30-day no quibble returns guarantee = The National Trust blow this out of the water by offering what we at WhatShed believe is the best and safest customer guarantee on offer when buying a garden building online. They offer a “No quibble 30-day returns guarantee means that if for any reason you are unhappy with your purchase, you can return it to us in its original condition within 30 days of the date you received the item, and we will issue a full refund for the price you paid for the item.”
Item damaged in transit = We commonly see the complaint with other retailers that the customers garden building gets damaged in transit. Most other company seem to do everything they can to get out of helping you if this happens. The real stand out service that the National Trust offers goes way beyond what we have seen from any other merchant. They say “If the item was damaged in transit. If you take delivery of a National Trust Online Shop package and the contents have been damaged in transit, you can return the item(s) to us within 30 days of receipt for exchange.” That is an outstanding commitment to customer service and we wish more retailers in this sector could boast the same levels of commitment.
In short unlike some other merchants we have reviews we feed 100% confident with the way the National Trust is handling its customers in the event they run into a problem. Time and again we see reports of products getting damaged in transit. We strongly feel that the National Trusts no quibble 30-day returns guarantee means that if for any reason you have with your purchase you are in safe hands. We only wish some of the other retailers would offer the same outstanding level of protection and peace of mind that the National Trust are giving customers. To see the full National Trust returns policy follow this link, we are sure that you will agree they are the #1 choice when it comes to buying your Crain garden building from.
Buy from the National Trust for maximum consumer protection!!
While the photos of the Ickworth Summerhouse do give a great first impression. We have been hard at working taking a deeper look into this summerhouse to see just what you are getting for your money!
Shed Type And Roof Size
This is the “little brother” of the Ickworth Summerhouse line by that we mean this is the smaller more compact version, but there is still a decent amount of space inside here where you can kick back with a glass of bubbly, a good book and relax. There is a nice amount of height here with the lowest point of the summerhouse being just a hair over 6 feet. At the ridge, you do have a lot of headroom at just over 7 feet. This is a good height as you can walk around freely and not have to deal with the local council to get planning permission. The width of the summerhouse is a very nice, 7 feet 8 inches and the length is 5 feet 9 inches. So while this is not the largest summerhouse, you still have enough room for a couple of chairs, a table and with some clever planning and hard work on your part (which we feel is part of the fun) you can have a very nicely decorated summerhouse. But it really is up to you to maximise this space to make sure you are getting the most out of the summerhouse.
The roof is one of the really cool and stand out features of this summerhouse. It is an apex style roof which we love as it stops the water from sitting on the roof and finding its way in! Rather than use roofing felt, Crane have gone with corrugated roofing which was all the rage back in the day. It does add more to the cost, but we love the distinctive style that it gives the summerhouse. Crane use 19 x 125 mm tongue and groove roof board to keep that epic corrugated roof up. In keeping with the overall high quality, Crane have put an actual ceiling in this summerhouse! We were really shocked (and pleased) to see this lovely pine tongue and groove ceiling….. again it makes the price creep up, but boy does it look fantastic.
Cladding, Frame And Floor
A huge part of giving the Ickworth Summerhouse its classic look was the decision to use sawn board cladding for the walls. This cladding is 12 x 150 mm, topped with 16 x 38 mm and it is made from, Scandinavian Redwood. Making the cladding from this type of wood is a great idea and actually something this whole line is known for. This cladding looks great and it will also keep the “awesome” British weather out. The craftsmanship of the cladding is very impressive and we do think that it makes it feel more like a little house you can relax in rather than a shed which let’s face it some summerhouses do.
We do not have enough fingers to tell you how many “high quality” summerhouses we have seen over the years that use just horrible framing which inevitably leads to the summerhouse getting all weak and flimsy over the years…….. well that will not happen with The Ickworth Summerhouse. First of all the frame is made from that same, strong wood the cladding is and at 39 x 50 mm thick it really does offer a nice and sturdy spine for the whole summerhouse. We really think that even after a lot of years this summerhouse will still be standing strong and sturdy and that is mainly due to the strong, Scandinavian Redwood frame. Hey if we can offer a little bit of advice here, it is always look at what kind of frame of a shed or summerhouse has before you buy!
