So What Is This Thing Called A Bunkie


If you enjoy escaping the demands of life by heading into nature, you will love the beauty and utility of a Bunkie. The innovative Bunkie is a small, yet fully functional cottage or cabin that you can place nearly anywhere. As a completely customizable building, this structure will transform your nature retreat into a place you always look forward to visiting. The Bunkie offers an immense number of unique features that turn a simple cottage space into a relaxing, comfortable home away from home.

What is a bunkie?

The term bunkie originates from the word “bunkhouses” which were built by rural farmers and ranchers to help house seasonal employees. A bunkie is a bunk house that is now typically used now for helping with the overflow of guests and family members that are visiting and need a place to sleep at the cottage or cabin. And as the name suggests, it typically houses bunk beds. However it can also be used as the perfect place for extra space at the cottage or in your backyard.

Bunkies are the perfect addition to a cottage, especially for ones that are looking to add more sleeping room for guests. In addition to providing extra space for overnight guests, our bunkies can also be used for a variety of different purposes. While the bunkie is ideally designed for use in the summer months, we have also had various requests for four-season bunkies. With an increase in individuals working from home, it is also the perfect home office that can be added to your backyard to give you some peace and quiet from the many distractions within your home.

Key Bunkie Features

The style elements and layout features that come with your Bunkie depend on the build style you select. The majority of the following key features are included in the basic layout for this iconic structure.

Personalized Exterior

Each cabin design is made from western red cedar, which often ranges from rich yellow to deep red tones. You can further personalize the look of exterior surface by applying stain or paint. Stain accentuates the natural tones and grain of the wood, while paint completely alters the color and finish. You can also add alternate design features, such as a tall porch or planter boxes, to complete your personalized exterior layout.

Customizable Interior

do-it-yourself-bunkie-kit-SummerwoodYou can design and furnish the interior space any way you like. You can fit bunk beds or simply go with a pull-out sofa to maximize your floor space. You may add shelves, racks and drawers all throughout the space for additional convenient storage options. You can select curtains or blinds to go over the windows or leave them bare to allow more natural light into the dwelling. The space is fully customizable to give you ample decoration options.

Loft Space

do-it-yourself-bunkie-kit-loft-Summerwood-3The 10×10 Glen Echo Bunkie features 100 square feet downstairs with an approximately 130 square feet loft upstairs. Due to the floor space and height increasing dormers, the loft can accommodate a large queen size bed with room to walk around. Additional shelving can go in the loft as well for storing blankets, clothes and other personal items. You can also use a fold-away ladder to access the loft space to keep the walkways through the main floor clear.

French Doors

do-it-yourself-bunkie-kit-Summerwood-192793-2French doors on your Bunkie allow you to remain in close proximity to nature throughout your entire trip as they open up the building. The fresh air will help keep the space feeling fresh and airy. The French doors also provide the building with a sophisticated look and feel. If you prefer, you also have the ability to replace the French doors with a single door and two screened windows.

Screened Windows

Across the rest of the Bunkie walls, you will find slide-open screened windows that let in natural light. When closed, the windows are highly insulated to keep the outdoor weather from causing unwanted temperature fluctuations inside the cabin. The screens allow you to let in fresh air without allowing mosquitos and other insects into your dwelling.

Where to place the bunkie?

Usually the bunkies do not have electricity and it is important to consider light and airflow before you start any construction on it. If you are planning to add a bunkie to your cottage or backyard, make sure to stand where you want to place it. Have a look around the site and see how the air moves around it, look around where it is going to go, as well as help to decide where you should put the windows and the doors.

You should also have a look at our 3 Smart Considerations To Keep In Mind While Choosing Your Shed Location to help with selecting the perfect location for you new bunkie. After weighing all of the above factors, you likely will have an ideal place in mind for your new bunkie.

Selecting and Building Your Bunkie

When you are ready to obtain a Bunkie to perfect your nature retreat spot, contact us at Summerwood to discuss your options. You can choose from nearly one dozen fully customizable cottage or cabin styles. Each of the style options can be delivered as a pre-assembled or pre-cut kit.

If you prefer, you can use the provided labor quote to obtain an estimate from your contractor for professional assembly at your desired location. Either way, as a building with a small footprint, many municipalities do not require that you secure a permit before erecting this structure at your chosen location. Building permits are typically only required for buildings over 100 square feet, which is far larger than a typical Bunkie layout. 

