Things to Consider When Positioning Your Log Cabin Summerhouse in Your Garden

You’ve chosen your dream summerhouse. Now you need to think about where you want to build it in your garden.

And it’s not just a case of plonking it anywhere!! There are certain things you really need to consider.

What Do You Want To Use It For?

Work, rest or play?

Is it going to be a place to sit and chill and entertain friends? Somewhere to work, a space for hobbies? To workout?

Whatever you have in mind, it’s going to influence the spot you choose to have your summerhouse.

Garden Office, Art Studio or Home Gym

Plump for somewhere with a lot of natural light but without direct sunlight streaming on to you while you’re trying to work or beat your record on the cross trainer! A north-facing position would therefore be preferable to avoid glare from the sun and keep direct sunlight to a minimum.

Somewhere to Chill and Enjoy your Garden From

You may want to enjoy the sun at different times of the day.

A morning person – if your plans are to appreciate your summerhouse every day with a coffee and a good book before lunch, consider a position facing east or south east in the direction the sun rises to take advance of the morning light.

Enjoy the sun all day – opt for a position facing south, the direction the sun travels throughout the day, to enable you to bask in the sun for as long as possible. It would also be an advantage in the winter months with the sun’s rays helping keep your summerhouse warm.

Late afternoon/evening sun – if you’re wanting to use your summerhouse as a place to wind down at the end of the day, enjoy the sun for as long as you can into the evening and watch the sun set with a cocktail or two, choose a spot facing southwest or west.

Will You Need Planning Permission?

Most summerhouses do not need planning permission.

For those with an eaves height of under 2.5m, an apex roof of under 4m or any other roof height under 3m, the rule of thumb is you are unlikely to need planning permission if you position your summerhouse:

* within 2m (6.6ft) from your property boundary
* at the back or side of your property, not in the front garden

Always check with your local council and their planning department for advice as there can be exceptions to this and planning permission regulations can vary in different parts of the UK.

You may also like to check my blog Do In Need Planning Permission for a Summerhouse for further information on this.

So you’ve decided what direction you want your summerhouse to face and taken into consideration the distance from your boundary.

What else do you need to think about?

The Practical Side of Building and Maintaining Your Summerhouse

1. It is advisable to have at least half a metre around the summerhouse to allow enough space for the installation, application of treatment and paint and for any future maintenance that might need doing.

2. Make sure the area is not prone to flooding with heavy rainfall to prevent potential water damage and rotting of the timber. As above, having at least half a metre clear around he summerhouse is good for ventilation and helping the timber to dry out.

3. Don’t build too close to overhanging trees and shrubs. They increase the risk of:

* damage from falling branches
* rotting of roof timbers from falling leaves gathering on the roof, collecting water and allowing moisture in

They will also hinder ventilation if the wood needs to dry out – and could make the summerhouse too dark and shady!

4. It’s important to make sure you check the installation area for tree roots, stumps and debris and it is flat, even and well-drained.

5. If you’re wanting to run electricity to your summerhouse, this may affect its position. Check with a qualified electrician for advice on this.


Summerhouses and other outdoor buildings can be easy targets for intruders, especially if they are built a distance from, and out of sight of, your house.

It’s therefore important to think about a position that is out of prying eyes of people in the street and not in a quiet area of your garden which can’t be easily seen from your house.

So, there you have it. By spending a little time and consideration and thinking about these few worthwhile pointers, you can determine the best place for your summerhouse in your garden where it can give you years of enjoyment.

About the author

Jo is the face of Jack's Garden Store and has led our customer service for more than a decade. If you have a garden product question, she's got the answer! Unless she hasn't, in which case she'll call you back when she does...

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