Whilst a vast majority of summer houses come with a timber base, you still need a level and firm foundation for the building. If the ground underneath the summer house is uneven, screw holes on the walls may not align. As a result, some of the timbers may bow outwards or open up, which can lead to structural distortion.
Unstable foundations can also lead to future structural issues. For example, subsidence may cause the windows or doors to fall off square, or may lead to warping of the walls. Leaks and dampness can also occur when a foundation is not solid. Therefore, if you are buying a summer house for your garden area, you need to make sure you know which foundation you plan use.
In order to facilitate the process, then, review your options. Foundations are made from timber decking, concrete, or paving slabs. If you decide on concrete, lay 7 to 10 cm of the material above 7 cm of a hard compacted core. Raise the foundation slightly above the ground to promote water run-off.
Elevating the foundation will prevent water from pooling around the timber structure. If the summer house you have chosen is smaller in size, laying a concrete foundation may be a bit excessive. You may want to opt for decking or paving slabs instead.
However, with that being said, a concrete foundation is still suitable and recommended for heavier and larger timber garden constructions, such as garden offices or log cabins. If you use concrete for a larger-sized building, it provides a stable, non-shifting, and permanent foundation for the timber base. Foundations made of this material also allow for stable anchor points.
Some of the Drawbacks
However, concrete is not considered an eco-friendly choice as the production of the material leads to the release of substantial amounts of the greenhouse gas CO2. The material is also fairly costly when compared to other foundations, especially if it is laid professionally. Nevertheless, this sort of foundation is still a popular and low-maintenance alternative for larger garden buildings.
Foundations made of paving slabs can be laid on a base of cement and sand, with placement of the anchor points at the corners. Make sure the slabs are laid evenly and butted together firmly. Again, having the foundation raised slightly will encourage water run-off. The slabs, as indicated, are best used for smaller garden structures, and are not suggested for use as a foundation for large timber cabins.
Since slabs are fairly easy to lay, they create an attractive patio space in front of a smaller cabin or summer house. Like concrete, the slabs are stable and low-maintenance. They are also easier to replace if you want to redesign your garden. Just make sure that the ground is even underneath as the slabs can subside, which can cause the walls of your building to warp.
You can also build your cabin or summer house on foundations made of secure, and level, timber decking. Make sure the timber is pressure-treated to withstand damp. To secure a building, concrete anchor points are normally used. Alternatively, you can also screw the timber base onto the decking foundation. Timber decking is frequently preferred as it works well with cabins or summer houses of various sizes.