A summer houses is a getaway places where we tend to forget our concerns, daily routine and spend some time in the nature. Even though the name of this place associates with the warm season, quite often people gladly stay here in winter time or during holidays. Therefore, building a summer house does not always mean you are building it only for the summer.
Earlier some people rarely spent time in the nature. However, as the pandemic strongly restricted our lives and we were forced to work from home, homesteads in suburbs have become a great attraction. Now, we are glad to spend time in the nature avoiding masses of people. It is essential not to be greedy when building a summer home as fixing mistakes can cost way more afterwards.
The first step: choosing a place
A place should be the first criterion when building a summer house because a lot of time is spent in the nature. It is important to pay attention to the surrounding landscape: maybe there is a forest nearby where you could to take a walk, maybe there is a pond where you could refresh yourself on a hot day. Infrastructure is very important, so make sure to explore the surroundings and find out where the nearest pharmacy and a grocery store are. The best choice is looking for a piece of land near the city as it will be easier to reach everything. If you do not drive or have no car, pay attention to the public transportation schedules, how often they go, and if the closest bus stop is within walking distance.
If you are a driver, check out the quality of roads, whether you would be able to easily reach your house in winter when there is a lot of snow. From the first sight, these details might seem insignificant but they can cause many difficulties later on.
To get to know the place batter, it is recommended to spend there more time. If you are planning to have a garden, check the soil and amount of sun it gets.
One of the most important criteria is the size of the land. If you are not willing to farm, choose a smaller space. Big areas require more care, so your holidays might become a time for never-ending work. Make sure to estimate your possibilities and wishes and then choose the most suitable option.
The second step: planning
The best option is to build a new summer house rather than renovating an old one because very often a renovation costs way more than building a new house. Old houses are usually of poor quality. If they were not taken care of throughout the years, there could be a lot of damage and fixing it costs way more than building anew.
If you decide to build a new summer house, you will need a project. Consider the construction material. The best option is timber as wood has great insulation properties. This means that the house will maintain the proper temperature. What is more, a wooden house itself is very decorative, so you will not need huge investments to the outer appearance of the building.
Another relevant thing – the shape of a building. Summer houses are usually built according to architecture traditions, a pitched roof is chosen. The size of the building is also important. Finally, the most interesting part is left – planning the rooms. It is advised to have a small living room with a kitchen and sanitary unit on the first floor. In the centre of the house, build the stairs. A cosy bedroom can be on the second floor. Consider building a terrace as it is a pleasure to begin a day with a cup of coffee or just enjoy the view there. The terrace should face the most beautiful landscape.
It is essential to plan additional buildings, such as sauna or a small warehouse for wood and equipment. If growing vegetables is in your plans, build a cellar for preserved foods.
The third step: building
As it was previously mentioned, the best material to build a summer house is timber. A house should be built by professionals, as it is a complex process. Everything begins with building a base, and many more steps follow.
The most important process is insulating the summer house. For that, mineral wool is usually used. Also, insulation films are used for protection from wind and rain. The roof is insulated with a special material because it has the biggest load and is in the open, so it is very important to protect it from accumulating big amounts of rain water or snow. Such special insulation is necessary around the windows and the doors.
Outdoor appearance should also be considered. If timber is chosen, usually, people tend to leave it looking as natural as possible. However, wood requires special care. Unprotected timber quite quickly loses its primary looks, rotting process can begin, mice or other parasites might also find such conditions likeable. It is relevant to impregnate and use a special primer for timber. To keep the natural looks of wood, a glaze can be used to make the texture more visible.
Interior features come the last. Inside the summer house, there are more possibilities to experiment. You can choose paint or leave the natural wood visible. While working on the inside, all the elements foreseen on the project, e. g. the stairs, are built and set up.
The fourth step: main facilities
No one wants to live without basic amenities; therefore, it is important to take care of plumbing and electricity. For water supply, pumping from the borehole is the best option. It is the most convenient to build the hydrophore pump in the basement as this equipment requires being low to distribute the water well.
