Are you dreaming of how good a Summer House would look in your garden? While it may well look sensational, you must first ensure the ground is ready to receive it. Even if the ground is quite level, you still need a summerhouse base to ensure the building is steady and is protected from damp and wet ground beneath – both of which can drastically shorten the life of your summer house.
So, before you can start building your new summerhouse and painting or staining it in your preferred shade, you must consider which base to go for and why. We’ve covered the two most popular base types here, and given you more information about the option chosen by many, too.
What kinds of bases could you choose for a log cabin or summerhouse?
There are two options you can choose from. The first is to lay a series of paving slabs large enough to take the summerhouse you wish to erect on top of them. This is sometimes called a slabbed base. The second is to opt for a solid concrete base. This takes longer to set, while the slabbed base can be used much faster once you’re ready to install your new garden building on top of it.
Both these bases can be challenging to lay if you have no experience. You must create a frame for the concrete to be poured into, for example, and while it will naturally level itself out, some work is still involved in getting the best finish. If you opt for the slabbed base solution, you must ensure every slab you use is level before moving on to the next one. Each one must also be level with the ones around it, to provide an overall solid and level base. Slabs are also very heavy, so you will need at least one other person to help you complete the task.
How to create a slabbed base
Firstly, the ground you are going to position your new Summer House on must be level. All stones and rocks should be removed and the area should be raked over to ensure it is as level as possible. You can use a spirit level – ideally a large one – to make this as easy as possible.
You should then use some string and wooden pegs to mark out the area required for the base. This should be slightly larger than the summer house you are intending to install. You might want to have a bigger area by the doors so you can walk up to the summer house, or include a seating area in front of it, so bear this in mind.
Once you have the slabs you need, you can start laying them onto a mortar mix of sharp sand and cement. It’s possible to use either a dry mix or a wet mix, depending on your preference. Make sure you leave a small space between the slabs, to allow for mortar to be added later. Every slab must be level and stable before moving on to the next one.
Is it best to go down the DIY route?
Many people consider laying their own slabbed base because they wish to save money. That’s understandable, but there are other things to bear in mind if you are about to buy a summerhouse and you’re deciding which base to have and whether to build it yourself.
Firstly, there is the question of experience. It looks easy when professionals lay a slabbed base, but is isn’t as easy when you try to do it yourself. Secondly, it will also take far longer for a novice to lay a summerhouse base than it will for an expert to do it. Do you have the time to devote to laying a base that will be good enough to do the job asked of it?
You must also get hold of the materials required to get the job done. Once you factor in the time required to go and get these materials, and to physically load them into your car and get them home, you might decide to hire a pro instead.
Use our base preparation service instead
The good news is you don’t need to struggle to lay your own summerhouse base. If you have any doubts about your ability to lay a solid base, or you’re unsure whether you have the time to do it, consider using our Base Preparation Service instead. We offer a Slabbed Base Preparation Service that includes a pre-consultation and assessment phone call before the job is completed, so you know what to expect. It also includes the task of preparing the site where the base will go, so you can say goodbye to that hard work, too. (Alternatively, if you would prefer a concrete slab base, you can order that from us instead.)