Style and Design
Albany's Oakdale Georgian is a superb octagonal summerhouse ideally suited to the garden corner, especially where space is limited. It's finished in quality materials with large top hinged Georgian style windows, a glazed door to the front, antiqued door furniture and a striking maintenance free slate effect roof. The building oozes style and quality - the perfect addition to round off your outdoor space and your own little garden haven!
The Oakdale is constructed in materials of higher than average specification. The structure (walls and floor) comprises 15mm tongue and groove timber cladding mounted on robust 34 x 34mm framing. The doors and windows are finished in hardwood to joinery quality while toughened glass is supplied to the windows as standard. The door is secured by a mortice lock. The roof is one piece, low maintenance slate effect fibreglass.
The building measures 6' x 6' (1.8 x 1.8m) overall. The height at the eaves is 6'8'' (1.98m) with an overall external height of 8'10'' (2.7m). The octagonal footprint area extends to approximately 28.5 square feet.
An "Albany Brown" basecoat treatment will be applied to the summerhouse prior to delivery. The purchaser will require to apply a final decorative/preservative finish and to maintain this on a regular basis.
The Oakdale is delivered flat packed with full instructions and all necessary fittings for DIY home assembly. You can see a preview of the assembly instructions here (opens in a new window).
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
Albany produce a small but select range of summerhouses suitable for the corner of the garden and we think the Oakdale Georgian is a superb example. The materials used are a cut above those you would find in cheaper, budget models. The cladding for example is finished to 15mm rather than 12mm specification. Not a huge difference it's true, but it should give an increased impression of overall solidity, particularly mounted on the 34 x 34mm frame. The window frames and door are finished in hardwood to joinery quality while toughened glass, which bears no comparison to the styrene glazing of budget models, is included as standard. The glazing in particular is a real improvement on horticultural glass from the point of view of both safety and security and something you often have to pay extra for. There's a key operated mortice lock, attractive, antiqued door furniture and the icing on the cake in our view is the one piece, low maintenance, slate effect fibreglass roof.
There are other plus marks too. The summerhouse is supplied largely in pre-formed panels which should make assembly a bit of a breeze. The roof is manufactured in a single section too which beats fiddling around with boards, felt and tacks. You can download a copy of the assembly instructions here (opens in a new window) and while these are a little short on illustration they're long on detailed explanation in plain English and we think they're about as comprehensive as they could be. You'll need a few tools and these are clearly laid out: a hammer, pozidrive screwdriver (battery operation is an advantage), Stanley knife, saw and protective gloves. It's recommended that screw holes are pre-drilled first so you should maybe add a power drill to that list.
The manufacturer's estimated assembly time is 3 to 4 hours for two people - and if nothing else you will need two people to lift on the one piece roof. That seems reasonable to us, but remember that the summerhouse is supplied with a water based treatment only and you will have to allow time to apply a final protective/decorative finish. We'd suggest you treat the underside of the floor well with a preservative such as you can buy from a good DIY store like Wickes or B&Q. A decorative shed finish is suitable for finishing the walls but note that a suitable stain such as Sadolin is recommended for the hardwood windows and door frame. We've found that an all round Sadolin finish adds a touch of real class to a summerhouse but that's just our personal preference.
When it comes to applying the finishes we think it's best done before you put your building together. You have of course to treat the underside of the floor first but decorating the other elements too means you can reach every area easily and also allows you to turn the wall panels upside down to make sure the finish penetrates fully into the tongue and groove joins. And you should remember that even with a quality building like this some rough edges can slip through the manufacturing process - wood is a natural material after all. Just have some sandpaper to hand to smooth these off before you decorate.
All good then. But are there any negatives to the Oakdale Georgian? Well, to be honest we can't find much when you look at it. However, we see its main rival as the Tiger Elite and it's true that if you can find both at around the same price the Tiger does have the advantage of a pressure treatment. This provides far better long term protection for the timber than the basecoat pre-applied to the Oakdale - but you'll probably want to decorate your Tiger Elite anyway so whether there's much labour saved in the end is maybe open to debate. If budget is a real issue for you, you might also have a look at the Mercia/Waltons Octagonal 6x6. It lacks some of the Oakdale's refinements and higher specification but it's still a decent garden building and should give you good service. And the Oakdale Georgian? 4.5 stars from the Corner Summerhouse Guide.