Summer houses are extremely versatile and useful as they provide homeowners with extra space. Over the past few months, as more and more people had to move their offices at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, summer houses became the perfect solution. The ambiance of wooden summer houses makes them ideal garden offices. Not to mention that they are also affordable and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. By investing in a garden office you increase the value of your property, but to enjoy this structure for many years, it’s important to know a few tips and tricks about maintenance.
Don’t forget about the periodical inspection
If you’ve just bought a new garden office, then you won’t have to worry about repairs too much. But, if you’ve had a summer house for a while, make sure you don’t neglect the periodical inspections. You don’t have to wait until you see mildew and cracks in the walls. It’s best to inspect the exterior and the interior of the summer house once a year. Make sure you pay close attention to any signs of wear and tear. We also recommend checking for leaks, as these are extremely dangerous. Leaks can lead to substantial damage and infestations with microorganisms and pests. It is worth mentioning that if water seeps through cracks and holes, you might have to deal with rot. So, if you notice any of these issues, you should fix them promptly. If you fix a leak sooner rather than later you save a lot of time, money, and effort. When it comes to garden office maintenance, prevention is better than cure.
Check the base and the foundation of the garden office
Just like a house, a wooden summer house will only stand the test of time if there is solid ground beneath it. If you want to keep your summer house in good shape for many years, you need to ensure that the foundation is strong. Be it slab or concrete, the foundation material has to carry the weight of the whole structure. Why is checking the foundation so important? Well, if the foundation is not secure and level, your garden office might become prone to warping and twisting. Without proper support, the wooden structure will get deformed and you’ll start noticing a lot of issues like jammed doors, windows that don’t shut properly, cracks and gaps in the walls, and so forth. Simply fixing these issues one at a time will not be very effective unless the underlying cause is properly dealt with.
Checking if the base is level should always be a priority when building a summer house. If you plan on building a wooden summer house, make sure that you have a stable foundation. Fixing the foundation after the structure has been laid isn’t impossible, but it’s quite difficult. We also recommend encouraging air circulation beneath your summer house to avoid future damage. This can be done by clearing the base of any materials that are blocking the airflow.
Check the roof periodically
Another important aspect that determines whether the interior of your garden office is secure or not is the roof. As a garden house owner, you need to ensure that the roofing material is adequate and fits perfectly from the very beginning. In addition to that, you should also check the roof for cracks, tears, and any other type of damage. By inspecting the roof regularly, you have more chances to catch any problems early on and to fix them before they become severe. If you don’t fix them soon enough, you’ll start noticing more and more leaks and high levels of moisture. Because we’re talking about a building made entirely out of wood, moisture can lead to rotting and quick deterioration.
As a homeowner, you probably know that you shouldn’t neglect the gutters. You need to check them periodically as well and ensure that they are not clogged. Clogged gutters can lead to water infiltration, which, as we mentioned above, is a recipe for disaster that should be avoided at all costs. Clear all the dirt and leaves that are clogging the pipes and, if you can, install a gutter mesh that catches all these materials and allows the rainwater to flow correctly.
Treat the wood
If you just bought and built your garden office, then you probably have the wood treating part covered. Untreated wood is extremely vulnerable to diseases and pests. It is important to mention that wood treatment doesn’t last forever and the process needs to be repeated periodically. Wood treatment won’t just help you to avoid pests, but it will also improve the overall appearance of your summer house. Left untreated, the wood can warp, split, rot, and become discolored and you’ll be forced to spend a lot of money, time, and effort to fix these issues. There are many effective wood treating solutions available on the market that will keep moisture at bay and will prevent microorganisms and pest infestations.
Painting and repainting your garden office
Summer houses are made entirely out of Nordic spruce, a softwood that requires proper painting right after installation. Our summer house specialists recommend painting all sides of the windows and doors, as well as the exterior trims and walls as soon as the structure is erected. Untreated wood needs to be treated within a week or so after the initial installation and painted with 2-3 coats of high-quality paint or stain within a maximum of 4 to 6 weeks. Over time, you’ll probably notice some discoloration, especially if the garden office is exposed to the elements. To give it more aesthetic value and to protect it from damage, you might have to repaint it regularly.
When it comes to summer houses, remember that immediate interventions are crucial. Small problems tend to become worse over time, so, if you notice a small crack or an infiltration, we recommend fixing it as soon as possible. Investing in a garden office comes with many advantages and by following our advice, you’ll be able to enjoy this versatile building for a very long time and you won’t have to invest a lot of money into fixing it.