As autumn draws to a close, many of us have become accustomed to the colder weather and shorter days, opting for relaxing indoors rather than outside in our gardens. But just because the warm, pleasant days of summer are long gone it doesn’t mean we should abandon our gardens all together – especially as cold, wet weather can wreak havoc with outdoor buildings.
From underfloor heating to essential maintenance, this article will shed light on the steps you can take to prepare your garden buildings for the colder months ahead – creating an outdoor area that’s still usable, even when the temperatures drop.
Keep the weather where it belongs
Winter inevitably brings wind, rain, ice and snow that can cause significant damage to outdoor buildings – particularly if they’re built with timber. Therefore, it’s vital to take appropriate weatherproofing measures to keep the elements at bay – prolonging the life of your garden buildings, as well as protecting what’s inside.
From fixing leaking roofs and checking window and door seals to installing guttering and water butts to keep excess water away from the structure, weatherproofing should be a top priority to avoid damp and rot setting in.
Clear the area
When winter hits, it can be tempting to lock up outdoor buildings and items, forgetting about them until the following spring. However, it pays to get things organised before then to make better use of the space all year round.
Taking the time to remove low-lying branches, trim back nearby shrubbery and clear fallen leaves away from the building will prevent potential damage outside and improve the appearance of your garden building. On top of this, making sure the inside is organised and clutter-free with shelving and storage will offer up more floor space – meaning you’re more likely to use it in winter.
Create a winter haven
Garden sheds offer a perfect opportunity to add extra living space, but if you want guaranteed use of this building throughout the year, you could consider adding a heating system to keep this space warm and cosy.
A free-standing electric heater or wood-burning stove are both potential options, but underfloor heating could add a great level of warmth and insulation. Whether you use floor tiles or wooden planks, underfloor heating is easy to install and provides a cost-effective heating solution, too.
Add a fresh coat of paint
Applying a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in protecting your garden buildings against adverse weather – working to minimise the effects of damp and rot. However, it isn’t just the exterior walls that can benefit from a lick of paint or varnish – you can do wonders with the inside, too.
From adding a splash of colour with seasonal tones to simple, neutral shades, your garden building is the ideal place to experiment with interior design styles – projecting a warm and welcoming ambiance to enjoy, whatever the weather.
Furnish with flair
To make your garden building extra snug over the winter months, think about updating the interiors. From comfy sofas and soft cushions to fluffy rugs and faux-fur throws, using a variety of different fabrics, colours and textures will create a plush and relaxing atmosphere.
Whether you intend to use outdoor buildings simply for storage or as living space the whole year through, our essential maintenance and interior design tips will help you ensure these spaces are well prepared for the harsh weather this winter might bring.
Suhayl Laher works at Tiles Direct, one of the UK’s largest independent tile distributors and retailers – bringing design inspiration to homeowners, architects and developers.