New summer houses, sun rooms, sheds and more
Until recently, garden buildings generally came into two versions (and designs for new summer houses with few and far between). There were sheds, which were mostly utilitarian, and standard summer houses, which were mostly draughty (and often just looked like large sheds). Beyond that, the choices mainly involved deciding between large, medium and small, and, perhaps, what the doors were like.
In 2017, the picture looks very different. Garden buildings are now integral to how many of us live – places to work, entertain, chill out or exercise all year round. Because of this, the old choices of shed versus summer house, large versus small don’t cut it anymore.
Summer houses with bi-fold doors
At GardenLife, we continually add new models, designs and features to our range of timber garden buildings. We’re always in pursuit of your ideal – helping you find the dimensions, layout and design details that perfectly match your aesthetic or the way you want to use a garden building.
Take the new choices we’ve added to our range this year (some of which we’ve teased our Facebook followers with):
Already proving popular are our new bi-fold doors, available on our Ines and Lea summer houses. They open up most of the building width, ideal for parties or enjoying the sunshine.
The doors are double-glazed, insulated enough for year-round use. And to maximise light and airiness – in summer or winter – both models have optional side windows.
A gazebo with glass or timber sides (or neither)
‘Optional’ is a word we use a lot at GardenLife. As great believers in flexibility, we offer our new models with different configurations.
With our Lucy gazebo, for instance, you can have it with open sides; with solid timber wall elements; or with an option we’re especially proud of – wall elements with glass panels. You can tailor it perfectly to your garden and preferences, having wind shelter and views exactly where you want them.
New summer houses in different sizes, configurations and shapes
Another model that spoils you for choice is Melanie, now available in six– yes, six – sizes and configurations.
The underlying idea is the same for all six– it’s a corner summer house (for efficient use of garden space) with views and light on three sides. But you can choose between different dimensions or window sizes, and even add a splendid 8.3 sq m of covered space – somewhere for a barbecue, sandpit or hot tub, perhaps?
Other new sun rooms also come into different sizes and shapes. For example, Mary has the option of different sizes or roof extensions – great for storing logs, bikes or other equipment.
And our popular Lotta and Klara log cabins each come in three sizes. And we’re not talking small variations here.
The smallest version of Klara offers a useful and attractive 4.7sq m – perfect for a playhouse, summer house or painting space in a compact garden. In contrast, the largest Klara cabin has a whopping 17 sq m of space – enough for an entire painting class or army of small children.
On trend: new wood treatment and roof options
Another innovation for this summer is our new dip treatment options. As before, you can buy the cabins untreated, and apply wood preservative yourself. Or you can now buy them dip-treated, to protect the timber against mould, rot, wood-destroying fungi and insects.
You can choose between:
- grey, which makes the timber look aged and weathered (in a good way)
- brown, which intensifies the natural appearance of the timber, making it richer in colour
- clear, which gives you a blank canvas for any paint colour
On roofs too, there are new choices, with shingles now available in black, red and green.
And the rest: from a stunning verandah to guinea pig paradise
If you’re not already dazzled by the choice of new summer houses and sun room designs, we should mention a few new styles that are far outside the traditional shed/garden building spectrum.
A stunning addition is the Agneta garden cottage. As you’d expect if you’ve read this far, it comes into a choice of sizes. The larger version has a huge terrace on two sides – so much verandah space, you’re practically in Gone with the Wind territory.
Less grand but more contemporary and urban are Hedwig and Ethel – both slick, QuickFit designs with modern fine-sawn cladding – as well as large multi-room storage sheds Jari, Olaf and Kalle.
And last but certainly not least, there’s Roger, a seriously large and robust garage that could fit not only a large vehicle but probably several record collections, old mowers, a table football table and every bike your children have ever grown out of. And with 70mm timber walls, this garage should be warm and insulated enough for even the most pampered of guinea pigs.
So there are plenty of new summer houses and design features to tempt you, but as ever, we’ve kept the details that set our range apart – slow-grown timber, solid construction, robust fittings, durability, and good service. If you’d like to chat through any of the options, choices and practicalities, just get in touch – we’d be delighted to help.
Seven new garden buildings for 2015
There’s already a huge range of real-timber summer houses, garden rooms and offices, workshops and garages on the GardenLife website, but each year we add a few more models to extend the richness of choice. Some reflect emerging lifestyle trends (for example, more people starting to work in timber garden offices); others reflect changing tastes (for example, a growing interest in contemporary garden building styles).
