We’re going to be upfront here at What Shed? and say that we think this is a great little building that would really suit a couple who need a compact space to share a glass of wine or a pot of tea. It’s part of a huge range, and is the one model in the Tete a Tete range that has the lowest price. The Tete a Tete goes up in width primarily, and the biggest one has a 10ft wide specification, compared to the 6ft wide of this model. But we feel this one has that lovely, intimate atmosphere and is therefore a good buy if you just want a little sheltered spot to sit in during the summer months.
Ultimately a summer building
We say summer because this really is a building for the summer. The windows take care of that. They’re made out of styrene, which is a material that is resistant to shattering and very tough. But it won’t bring you insulation in the colder months, and that is something to think about. If you fancy cocoa in December, you will need to wrap up warm.
There is an interesting point to be made here about insulation actually. The building has 11mm thick tongue and groove cladding, which makes it a little warmer (not a lot) than other similar buildings, which may have solid sheet material in the walls. We respect BillyOh for building in a bit of quality and longevity into the walls here. The main benefit seems to be sturdiness (all tongue and groove timber is naturally strong, no matter the thickness) but it seems a little strange to invest in this timber and not back up the beginnings of some great insulation without any glass in the windows. And since these windows are so large and a major part of the structure, we felt a little bit put out that styrene is the standard (as in only) glazing you can have.
If we wanted to enhance this building in any way, we would arrange for double glazing to be fitted. This would make this one of the best compact retreats around. As it stands, and even with 11mm tongue and groove cladding, this is a summer building. Options here would have made this perfect.
Under your feet and up above
BillyOh do not supply any flooring with this summerhouse. If you happen to have a perfectly flat area of concrete in your garden and you are happy to have a concrete floor this is absolutely perfect. But if you don’t, then you will have to choose between the solid sheet floor option and the tongue and groove option BillyOh offers. Both are good, and we reckon that you could easily have the solid sheet if you’re keeping this building as a summerhouse rather than something you want to use all year round. It’s perfect for throwing in a couple of wellies and other light items as you go about your gardening, before sitting down and relaxing in the evening. But it’s not heavy duty, and that means tongue and groove if you’re going to put the floor through anything more demanding than light, seasonal use.
The roof is pretty standard stuff. We’re not going to dress this up. You’ve got a cost-effective building here, so solid sheet material is in the roof with a sturdy mineral felt covering supplied by the manufacturer.
BillyOh has supplied the summer house with a red cedar water based treatment at the factory. This will suffice for the journey to you, but we recommend buying a quality treatment from the DIY store or garden centre. Spirit-based is good because it offers tougher levels of protection against mould and other nasties.
The best points about this building are essentially the tongue and groove cladding, which at least ensures you have a very solid building. We like the windows,but they’re not going to keep you warm. As long as you don’t expect to have that glass of wine with your loved one in the middle of January, it’s a good buy.
The building has obviously been made with a high attention to detail. There is quality all over in aspects like the tongue and groove work, and that really makes the rest of the summer house a great choice.
Longevity Of Materials 10/10
You shouldn't have any problems with longevity on the building, and it will stand the test of time as long as you treat it annually.
This is a compact building but it holds it's own. We like the space in here, and you can easily entertain two people in it, or even have a small home office.
Ease Of Installation 9/10
This is not a big project and should take a couple of days as long as you have two people working on it. The instructions are clear and very easy to follow, as well as being well-illustrated.
This is a great summer house for the money you pay, and an excellent solution if you are looking for somewhere to have a quiet drink with someone.
Final Thoughts: This is an excellent summer house that manages to provide a lovely retreat. It is meant for the summer (some summerhouses are strong enough to last the whole year round) and this is evident in the quality of the glazing and, while this is not a problem, it does mean that some people may be unaware of what styrene (the glazing type) has to offer and how it is different to glass.This building has an intimate feel, which makes it perfect for those little impromptu glasses of wine. Just don't expect to be enjoying the place much in the winter months. Fit it out with some of the options you are given by BillyOh and you should be able to get a step closer to the look you need, and the experience you wanted.
Prices around: £269
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