A summerhouse needs a nice and strong floor as hopefully you are going to be spending a lot of time sitting on your butt, relaxing in here! Crane use the same kind of boarding as they do for the roof as the floor. This is that 19 x 125 mm tongue and groove boarding. To make sure the floor is strong, level and is going to last for many years, Crane have some 38 x 50 mm floor joists that have been expertly placed to make sure you have a good floor. We think the flooring here is more than up to the job of having a few chairs, a table and whatever else you can cram in here!
Treatment Requirement And Warranty
Crane have the same warranty for all their sheds and summerhouses and it gives you two years of protection against any kind of general wear and tear. A lot of care has gone in the design and selection of materials, but if on the rare chance something does go wrong then they will arrange for someone to come and fix it. Now you are not covered if you cause damage through negligence like putting something through the window for example! Also if you make them install the summerhouse in a place they tell you is not a good idea, you may not be covered.
Doors And Windows
We think that the doors here are one of the very best features of this summerhouse. To start with they are nice and big and when they are both open you have 1100 mm of height and 1830 mm of width. This is amazing as it makes getting things in and out of the summerhouse pretty much no hassle at all. These doors are held on with top of the line, Fleur – de- Leys hinges which have a nice black finish to them. Each door has a nice large window that is amazingly made from real glass (we thought the days of using real glass were long gone!) the glass has this really nice and classy lead cross effect in it as well.
Including those windows that are on the doors there are six windows on the summerhouse. Another two on the front and then one on each side. The other four windows are a little big larger than the ones that are on the door, but they are made from the exact same glass which by the way is 4 mm thick, toughened glass! They also have that classy lead cross in them. One thing we really like is how the two windows on the side actually open. With them and the doors open, you can get a nice breeze in there or just enjoy a bit of shade from the sun……. with a drink in your hand of course and some good music playing.
Security And Privacy
It goes without saying that you will have some nice things in here and maybe even a little TV or stereo. So you will want to make sure your things are safe.
The Ickworth Summerhouse comes with a lock and key which is done in the same style as the door and window hinges which is just great attention to detail. To add a little bit extra privacy, you can always put in some blinds or in the winter perhaps some curtains?
This is a summerhouse that we feel would fit in any style of garden and to help with that, Crane have a selection of six different colours for you to pick from. Earls Grey, Painters Grey, Terrance Green, Disraeli Green, Wades Lantern and Dome Ochre. To be honest the summerhouse looks nice in all these colours and it is just down to what one you like best or fits in with the other things that you have in your garden.
Crane really do make a very high quality summerhouse and the Ickworth Summerhouse just oozes high quality ( please note, summerhouse does not actually ooze!)high class all the way is what you get with this!
Longevity Of Materials 8.5/10
Using very high end materials mean that yes you do pay more in the beginning, but at the same time you are getting a summerhouse that is going to last you for a many, many years and not need replacing after just a couple of years. Good roof, strong walls and frame and built by people who know what they are doing mean that this will last you a long time.
This is the smallest that Crane offer this summerhouse and to get the best out of it, you are going to have to really plan how you are going to lay your belongings out. You can have a very nice summerhouse here, but you will have to really think hard about how you are going to lay it out because of the smaller size.
Ease Of Installation 10/10
Putting together something that has this much real glass in it is always asking for trouble! But do not worry as the good folks at Crane will install the summerhouse for you!
While this is a very nice summerhouse it is on the small size and will require some expert planning on your part to get the very best out of it. Which when you consider you are paying, £4,395.00 for it does make you question the “bang for your buck” you are getting.
Final Thoughts: This is a very nice looking summerhouse and it is made from very top of the line materials, but as you know this is a very expensive summerhouse. We feel this is more than just a place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine on a nice summer evening. It is something that is meant to be a real standout feature of your garden. The big question though is if a summerhouse of this size is worth £4,395.00 or are you better paying a bit more and getting the extra floor space?
Prices around: £4599.00
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