This year is no different – we’ve added several new garages, weekend houses, and garden summer rooms that you could use as anything from an office to a playroom. Below we’ve rounded up a few of our favourites, and what we think our buildings are best used for. And if you don’t see any ideas here that immediately grab you, there are other new 2015 styles elsewhere on the site.
Best garden room for people who want it all: Carla
Not sure whether you want a great summer house or a great storage space? The new L-shaped Carla garden room gives you both. There’s an airy, light room for entertaining, working or chilling out, plus a 146 x 461 cm space for storing bikes, work materials, lawnmowers or toys – with its own separate entrance. 44mm log walls mean Carla is warm enough to use all year around, and not just as a dumping ground.
Best modern summer room for contemporary gardens: Simone
Simone is a modernist’s (or postmodernist’s) dream, brilliant for a city garden. It’s also great for those who like things done fast, since its Quick Fit ready-made wall elements are designed for fast and easy assembly.
The wall elements are covered with wind-protection plastic and fine-sawn timber cladding. The room is delivered unfinished, giving you complete freedom over colour schemes and styling.
Best timber building for weekending or working: Amber
The Nordic tradition of building timber weekend houses – in the woods or near the beach – is catching on in the UK, and it’s a habit worth acquiring. More people are choosing to work from home too, and the spare bedroom may not be adequate as an office or work room. Amber is the perfect place to escape the city or the suburbs, with a large living area and a double bedroom, or if you need space to work, it would also make a perfect office, with room for storage and even a private meeting room. Deep windows let light and views pour in, helping you enjoy your surroundings. When the sun goes down or colder days set in, Amber retains its attractions. With 70mm log walls and double-glazed windows, it offers high levels of insulation and draught protection – this is a top-quality design built for many years of four-season use.
Best garden office for empire-building: Violet
If 2015 is the year you set up a home business empire, then we have various buildings that you can use as your garden office. As we said above, Amber is an idyllic weekend house, but its sturdy build and two spacious rooms make it an impressive timber garden office too. And another new model, Violet with its long, sleek design and windowed frontage, would suit many types of home business – it would make a great showroom, design studio, or alternative therapies studio. The smaller 193 x 286 cm space is ideal for storing materials or finished goods.
Best low cost gazebo for barbecues, hot tubs and no-frills weather protection: Bella
If you’re not quite ready for a timber garden office or two-room weekend house, how about keeping it simple with the Bella gazebo? There are no superfluous design details, just elegant proportions, a robust construction, and shelter from too much sun or too much rain. Bella is available with or without flooring, ensuring extra flexibility in terms of budgeting and garden planning.
Best timber garage for car owners (or obsessives): Garage 5
It’s a hard choice here to nominate our favourite garage. There’s Garage 5 – our first-ever all-in-one garage and carport. The garage measures 328 x 510 cm, with a choice of up-and-over door, front-opening wooden doors, or no door. And the smaller carport is ideal for a small car, or even a wood store.
On the other hand, there’s the smaller, simpler Garage 1, a more compact but equally attractive affair, with the same three door choices. Both are built from sturdy Nordic timber that will protect your car from the elements in all weathers and seasons.
Best summer house for those seeking quality on a budget: Melinda
We’ve introduced a choice of models this year. There are two simple summer houses – the Michelle and the Melinda – and then we’ve added two choices of extended storage areas. All models measure under 2.5m in height, so in many parts of the UK you won’t need planning permission. There are flat roofs to aid drainage, laminated doorframes to boost weatherproofing, and real timber logs to make both models look brilliant.
We could go on for several more pages about our new garden buildings for 2015, mentioning free delivery as standard, a quality five year guarantee, and the best price online. But far better that we stop now, and let you choose your own favourites from the range. Go ahead, and enjoy the choice.
It’s great to dream. Stuck in traffic or unable to get a seat on train, your thoughts turn to different lifestyles. An office in your back garden. Setting up your own cafe or online business. A log cabin in the countryside.
But really these thoughts don’t have to be dreams. Thanks to technology, the internet and wifi, you can work from pretty much anywhere. You can also find brilliant ideas and inspiration online for starting your own business, building an online empire from your back garden, changing to a job that would let you move out of the city, or simply transforming your home and garden.
Many of GardenLife’s customers have used our timber garden buildings to turn their daydreams into reality – from setting up a stunning home office, to gaining an art studio or a dining space for 16. And the different designs on our website cater for all tastes and all purposes. Occasionally a customer comes along who wants something a bit different however – maybe bigger than even our largest log cabin. Or with thicker timber. Or that blends different designs and uses together – a garage and office combined, or a two-roomed teenage hangout.