Summerwood produces high quality structures designed to increase the aesthetics, utility and value of your properties. When you are ready to proceed with this project, you can view and design your Bunkie at the Summerwood website or call 1-866-519-4634 to discuss your order. You can also inquire about the available pre-fab sheds, playhouses, pool houses and garages to complete your outdoor project needs.

Custom Design Center Call to Action

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


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.

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 are a perfect storage solution
Tool Tower Garage Organization Storage Tips - Summerwood Products

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 every single time. To solve this problem, invest in a rolling tool tower that keeps these long, unwieldy tools standing free and separate in individual sections.

2. Sliding storage systems for the garage

The ceiling space is often an incredibly underutilized storage area in the average garage, therefore you shouldn’t let it go to waste. 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 for hanging and holding tools

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. Mason jar storage and other storage ideas using jars
Jar storage for garage organization - Summerwood Products

You can use the underside of your shelves for storage by integrating mason 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. Using mason jars and other small jars, you can fill them with bolts, nails, washers and other small pieces you routinely need for projects around the house, and then screw them back onto the lid for easy access anytime.

5. Bungee bins and bungee cords help you get organized
Bungee Cords to help with storage - Summerwood Products

Your often 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 are perfect for hanging loose items and tools in your garage

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. Milk crates are great for shelf storage in your garage

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. Organizing the garage with rain gutters
old rain gutters for storage - Summerwood Products

Using old gutters you have laying around the house or garage, you can hang them 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.

Helpful tips and tools to help organize your garage

Organized shelf for garage storage - Summerwood Products

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.


The Catalina: Our 5 Sided Corner Shed

It’s that time of year again! Spring has arrived, and it’s brought along with it dreams of fabulous and stylish outdoor design. Many of us are busy spring-cleaning our homes and backyards, so that we can make the most of those beautiful sunny days and enjoy them to the fullest.

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Well here are Summerwood we’ve been busy making those dreams a reality for many of our customers. We’re not only concerned with fabulous and stylish design worth dreaming about, but also practicality, usability and functionality.

That’s where those tricky backyard corners come in! Many of our customers struggle with finding creative solutions to maximize their backyard space and function. They want the best of both worlds: an appealing design, and a building with a practical purpose. You don’t need a lot of space to achieve it, you may just need to re-think your backyard corners!

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Our Catalina Corner Shed Design is the ideal solution. It’s a five-sided corner building that can be customized to transform any backyard corner from wasted to usable space. We’ll show you how it functions as a Pool Cabana, Garden Shed, and even as a Studio/Office. Turns out, you do have space for a backyard building after all!

Catalina: Pool Cabana

Our Catalina Design functions in a unique way as a Five-Sided Corner Pool Cabana:
– Since it’s in a corner it can face the pool, creating a visual and functional focal point.
– It’s often used as a home to hide that unsightly pool equipment.
– The shape allows for lots of customization: feature a door, or hide it.
– It’s great for storing all of those collected pool toys!
– Can be used as a pool-side change-room, or add a bar-window to get the party started!

Catalina Five-Sided Corner Pool Cabana: A bar window is great option for pool parties!

Catalina Corner Pool Cabana: A bar window is great option for pool parties!

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Western Red Cedar Corner Pool Cabana

Western Red Cedar Corner Pool Cabana

Catalina: Garden Shed
Our Catalina Corner Shed is a great use of space for all of your storage needs:
– Customize the size of your corner shed to fit any corner.
– Transforms even the smallest corners into usable storage.
– The roof line is perfect for taking advantage of vertical space, lots of height!
– Perfect for an oddly shaped backyard, or for those looking to maximize usable space.
– Great for storing tools, garden equipment, outdoor furniture, and more!

Five-Sided Western Red Cedar Corner Shed

Five-Sided Western Red Cedar Corner Shed

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Now that's a functional and adorable backyard corner shed!

Now that’s a functional (and adorable) backyard corner shed!

Catalina: Home Office/Studio
Our Catalina Corner Building is your corner office, in your very own backyard:
– Functions as an extra room for you and your family, without the hassle or expense of adding an addition to your existing home.
– Use it as a backyard corner office, or backyard corner studio.
– Provides separation from your work space: a functional backyard office at home, but not in your home, so you can relax!

Use our five-sided corner building as your corner office, year round!

Use our five-sided corner building as your corner office, year round!

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Corner shed, corner cabana, toronto, backyard corner building, pool house, pool cabana, pool house, garden shed 18

A backyard corner building is great for extra hang-out cspace.

