What is the Best Wood for a Summer House?

There are two main timbers from which summerhouses are made. These are Western Red cedar, and redwood. Both are softwoods, which work well for garden buildings because they are durable, almost maintenance-free and are more cost effective than hardwoods. Here we explain why cedar and redwood make the best choice for wooden garden rooms such as summerhouses.

wooden garden rooms

At Surrey Hills, we use the highest quality materials from sustainable sources to create our wooden garden rooms. Our redwood garden buildings are constructed from kiln dried slow-grown pine from Sweden, and our cedar buildings are made using Canadian Western Red kiln dried cedar.

Kiln drying is important for timbers that are being used to construct summerhouses. In warmer weather, wood naturally shrinks, whilst in wet weather, it expands. This change in size can be quite considerable, sometimes up to 10cm, which is why it is so important that timber used for any outdoor function is kiln dried to around 12-16 per cent moisture content, so that it becomes more stable.

Cedar garden rooms

Cedar garden rooms and summerhouses tend to be more expensive than redwood summerhouses. Its natural, reddish-brown hue is very aesthetically appealing and works well to blend in to its outdoor surroundings. Cedar also offers exceptional durability against rot and fungal attack, and is less likely to crack and warp than other types of timber.

You’ll find Western Red cedar gives a low-maintenance lifespan of in the region of 25 years. It is a stable timber, renowned for its natural thermal insulation properties. This is why we tend to use it for garden buildings that will be used all year round, such as timber garden offices.

We do recommend that non-ferrous ironmongery is used with cedar summerhouses, because the natural resins present in the wood can lead to corrosion of certain types of metals. This can weaken the fittings, and may also stain the wood.

wooden garden rooms

Redwood summerhouses

European redwood is a premium construction timber. It contains a natural chemical inside its pores which makes it weatherproof, insect resilient and rot resistant. Redwood tends to last much longer than other types of timber when exposed to the typically harsh elements of the UK and northern Europe. There is also a heavy duty version which provides an even greater level of protection.

The long, straight boards that are produced from redwood line up perfectly, with no deviations and few defects. This wood has a natural strength and stability that make it the perfect choice for wooden garden rooms such as summerhouses. What’s more, the deep red colour makes it very appealing.

Redwood tends to be less expensive than cedar, but is still classed as a premium timber. It will last a lifetime, and adds an air of elegance to any wooden garden building.

Wooden garden rooms

Both cedar and redwood summerhouses can be pressure treated for enhanced durability.

Looking to buy the perfect wooden garden room? Talk to Surrey Hills Garden Buildings.

At Surrey Hills Garden Buildings, we offer a vast range of summerhouses and other wooden garden rooms constructed from high quality cedar and redwood timber.

If you are considering buying a garden building, you are welcome to get in touch with our friendly team. We’ll talk through all your options, discuss your aspirations, and help you bring them all to life with our end-to-end service. From traditional garden summerhouses to contemporary wooden garden buildings, you’ll find just what you need right here at Surrey Hills.

Why not visit one of our dedicated show sites  for inspiration and advice? We’re here to help, and look forward to welcoming you.

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