The good news is that we are happy to help. In addition to all the various timber garden buildings on our website, GardenLife offer a bespoke timber building service that really does bring daydreams to reality.
Our custom-built projects have included timber shops and cafes; lodges with several bedrooms or features such as balconies; eco-friendly timber offices; large log cabins and wonderful garden rooms. The versatility, durability and beauty of timber is so great that it’s possible to do some inspirational cabin projects without having to sign away months or years of your life and earnings.
As an alternative to going completely bespoke, it may also be possible to adapt one of our standard timber building designs by purchasing extra doors, windows or internal walls.
Designing a bespoke timber building
To design and manufacture a bespoke timber garden building, GardenLife first need a rough floor plan showing the size, number of rooms, and approximate position of doors and windows.
Other information is useful too – say, you like two different designs on our website and want to blend them together. Or love a specific design but want to add another room or change the specifications – for example, we recently manufactured a version of our Laggan garden room with 88mm timber. All those details will help us work out an initial price estimate.
We also have a few basic requirements for our bespoke designs:
- The floor area must be at least 12m square
- We can only do square or rectangular bespoke designs. Unfortunately, we cannot do bespoke versions of octagonal or corner designs (though if you look around the GardenLife website, you’ll find these do come in several sizes and dimensions, so there is already plenty of choice)
- Log thicknesses can be: 44mm, 70mm, 88mm, 114mm or, an amazing, 134mm
- Doors and windows must be double-glazed (though there is a choice of glass thicknesses)
So, with those few minimum requirements in mind, it’s time to start dreaming. Look at magazines, websites, TV programmes other people’s back gardens, and all around you, to start planning and thinking. The home office that you spot on Pinterest or the log cabin holiday home that you see on your travels could easily feature in your life too! All you need do is get in touch with us and tell us your requirements.
Garden building contruction video guides now online
When it comes to buying online it’s not possible to get a real feel for the item that you’re interested in purchasing. That’s not so important with some things, but when it comes to understanding the quality, materials and construction of a timber building, summerhouse, garden room or log cabin, getting detailed information and advice is a must.
In addition to the photos, descriptions, specifications, PDF manuals and FAQs on the GardenLife website (not to mention the wealth of information in the heads of our knowledgeable staff available on 0131 660 6333) GardenLife has added a range of garden building contruction video guides to help showcase even more of the details our garden buildings.
These helpful video guides cover the delivery of a garden building and how to unpack the parts. When constructing a summerhouse or garden building getting the base right is of vital importance, so we’ve also showcased that. Another video guide shows how the easy fit tongue and groove timbers fit together and how window and door frames are slotted into place.
Construction video guides also cover roof elements such as fitting roof boards and making a summerhouse water tight by adding felt shingles, as well as installing insulation and floorboards to keep the building warm. We’ve also included a video that highlights how our modular Quick Fit buildings are constructed too (ideal if you’re not so good at DIY).
We hope to be adding more garden building contruction video guides in the future, but as ever, if you have any questions or comments just get in touch with us.
New timber garden buildings
GardenLife have been working hard over the winter months to come up with some new designs and layouts for a range of high quality timber garden buildings.
Fiona (top left) is a new timber building that would make a perfect garden room or garden office. It features a modular design which means it’s quick to install too (ideal if you’re not great at DIY).
Jody (top right) is a large timber summerhouse with a modern design and bright interior. Spacious and contemporary it would be a great office or relaxing summerhouse.
Robert (bottom right) is one of our new traditional style carports. Suitable for two cars, this traditional timber carport is a good alternative to a garage and helps keeps the leaves and frost off the car in autumn and winter.
Iris (bottom left) is a lovely summerhouse with two large windows and a double door – great for letting light in and even better for enjoying the view of your garden.
In centre spot in the image above is Grace – a huge multi-purpose summerhouse with a porch area, two entrance ways and four big windows running along one wall. This garden summer house offers space, light, style and an interior that can be divided up for different uses (maybe a garden office and a summerhouse, or a gym and a games room).
We’ve also got other new timber garden buildings in stock this year (all with free delivery, a quality five year warranty and the best price online guaranteed), so check out the website to find out more.
Autumn/Winter timber garage sale now on!
The Autumn/Winter timber garage sale is now on and you could save £230, £250 or even as much as £350 on our sturdy timber garages! We’ve also got a handful of the Nizza garden cabins left with a massive saving of £450!
If you’re fed up with removing leaves from your windscreen wipers, or if you’d rather stay warm and cosy instead of scraping frost from your car windscreen this winter, check out the massive savings on our sturdy timber garages in the GardenLife Autumn/Winter sale.