A backyard corner building is great for extra hang-out space.


Create A Dreamy AirBnB Cabin With Summerwood

A unique design from Summerwood Products is the perfect addition to any home and an ideal solution for building your own cabin in the woods, as well as a perfect guest house, that can double as an ideal AirBnB cabin getaway.

Over the years we have heard more and more about tiny houses and tiny house design. We’ve seen our customers use some of our designs for custom backyard buildings and turn these structures into anything from yoga studios to jewelry studios (check some of that out here).

Outside view of Tennessee AirBnB - Summerwood Products

Back in 2016 we wrote a blog post about a couple that decided to use Summerwood to create a tiny home in their backyard, we had the great pleasure of working with a Nashville-based client, Rebecca, on the design of a tiny home that now serves as an investment property and offers space for guest overflow. Recently we decided to follow up and see how their Summerwood Cabin is doing.

Residing just outside of the downtown area of Nashville, Tennessee, one of the top vacation destinations in the country. Our customers have created one of the most popular AirBnB’s locations in Tennessee. They have also been recognized as an AirBnB Plus, a selection of only the highest quality homes with hosts known for great reviews and attention to detail. They have also been featured in Travel+Leisure, Southern Living, House Beautiful, the Tennessean, and USA Today.

tiny dream house AirBnB Nashville - Summerwood Products

They spent nine months building and designing the structure (with some help from us of course) behind their own family home, with no prior homebuilding experience and a whole lot of help from friends, family and the internet. When it came down to choosing a design, they decided to buy a Summerwood product specifically because they truly felt Summerwood had the best kit designs out there. “We had looked at a few competitors and just felt there was no match for Summerwood.”

The small cabin serves as a getaway for those that are vacationing in the busy music-filled city of Nashville—and adds a much needed outdoorsy and adventurous factor to the getaway. There are currently over 600 reviews on the home, and we did not see a negative review anywhere to be found.  One previous renter left a review calling the cabin a “sanctuary for the soul.”

Inside Tennessee AirBnB - Summerwood Products

Located only 10 minutes from the downtown area,this AirBnB cabin includes a kitchenette, lofted queen bed, a full bathroom with a clawfoot tub, and lots of outdoor space so you can enjoy the deck, shared backyard, and garden complete with chickens.

You too can discover the charm of this tiny house in a magical setting. Every inch is put to good use in a delightful mix of old and new. Repurposed vintage cabinets and a claw-foot tub share this clever space with modern appliances and air conditioning.You can book or reserve this amazing rental and have an inside look into this amazing tiny cabin from Summerwood.


Small house designs continue to be one of the more popular conversation starters the Summerwood design staff engages in with our customers. In reality we’ve been building micro homes and small cabins and cottages for over 20 years, making us an ideal resource for designing and purchasing a tiny home. 

Start online with our Custom Design Center to begin designing and pricing your own tiny house. Our cabin kits and prefab cabins create the home away from home you’ll enjoy for decades.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Purpose and Function

Another thing to keep in mind when choosing the perfect location for your shed, is to understand the purpose and functionality of the shed. Picking the right location of the shed will have an impact on its functionality, design, and purpose. Some people like the shed to be the centre of attention in the backyard, while others want it to blend nicely in with the landscape. The purpose of your shed will help with finalizing the location of the shed. While featuring accessible points, the shed should also be accessible for whatever you choose to use it as well as as an aesthetically pleasing choice. An attractive shed can help increase the value of your home, as An accessory building with a clear usage is something potential homeowners will appreciate.

Light exposure to the shed will also be a key influence on helping to decide the final location of it. This will greatly influence how much you use the shed, as if direct lights hit the shed for most of the day, it can be hot and the exterior of the shed may age faster due to the amount of light. If you’re considering turning your shed into an office, workshop or a studio, the sun beating down on it all day might become unpleasant after a while. You can also extend the amount of time you use the shed by putting some basic electric lights on the inside, perfect for those winter months.

Doors & Parallel

The doors on your shed should be placed where they work well for use. An example of this might be putting doors against the fence, however using your shed as storage for your lawn mower, therefore creating a hassle to get in and out of the shed. Consider how the landscape and surrounding foliage may change throughout the year and over time. It is best to look at the shed and see if it can be accessible all year round. It is imperative that you check and consider the surrounding landscape and how it may change throughout the year and if that will create any obstacles along the way.

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.