Style and Design
Marketed under various names and occasionally with minor stylistic differences, these popular summerhouses are designed in an attractive traditional corner style with a pent roof, double doors and full length windows for maximum sunlight. The windows are styrene glazed for safety.
The summerhouses are solidly constructed in quality planed 12mm tongue and groove shiplap cladding on 28 x 28mm framing. The roof and floor of the Standard model are respectively 8mm and 10mm solid sheet board while the Premier model features a roof and floor of 10 mm and 12mm tongue and groove board. This is essentially the only difference between the two models and we'd recommend that if your budget stretches that far you choose the Premier model for extra durability and stability. The windows are styrene glazed for safety.
Height is 6' 4'' (1.93m) at the eaves rising to 6' 7'' (1.98m) at the highest point. The double door opening is 5' 8'' (1.73m) high and 3' 1'' (0.94m) wide.
The summerhouse is treated with a water based basecoat prior to delivery. A suitable finish will require to be applied at the time of construction and at regular intervals thereafter. This will be an essential condition of any guarantee offered.
Available options vary between suppliers but may include an "eco easy" base, wood treatments and assembly kit.
The building will be delivered flat, ready for assembly by the purchaser. Depending on the supplier an installation service may be available.
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
These summerhouses are good examples of simple, no frills corner buildings designed with functionality and economy in mind. The build is the quality you'd expect in this price range; 12mm shiplap on relatively lightweight 28 x 28mm framing. Although the components are not particularly heavy duty, when assembled properly they should all come together to form a sturdy, durable and reasonably weatherproof summerhouse. Note however that 12mm shiplap cladding is more prone to splits and knotholes than heavier grades so you may have to carry out some filling of knots and cracks before applying the final finish.
On which topic, note also that both versions of this summerhouse are dip treated only prior to delivery. While this will be sufficient to maintain the timbers up to the time of assembly you will need to apply a final decorative/preservative finish to protect the wood against attack by the rot and decay. Untreated timber will quickly take on a worn and weathered look if left exposed to the elements so you should be sure to apply the finish sooner rather than later.
The design of the building is quite straightforward. The pent roof will ensure that water runs off to the rear and you should make sure that the area behind the summerhouse drains adequately to prevent the building standing in water. This is particularly important if you have installed the standard version which features a 10mm solid sheet floor which will be more susceptible to water damage than its timber equivalent. Solid sheet flooring is also generally less supportive than timber flooring so be sure prior to assembling the summerhouse that the strength of the floor is adequate to support whatever is likely to be placed on it. If you've any doubts on that score it's always easier to install additional support or bracing under the floor before you have put the building together. Of the two options we'd definitely recommend the Premier model with its tongue and groove timber floor and roof.
The windows are large and fixed meaning that the interior of the summerhouse should always be light and bright. The other side of this coin is that the windows can't be opened for ventilation and depending on the location of the summerhouse you may sacrifice some privacy with the larger windows - it's all a matter of personal preference. The styrene glazing is safe and should be virtually shatterproof - important in windows of this size - although styrene is more liable to scratches and scuffing than glass. We wouldn't advise plain glass windows of this size in this type of building though and it wouldn't be realistic to expect toughened glass in this price range.
We wouldn't envisage any difficulties with the hardware which should be adequate for its intended function - if not particularly decorative. We do like the integral key operated lock which is to be much preferred to the hasp and staple found on some models in this price range.
Comparing this particular summerhouse between sellers can be confusing as it is marketed under a number of names and badges, sometimes with minor stylistic differences. In our price guide above we've brought these together so you can make a valid comparison. There's probably not much to choose between the Standard and Premier 7x7 and similar 7x7 corner summerhouses such as the Barclay, the Hampton and the Picton. Have a look at these too. They'll give you an idea of what's available in slightly different styles in broadly the same price range. Note though that the Hampton, Barclay and Picton offer timber flooring as standard whereas with the Standard and Premier 7x7 you have to opt for the Premier version to get this. Having said this however, the Standard version isn't very widely available these days so you might well find your choice is limited in any event. The manufacturer has produced a superb video illustrating the summerhouse and the assembly process - and it also gives you a good idea of the difference in quality between the OSB and tongue and groove elements. You can see it here (opens in a new window) - essential viewing for any prospective purchaser!
A more recent arrival on the market is the Project Timber 7x7 model, available exclusively via eBay. It's a serious rival to the Standard 7x7 and has the added bonus of pressure treatment to ensure longevity of the timber. Definitely worth a look!
We've awarded 3.5 Corner Summerhouse Guide stars to the Standard 7x7 to reflect the general budget nature of its construction and in particular the OSB roof and floor. The tongue and groove floor and roofing of the Premier version earns it 4 stars.