs will display their age for all to see without succumbing to the elements. You can choose to leave the bark on for a distinguished look or display the wood with bare edges to create a design that looks a bit more uniform.

4. Heart Planters

Beauty and brawn come together in heart shaped planters made of concrete. You can pair large and small heart planters together in various spaces throughout your yard or create a full line of hearts to separate two areas of your yard into separate sections. Make sure to plant tall flowers with wispy greenery to continue your theme of opposing elements.

5. Block Wall

With a block wall, flowers almost seem to defiantly jut out from the crevices in an attempt to soften the edges of this tough structure. Create this structure by stacking cinder blocks into a wall up to your desired height. Stagger the ends to leave a cinder block hole, or two, exposed for use as a planter. Create additional planters by turning every third or fourth block perpendicular to the others. You can create a partial wall or use the structure to actually surround a specific area in your backyard.

6. Animal Bushes

Turn ordinary bushes into extraordinary creations by shaping them into the animals you love. You can turn any bush displaying white flowers into a sheep by shaping the plant into an oval and adding a ceramic head, four legs and a tail. Consider turning dense green bushes into frogs, lizards, birds and grasshoppers by shaping the plant using pruning tools and an artistic touch.

7. Pond Container

Build a pond garden in a large container to take your backyard space to the next level. With a small pump, this type of garden will basically maintain itself. Fill the pond with aquatic plants, including cattails, water poppies, irises, taro and lily pads. Your pond will attract frogs, lizards and local wildlife for you and your guests to watch while you relax outdoors.

8. Rain Chains

Replace your boring downspouts with rain chains to make the most of sudden rain showers. Water lazily trickles down the chains to the ground below without making a peep. Carefully place the chains to allow the rainwater to naturally provide thirsty plants with extra moisture.

9. Fire Pit Sculpture

A beautifully sculpted fire pit can light up the night with your favorite scenes, animals or shapes. Choose a fire pit design that matches your backyard theme or personal interests. Make sure to place the pit in an area that allows you and all of your guests to crowd around it together on chilly nights.

109757 (4)

10. Tree Trunk Seats

Your backyard is not complete without a full set of tree trunk seats. These simple seats can be placed around a fire pit or aligned tightly together as an impromptu garden bench. You can move the trunks as you see fit to customize your backyard arrangement on the fly.

Completing Your Backyard Build

Once you get your backyard design elements squared away, consider adding a cabin or studio as the main focal point. Your stylish outdoor structure can act as a dedicated space for your artistic endeavors or just as a place to relax after a long workweek. You can obtain prefabricated, purpose built cabins and studios from Summerwood. These structures are always easy to order, construct and personalize. Browse through the options and customize it with the online Design Center to select the best one for your needs.

Backyard Gym In A Shed: Get Your Fit On

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

If you are continuously rescheduling your daily community gym 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 fitness structure provides all of the benefits of a home gym without taking up precious real estate inside your home.

Instant Accessibility 

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. 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.

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 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.

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.

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 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.