A summer house is a very simple structure. Even a novice woodworker should be able to build a summer house from scratch, with the right tools and instructions. Depending on the design the result will be a pleasing and satisfying addition to any garden and add considerably to the value of your property.
The only important consideration is that the summer house must be built very carefully and accurately. Any imperfections in measurements will be immediately obvious once the house has been completed. The prettier the summer house the more important it is to get the structural elements right.
There are two main advantages to building your own summer house from scratch:
- You will save a huge amount of money compared with buying a flatpack or ready-to-assemble kit, and
- You will be able to choose from a much wider range of designs, and customize them to your exact ideas
Personally I like to use a good set of three dimensional drawings whenever making a wooden project, whether large or small. It is possible to draw a set up yourself but, unless you are already an expert, it is much better to have it done professionally. That way you can be sure that all dimensions are accurate and, rather more to the point, everything will go together properly!
Many people assume that plans and drawings are one and the same. More accurately, however, plans include drawings but contain much more information that is essential to proper assembly. As a minimum a set of plans should include:
- Accurate planview, elevation and at least one endview drawing of the complete assembly
- Similar drawings for every detail part unless it is clearly shown on the main drawings
- Isometric (three dimensional) drawings of each main assembly part
- Full material specification, quantity and exact cut dimensions for every part
- List of all fasteners, brackets and other hardware required to complete the assembly
Written instructions are not always included in commercial sets of plans but, especially for the novice woodworker, they are very useful and can make the difference between a project getting finished or not. Often you will find free plans advertised online, but these never include proper instructions or comprehensive lists of materials, and the standard of drawing usually leaves much to be desired as well.
Unless you already have a design lined up you will also appreciate having a good range to choose from.
We have found and recommend a really good source of plans if you want to build a summer house from scratch. They include all of the things we consider essential, as outlined above, as well as having more than fifty summer house designs to consider. They are not expensive and, in our opinion, represent the best value for money currently available online.
Our website has more information on this and many other projects.