(Under 12m2) Specification
This article is about our former summerhouse specification, which has since been replaced by our brand-new Garden Rooms (under 12m2). It's worthwhile reading, but to jump straight to learning more about the new spec, click on!
AND… We’re back!
We’ve missed you Sheddies. It’s been a while since we’ve done a reviews blog and you’re always on the search for other Summerhouse manufacturers. We’ve decided to do some of the work for you and for our own research purposes.
Today we’re in Dundee. Oh, we love Dundee! Some of oor Sheddie team’s home toon.
So, how exactly do we do it?
We’ve outlined the RULES below that we follow and we always base it on an internet search. Because it’s 2021 people, and if you’re here reading this – this is where you get started.
It’s how we buy things – What am I looking for? What am I getting myself into? What can I get? What’s the price? What’s the quality like? What are the reviews like? Narrowing down the options.
- We don’t talk about ourselves! Nope – this is not a sly, skanky ad for Gillies and Mackay, we are not in this review. This is purely for my research purposes and I take a clear, impartial view on all companies I review.
- We just talk about 10’ x 8 Apex Summerhouses or as close as in our comparisions – makes things easier.
- The opinions in this blog are based on my own personal judgement and represent what I believe is important when it comes to the perfect Summerhouse.
Who will we be reviewing:
So, let’s get started shall we…
- Related content: Log cabin vs garden room: what is the difference?
Wood N Garden Review
Oor Glencarse neighbours. We’re back again but this time it’s Summerhouses instead of Sheds.
And, it looks like Wood n Garden have had an upgrade to their website since the last time we checked.
Bonus points! It’s much better to navigate for Sheddies and the summerhouses are looking braw. Let’s dig into the details.
We went for the 10’ x 8’ Windsor Apex Summerhouse because this style of Summerhouse is popular and standard with Summerhouse manufacturers. Plus it’s likely we’ll find more of them when we continue on with our review.
So let’s look at the different features available, and price it up to a specification that we think is acceptable.
Wood N Garden: What is the Wood Specification?
As standard, the summerhouse comes as 12mm tongue and groove and they offer options to upgrade which is great to have. The thicker the cladding the better it is structurally, and the longer it will last. Therefore, we’ve upgraded to 18mm (the thickest they will go), which is going to extend the life of your summerhouse.
- Learn more about cladding thickness here
An upgrade in cladding requires an upgrade in framing to hold the weight of the Summerhouse over its lifetime and for structural stability. As standard, they offer 32 mm x 44mm or 44mm x 44mm as framing. While this works well for 12mm an upgrade in framing will be required.
Increased timber thickness = more weight = upgraded framing.
However, there is no suggestion of offering this on their website.
I can’t find on their website what type of wood they use, which is prime information, and life and death in Scotland. You gotta know yer wid. The difference between redwood and whitewood on a Summerhouse is the difference between a shite Summerhouse and a dream.
Wood N Garden: Where is the Wood From?
Wood n Garden do state on their homepage that the wood is sustainably sourced from the continent….
Great, however we’re going to need some more information.
Sustainable…yes this is good info.
But, from the continent…where? Specificity is key.
Slow growing climates is what we’re after.
So, with type of wood, we’re still not there yet.
Where is this information? Wood n Garden – give it to me!
and then, lo and behold – when we scroll further down the product page we can see that it’s actually TGB that make the Summerhouses. Wood n Garden are their supplier.
- We’ve done a review on TGB here: TBG Shed Review
Basically, there is no information on the type of wood from TGB’s website. If you’re checking out Wood n Garden – it’s definitely worth finding out the type of timber for your soul. Redwood is what you’re looking for.
Wood N Garden: Pricing the Summerhoues
In addition, we’ve popped another couple of upgrades on here – an upgrade on the felt. You’ll get a good 10 years on a decent quality felt. The better roofing material on the Summerhouse, the fewer issues, the longer it lasts.
Finally, we’ve popped some battens on there – after all, the summerhouse does need something to sit on for ventilation and to keep away from all that ground moisture.
Totalling: £4,340.75 (June 2021)
Wood n Garden: Testimonials
Wood n Garden have an overall rating of 4.2 stars on Google and overall positive feedback. Friendly, helpful staff is a common theme. Always good to know if you visit somewhere you know you have someone to talk to and will be looked after. Therefore, I recommend you go for a visit, check out their display and ask them questions. Thank you, next…
Daves Garden Workshop Review
Sheddie Dave is based in Carnoustie and makes his own timber buildings. We love a crafter who makes their own timber buildings – it means they know a thing or two about how they work AND are held accountable.
