How much Does a Brick Summer House Cost?
Having a summer house in your garden can provide a private office space, guest accommodation, a kid's play area or an entertaining room for evening barbecues. If you're considering this sort of project, the average brick summer house cost is around £8,000.
A lot depends on the size of the summer house, what sort of utilities you need, and whether you require a new concrete foundation to be poured. While we'll focus here on brick buildings, you can also look at timber, prefab constructions or even concrete outbuildings. Let's look at the primary factors in a brick summer house cost.
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What are the Factors in a Brick Summer House Cost?
Summer houses can make clever use of empty space on your property and can be used for multiple reasons - you might want to work from home in a dedicated office space or have a workshop or business premises right in your back garden.
They can also be great entertaining areas, housing bars and seating zones that are usable all year round.
Many summer house projects are used to extend out the family living space and give extra capacity for guests or children to play. On average, you're looking at around £8,000 for a standard size construction, but there are multiple variables to consider.
First, you want to look at the size of the summer house you need and what materials to choose from. As a rough indication:
- If you have a tight budget, a shed house is usually cheaper than a brick outhouse but won't be as suitable for long-term use, as it will typically be less insulated and not as durable.
- Small garden offices or studios with pitched roofs and UPVC windows and doors tend to cost around £8,000 - £9,000.
- Timber structures are one option, and a basic wooden summer house can be a lower price, typically £3,000 to £4,000. However, the downside is that you will need to factor in maintenance, and those costs don't include any installations or fixtures that you will need for a more versatile space. They are usually only suitable for use in the summer rather than throughout the colder months too.
- Larger custom builds will undoubtedly be more expensive, and a significant summer house built to your specification could cost anything from £15,000 to £30,000.
Brick summer houses are generally around £8,000 to £10,000, depending on the size of the building and how complex the work is. However, the great positive is that brick is energy-efficient, will last for years, and is suitable for any use you wish.
Other cost factors will depend on:
- How customised the build is.
- Whether you need electricity or broadband connections.
- What insulation grade you choose.
- Whether the windows are double or single glazed.
The next cost factor is labour, with the UK average around £160 per person per day, but increasing to around £250 in London and the southeast, where prices are typically higher.
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Additional Considerations in Budgeting for a Summer House Build
Summer houses and outbuildings have multiple uses, so the other cost factors will relate to your project and what sort of installations you require.
- You may need to book a Plumber Callout to fit taps, bathroom fixtures or running water.
- An Electrician Callout will be required to install lighting fixtures, plug sockets and any fitted appliances.
- To connect your summer house with your heating system, you may look at booking a Hive Installation engineer to control your central heating throughout the property.
You will also need to look at options for each customisation element, such as the type of door, whether you have security locks, and whether you have specific requirements for the raw materials used.
Roofing materials vary significantly, and a stone or tile roof will be more expensive than a flat roof, although it will last much longer and are of more durable quality.
Foundation works can add to the budget since a permanent brick summer house will need a stable base to sit on. The site will typically need to be prepared first, involving excavation works, removing bushes and shrubs, and laying a concrete foundation. Should there be any water or gas mains on the building site, moving these can also be costly.
If there are any access difficulties or specialist vehicles or equipment are needed - for example, to deliver raw materials to a property without vehicular access to the garden - this will need to be factored in.
Any existing structures on the building site will have to be demolished and the waste materials removed before the new work can start. Demolitions can take just a few days, but you will incur costs for the labour, plus skip hire to dispose of the materials and rubble.
Where planning permission is required, or your foundations require excavations near a neighbouring property, you may also need to apply for approval for the works to begin and employ a party wall surveyor to gain permission from your neighbours.
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Understanding a Brick Summer House Cost Quotation
Brick summer house quotations can vary substantially. A simple, small brick structure takes much less time and costs less than an expansive guest summer house with multiple storeys, sleeping accommodation, working bathrooms, and kitchen facilities.
Contractors will usually break down summer house quotes into each cost element - and you can always revise some of the fixtures or materials chosen if the overall cost is too high. For example, you might opt to demolish an old shed yourself to save on labour charges.
Skips can be hired directly - and the cost will depend on how much capacity you need and how long you need to hire the skip for.
You could also select a different type of insulation or glazing if the summer house is only for occasional use. Still, it's advisable to choose suitable quality components if you intend to use the building regularly or as a workshop or business premises.
Quotes will include elements such as:
- Raw materials - bricks, cement, timber, concrete, roof tiles, glazing, window and door frames, flooring, plastering and materials for the foundations.
