Style and Design
A quality corner log cabin, flexible both in design and size, with a right or left hand option and a choice of three accommodating sizes. There's a large summerhouse style area for outdoor living coupled with useful secure storage in an attractive garden building which doesn't skimp on features or visual appeal. The large, top hinged side windows will give you a great view of your garden and open for ventilation on those long hot summer days.
The construction is 28mm interlocking logs throughout with a 12mm solid sheet floor supported by substantial 38 x 63mm wooden bearers and 14mm tongue and groove roof boarding. The roof is felt covered and windows single glazed as standard with optional upgrades available. The windows and doors feature a draught seal system to help keep the cabin cozy on a cooler or windy day. The doors are lockable although the style and detail of the door furniture and locks may vary according to the supplier.
The Ropsley is available in a choice ot three sizes. The smallest measures 9'9'' deep by 14'3'' wide (2.99 x 4.34m) while the larger versions each measure 15'6'' (4.74m) deep and respectively 16'6'' (5.09m) and 18'6'' (5.69m) wide. The overall height of each model is 6'6'' (2.0m) at the eaves and 8'2'' (2.5m) at the eaves. Door heights are 5'11'' (1.8m) with the double door opening measuring 4'8'' (1.82m) wide and the single door 3' (90cm).
Other than the pressure treated wooden floor bearers, the cabin will be delivered untreated. The purchaser will be responsible for applying a suitable preservative/decorative finish at the time of assembly.
A number of options are available for your Ropsley/Livia cabin at additional cost. Expect to find a home assembly service and upgrades to toughened safety glazing, double glazing and roof shingles.
Unless you have purchased an installation option, the cabin will be delivered with full instructions for DIY home assembly. A level base will be required for the building. Have a look at our feature on Corner Summerhouse Bases for some great log cabin base ideas (feature opens in a new window).
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
Shire's Ropsley and Livia corner cabins are a welcome addition to the corner summer house with storage category. As you'll have gathered, both models are essentially the same building: the Ropsley has the storage accomodation to the right and the Livia to the left. This isn't an issue in itself but it does mean that you'll need to decide on your location in advance and stick to it once your summerhouse arrives.
The quality of the build is a step up from a cheaper tongue and groove model like the Mercia or Penton and naturally enough this is reflected in the price. The interlocking log construction will give you a robust and rigid building which, properly looked after and installed will last you many years. The windows are glazed in horticultural glass as standard but upgrades to toughened safety glass and double glazing are on offer. Whether you choose double glazing to bring your cabin into the luxury category is entirely up to you but we would suggest you give some serious consideration to the toughened safety glass option. We're not completely comfortable with a building glazed in horticultural glass - in some ways we actually think the styrene glazing found in cheaper models is in fact preferable - and toughened glass, with its increased safety and security would in our view be money well spent.
Otherwise, the construction looks good. The roof comprises 14mm tongue and groove boarding and while it's true the floor is 12mm solid sheet - no our favourite for floor construction - it's supported by substantial pressure treated bearers which should add to the strength and help protect against damage from moisture from below. You will need to give some thought to the type of base you're going to erect the cabin on and we'd suggest you have a look at our feature on Corner Summer House Bases (opens in a new window) for some ideas. We think a building of this type lends itself well to one of the more modern modular plastic base systems but have a look for yourself.
Construction of the Ropsley should be a relatively straightforward if slightly time consuming exercise. Unlike cheaper models the walls don't arrive in handy pre-formed panels and have to be put together log by interlocking log. Not difficult (provided you read the instructions carefully and identify all the parts accurately) but it will take a little time. The construction stage is also when you want to give some thought as to the treatment and finish you wish to apply to your building. The building is supplied untreated, meaning you will have to apply a good preservative at the time of or shortly after construction. It's not strictly necessary to apply a decorative finish but we'd suggest you do. Even preserved wood will quickly take on a worn and weathered appearance once it's exposed to the elements and you should be able to find a good decorative preservative - our feature on Decorating and Protecting your Corner Summerhouse (opens in a new window) is worth a look. And we'd suggest you think about carrying out this vital work before you put the building together. That way you can make sure you reach all the parts that need protection/decoration, including those that might be difficult to get to once the building is put together. There's nothing worse than seeing a beautifully finished log cabin with areas of bare wood exposed due to expansion or contraction or slight movement of the woodwork after the finish has been applied.
There's plenty of internal space both for outdoor living and for secure storage and the fact the cabin is available in three sizes means you should be able to find something to suit your needs. There are a few comparable models around, particularly the Mercia Corner Lodge Plus which usually comes in at a little more expensive in its 28mm log version. It features substantially different styling as well and is only available in a single size so it's not really a direct comparison and the choice may come down to personal preference. We do think the Mercia offers slightly better construction though, particularly with its 19mm tongue and groove floor and safety glass as standard. You'll also find the Villandry/Leygrove which is usually also a little more expensive and features a solid sheet roof which we're not too keen on though you do get toughened glass thrown in. Finally, there's the Pickering/Ripon - 34mm logs here and, usually, a step up in price too. Have a look though, the design is similar and if your budget can stretch it's worth a look.
All in all we think the Ropsley and Livia summerhouses offer good value if you're looking for a corner model in a log cabin style. There are one or two concessions to economy, we're thinking of the solid sheet floor and horticultural glass as standard, but you can always upgrade the windows and overall you get a good solid building combined with, we think, great visual appeal. If it's your choice the Ropsley shouldn't let you down. We've awarded it 4 stars but make that 4.5 with the toughened glass upgrade.