Firstly, Dave’s website is that – ok its a bit old school and needs some love and attention. A few broken images and link here or there which doesn’t make for a great starting experience.
When I click to go to Summerhouses (under garden buildings and garages) we’re getting a wee peek into what he’s done before and they do look pretty. I’m sure Dave’s done much more than this. DAVE show us yer work!
Daves Garden Workshop: Pricing the Summerhouse
Awww again, no pricing – Dave, for shed’s sake – we need to ken, ya ken!
Even just a ballpark so I know if you fit my budget at least. You’ll need to call Dave for a price. You’re probably going to have to send him some inspo of what you’re after as well because Dave’s lacking on the Summerhouse images.
I’m going to his Facebook Page… If in doubt in the trades, go to their Facebook Page.
That’s better – I’m getting more images from Daves Facebook and his work looks quality. He’s not done an update in sometime (last time 2020) – I’m not sure if he’s still going.
No reviews either – he’s made a decision to not make it a business page. No reviews on Google.
Daves Garden Workshop: What is the Wood Specification?
And lastly – I’m not getting any information on the specification of his Summerhouses either :(. I’ve not got much to share here sheddies.
Today, I’d expect to see much more information than this. We need all the help we can get. I want to see what Dave really has to offer here. To make it easy for me.
I like that he builds his own, thats always a good sign. His work looks fab – but we’ve been taught to never judge a book by its cover. We need more info from Dave in this info fuelled world. To help us make a decision. If you need anything – you’ll need to give Dave a call and ask him all the questions on his Summerhouses.
On to the next one…
Balmuir Sheds Review
Balmuir Sheds are based in Dundee and have been trading since 2014. Straight away, I’m liking their website. It’s fresh and clean compared to what you normally see on the market. Nice image of one of their pent summerhouses to open up their page 👌
Balmuir Sheds: What is the Wood Specification?
Straight away on their Balmuir Sheds homepage we’re getting their standard specification. Noice.
19mm Redwood Tongue & Groove Pine – YES BABY! Strength, durability, longevity.
16mm Redwood Tongue and Groove Pine in the floor and roof – DECENT!
38mm x 75mm CLS framing – They ken what they’re talking about. The right framing to go with the right wood spec.
Balmuir don’t offer any other options – straight in with the standard spec. Keeping it simple.
However, when I look for Summerhouses I don’t see a Summerhouse option. It looks like Balmuir make them judging by their images – it’s on their home page. The only option for products is sheds.
Balmuir Sheds: Pricing the Summerhouse
Balmuir offer shed pricing YAY! Bonus sheddie points.
So it will give you a starting point at least. It looks like you’ll need to contact them to see what they can offer for a Summerhouse and at what extra price. It would be helpful if they can get clearer on their website about Summerhouses and offer us some pricing so we know where to get started.
I want to see more of their Summerhouses on the page – what can I get for my money? Have they got a design I fauncy? They’ve likely built a fair few by now and expand out on what this looks like price wise. I know they’ll be more expensive than the sheds but by how much? Don’t make me do ALL the work.
Price (for a 10’ x 8’ SHED): £1,386.00 (Feb 2021)
Balmuir Sheds: Testimonials
Google: 4 stars out of two reviews. Two mixed reviews there.
Looks like they build a quality Summerhouse as we’d expect from their spec. Some communication issues in regards to delivery. In the trade industry communication is vital for customers. We’ve got a duty to build and hold that trust with oor Sheddies and set an example. Balmuir have replied with no indication if they have taken on the feedback however – a response itself from them is showing they are paying attention.
Balmuir Sheds have a decent following on Facebook. 5 star rating from 5 reviews is a positive sign. Good comments on quality, price and delivery. The team communicate well and keep you updated on their Facebook page. You’ll find more images of what they’ve built for their Sheddies for inspo. However, we’re still not getting a reply on pricing from them despite being asked on many posts. I’d like to see some transparent summerhouse pricing from them here.
