News & Trends
How To Turn Your Garden Shed Into A Stunning
Summer House - Top 2021 Garden Trends
I think we're 100% going to see more of these great projects start popping up over the next few months - definitely watch this space.
Market research conducted by building supply specialist Insulation4Less has revealed the shed to summer house conversions are one of the biggest trends of 2021, with demand for DIY advice skyrocketing in the last month.
Searches for ‘Shed Conversions’ rose by a staggering 284% between April/May, while searches for ‘Summer House Conversions’ also shot up by 112%.
We spoke to Johnpaul Manning, MD at Insulation4Less to learn more about the trend, how it’s impacting demand and the top things Brits should consider for their own shed to summer house conversion project.
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“Shed conversions and summer houses are definitely having their moment - and it’s not hard to see why. After months spent indoors, people are not only keen to spend time in the great outdoors, but are ready to throw themselves into some serious DIY projects."
"While bespoke summer houses can be a good choice for many, we’ve seen more and more customers come through who are after materials for these kind of projects. This could be down to cost - bespoke options can be quite expensive - but I think it’s also down to freedom. Going down the DIY route isn’t just cheaper; it gives people more freedom to add their own flair to a project, and to create something unique."
"I think we're 100% going to see more of these great projects start popping up over the next few months - definitely watch this space."
Adapt Windows - Or Make Your Own
Some shed designs don’t include windows, and when they do, they're not exactly ideal for a summer house conversion. In most cases the glass can be very thin, and the size of them might not be up to par, especially with a summerhouse project in mind. Installing new and sizable windows is a great way to bring more natural light into the space, and the extra ventilation will definitely come in handy in the warm months ahead.
Add a Skylight to Let Natural Light In
It’s not just about your walls; skylights are also a fantastic option when it comes to converting your old shed into a summerhouse. It’s a really dynamic way to bring both light and air into space in a way that not only looks good but is incredibly efficient. With a skylight installed, you’ll be able to free up a huge portion of your wall space, which free's you up to do so much more with it, like add extra shelving for a bar, artwork or even a TV - whatever you want to make it your own.
Install Insulation to Stay Dry and Cozy
To make your new summer house feel truly comfortable you’ll need to add some kind of insulation and drywall to your surfaces. This’ll not only give you clean and bare walls to decorate, but it also means your summer house can be enjoyed year-round, and it’ll quickly become the centre-point for any and all garden parties, from summer time BBQ’s to bonfire night.
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Keep the Elements Out With Weatherproofing
Once you have the shed walls insulated, the next step is to make sure your shed can withstand the elements. For your interiors, add weather stripping to your windows and use sealing foam to keep water out, and add a door draft blocker to the bottom of your door; it’ll help keep everything from water to wildlife from coming inside. Insulation can also help to make sure your summer house stays in good condition, so keep it in mind when you're shopping around for options.
Add Power With an Electrical Outlet
Most sheds aren’t connected to a home power supply, but for many gardens it can be an absolutely game changer. You’ll be able to add things like lighting and heating options to your space or install a music system for garden parties. And if you're working from home, an outlet can be a great way to move your office outside for a change of scenery. Just make sure you consult a professional to make sure work is carried out safely.
Let There Be Light (ing)
Lighting can have a huge impact on how we use and enjoy spaces, so it's definitely an important factor when it comes to your summer house. Standard sheds often make do with a single bulb, but there are so many other options; wall sconces can add soft lighting to make your room feel cozy, while festoon and jew ball lights can make your room feel like a real escape. And when it comes to lighting, you don’t just need electricity - solar power is a great eco-friendly and cost effective alternative!
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Install Sturdy and Stylish New Flooring
Most sheds that you see today have a hard plastic or bare wood flooring, but these are dull when it comes to a summerhouse conversion. Look for materials that are not only durable but also fit the look and feel you want to go for; tile, rubber, timber and even cork are good great choices. If you're looking for a little more style, look at interior trends like a herringbone wood pattern or add a rug or carpet to the mix. Just make sure everything is weatherproofed before you start - moisture can cause a lot of damage if left unchecked.
Open Your Space Up With New Doors
Most sheds come with doors that are pretty sturdy but often bare and unappealing, so it’s worth looking around for something that not only fits your structure but also suits your tastes. If you have the space, bi-fold doors are definitely an excellent option; they’re a great space saver and can let a lot of natural lighting into your summer house. Alternatively, onward opening french doors can be flung open during hot months to let some much needed air in. Whatever your choice is, just make sure that your doors are weatherproof and can stand up to the elements no matter the month.
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Add Shelves To Keep Things Neat
When it comes to any conversion project space is everything, and you want to make sure you're using it as efficiently as possible. Shelves are an excellent space saver either for practical use or for decoration; use houseplants to add a touch of green and make your summerhouse feel like home, or even turn them into a DIY bar for parties. Shelves can be made from a wide variety of materials like wood, plastic and metal, so you’'ll definitely be able to find the perfect fit.
Add Soft Furnishing for That Inside/Outside Feel
Inside-outside is definitely one of the biggest trends of 2021. As we try to spend more and more time in outdoor spaces, interior trends are starting to make their way into our gardens, which makes them a perfect fit for a summer house. Rattan and woven furniture is a good choice or if you’re looking for something sturdy, metal frames can add something that’s both durable and trendy to your garden. But if you’ve already fallen down the DIY rabbit hole, why not make your own? Pallet furniture is very popular and really easy to put together, and can add a rustic feel to your new space.
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Weatherproof and Treat Your Exterior
Just like your interiors, it's important to make sure that your conversion can withstand the elements. Moisture and mold can affect the overall structure and can creep into your interiors if left unchecked, so it should definitely be top priority. Check for and seal any gaps you find with caulk or wooden splines as needed, and make sure you apply a generous coating of weatherproof paint. Paints can come in a wide variety of colours and tones, so you’ll be able to find something that blends well with your garden and interior plans.
Add Ambience With External Lights
When it comes to converting your shed into a summer house, lighting isn’t just about what’s going on inside but outside too. Fairy or festoon lights strewn across or around your conversion can turn a normally boring shed into a place you look forward to escaping to at the end of a long day. Use push pins or light clips to attach them to walls and use poles to extend them into your garden to warm and welcoming feel space.
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Install a Retractable Awning For Shady Days
Awnings are a great way to add extra comfort of your conversion in a way that perfectly blends your indoor and outdoor spaces. With an awning in place, you’ll be able to enjoy the shade during the warm summer months and have a good cover during the cooler ones. However, each summer house is different and might not suit the fixtures needed for an awning, so If it isn’t an option, consider adding a shade sail or a parasol instead.
Add a Fire Pit for Sunny Days and Cool Nights
Market research has shown that fire pits are one of the top garden trends for 2021 - and for good reason. They can quickly become the centre of your garden, serving as makeshift BBQs during the day and adding warmth, light and atmosphere to your garden at night. To incorporate them into your summer house project, create a dedicated space outside completely with soft furniture, but make sure there’s enough distance between them to ensure safety.
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Insulation4Less is a building supply specialist and one of the largest and highest rated independent construction/building material providers in the United Kingdom for both trade and DIY.
Established by Johnpaul Manning in 2006, the former builder developed Insulation4less as a platform where both tradesmen and the public can access high quality and timely delivered insulation materials for virtually any project, rising to become one of the most highly rated suppliers in the UK.