Style and Design
A superb, high quality corner log cabin available in a choice of sizes with a low roof option in case headroom is restricted, the Melanie fits nicely into the mid price cabin range. It features a beautifully crafted traditional corner design with apex roof, glazed double doors and double opening side windows.
Note that depending on the option you may find the Melanie marketed as the Gudrun, Gudrum or Palmako Melanie, the Melena, the Rutland or the Renate or even the Appalachia. All are versions of the Melanie described here.
The smaller version is finished in robust 28mm tongue and groove nordic pine log cladding with storm bracing and 45x45mm pressure treated timber foundation joists. The floor comprises 17mm interlocking tongue and groove boarding and the roof 16mm tongue and groove roof boards. The double doors are fitted with a cylindrical lock for security. There is an option to upgrade to 44mm log cladding. The larger version features 44mm cladding. The doors are fitted with a key operated cylinder lock for security. There are various glazing options ranging from standard horticultural glass to safety double glazing. The building is supplied without a roof covering as standard. Various options are available ranging from shed felt to coloured bitumen shingles.
The smaller Melanie has a footprint of 2.8 x 2.8m (9'2'' x 9'2'') with a 30cm (12'') roof overhang. Building height to the eaves is 2.17m (7'2'') rising to 2.85m (9'4'') at the highest point of the roof. There's plenty of clearance at the double doors with an opening measuring 1.9) x 1.24m (6'3'' x 4'1''). The lower roofed option, the Melena, has a maximum roof height of 2.5m (8'2'')
The larger model has a footprint of 3.3 x 3.3m (10'9'' x 10'9''), again with a 30cm (12'') roof overhang. The eaves height is 2.33m (7'8'') and the roof apex 3.25m (10'8'').
The building is supplied untreated and may be finished to the purchaser's taste at the time of construction.
As mentioned above, there are various options available for the Melanie. These will vary depending on supplier but expect to find an installation option, a choice of roof coverings, a factory applied timber treatment and an insulation kit.
The Melanie is delivered ready for assembly by the purchaser. You can see the full assembly instructions here (opens in a new window).
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
Whichever version you choose, we think you'll find real value coupled with quality when it comes to the Melanie. From the entry level 2.8 x 2.8m model with its 28mm log construction to the all singing, all dancing 44mm, double glazed 3.5 x 3.5m version, you'll find good workmanship, quality materials and a well thought out design throughout.
The choice of sizes gives good flexibility and the low roof option in the smaller model is a bonus if height is restricted or you want to maintain a view or keep light interruption to a minimum. There's flexibility in the styling as well. Generally you'll find a choice of roof coverings available and the Georgian framing to the windows can be omitted to give you full glass. This tends to be the modern style though personally we think the Georgian style carries a certain character which is lost with full glass. Most models (though not the entry level version) come with double glazed windows and single glazed doors - be sure to check the description to see which you are getting before placing your order if this is important to you.
Overall quality is very good. The 28mm interlocking log cladding of the 2.8 x 2.8m model is a significant step up from the 12mm shiplap usually found in budget models and there's the option to upgrade this to luxury 44mm standard. Both specifications will give you a stable, robust garden building with good weather resistant qualities - the 44mm just adds an extra touch of quality. The floor and roof comprise tongue and groove timber to give a long lasting strong and durable finish - no sign of the cheaper quality solid sheet osb flooring and roofing which often appears on budget models. The 19mm tongue and groove floor with its pressure treated foundation beams will give good strength and support for any heavier items of furniture you may wish to install in your Melanie.
There are two points to bear in mind with the construction. Firstly, apart from the foundation beams, the timbers of the cabin are not treated prior to delivery. This means it is important that you apply a suitable decorative/preservative finish as soon as possible after receipt. We'd suggest you do this before you assemble the cabin. That way you can make sure all areas are reached, especially those that would be difficult to get to once the building is up. Pay particular attention to the underside of the floor for example. If you wait until the cabin is assembled before applying the finish you may find that it's difficult to treat all the necessary areas and joins. In addition, natural expansion and contraction of the timbers and any slight movement of the building after construction may expose untreated areas.
Secondly, the high specification of the Melanie leads inevitable to a heavy building and it's important to ensure it's erected on a suitable base. You may find that some sellers offer base kits of the correct size for the model you're buying and that's great. But if not, we suggest you take a look at our Corner Summerhouse Bases feature. There you'll find a good selection of ideas for a base for your garden building. We think a solid construction like the Melanie is well suited to one of the recycled plastic eco bases currently on the market. Not only are these lighter and easier to work with than more conventional materials such as sand, slabs and concrete, but they can help drainage too when properly filled with aggregate, protecting your building and extending its life.
Assembly of the Melanie should be relatively straightforward, if a little time consuming. Because of the nature of the building, the walls and roof don't come pre-formed as with cheaper shiplap models so you will need to spend the time fitting it all together. It's not a particularly difficult job but do expect to spend some time at it. You'll need an adult helper and some basic DIY tools too. As a minimum the manufacturer recommends: a ladder, hammer, screwdriver, saw, spirit level, measuring tape, pliers, electric drill and a craft knife. We'd suggest some sandpaper too, just in case some rough edges have escaped the manufacturing process. We wouldn't really expect this with machined timber like that used in the Melanie but with wood being a natural material, you do sometimes find one or two small blemishes which need smoothed off. There's a link to the assembly manual here (opens in a new window) so you can see exactly what's involved and what you'll need before you order.
So far, everything in the garden is rosy - and with the Melanie it by and large stays that way. It's a good, solid, quality construction with great looks and, properly treated, should have good longevity. We might have a little gripe at the fact that the timbers overall aren't pressure treated, but that's not standard in this category anyway so we shouldn't really pull the Melanie up on it. You may find some sellers offering a dip treatment option prior to delivery. While we wouldn't discount this, you should note that it isn't a full pressure treatment and you'll still need to apply a final preservative/decorative finish for long term protection. Where there is some advantage to the dip treatment is that every part of the cabin will receive at least some level of protection, largely removing the risk of anything remaining entirely untreated.
The only real niggle we do have with the Melanie is that the roof covering is invariably supplied as an added option. This means that if you want your roof covered in felt or bitumen tiles - and of course you do - you will have to pay a little extra. In our view a basic felt covering should be included as standard with the option to upgrade to tiles. It's not a great issue, it's just something you'll need to factor in when working out your pricing.
So, all in all there are no real complaints or drawbacks with the Melanie. Customer satisfaction looks good from the reviews available and the building compares well with its competitors. If you do want to look at alternatives we've listed a few you might like to consider below. Nothing wrong with the Melanie as your choice though! We've awarded it 4.5 corner summerhouse stars.