Top specification, good foundations for information – lot’s of potential to educate and share more information on Summerhouses. Tell me guys – do you actually offer summerhouses? Give it to me straight. Let’s get it on, final round…
Forest Craft Review
We’ve reviewed Forest Craft sheds, now let’s take a look at their summerhouses.
Forest Craft is a well established business and has been around for 30 odd years. They have depots across Fife and do deliver to Dundee and Perthshire. They manufacture their own buildings – top points to start.
It took me a while to decide what Summerhouse to opt for in this review in line with our rules. I had to get their price list up and match it up with the design which isn’t easy or clear. They offer a decent amount of Summerhouse designs to choose from to suit your desire.
After 10 mins I decided to opt for the Forest Craft Eden Summerhouse.
Forest Craft: Pricing the Summerhouse
You can get pricing in different sizes for this if you request it. They do offer pricing for their 10’ x 8’ size. Not sure why they decided to do it this way. I don’t like working hard to get a price. Clear, transparent pricing helps us move forward please.
Note: The 10’ x 8’ size has a 2’ Canopy/Veranda and they state the internal size is 8’ x 8’.
You can get this in 12mm or 19mm thickness. Felted roof. Delivery and assembly included and bearers for your Summerhouse to sit on. I’ve opted for 19mm here for longevity.
Price: £3,162.00 (July 2021)
Forest Craft: What is the Wood Specification
As standard the framing Forest Craft use on their summerhouses is 42 x 30mm. I’d recommend going for thicker framing for stability and longevity which they do offer at an additional 5%. It’s not clear on how thick the framing upgrade is – so you’ll want to find out how substantial this is and what the 5% refers to. 5% of total cost?I couldn’t find any information in regards to the type of wood they use or where they source their wood from for their buildings 🙁 If there’s one question to ask Forest Craft, it’s absolutely this: What type of timber do you use and where do you source it from?
- Learn more: Redwood vs Whitewood.
If they are using whitewood – especially Scottish sourced Whitewood – expect issues to arise quickly. Scottish lumber grows too fast to use for timber buildings. Splitting and open to the elements.
Forest Craft: Testimonials
Mixed reviews on Google. We’ll focus on their Cupar and St Andrews depots which are closest to us.
Cupar: 3.8/5 stars
Rating isn’t too bad – I’d expect anything 4 star plus to consider. Anything below I’d usually question and dig deeper into.
Generally good comments about service and staff. It seems like there will always be someone around to help. Good to know they are responsive.
Some feedback from a customer on his shed experience. And the same issues are coming up again for him that he now has to fix himself. Good that Forest Craft replaced the shed – shit that he’s experiencing the problem again and it hasn’t been resolved by Forest Craft. I’d like to know if I had an issue like this that it will be solved. A Lot of money spent on timber buildings.
St Andrews: 4.5/5 stars
That’s better. Looking like you’re going to get a much better experience from the St Andrews branch. I would expect consistency all round.
Returning customers are always an excellent sign:
Engagement is good on Facebook. I like seeing the end results of sheddie buildings that they are sharing and the buildings look good.
No reviews here 🙁 You can turn off reviews on your Facebook business page. For a company this size – I’d expect to see reviews here. We’re back to the pricing challenge again I see. Looks like Forestcraft don’t like to share pricing on Facebook but will “private message” you instead. What’s so secret about the pricing? Let it go – give us the standard so we know where we’re starting.
From the information we can get from Forest Craft so far – they look promising. I’d definitely be digging deeper here – especially down to the type of timber they use. Definitely take a trip to their show area and check the buildings out for yourself.
Who is the best Summerhouse Manufacturer in Dundee?
Who’s the best in Dundee?
For us to make an easy decision, I’m expecting the manufacturers to share much more clearer information on their websites so I know and you know what to look for and so you can actually make a decision. And – it’s just easier all round for the business and for us Sheddies. There’s nothing to hide here.
Specification is what it really comes down to know how strong the structure is, the likes of it lasting and the eliminating the issues that can arise. Balmuir Sheds outweighs them all. I’d trust that this building is worth the money and will last. It’s not clear from their website what they’re doing about summerhouses – there’s scope there for them to share that info with us. You’ll need to contact them to find out.
If you’re in any doubt – I always recommend you go and visit the show areas and see the quality of the buildings for yourself. Go in them, explore them, give them a wee shove (the classic shove test will let you know if it’s strong) and ask plenty of questions.
Shed love to you