Summer House or Log Cabin?

05/02/19 News

For all the green-fingered bods out there thinking about giving their garden some much needed TLC in the new year, why not consider adding a lovely log cabin or summerhouse to your carefully crafted outdoor space? Investing in a garden building can provide a fantastically versatile space to enjoy everything from a beautiful outdoor office to the perfect garden room for entertaining. Your new summerhouse or log cabin can also become a fantastic extension to your home and with a pretty quick construction time, you could be enjoying your new space a lot sooner than you might think.  But when it comes to deciding between summer houses and log cabins in sussex there are some important differences to be aware of before making that final decision.

Construction and Size

It’s pretty unlikely that the average person looking to buy a new garden summer house or log cabin is able to tell the difference between the two, which is unsurprising as they can look quite similar to the untrained eye! One of the main differences lies in their construction, whilst the two buildings are generally both timber-based, something as simple as the joinery used can lead to the production of two very different buildings.

Log cabins tend to feature corner connections that overlap to give them a more traditional look and feel, this does generally mean that their footprint is restricted to a square or rectangular shape. There is however some flexibility on offer in the way of slightly smaller, or corner log cabins such as the Brighton log cabin,  which can nicely utilise some of the more unconventional garden spaces. The additional thickness in wall material often found in a log cabin also means they tend to be much larger than summer houses, so having the spare garden space is a bit of a must.

Summer houses are constructed using mitred corners, providing the possibility for them to be made in hexagonal or pentagonal shapes such as the Lindfield or Twineham summerhouses. Generally speaking, summer houses are a little on the smaller side which could mean they make the cut if you have garden with only a little wiggle room. Corner summer houses are particularly popular for those who don’t want to compromise the space they do have in their garden. With a corner summer house you can nicely tuck it into an unused part of the garden, allowing it to perfectly slot into its surroundings and remain in keep with the feel of your outdoor space.

If entertaining guests and needing to store a little furniture is on your agenda, then garden summerhouses could be the way to go. If however you have a lot of equipment to store, maybe in the way of a home gym or hoping to set up a guest room then a log cabin is probably your best bet. The additional thickness of a garden log cabin can sometimes make them feel more like an extension to your house, with some people going the extra mile and converting them into guest houses. So if you’re after somewhere slightly different to stay, then why not try one of the stunning log cabins in Sussex available to rent.


The apparent differences in size and construction between log cabins and summerhouses does tend to have a slight impact on price, with garden log cabins coming out a little more expensive primarily due to the additional space they will take up and the materials required. At Tates, we have a range of options available to make your new garden building anything from an affordable luxury to a larger scale investment. At the lower end of the price scale you’ll find our popular Oxford log cabin starting at £949 or the Berwick summer house at a slightly cheaper £849, both maintain Tate’s highest standards when it comes to quality and durability. If however you have a little more budget to play with, then why not have a look at the Martley summerhouse from £2860, or maybe explore one of our most luxurious Kirkham log cabins starting at £8071.

It’s worth considering that the larger the garden building you go for, the more maintenance it will require over the years which will inevitably incur more costs. It might help to see your new garden building, whether that summerhouse or log cabin, as a long term investment that’ll need a bit of love in the future.

Security and Insulation

Once you’ve decided what you want to use your lovely new log cabin or summerhouse for, you should have a better idea about the level of security you might need depending on what it is you plan to keep there. and If you’re planning to use your garden building as an outdoor office, chances are no matter how organised you try to be,  you might end up leaving a laptop, phone or other equipment in your new office overnight. Where security is involved, it is generally thought that log cabins provide an extra level of safety as they tend to be constructed using a tongue and groove cladding, which also helps to trap in any heat.  We only use high quality interlocking logs made from European softwood, and with our unique 4-way chamfered notch system, our log cabins are built to keep the wind out and warmth in.

Double glazed summer houses could be a good option if you are after something secure and well insulated,  but a little restricted when it comes to available garden space. The majority of log cabins and summer houses from Tates come with toughened glass as standard; professionally joiner made, draft sealed and silicone beaded, you can rest assured that security and warmth are at the top of our design agenda.

A slightly more obvious way to enhance security in your garden summerhouse or log cabin is with a good locking system, and you should find that most summerhouses and log cabins come with a built in locking system. If you do want to step your security up a notch then you’ll find there are specific garden building alarms which have been carefully designed specifically for use on log cabins and summer houses.


When looking at summer houses and log cabins in Sussex you might find yourself a little bewildered by the choice, but you needn't be. One of the first things to do is think about your garden, the way it looks and feels to you and how your garden reflects your personality.

In general, log cabins are more traditional in their design, look and feel and could be perfect for someone with a large garden where mother nature plays a huge role in it’s layout and design.  At Tates our log cabins are made with interlocking locks from 19mm to 44mm in diameter, giving the buildings a fantastically robust, sometimes rustic look. They also have a particularly impressive height at both the eaves and the ridge, giving a uniquely large amount of practical internal space. If however you prefer a modern feel, then a garden summerhouse might be a good fit and when it comes to summer house decor, (budget depending) the opportunities to explore your creative flair really are endless, with many people choosing to experiment with everything from unique furniture and concepts, to the colour of the building itself. If you are after a country-style summer house and a more traditional log cabin is slightly out of your price range then you might want something with a tile roof and small window panes.  

Summer Houses and Log Cabins At Tates

If you’re looking for garden summerhouses or log cabins in Sussex, why not take a trip to Tates where quality and durability are always at the top of our agenda. When it comes to our log cabins instead of relying on imports, our beautiful buildings are designed, machined and manufactured by us so we have complete control over the quality of manufacture and after-sales service. Our summer houses are also of the highest quality and with non standard builds available and a choice of 3 types of cladding, why not choose Tates for your next garden building. Visit one of our garden building display centres or take a look at our full range of log cabins and summerhouses online.