5 tips for choosing a change house for a summer residence

8 min

Recently it became known that the IKEA company reached a new revolutionary level and began to make whole houses, cheap, environmentally friendly and requiring a minimum of time to build. Hearing this news, domestic summer residents and builders only grinned, because in our open spaces change houses have long been in use, small mobile structures that are made in a matter of days and can be used both for storing inventory and for living. Change houses in the country are erected when a house is being built, and there is a need to spend the night somewhere, but the greatest art is to find a use for the change house after the construction is completed, turning it into a summer kitchen or a guest house. To make this possible, you need to be careful at the selection stage and not buy the first product that comes across.

# 1. What is a summer cottage for?

When the summer cottage is acquired, the happy newly-made owner begins to make plans for what house to build, what to plant in the beds, and where to locate the recreation area. In dreams of a cozy dacha future, it is important not to forget that construction is often a lengthy process that can be delayed due to factors that depend and do not depend on you. All this time, arriving at the site to carry out construction work, you will need to spend the night somewhere, prepare food and fold tools. There may be several options for solving this problem, but the best one is to take a change house.

Country cabins are made of various materials and in different sizes, they can have internal partitions or do without them. These are mobile structures that are manufactured in the factory and then transported to the site for subsequent installation. If desired, at the end of construction, the change house can be easily removed from the site, moved or even sold. It is most reasonable to immediately arrange the building so that in the future it will turn from a temporary auxiliary room into an important element of the summer cottage.

If, during the construction of the main house, a change house is used for sleeping and storing tools, then then it is possible to organize a summer kitchen, a guest house, a shower, a bathhouse in it, or simply store all garden equipment there. You can turn the shed into a chicken coop or any other room.

Country cabins have conquered domestic spaces with low price and mobility, and a minimum of time passes from the moment of ordering to delivery and installation. Stability, thermal insulation and neat appearance are the qualities that allow the use of the change house in the future. For permanent residence, such structures, of course, are not suitable. Despite the fact that there is a heat-insulating material in the construction of the walls, in winter at negative temperatures the room will quickly freeze, and to maintain a comfortable temperature there, you will have to keep the heater on all the time.

In addition to summer cottages, there are also construction cabins, cabins, change houses, security posts, and sanitary cabins.

# 2. What is important to consider before buying a change house?

In order for the change house to serve you as long as possible and to be used even after the completion of construction, it is important to find a responsible manufacturer and find a suitable place for the building. There are a lot of intermediaries working in the market of summer cottages, whose prices are too high. It is much more profitable and more reliable to contact manufacturers. One of the largest domestic enterprises in the field is the company Bytovkin, which has been operating since 1997 and is engaged in the production and sale of change houses from various materials. The company also provides a rental service for change houses, delivers buildings and carries out their installation.

When ordering a change house, you must definitely clarify the desired dimensions and material of execution, inquire about the need to make partitions, additional windows and doors. At this stage, it is important to know where the change house will be located and what role it will play after the completion of the construction. It is better to take a piece of paper, draw a plan of the site on a scale and mark the places where the house and other buildings, beds, recreation areas and children’s games will be located. If in the future it is planned to have a shed, a summer kitchen or a guest house on the site, then it is better to place the change house in the place designated for these buildings. Then all you have to do is make the minimum conversion work.

Think over everything to the smallest detail in order to put the change house in the most advantageous place and order just such a material of execution that will most closely meet the requirements put forward for the structure, the functions of which will be performed by the change house in the future.

When planning the location of objects on the site, remember that all buildings must be located at a distance of at least 5 m from the street, and at least 3 m from the neighboring garden plot.

No. 3. Change house material

The quality of the cabins is assessed by the combination of such qualities as:

  • thermal insulation;
  • durability;
  • waterproofing;
  • mobility;
  • interior and exterior decoration;
  • cost per square meter.

Not always the warmest, most durable and durable shed is the best option. If the building will be used for only a couple of months, and then it is not required, then you can take and purchase the simplest and cheapest change house. In general, it all depends on the mass of features that will be characteristic for the future operation of the building.

The material of its manufacture is primarily responsible for how warm and durable the change house will be. Today, wood and metal are used for this purpose. Let’s look at the most popular options.

Wooden board cabins

The cheapest, lightest and most mobile cabins. The outer cladding is made of low quality lining, less often – from chipboard, fiberboard or plywood, inner – from fiberboard sheets. A small layer of insulation is placed between the layers of the sheathing. Usually, foam or mineral wool is used for these purposes. The floor is made of 21 mm thick planks.

