Buying a summer house is a significant investment and requires some research upfront. You need to make sure that the summer house you are purchasing, meets your needs. There is nothing worse than purchasing a house for a significant amount of money only to realize that it was not the right choice.
There are so many companies online selling summer houses, that it can really make your head spin. Most of these companies are open and transparent, but there are others that are not as forthcoming.
These companies will try to hide information, hoping that you buy from them strictly due to the price. When presented with these situations, you should remember that most things that sound too good to be true probably are. To make sure that you buy the best summer house for your needs these are the questions that you should be asking.
Are The Summer Houses On Display?
Summer houses come in so many quality variations, that viewing them before buying is important. This helps you review the quality and gives you piece of mind that you are dealing with a reputable company. You should always ask if viewing a display is an option. If you cannot view the summer house in person, the company should offer significant pictures and schematics online.
Is Delivery and Assembly Extra?
Most people do not look forward to building a summer house. There is no doubt, that it is hard work. A company may not offer free assembly and claim it is easy to put one together, but we all know that is just not true.
Some people may be very handy and enjoy assembling large projects. Just remember that you are making a significant investment and you need to be sure that the job is done right. A leaky roof can sabotage your entire house. Free delivery and professional assembly is always a nice benefit.
What Quality is the Timber?
Timber comprises the bulk of the cost for a summer house. A summer house with good quality timber is important because it will last a lot longer, than one made with cheap timber. Cheap timber may be alright for indoor furniture, but it really performs poorly outdoors.
Redwood is the higher quality and whitewood is cheaper. Redwood lasts longer because it retains sap in the wood, producing a waxy type feel. Whitewood is prone to dryness and frequently has knots that drop out. Make sure the company you are using is not using cheap timber to cut costs.
Are The Floor and Roof Made From Timber?
Cheap summer houses frequently use chipboard, oriental strand board, wafer board or cheap plywood for the roof and floor. This is not a good option for outdoor use. These types of boards start to disintegrate when they get wet. This greatly reduces their lifespan.
A keyword you should look for is a company saying they are using “sheet material” for floors and roofs. This may sound fancy, but they are really trying to hide the fact that they are using cheap materials.
Are you Able to Choose the Size and Style?
You might be fine with the standard shape and size, but having a customized option is always nice. It is no fun to spend a lot of money and still have to compromise on the design of your summer house.
Unfortunately, many web based stores offer a limited number of sizes and styles. The best companies will offer a wide variety that are able to best suit your needs and desires.
How Tall Are the Buildings?
You need to know the building height and whether the sizes are internal or external. The best manufacturers ensure a decent internal height. You do not want to run the risk of ending up with a summer house that is only suitable for a tiny person.
How Thick is The Framing?
The frame represents the strength of the building. To maintain a strong frame, it needs to be thick. The ideal framing is at least 2″ x 2″ (nominal) internal framing. This will help your summer house withstand even the most brutal weather.
Many of the cheaper companies sell summer houses with framing that is 1″ x 1″. Again, the cheaper quality is not worth the money you save.
What is the Warranty?
Your summer house should come with a standard warranty. Unfortunately, many companies have started to offer 10 year warranties that sounds great, but have such restrictive conditions, that they are unlikely able to be used.
Many companies do not even post the details of these conditions for you to see. Make sure you read the warranty and understand the limitations prior to purchase.
Where and How are the Summer Houses Made?
If the summer house is made in Europe, then there can be more control of the manufacturing process and usually more shapes and styles to choose from. When the buildings are made in bulk, the price can be lower, but the quality may also suffer. It is always ideal to have your summer house manufactured just for you.
These are a lot of questions but a summer house is also a significant investment. It is important to do your homework to make sure that you spend your money wisely. There are too many companies out there who are eager to take advantage of unsuspecting customers, to make a quick buck.
The best way to avoid this reality, is to find a trusted company with a great reputation and ask them the questions outlined above. This will ensure that you find the perfect high quality summer house for your taste and needs.
Featured photo credit: Summerhouse24 via Summerhouse24.co.uk