Style and Design
A highly affordable version of Mercia's Premier 7x7 corner summerhouse with the added bonus of a side shed/storage facility attached. There are large fully framed windows in the summerhouse section which also features double doors while the side shed provides good storage space within this two in one building. The Mercia Corner Summerhouse with Side Shed is perfect for a corner of the garden where an outdoor room is required coupled with unobtrusive storage for bicycles or garden equipment.
The construction throughout is 12mm tongue and groove interlocking cladding on a 27 x 26mm square frame. The windows are fixed and glazed in virtually unbreakable styrene while the pent roof is finished in green roofing felt. The roof and floor are also 12mm tongue and groove for extra strength and stability. For security the summerhouse doors are fitted with a mortice lock while the shed features a galvanized bolt which can easily be secured by a padlock (not supplied).
Overall the building measures 11' x 7' (3.35 x 2.2m) externally with an overall internal floor area of 10'8'' x 6'11'' (3.25 x 2.1m). The storage area consists essentially of a 4' x 7' extension to the 7' x 7' summerhouse. The roof height is 6'11'' (2.1m) at the lowest point increasing to a maximum of 7'3'' (2.2m). Door openings are 5'8'' x 3'8'' (2.1 x 1.13m).
The building is treated with a water based "aquatan" finish prior to delivery. A final preservative/decorative finish will require to be applied at or shortly following erection and maintained on a regular basis throughout the life of the building.
Some sellers may offer an installation option at additional cost.
The Mercia is delivered in pre formed panels for diy home assembly. You can download the full assembly instructions here; Summerhouse, Shed Extension (both open in new windows). And to complete your preview of the installation process Mercia have produced a fantastic 10 minute instructional video which you can view in full here (opens in a new window) so you can see exactly what's involved and what you will need.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
The principal selling point of this Mercia building has to be its economy. You'll find it at, or near, the bottom of the corner summerhouse/shed price range - but that doesn't mean it scrimps on standards or quality. True, you need to look at it in budget terms, and it won't compare with a more sophisticated model costing three times as much. But you won't find it lacking when it comes to space and quality.
The build is 12mm tongue and groove interlocking shiplap which is about standard for a budget shed or summerhouse. This is mounted on 27 x 27mm framing to give robust panels which, when properly assembled, will give you a strong and stable building. We're delighted to see tongue and groove flooring and roofing as well. So often a budget model will fall back on osb sheet for these elements which, while acceptable, lacks the strength and durability of real wood, particularly when exposed to moisture. The timbers are treated only with a water based finish so you will need to make sure you apply a good quality preservative and, if you wish, decorative finish soon after delivery. You might find a few splits or knotholes in the wood that need some attention before you decorate but this goes with the territory when it comes to budget buildings and we don't see it as a big deal.
If you've read any of our other reviews you'll know that we always recommend adding the finish, whether decorative or preservative or both before you erect the building. That way you can make sure you can reach all parts of the building, including those which might be difficult or impossible to get at once the structure is up. Make sure you pay special attention to the underside of the floor which is likely to be vulnerable to attack by moisture and which you won't be able to re-treat in future. A useful tip is to turn the pre formed panels upside down while adding the finish to make it easier to thoroughly apply this to the tongue and groove joints.
Once the finish has been applied we don't think you'll have too much difficulty putting the building together. It arrives in pre-formed panels and assembly should be relatively easy work for the average diy'er with the right tools. The manufacturer recommends at least the following; a stepladder, a drill with a 2mm bit, a Phillips type screwdriver, a Stanley knife and a saw. We'd suggest you add a spirit level to this - and a hammer never goes wrong - you'll certainly need one to apply the roofing felt. The instructions come in two sections, one for the summerhouse and one for the side shed both of which you can download above. If you're in any doubt as to your abilities we'd recommend you have a good look at them before you order so you know exactly what's involved and what you'll need. Construction is in two distinct parts, the corner summerhouse first to which the side shed is added. And since this review was first published Mercia have produced a super installation video which, like the printed instructions, you can download above. We think this is essential viewing - it's a pity other manufacturers don't follow Mercia's example more often.
So all in all we think this is an ideal corner summerhouse with attached side shed storage solution for anyone with a limited space and budget. With this building you get the benefit of a corner summerhouse with a decent amount of storage in the side shed. It's a budget model to be sure and we'd prefer opening windows (although that's just our preference and in any event we don't think it's a big deal) but you do get a wooden floor and roof and if you are on a limited budget we don't think it can be beaten on price. The locking door is a welcome feature too and all in all we think this model from Mercia offers real value for money. It's closest rival is the Penton from BillyOh which we review here. We think the Penton edges the Mercia in terms of style but the Mercia has a fitted door lock to the summerhouse section which the Penton lacks and you'll probably find the Mercia comes in cheaper overall. We've awarded it 4.5 stars as a super economy model with more or less everything you need at a great price.