Frequently Asked Questions

Summerhouses – Frequently Asked Questions

What size summerhouse do I need?

The space will always be used, so buy the biggest summer  house you can afford provided that it fits comfortably in the space available. There are no precise guidelines regarding the size. Often the size of the summer house is dictated by the space available. At Chelsea Summerhouses we offer a wide range of sizes to suit every space. If you are replacing an existing summer house, you should consider whether to have the same size again or perhaps larger. You should also consider how many people you might like to seat in your summer house. The smallest size we manufacture is The Small Richmond Summerhouse which is 6’6 square. The largest model is The 10 Sided Wraysbury, which is 13’4.

Where should I locate my summerhouse?

Ideally your summer house should have a clear space at least 18” wide on all sides, if possible. This ensures easy access for both installation and future maintenance. In reality this is often not practical and at many sites it is not needed. A reduced clearance is often possible on one or two sides. If the space around your summer house is restricted remember to allow for the roof overhang. You should also cut back or remove any nearby shrubs and trees. Remember to allow for future growth.

What type of base is suitable for my summerhouse?

All summerhouses need a substantial base. The base should be solid, flat and level to ensure the stability of your summerhouse, either paving slabs or concrete. A solid concrete base is more permanent and normally more expensive but it provides an excellent base especially for a larger summerhouse. Paving slabs are more practical and cost effective, especially for a smaller summerhouse at the far end of the garden. The base should be no smaller than the floor size of the new summerhouse.

What access is required to deliver my summerhouse?

If your order includes installation the summerhouse will be delivered and installed on the same day by prior appointment with you. A clear access route is required from the van to the prepared base, with no access restrictions. The sections are often large panels which may be as long as the summerhouse. Possible restrictions include archways, narrow passages, sharp corners and flights of steps. It is not normally possible to lift large panels over fences and walls. Access through the house may be possible with advance notice. We will send a site access form with your order confirmation for you to advise us if there are any access restrictions at the site.

How should I maintain my summerhouse?

As all of our summerhouses are handcrafted from Western Red Cedar they don’t require the maintenance that other timbers do. It is not essential to treat cedar as it is a naturally resilient timber and does not deteriorate appreciably even under severe climatic changes. If untreated, cedar will gradually fade to a silvery grey. If you opt for a painted summerhouse it will need repainting every 2-3 years for appearance purposes.

Can I use my summerhouse all year round?

Many people take the term ‘summerhouse’ literally and only use it during the warmer months, but there is nothing to say that you cannot use a Summerhouse all year round. Far from being draughty and cold, all of our summerhouses are lined as standard and have the option of full insulation which, when combined with an electrical pack and double glazing, provides a warm and cosy outside space to enjoy all year round.

What guarantee comes with the summerhouse?

All Chelsea Summerhouses come with a 20 year guarantee. As our summerhouses are fully constructed from cedar wood they tend to last in excess of 30 years.

Is planning permission required for my summerhouse?

Chelsea Summerhouses are often asked about planning requirements for installing summerhouses and gazebos. Generally, in most instances planning permission is not required for any garden buildings as they are not classed as permanent structures and they have a use incidental to the enjoyment of the house. If you do need planning permission, don’t worry Chelsea Summerhouses offer a no fee service where we submit any planning applications on your behalf. We liaise with your local authority from start to finish.

Don’t ever compromise on the style of the summerhouse you want based on planning worries as we can take care of the whole process with 100% success rate. We can also manufacture your summerhouse to run alongside your planning application so you won’t need to wait much longer than the planning decision time for your summerhouse to be installed.

Is building regulations approval required for my summerhouse?

Building regulations are not required for Chelsea summerhouses as none with  have an internal floor area of more than 30 square metres.

What is Western Red Cedar?

All of our summerhouses are handcrafted using Western Red Cedar which is known for its durability and resistance to the elements. Western Red Cedar is ideal for use in the construction of summerhouses and garden rooms as it is slow grown and naturally durable, with one of the longest life spans of any of the timber species. It is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attacks, which means anything you build with it will last longer and require less maintenance. The superior qualities of Western Red Cedar are summed up in this extract from the grading rules published by The Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau:

“The largest and finest of the cedars produced anywhere in the world, the Western red cedar is famed for its extraordinary durability and resistance to decay. Western red cedar is a distinct species, possessing all the desirable qualities of the other cedars, and additional advantages besides. It can be finished to a smooth, silky finish; it is free from pitch, it takes and holds stains and paints excellently, and has superior glueing properties. Its colour is extremely attractive, varying from almost pure white of the narrow sapwood to the light straw shade of dark reddish-brown of the heartwood. The wood of Western red cedar has a very low coefficient of expansion, so that it does not shrink, swell or warp excessively, even when subjected to changing degrees of temperature and moisture. It has prime insulating qualities and its pleasing aromatic odour is repellent to moths, insects and vermin. The wood is saturated to every fibre with a natural preservative oil which renders it virtually immune to decay and gives it extreme durability without artificial preservative treatment. It is not necessary to paint cedar to preserve its surface, as it does not deteriorate appreciably even under severe climatic changes.”

What is shiplap cladding?

Shiplap is the traditional and ever popular cladding profile for use in summerhouses and other garden buildings. Shiplap features smooth planed and fully interlocking tongued and grooved boarding. The design ensures that rainwater drains quickly and the timber dries quickly. This helps to ensure a longer life for your summerhouse. Our summerhouses and garden rooms feature properly tongued and grooved boarding which is stronger than the half lap shiplap or rebated shiplap used by many others.

Why Chelsea?

Our range encompasses eight designs varying in size from small neat summerhouses to large and airy outdoor rooms. All of our summerhouses are made to the highest standard, each with their own unique detailing that can be adapted for a variety of purposes. Clients can choose the design, colour and size that reflect their own individual style to match their home and way of life. Our quality summerhouses also have the option of insulation and double glazing ensuring all seasons can be enjoyed. High cedar shingle roofs with elegantly cambered eaves and traditional leaded glass, are but a few of the features of our luxurious range.

At Chelsea Summerhouses we have firm values when it comes to customer service, our ethos is that clients should never have to compromise on the quality of their summerhouse or the level of customer service they receive. This is reflected in us having 100% happy clients. The company’s values of quality and service have also established a reputation amongst garden lovers, professional horticulturists and architects around the country.

If you have any further questions, please call 0800 3317742.

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