Style and Design
A classic corner summerhouse design for this stylish model from Forest Garden. The Arlington features a quality build with large fixed windows and double opening doors. It's ideal for a garden corner and will provide you with a longlasting outdoor living area which you can use in all weathers. If you're looking for a durable, robust corner summerhouse with clean traditional lines the Arlington could be the one for you.
The Arlington is constructed in robust sustainably sourced FSC approved 12mm tongue and groove cladding mounted on 28 x 28mm timber framing. The wood and roof are likewise formed in 12mm tongue and groove, the roof finished in black mineral felt and the floor mounted on wooden bearers. The windows are glazed in clear 2mm styrene which is virtually shatterproof while the door is secured by an internal bolt and external catch.
The building is available in two sizes, nominally 7' x 7' and 8' x 8' (1.98 x 1.98 and 2.34 x 2.35m). The height is 6'7'' (2.00m) for each model and the door opening measures 5'9'' x 3'1'' (1.75 x 0.94m).
The timbers of the Arlington are pressure treated prior to delivery and the building carries a 15 year manufacturer's anti-rot guarantee.
Depending on the seller, you will probably find the Arlington available with a home assembly service.
The summerhouse is delivered flat packed in pre-formed panels. The package dimensions are 42 x 240 x 200 cm and the weight 240kg.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
We're impressed with a number of aspects of the Arlington. It carries all the positive features of its cheaper cousin the Oakley but with few of the drawbacks. The rather understated design is simple but effective and will subtly highlight the corner of the garden without taking over - important in a smaller garden. There's good internal space and the large windows will ensure plenty of light to the interior. The windows are fixed so you won't be able to open them for ventilation on a hot day and that can sometimes be a drawback. However, fixed windows are good for security and if it gets a little overheated inside it's easy enough to open one of the doors.
There's a pent roof which should ensure water run-off and the whole building features a strong, robust and durable build due to it's 12mm tongue and groove construction, wooden floor and roof and pressure treated timbers. All these are positive points: the 12 mm tongue and groove boards interlock along their entire length for increased strength and weatherproofing, the wooden floor and roof add to the strength, stability and durability of the structure - yes, osb solid sheet will do the job but it lacks the strength of real wood and is more susceptible to damage from moisture, and the pressure treatment is a real bonus in a summerhouse in this price range.
Most summerhouses of this price will receive a dip treatment at the time of manufacture, This is usually sufficient to protect the wood up to the delivery date but you'll need to apply a further preservative at the time of assembly and to maintain this on a regular basis. Pressure treatment - where the preservative is forced into the timber rather than just applied to the surface - avoids this requirement and will protect the wood for years. In the case of the Arlington the manufacturer has the confidence to offer a 15 year anti-rot guarantee. Nothing's perfect though - even pressure treated wood will eventually take on a worn and weathered look so we'd still recommend you consider applying a decorative finish when you put the summerhouse up. You won't need to worry too much about its preservative qualities though.
Because the Arlington is essentially a budget model, we think one or two corners have been cut when it comes to door security. The supplied bolt and catch will keep the door closed true enough but there's no lock and it's really the most basic of systems. If you intend to keep anything remotely valuable in your Arlington we'd suggest you should think about fitting a suitable padlock system - this can be unsightly - or installing a rim lock. That's not too difficult a job. Have a look at B&Q or Wickes for some ideas. A rim lock would we think finish the doors off nicely.
Assembly of the Arlington should be relatively straightforward. The panels come pre formed and as long as at least two people are involved and you have some basic DIY tools: an electric drill, power screwdriver, hammer, spirit level and craft knife come immediately to mind, you shouldn't experience too much difficulty. Remember to check the woodwork for splinters and any rough edges and remove or smooth these off before assembly. As wood is a natural material it can be difficult to eradicate all of these during manufacture. And if you have decided to add a decorative finish, it's often easier to apply this before you put the summerhouse together.
Depending on where you intend to site the Arlington you might have to give some consideration to a suitable base. Have a look at our Corner Summerhouse Bases feature for some ideas (opens in a new window). A pre-formed plastic base is often ideal for this type of pentagonal summerhouse and we review all the leading brands there.
Overall we see the Arlington as a good buy. It's real asset is the pressure treatment. There aren't many pressure treated corner summerhouses on the market at anything like this price - and nothing in this style other than the cheaper Oakley which we mention above. The Oakley, though, is formed with 7mm overlap timber boards and we think the Arlington's 12mm tongue and groove construction beats it out of sight - even if you do have to pay a little more. It's not quite enough to make us entirely forgive the fact that it skimps a little on door security but other than that we can't find any fault. We've given it 4.5 corner playhouse stars. We don't really think anything else on the market quite compares in terms of style, pressure treatment and price.