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Summer house cost guide
by
Checkatrade

Adding a summer house to your garden or outdoor space can be a practical and attractive feature all year round. 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.

But what does the average summer house cost?

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 inspiration for your upcoming build.

Type of summer houseTimescalesMaterial costLabour costAverage cost
Concrete building on a new concrete foundation
2-3 weeks
£6000£4000£10000
Basic timber cabin in garden
7-10 days
£1500£1500£3000
Prefabricated timber summer house
1-2 weeks
£5000£2500£7500
Custom timber summer house
2-3 weeks
£15000£10000£25000

The average cost of a summer house

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

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 summer house in your garden you can expect to pay £8,000 – 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 ingenuity 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 how affordable some innovative solutions may be for your outdoor space.

Summer house cost

Garden 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, basic summer house using timber will typically take 1-2 weeks to put up, and cost in the region of £3,000-£4,000.

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 between £15,000-£30,000.

Cost of building 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 office or creative spaces are popular and pragmatic options that easily justify the cost of building a shed house.

To build a small garden office, studio, or outhouse with uPVC windows and pitch roof, you can expect to pay somewhere between £8,000 – £9,000.

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.

Find a local summer house designer

Summer house cost

Brick summer house cost

The average brick summer house cost is on average above £10,000, and increases depending on 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 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.

Do I need planning permission for a summer house?

As summer houses are not considered permanent structures, you do not need building regulation consent. It is always worthwhile making your immediate neighbours aware before starting a considerable build.

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 of 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 2020 lockdown 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 summer house cost is £8,000.
  • Small outbuildings and pop-up bars are also affordable options.
  • A small basic timber summer house costs on average £3,000-£4,000.
  • If you don’t have experience in outdoor builds, it is best practice to consult with a tradesperson before beginning any construction
  • You do not need planning permission before starting a summer house build, but we do recommend seeking advice from a professional contractor.

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