Such cabins are very inexpensive, but they are not highly durable. Due to the lack of stiffening ribs, such a structure will not last long – after a while it will lead the change house. But such structures are very mobile due to their minimal weight. It is possible to advise this kind of change houses for storing construction tools for a short period (several months).

Wooden frame cabins

At the heart of such structures is a frame made of 50 * 50 mm timber, from which a “skeleton” of walls, floor and ceiling is created. The inner and outer sheathing is mounted on the frame, between which the insulation is located. The result is a strong, reliable and durable structure that will certainly stand on the site for more than one season.

The outer cladding is made of lining. It can also be used for interior decoration. Plywood or fiberboard is used as an alternative, but lining is still a more durable and preferred material. Plywood and fiberboard are less resistant to moisture, and over time (as it shrinks), walls made of such material can deform.

The ceiling and the floor are made double: first there is a roughing board, then a floorboard with a thickness of 32 mm. Thermal insulation (mineral wool) and vapor barrier (glassine or ordinary cellophane film) are laid between the inner and outer layers in the walls, ceiling and floor. The latter will protect the interior decoration from the harmful effects of high humidity levels.

Such a change house, of course, will cost twice as much as a panel one, but it will also last much longer. Subsequently, it can be converted into a guest house or even a bathhouse.

Wooden change houses from a bar

Of all the wooden cabins, timber structures are distinguished by the highest durability and thermal insulation. For their arrangement, a coniferous bar with a cross section of 100 * 100 to 100 * 150 mm with inter-crown insulation with tow or linen is used. The ceiling and floor are additionally insulated.

The walls are not only durable and resistant to any type of load, but also quite aesthetic, so that it is not required to sheathe the change house either from the inside or from the outside. Doors and internal partitions can be made of lining.

The downside to durability is the price and low portability. After completion of construction, it can be converted into a summer kitchen or a cozy guest house. However, it can be used for any other purposes, because it is actually a small house made of timber. But such a change house is not very suitable for conversion into a barn – it’s just a pity for it.

Frame metal change houses

They resemble similar wooden structures. The basis here is a frame made of a wooden beam, which is sheathed with a profiled sheet on the outside, and clapboard inside. Between them is a layer of heat-insulating material with a thickness of at least 50 mm.

The advantages of this kind of structures include durability, a high level of waterproofing and thermal insulation. Among the disadvantages is the high price, but then this change house can then be adapted for any purpose.

Metal block containers

Such structures cannot be called ordinary change houses, because they can be used for year-round living, unlike many analogues. The frame here is made of corners and channels, it turns out to be monolithic. The outer cladding is made of metal, the inner one is made of expensive, high-quality and highly aesthetic materials. The insulation layer is thick enough, so you will be comfortable in winter.

This kind of structure is not cheap, but some enterprising summer residents manage to use it instead of a country house. If we compare it with the price of building even the most compact house made of traditional materials, then it comes out several times cheaper. The advantages include a high level of waterproofing, strength and durability.

Do not forget that you can always build a change house with your own hands. This will cost a little less than the finished version, but the hassle will be many times more.

No. 4. Change house size, windows and roof

Usually change houses are made with a length of no more than 7 m and a width of no more than 2.3 m. The reason for such restrictions is quite trivial: to transport a larger product, you will need a traffic police permit. The number and location of windows and doors, the material of interior decoration, the presence of a partition and its size depend only on your preferences.

As for the roof, there are few options here: single-pitch or gable. You won’t notice much difference. As a rule, cabins up to 5 m long receive a gable roof, larger buildings – a gable. In most cases, galvanized iron is used.

The standard equipment of the change house assumes the presence of one hinged window 80 * 80 cm in size with one glass; in long buildings, two windows are made. If you want to add a second glass or window, you will have to pay extra, as well as for a double layer of insulation or an additional door.

No. 5. Preparing for installation

The change house is a fairly light structure, but you cannot put it directly on the ground. It will be enough to organize the simplest columnar foundation. The columns are placed in the corners of the future change house and around the perimeter every 2 m. You can lay them out of brick, stone, or fill the prepared pits with concrete. Alternatively, you can order reinforced concrete blocks. Companies that sell change houses, as a rule, sell all the necessary elements for their installation. It is even easier, of course, to entrust all the installation work to specialists. The employees of the company where you ordered the change house can act as these very specialists. If she does not have her own team, in 99% of cases they will advise you trusted people.

Do not forget that when the change house turns from a place for temporary accommodation and storage of tools into an integral architectural element of the site, it can be refined both from the outside and from the inside so that it fits into the landscape design and is a decoration of the territory.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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