Style and Design
A high quality deluxe octagonal corner summerhouse, the Tiger Elite is built to last. Available in two sizes it features a striking slate effect fibreglass roof, moulded in one piece for ease of assembly and freedom from maintenance. Say goodbye to felt roof repairs forever!
Not only that but the wood is pressure treated (tanalised) with preservative to provide long term protection against attack by fungi, pests, insects and all types of rot. So confident are the manufacturers as to the durability of this summerhouse that it comes with a 15 year guarantee.
The design of the summerhouse is pleasing to the eye and the large Georgian style windows ensure a sunny and airy interior.
The Tiger Elite is constructed of quality 16mm FSC approved tongue and groove timber cladding on a robust 58x44mm frame. The floor likewise comprises 16mm tanalised tongue and groove for strength and durability while the roof comprises slate effect fibreglass as described above. The door features attractive antique styled hinges and is secured with a lever lock. The glazing is virtually unbreakable 5mm styrene for safety and added security.
The summerhouse is available in two sizes; 6' x 6' (1.75 x 1.75m) and 8' x 6' (2.35 x 1.75m). The overall height is 9'11 (2.72m) with a maximum internal headroom of 8'10'' (2.64m).
The wood is pressure treated as described above. No further treatment is required to obtain the benefit of the manufacturer's guarantee but a decorative finish may be applied to maintain the appearance of the building.
Options for the Tiger Elite vary between sellers but typically will include an installation service, a choice of decorative finishes, a toughened glass upgrade, a window sealing kit, various security options and the option of a door hung on the left.
Unless an installation option is purchased the summerhouse will be delivered ready for assembly by the purchaser. You can see a preview of the instructions here (opens in a new window).
See the details of sellers and prices given above.
The Tiger Elite is undeniably a quality mid-priced garden building. From the 16mm tongue and groove pressure treated woodwork to the fibreglass simulated slate roof - with one exception which we'll come to - it oozes quality. The 16mm cladding and the 58 x 44mm frame on which it is mounted are of a higher specification than the cladding and framing found in the vast majority of cheaper summerhouses and will give you a strong, robust structure. The floor too is constructed in real wood and this will add to the load bearing qualities of the building. Many budget models make use of solid sheet osb or chipboard floors and while these will just about do the job initially, they lack the strength and durability of real wood and are more susceptible to damage and deterioration due to moisture. The fibreglass roof is, as far as we can tell, unique in a corner summerhouse and will not only give you great weather resistance but should remove the need for ongoing repair and maintenance. That's not to say that wooden, felt finished roofing doesn't have good weatherproofing qualities - properly applied it has - but it does need maintenance and the felt will require repair and eventually replacement in time. You avoid all this with the Tiger Elite.
Everything comes pressure treated which, at least in theory, removes the need to add a preservative finish to the timbers. Experience however shows that even pressure treated wood can quite quickly take on a worn and weathered look when exposed to the elements, so despite the pressure treatment you might think about applying a decorative finish to your Tiger Elite to maintain its great appearance. Security shouldn't be an issue either with the three lever door lock - and we think the door furniture looks pretty good too.
And the exception we mentioned? Well, as standard, the Tiger Elite comes supplied with styrene glazing. Granted that at 5mm it's a higher specification than you'll normally find in an economy summerhouse, but we feel that in a building of this quality (not to say price) you should be able to expect toughened glazing. Styrene is virtually unbreakable but it's considerably more susceptible than class to scratches and scuffing and we think it just detracts a little from the otherwise superb quality of the Elite. It's not a huge issue as you can purchase an upgrade to toughened glass relatively inexpensively. We just don't think you should have to. You may incidentally also see a cheap upgrade to horticultural glass available. We'd suggest you don't bother. It will be less liable to scratches than styrene but lacks the safety and security qualities of toughened glass.
Assembly of the Elite should be very straightforward. Everything is delivered in pre-formed panels and,of course, the roof just bolts on - there's no fiddling around with felt and tacks. We do see though that the supplied method of fixing the panels together is by means of nails. We've always considered this a rather crude form of assembling a wooden building and would suggest that you take the time to replace the nails with suitable outdoor screws. This will involve spending a few pounds more and you'll have to pre-drill the screw holes but in the end it should give you tighter, more secure joins. The only other advice we'd offer is that if you've decided to decorate the woodwork, you do this before the building's assembled. That way you can make sure that all the necessary areas are decorated and can turn the wall panels upside down to make sure the finish penetrates fully into the tongue and groove joins.
So all in all there's plenty to write home about when it comes to the Tiger Elite and not much to knock. Yes, we do think there's a false economy with the styrene glazing but this can be resolved with the toughened glass upgrade. Otherwise, everything looks superb and ahead of the competition. The Elite is available in two sizes, both with good headroom. We don't think there's really a viable alternative to the 6'x6' model at the moment although you might want to check out the hexagonal Gazebo which you might find at a budget price with pressure treatment included. We don't think it's in the same league as the Elite though. If it's the 8'x6' model you're considering you could also check out the Ryton 8'x6'. It's similar in style and comes with toughened glass as standard - but you don't get the pressure treatment or that maintenance free fibreglass roof. Mercia/Waltons also produce octagonal models which you'll find in 6'x6' and 8'x6' sizes. They're decent buildings and at the time of review were significantly cheaper than the Tiger Elite. Essentially though they're economy models and lack the refinement of the Tiger building.
Assuming you follow out advice and take the toughened glass option (and replace nails with screws for the panel joins), we've given the Tiger Elite Octagonal Summerhouse the full five stars as a stylish, robust, quality, easily assembled and virtually maintenance free corner summerhouse. Customer satisfaction at the time of review was high too so we don't really think you can go far wrong.