5 Useful Tips About Wooden Summer Houses and Sheds for Gardens – Part 1

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Building regulations and planning permission

“My garden and my rules” is unfortunately not exactly the way it works with setting up a summer house or any other house in your garden. Whether you need to apply for a planning permit or not depends on the size and height of the building, ways of use, location in the garden and other details. There are two separate issues when considering a new garden building – Building Regulations and Planning Permission. In most cases, if the building has an internal floor space up to 15m² and its overall height is less than 2.5m, it is very unlikely that you’ll need any Building Regulations or Planning Permissions at all. Even if your garden building is within the limits, it is still wise to contact your local planning office and get all the answers to your questions. This will give you peace of mind to be sure that everything goes to plan with your new garden office or a hobby room. Should your desired summer house or a garden room exceed the limits, don’t worry and don’t give up your dream! In this case you should call or visit your local planning office and get a proper instruction of what you need to do in order to meet all the rules and get the required permissions. Our previous experience with clients getting planning permission for larger garden buildings, is that it takes no more than 4-6 weeks.

Peculiarities of wooden buildings. Proper care.

Wood is a natural material, growing and adapting depending on the temperature, humidity and other weather conditions especially during the first month after the assembly. It is common that you must adjust doors and windows a few times during the first month after the wooden cabin has been erected and then once or twice in a year to keep them functioning properly. Small cracks, knots and color tone differences are not errors but inherent qualities of wood. It is important to treat your garden house with wood preservative stain or other protective coatings straight after the assembly. Untreated wood becomes grayish, and can turn blue and become moldy or rot. We recommend that you treat floor boards with a wood impregnation agent before installation, especially the bottom sides of the boards, because after the assembly you have no more access to that side. Having been properly treated, your log cabin’s lifespan has been increased significantly. It is wise to inspect your summer house once in the year and retreat accordingly to the instructions set by the wood preservative manufacturer.

Size of your garden building

It is very important to think about the use of your garden building and buy the right size. Wooden summer houses are something we want you to enjoy for many years and not just a season. Therefore we would recommend you involve all the family members or users of the summer house, ask everybody’s opinion and make a collective decision.

What will I get, what is inside the package and how are the log cabins are delivered?

Your log cabin or garden building will be delivered in water proof packages, so that they will not be influenced or damaged by the weather during the shipping or if your packed summer house or garden office stays packaged for several weeks outside before the installation. Delivery of your order is curbside delivery and the driver is not able to assist with the unpacking of your garden building. The size of vehicle and method of delivery will depend on the size of the building you have ordered. It will be delivered on a vehicle equipped with one of the following facilities: tail lift, forklift truck or hiab crane able to unload and move heavy packages (700-2500 kilos). All wooden details and panels have been prefabricated, precut and ready to install (like a giant Lego set!). Standard log cabin kit consists of impregnated foundation beams, untreated wall logs / panels and other wooden details, roof and floor boards, windows and doors, roofing felt, screws, nails and other fixings, storm braces, user manual and assembly instructions. All details are numbered to make assembly as easy as possible. All you need to supply is the tools!

Foundations / Base for your Garden Building

Required foundation type depends on the size of your garden building and the firmness of the ground in your garden. The easiest and cheapest foundation type is concrete slabs set on sand and gravel. This foundation type is fairly simple to construct and can be done by a DIY novice without having to hire in a professional. This type of base is suitable for smaller cabins up to 10 m2. To achieve this base you will need to dig out 25-30 cm ground, fill it with gravel and then a good layer of sand to provide a level surface. Then, finally lay down the concrete slabs, blocks or similar. It is vital that your base is level as your cabin will only be as level as your base! The most popular, but more expensive and durable foundation type is a concrete base. A concrete base is a perfect fit for all types of garden buildings. For preparing that kind of base you will probably need to hire a local professional or small building company because concrete foundations involve more know-how and you really have to know what you are doing. These two are the most popular foundation types for garden buildings, but there many other ways to do it. It is good to consult with local experts before you choose, taking in to account the firmness of the existing ground and size of your intended building. Whatever your choice, you have to know that a firm and level foundation is crucial! If you fail with the foundation you will fail with your entire garden building. Twisted walls and non-functioning doors and windows, as well as very short lifespan and voided warranty, will mean you do not enjoy your garden building!

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