- Labour - calculated as the cost per person, per day x the project's anticipated duration (you can check if this is a fixed or variable price to ensure you don't get any surprises!).
- Third-party services - could include electrical works, plumbing, piping, roofing, insulation and skip hire, depending on what services your contractor provides.
- Waste removal - usually the labour costs and charges to safely dispose of building waste. If you are replacing an old outbuilding and there is an existing concrete foundation in poor condition, the waste removal costs should include the disposal of the slab once it has been broken up.
- Logistics charges - transport costs to deliver the bricks and other building materials to the site.
- Decorative costs might be for decking, laying turf, painting and laying an internal floor surface inside the summer house. You can also purchase 'done for you' brick summer houses with pricing included for furnishing such as curtains.
Given how many variables there are in the costs of building a brick summer house if anything isn't itemised, it's essential to ask your contractor for clarification before you proceed.
Contractors will not include additional cost factors such as planning permission, building regulation inspections and party wall agreements in your quote, so it is vital to budget for these separately.
What are the Advantages of Having a Summer House on my Property?
Your brick summer house cost will depend on all of the factors we've discussed - but it's also worth thinking about whether this project will add value to your property and what benefits it will bring!
There are lots of advantages, including:
- Having more significant living space for your family.
- Creating a dedicated workspace, office, or place of business.
- Using a summer house as a family garden room to spend more time outdoors.
- Soundproofing a summer house to make for a workshop or play area.
- Providing additional guest accommodation.
- Adding value to your property - most summer houses add around 5% to the value.
The main advantages are to improve your quality of living and make the best use of your outdoor spaces - although you could also cut down on business costs or commuting budgets if you can use your brick summer house to work from.
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FAQs - The Cost of Building a Brick Summer House
Let's run through some of the most popular questions about building a brick summer house!
Do I Need Planning Permission to Build a Summer House in My Garden?
It depends on the size and position of the structure. Most summer houses fall under the Permitted Development rules, so you won't need planning permission to go ahead. However, if you have a kitchen or bathroom or use the outbuilding as a sleeping space, you will usually need approval.
Summer houses covering more than 50% of your garden space are used as a primary business premise or are over specific sizes usually need permission. That includes:
- Outbuildings over three metres high with a pent roof.
- Summer houses with an apex roof over four metres high.
- Buildings within two metres of a neighbouring boundary and over 2.5 metres high.
- Constructions close to a public road or footpath where there is a right of way.
- Projects on properties in conservation areas.
- Buildings where the home is a listed building.
If you're unsure whether you need planning permission, it's always recommended you contact your local authority for advice.
Do I Need Building Regulations Approval for a Summer House?
As with planning permission, it depends on the size of the structure.
If your summer house is over 30 square metres in internal capacity, you will need an inspection and a building regulations certificate to confirm that the work complies with standards.
Contractors can sometimes organise this themselves or advise if you need to book a building regulations inspector separately.
How Long will the Construction Take to Build a New Summer House?
Most summer house builds take around one to three weeks. The larger the structure and the more utilities you need, the longer it will take.
You might also need to budget in a week for preparation work and clearance if the site isn't ready to be built on or needs a new foundation laid.
Can I Build a Summer House Myself?
Possibly, but if you opt for a permanent brick summer house, it's not recommended unless you have construction experience and are a skilled bricklayer. DIY summer houses tend to be prefabricated timber panels, which are simple enough to erect with basic power tools that most people will have at home.
However, fitting glass, installing security locks, insulating brickwork and building solid foundations are jobs best left to the professionals.
Can I Run Mains Electricity to a Summer House?
You can indeed - many summer houses have electrical power points, lighting and plug sockets, and a qualified electrician can fit these.
Note that you will need an experienced contractor to carry out this work since the wiring must comply with IEE regulations and British Standards.
What Size of Summer House Should I Build?
Summer houses made from brick can be as small or as large as you like - and it all depends on how you wish to use the space and what sort of area is available to build on.
Generally, the smallest summer houses are around seven feet by five and are used as occasional dining spaces, playrooms or a small home office.
Typical summer houses are slightly larger at eight feet by five, which would be enough space for a small table and chairs. If you need space for six or eight people, you'd need a minimum summer house layout of ten feet by eight.
If you choose a brick summer house, you have much greater flexibility about the size and shape of the construction, since this won't rely on prefabricated panels or timbers. If you're looking for a smaller outbuilding, read more about the cost of brick sheds.