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Last updated on June 27th, 2023

How much does a summer house cost in 2024?

Adding a summer house to your garden or outdoor space can be a practical and attractive feature all year round. We've broken down the costs you can expect to pay.

Summer houses or outbuildings have countless uses, whether it be a new outside living room, a scenic office or space for the little ones to explore.

The most common types of summer houses or outbuildings are constructed with a combination of brick, uPVC, prefabricated timber and concrete. Naturally, the size of the structure, the materials used in the build, and the size of the construction will affect the total cost of a summer house.

To help you budget, we’ve put together the following guide that explores those costs and provides summer house inspiration for your upcoming build.

What is the average cost of a summer house?

You will have seen countless viral stories swirling around of the great British public’s ingenuity when it comes to using their gardens. Pop up bars, beauty spas and cinemas have been created in outdoor spaces and in some cases are better than the real thing!

Type of structureUnitPrice range - LowPrice range - HighAverage UK cost
Concrete building on a new concrete foundation
Per project£10,000£18,000£14,000
Basic timber cabin in garden
Per project£1,500£3,000£2,250
Prefabricated timber summer house
Per project£6,000£21,000£13,500
Custom timber summer house
Per project£15,000£40,000£27,500

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

Some have even taken inspiration from the nation’s favourite reality show to recreate the Love Island look in the build of a summer house – see our Love Island garden cost guide for inspiration.

To build a custom timber summer house in your garden you can expect to pay on average £27,500 – this is an estimated summer house cost based on averages in the UK.

Projects can still be completed on a shoestring budget but will require some creativity and elbow grease.

If you are thinking of starting a summer house build, consult a tradesperson first and discuss your budget and requirements. You might be surprised at how affordable some innovative solutions may be for your outdoor space.

Cost factors to consider when building a summer house

When planning a budget for your summer house, there are a number of costs that you’ll want to consider. Each project will vary so it’s worth considering how your summer house will be affected by additional costs.

1. Earthworks/landscaping

Making sure the area in your garden is safe to construct on is an important step in preparing for your summer house to be built. Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself:

  • Is the area in your garden suitable for a summer house?
  • Does it need to be cleared or excavated?
  • Will foundations be required?
  • Is there sufficient drainage around the summer house ensuring it’s not going to get waterlogged?

If you need to do any preparation work before you start building your summer house, you’ll need to factor in the appropriate costs.

2. Size of the summer house

As you’d expect, the larger the summer house the more it’s going to cost to build. That’s not only for the house itself, but also any fixtures and fittings on the inside – which you’ll need more of for a larger summer house.

Before starting any work on your summer house, it’s sensible to have all tradespeople provide you with quotes based on the size of the summer house you want.

If you’re unsure of the size, ask them to quote for various sizes – which might help you choose how big you want your summer house to be.

3. Materials used

One of the biggest variables that will influence the cost of your summer house is the type of materials needed. For example, premium wood will cost more than basic wood.

Understanding the types and quantities of materials that you’re going to need before you start will help you plan a more accurate budget.

If in doubt, speak to your local summer house specialists for their professional advice and recommendations.

4. Heating and lighting requirements

If you’re looking to have a fully wired summer house with heating and lighting, you’ll need to factor in the cost of the electrics and/or plumbing.

For more information on prices, check out our guides on plumber costs and electrician hourly rates.

5. Location

Prices differ across the UK and tradespeople in London and the surrounding areas are likely to be more expensive than other parts of the country. For accurate prices in your area, speak to local tradespeople and ask for a breakdown of costs.

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How much does a timber summer house cost?

Constructing a summer house in your garden creates new space that you can escape to in the hotter months, and create a cosy nest during the winter months. Building a small, prefabricated summer house using timber will typically take 1-2 weeks to put up, and cost in the region of £13,500.

A large custom timber build requires much more skilled labour, specialist equipment and the necessary planning. If you have your sights set on a truly remarkable custom build, expect to spend on average around £27,500.

How much does it cost to build a shed house?

The cost of building a shed house is typically lower than that of a concrete or brick building. A shed house can be a fast-track way to a covered outdoor space and comes with less risk and requires less labour.

Outdoor offices or creative spaces are popular options that easily justify the cost of building a shed house.

To build a small, basic garden office, studio, or outhouse using timber, you can expect to pay £2,250 on average.

A simple and basic timber structure can keep the cost of building a shed house very affordable, and if you have experience putting these structures together, you can save on labour costs.

How much does a brick summer house cost?

The average brick summer house cost is on average in the region of £14,000, and increases depending on the size and complexity of the build. A brick built summer house is going to be resilient, energy-efficient and much more customisable than a timber prefab summer house.

Customisation options include best-in-class insulation, single or double glazed windows, as well as access to electricity and an internet connection. The possibilities are endless and we haven’t even discussed the size or shape of the front door!

Customisation obviously comes with increased costs, and it is important to consider the labour costs on top of your raw materials if you choose to work with a professional tradesperson.

Entrance to brick summer house

Do I need planning permission for a summer house?

Summer houses are considered to be permitted development, so you do not need planning permission, but you will have to stick to the following:

  • No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation
  • Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof
  • Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms (a platform must not exceed 0.3 metres in height)
  • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings
  • In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from the house to be limited to 10 square metres
  • On designated land (including national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites) buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission
  • Within the curtilage of listed buildings, any outbuilding will require planning permission

Find out more on the Planning Portal website.

Can I build a summer house myself?

The average cost of summer houses can vary, but they are a considerable investment. If you have experience in construction or have completed a comparable build, you may be able to complete a summer house on your own.

If you have no experience in construction, working with a tradesperson is the sensible and safest option. Building concrete, brick or timber summer houses poorly or incorrectly could be dangerous and is not worth the risk to your health.

Summer house inspiration

If you are in need of some summer house inspiration, look no further!

The hunger for outdoor space has got the nation’s creative juices flowing. People across the country have been building magnificent summer houses, outbuildings, and pop-garden bars:

Summer house cost checklist

  • The average custom timber summer house cost is £27,500
  • Small outbuildings and pop-up bars are also affordable options
  • A small, prefabricated timber summer house costs on average £2,250
  • If you don’t have experience in outdoor builds, it is best practice to consult with a tradesperson before beginning any construction
  • You don’t need planning permission before starting a summer house build, but you will need to adhere to permitted development regulations
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Working with professional estimators, we collate cost estimates for the common home improvement and repair jobs in the UK.

All the costs are estimates only. For accurate costs for your particular requirements, you are encouraged to reach out to professional tradespeople to receive a quote for your job.

Our estimators are Chartered Members (MRICS) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Members of the Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB). See full disclaimer.

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