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By Nicola Hutchison on 10 Feb 2021

The Gillies & Mackay Lead Time Explained

Take us back to the good ol’ pre COVID days eh! When oor lead time was only about 12 weeks long.

We get it. You’ve just started out on your Sheddie journey, got all the plans down for getting your garden looking glorious this summer. Because let’s face it, who’s going to be laying in the Spanish sun?!

That’s what Summerhouses are for hun. 😉

You’re all excited, you got your eye on the perfect retreat – you hit the send button to us and we reply…

“It’s best to note our current delivery/assembly lead time is 7/8 months away.”

WHIT?!?! 😭😭😭

Sheddie, believe you me, we feel your pain. We absolutely do not want you to be waiting this long for shed life. 

Let us explain where we are at…

Lead Time Update: See the top banner on our Home page for lead time updates.

Why is our lead time so long right now?

Under normal circumstances, our lead time is usually 8-12 weeks, which is a little bit longer than the average shed industry.

You guys are #sheddie mad. And because our very talented joiners take the ultimate care to handcraft your buildings from scratch. 

Why are our sheds handcrafted?

Because big massive machines get nowhere near the quality and standard of build that putting them together by hand does. With machines, expect all the problems. 

Then the dreaded COVID arrived and in came Locky D. 

Like everyone else, we had to shut up shop for ten weeks. The joiners were furloughed. The only people still working were Cara and Nic on the emails replying to all you Sheddies. 

When we realised that garden rooms across the country were becoming home retreats – we started thinking about how we could make things better for you beautiful lot. 

Thankfully, you #sheddies got in touch in your droves to secure your garden buildings for your home. 

When we were allowed to get the workshop running again – it pushed our lead time forward by ten weeks to cover any orders that we had pre-lockdown. Then on top of that a further 16 weeks with the new orders we had taken during lockdown. Mad for the shed life.

Since then, with no future of holidays coming in to play – we’re all continuing to invest in our homes. 

The home improvement industries lead time has increased dramatically since COVID. Not just us.

Some garden room companies in Ireland have a lead time of 11 months!

We continued to be inundated with enquiries and we continue to be extremely grateful to you for supporting our wee family business. 

Is manufacturing or delivery causing the issue?

It’s not an issue as such – more an anomaly.

As mentioned above, we handcraft your buildings to order and we also deliver and assemble.

The output of deliveries vs the workshop have to work in sync with each other.

It is a complicated state of affairs that must work in sync. One change impacts all the others.

For example, increasing delivery capacity is a complex project. Factors that need to be taken into consideration for delivery are: travelling time, building time (dependant on type/size), the deliverers 8 hour day. On average we can deliver and assemble 2 buildings a day. (Garages take up to three days and garden rooms up to two weeks).

If we add a delivery team we could deliver and assemble 4 buildings reducing our lead time. But then the workshop would be overloaded.

So why not increase the workshop I hear you say? Well that’s another complex matter.

It would require increasing space. Which in turn, would require a lot of planning, time, and finance. The size and style of each building require different building times. Each joiner has their own station dedicated to building specific parts of your building. They must all work in sync, they all rely on each other.

Cara is working exceptionally hard on creating a solution for this. As you can imagine, it is not an easy task.

Our top priority is not to compromise on the quality of your building. Buildings that last a lifetime is what we live for.

We can spend thousands of pounds on state-of-the-art machines that can pump out a panel in half the time of human labour, but would decrease quality by 50%. THAT is not what a G&M building is.

Handcrafted beautiful quality timber buildings that last a lifetime and a well-paid workforce.

Is there a chance of an earlier delivery?

We get asked this question a lot.

The answer is: It’s rare and it depends.

In general, you can expect your delivery the month you are told as the lead time on order.

Reminder: (This is an example) If you approach us in March and the lead time is September, then you go and have a further think. You decide in May that you’d like to order but the lead time has now moved to November. Our lead time is constantly moving at a rate faster than you’d expect.

When you order, sometimes we have a few floating spaces available which might result in an earlier delivery on order. This is all dependent on where you stay and on the style and size of the building. It’s a very specific window that you may get lucky with.

Cancellations are very rare – but even with that space opening – it’s only fair that our current customers get priority first as they have been waiting longest. 

Should we begin to increase our capacity we will begin to move customers’ dates forward first then free up spaces towards the further end of the lead time. At this moment, we can’t say or promise when that will be.

In general, we are fully booked out up until the stated lead time.

Does demand affect the pricing?

Supply and demand. The short answer is no it does not. We’re not a holiday company, raising prices when demand is high and taking advantage of you beautiful souls. Sneaky, sneaky!

We increase our prices once a year in January. These price increases take into consideration supplier price fluctuations throughout the entire year. We could change prices multiple times a year based on these fluctuations or we can do it all at once. We do it all at once.

Read more on pricing here…

Are Gillies & Mackay the right company for you?

This section is a guide to help you decide. There are a couple of scenarios to bring up here.

Scenario 1

I’m looking to buy a summerhouse and create my Gin Palace to have a relaxing place to spend time with my pals.

We love a Gin Palace, so we do. In this scenario, you’re most likely looking for something beautiful to sit in your garden, enough space to gather with your pals, something that’s of really good quality that’s going to last the years for all the memories, and probably something that you can use all year round.

You’ve spied the summerhouse you want and your heart is set on it. 

Here’s the thing – it’s looking like you won’t get it as soon as you’d hoped.

In this situation, we can absolutely help you. It’s now a matter of weighing up time vs quality.

Are you able to wait a few more months than hoped, for a lifetime of memories?

Or, look for something a few months sooner whilst risking years less on your building and a lifetime of problems?

What truly matters to you here? Spend a few minutes analysing and writing all the most important factors to you. Also, take your research into consideration when you’ve been looking at all the different timber building companies.

If you need some help – Cara’s reviewed the top timber building companies in Scotland for you.

Ultimately, the decision is completely yours.

Scenario 2

I’m in desperate need of extra storage space as I’ve just moved home. I’m looking to get a 10 x 8 Apex shed.

So you’re moving home and you had a shed/garage in your last home and in your new home you’ve realised – Shed damn, where am I going to put all these tools, there’s nae a shed!

Time is of the essence here. Your partner is sure as hell not happy about those muddy tools sitting in the kitchen cupboard.

You need a solution fast. Within at least 3 months fast.

As much as we’d love to ease your mind in this situation, it’s heartbreakingly something we can’t help you solve when time is the most important factor for you.

The truth is, our lead time is long. We are unable to fit you in and we have a waiting list of current customers waiting to be moved forward if given the chance.

However, if quality is the most important to you – we can absolutely help you. You’ll just need to sweeten up your partner for a few months longer. (We should write a blog on how to do this ;))

Weigh up your options and what matters to you the most. If it’s time – then we are not the right fit for you. If it’s a robust quality timber building that lasts a lifetime that is your priority – we can absolutely help you. 


So, there you go!

We’d LOVE to have room to fit you all in right away. But the truth is, we’re popular – so we’re always going to have a long-ish lead time.

However, right now, with the additional pressures that COVID has placed on everyone – the wait time is even longer than usual. We are working as hard as possible behind the scenes to shorten this lead time and get your building to you as fast as possible.

If you fancy getting in line for your G&M building then get in touch.

We promise it will be worth the wait <3

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