Another essential thing is the sewer system. All the domestic wastewater should be disposed of safely and without any damage to nature. Special water treatment equipment is the best solution.
Then comes the time to install the electricity. Before buying new land for the summer house, it is relevant to find out whether there is any electricity line nearby that would reach your new home.
The fifth step: interior design
To have a cosy summer house, the interior must be designed well. A wooden house is very charming due to its natural appearance, therefore to keep the texture of timber visible, you might leave it unpainted. The most important thing is to be open for experimenting, you can even match a few different styles.
Firstly, you should decide on indoors interior. You can cover the wood in lacquer or paint. If you decide on painting, choose the colour palette. Choosing only one colour might be too dull, however, using too many colours should also be avoided. Make sure that everything subtly matches and is not overloaded with colours. Laminated floors would greatly match the timber. Then you should decide whether the whole interior will be light or dark. Do not forget that lighter colours make the house brighter and warmer. Choose the styles that match your taste, look for ideas on the Internet, and then decide on which details you would like to focus the most.
Let us begin with the kitchen where it always feels good to prepare the food with your family. Consider your needs. If you are planning to cook rarely, then maybe it would be enough to have smaller cupboards and less of kitchen appliances. It is useful to write everything down to avoid unnecessary expenses. After choosing a few styles, apply them by buying the furniture. It is advised that cupboards reach the ceiling – the kitchen will seem more spacious. If possible, choose built-in equipment. This way you can hide, for example, a kitchen hood that usually is not very stylish and looks out of context. To make the kitchen livelier, grow spices – they will be both aesthetic and eatable.
It is more and more popular to create a joined space for kitchen and the living room. It is a really convenient way as people tend to eat while watching the television or doing something else. In the summer house, everything should be convenient because you usually go there to rest, and you will most likely spend a lot of time in the living room. This means, it should be cosy and warm. To achieve that, it is the best to choose light colours. Firstly, decide on the furniture. Pay attention to the amount of family members. If there are just the two of you, a three-seat sofa and a few armchairs should be enough. Right lighting can create cosiness, so choose high quality lamps, preferably the LED ones. Do not forget decorations, plants and other details.
As people usually stay in the summer house overnight, the bedroom should be comfortable. Do not overload the rooms and make use of the space. Do not choose a bed or a wardrobe that is clearly too big for the room. It is going to limit your movement within the room and cause inconvenience. Timber is a great choice for the bedroom as its naturality will create a good microclimate. You can use the attic for your bedroom. For the surroundings, choose light colours, the interior details can be brighter. A wooden house gives great opportunity to nurture naturality, so a bedroom can be designed to become your cosy oasis.
Another very important place in the house is a bathroom. Usually, it is in a very limited space, so everything needs to be planned out carefully. It is the best to choose wall shelves and keep your belongings there. Then you should choose between a bathtub and a shower. As you come to the summer house to rest, a bathtub might be a better option. Many people enjoy relaxing in hot water. It is advised to have the toilet ant bath areas separated.
Setting up the outdoor space
In the summer, we spend quite a lot of time outside, so it is very important to arrange the yard well. Think of a place where you could spend your time, sit for a while. A pavilion or pergola would be great for that; you can also build a grill or a fireplace there. It could be a great space for resting. If you enjoy doing sports, think of possible activities, e. g. volleyball or basketball courts.
After considering your personal needs, you can plan the exterior. Wooden houses match with rock, flower or other gardens created of natural materials. It is also useful to grow some vegetables as the home-grown ones are always tastier. A very good choice is fruit trees – what could be better than fresh home-grown apples or pears? As you will need a borehole for water supply, consider building an authentic well. Well-chosen design will make your summer house livelier and cosier.
If there is a pond near the summer house, maybe it is worth building a pavilion near there. What could be better that taking a swim in a hot summer day and then chilling in the shade?
As it was previously mentioned, consider additional buildings. For example, a shed or a warehouse. Those buildings should be placed comfortably and their design should match the exterior of the summer house. Also, think of possible entertainment while resting at the summer house. A sauna could be a great choice. The last thing left is to have a good and easy road leading to the summer house.