In a lot of countries – especially the kind millions of us choose to visit on holiday every year – sitting outside and enjoying balmy evenings in the open air is no big deal. It comes with the territory and is very much a part of everyday summer life.
But in this country, things are a bit more hit-and-miss. If, like this year, the weather’s seasonably fine and unusually warm, evenings al fresco are perfectly possible, but when the clouds close in and the weather comes from the wrong direction, you might need a jumper, or a patio heater, or – better still – a summerhouse.
Actually, a summerhouse can also be used in warmer countries as somewhere to sit in the shade, but in northern Europe, where they are particularly popular – Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic countries all have a tradition of them – they are more often than not used for shelter when the summer isn’t living up to its billing.
Summerhouses have become increasingly popular in recent years as more people have started investing in their homes – improving rather than moving.
They cost anything from around £450 upwards – there’s even one with three sets of doors, thermal insulation, lighting, mahogany flooring and a lead roof available for £27,000 – but the most common price-bracket is £800 to £1,200. All you’ll need is a space to put it in and some furniture to put in it.
Alternatively, you can buy a property that already has a summerhouse. The following three homes all have one, and all are currently for sale in our area.
The Old Granary is a spacious barn conversion on the edge of Green Hammerton. It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms on the first floor and 26-foot-long attic room with feature fireplace on the second floor.
On the ground floor there’s a large living room, dining room, utility room and multi-sided dining kitchen.
Outside, a shared drive to the side leads to a double-width private driveway, providing parking and access to an integral single garage. A gated, covered courtyard area provides useful storage and the walled side garden has a rural outlook, lawn, decking area and a summerhouse.
Lime Tree House is an attractively symmetrical detached house in Bishop Monkton, south of Ripon.
It has a porch and entrance hall, with study, spacious drawing and dining rooms, and light-filled dining kitchen with central island.
Upstairs, there are four double bedrooms – including a master suite with dressing room – and two bathrooms. Outside, there’s a single garage, terrace, lawn and summerhouse.
Orchard View is an imposing brick-built, detached house at Kirby Hill, just north of Boroughbridge.
It has four bedrooms – three of them en suite – and four bathrooms, plus a top-floor study, utility room, central hallway, three reception rooms, and good-sized breakfast kitchen.
There’s also a block-paved driveway with off-street parking for several vehicles, an adjoining double garage with twin electric doors, and even an electric car charging port.
The back garden has a south-east-facing patio, lawn and summerhouse.