Corner Summer Houses
Why Choose A Garden Corner Summerhouse
Free Assembly on All Corner Summer Houses (Optional Extra On Log Cabins)
Bespoke Corner Summer Buildings
Can I Insulate My Corner Room After Delivery?
Buyer Beware When Buying A Corner Building
Be Careful When Buying A Corner Summerhouse
I’ve currently been watching a factual program on the BBC about the work of the local authority planning officers and their day to day decisions which they are making which affects their local communities. These decisions can involve large scale planning developments right down to small garden sheds, fences and corner summer houses. They also are involved in retrospective planning applications where permission was not obtained when required.
In a recent episode, a homeowner had been reported to the council about the size of his garden building in the corner of his property, if you can call it that as it was nearly 13ft tall. This building was used to house his collection of large vehicles for which he had a passion. On the corner of the building in his garden was a large lean-to structure which again was nearly 13ft tall. Personally, I think it did look too large for the garden.
The main reason for the objection was that the owner’s corner summerhouse backed onto a road at the side of his property. Normally you would not need planning permission if your building is more than 2m (6ft 6in) from the boundary. As the new building was going to be built at the corner of the house away from the main entrance, he had assumed everything would be alright. However, the public road at the side also needed to be taken into account and this is where the objectors thought they had a case. They also were concerned that the building was going to be used for commercial use as the homeowner was a truck mechanic.
The planning officers came to view the building and to see how it fitted into the corner of his property before any decision was taken. As there were so many local objectors a retrospective planning application had to be made and the decision would be taken by members of the council. The location of the corner building was noted and, as this was, more or less, hidden from the road this had to be taken into account.
In discussions with planning officers about the case was raised that the building was not affecting anyone else, there was an existing corner summer house and the reason they had bought the house was because of the large ground which came with it. They pointed out that the home owner’s hobby was his collection of large vehicles, a little different to most. This collection included a large truck, an articulated vehicle which was being converted into a camper van and a UniMog, a multi-purpose auto four wheel drive large vehicle capable of crossing the Sahara desert.
At the council meeting, the applicant’s wife spoke on his behalf as applicants were allowed 3 minutes to plead their case. She pleaded that she was a great believer in the rights of people in general and was fighting for the retention of this building on the belief that everybody has the right to play in the garden with their Tonka Toys provide they are not upsetting anyone else. Even though this was a strange hobby they were doing nothing wrong – just utilising the unused corner of the garden.
She must have swayed them to her thoughts as the building was granted retrospective planning permission much to the annoyance of some of their neighbours. This case just goes to show you need to be a little careful if there is any road or track nearby to where you want to build any buildings. If there is then a call to the local planning office will, hopefully, they won’t be any major problem.
Many years ago one of 1st Choice Leisure Building’s customers has a similar problem. He had built a large corner summer houses against his back fence but there was a track running through to houses alongside his rear fence. Because of this, he had to obtain planning permission, which was not a great problem, essentially a paper exercise. The location of the corner building was visible by planning officers on the way to work. The council offices were just around the corner from where the corner sunroom was located.
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How To Treat Your 1st Choice Corner Summer House
There are many types of treatments available for corner summer houses, ranging from water-based treatment through to fully pressurised tanalised treatments. Years ago one of the favourite treatments was creosote, often mixed with old engine oil. This did a sterling job protecting the timber from the harsh weather. This had a distinctive smell, quite strong, which tended to linger for quite a while.Not ideal if you had treated the inside of your corner building which you wanted to work in. Improved safety rules were introduced in 2003 as it had proved dangerous to use and from 30th June 2004 it is actually illegal to even store it or keep it in any form. A new substitute Crecote has been introduced for people who wish to get a similar effect.
Water based preservative is commonly used on cheap corner summer houses, mainly serving the purpose of a base coat, for your second coat to be put on. The water is actually a carrier for the chemicals and helps the chemical to adhere and react to the wood of the garden summerhouse thus protecting it to a certain degree. This can be either painted on, sprayed on or the panels can be dipped into a bath of this treatment.
Solvent and spirit based shed preservatives is the preferred and better method of putting treatment onto timber. The solvent again is a carrier for the chemicals and works far better than the water. The solvent or spirit helps greatly and gives greater protection to the timber. Again this can be painted on, sprayed on or dipped onto the summerhouse. Very few people dip their building in this dues to the possibility of reactions to the operatives doing the dipping.
Oil-based treatments and you are moving into the realms of ‘Rolls Royce’ types of treatment. The oil holds the chemicals and bond the chemicals into the wood. The oil soaks into the timber giving a certain amount of ‘give’ helping with the natural movement of your corner garden summerhouse.
Tanalising, or pressure treating, is the very best you can do for your timber. The tanalising process consists of the timber being put into a sealed vat. And the Tanalith E fluid is forced into the wood under pressure. This ensures that the preservative goes a great deal further than just brushing or spraying. The result of this is that the timber should be protected against rotting for a period of 15 years. On the Platinum corner summer building the cladding is pressure treated as standard and on the Diamond ones they are dip treated as standard. All log cabins are supplied untreated so that you can select the treatment to suit your preference.
The pressure treatment also protects against fungal and insect attacks giving your new building a long life. The appearance of the timber is quite attractive having a light natural green tint to the wood which can blend into the garden. However, you can add a colour treatment to the wood if you wish. This treatment is ideal for any building in an enclosed space i.e. where treating the corner summer building would prove difficult or where you like the idea of very low maintenance.
However, whatever treatment you have it is important to keep an eye on it to ensure that you retreat when necessary. The only extra treatment which the tanalised summer house needs in a corner is a water repellent treatment, such as Thomsons WaterSeal. This would stop any dampness coming through if the building was subjected to torrential rain. (the timber is treated against rotting and is not a water repellent in its own right)
The water-based treated corner garden building or corner summerhouse should be re-treated within 4 weeks of delivery, ideally, and then every 2-3 years depending on the weather conditions. The same would apply with the spirit or solvent-based treatments. With the oil-based treatment after the building has its first coat, you could get up to 4-5 years before anything needs doing again with the exception of any sides facing into the weather.
I do not recommend any of the water-based treatments for the top coats and would only recommend spirit, solvent or oil-based preservatives despite what the cheap corner building manufacturers may say. Water-based treatments are fine for base coats or for fences, nothing else.
Some corner summer houses manufacturers claim to offer a 10-year guarantee, even with the water-based treatment, however, like most things in life this is not as good an offer as it seems. There are strict conditions stating that if your corner building is not treated EVERY year then the guarantee would be null and void. Clearly, this means that the treatment they are applying only last for ONE year and the further protection is coming from the treatment YOU are having to apply every year. Clearly a WORTHLESS guarantee. DON’T be fooled by them. The best thing (or worse) is that you will be very lucky to find any details of the conditions on those sites.
With the benefit of my 40 years in the garden buildings business, I hope that the above advice is useful for you to understand how to get the best out of your new corner summerhouse or log cabin. Over the years there have been many improvements and changes to the treatments available, some good and some bad, however, if you look after your summer houses they will last many many years.
Regularly oil any moving parts such as locks and door or opening window hinges.
Keep an eye on the condition of the roofing felt. If it starts to deteriorate, replace it with a good quality replacement – if water starts to seep into the roof, this is the beginning of the end for your garden building. If you are in any doubt, or would like any advice, please telephone or CONTACT US for further assistance.