This mid-size Ultimate Shed by Mercia comes packed with some pretty great features. Not only does it benefit from a rustic, attractive design, but it is also built with many rot and durability features. Single glazed windows help to add natural lighting to the shed, whilst 16mm Shiplap tongue and groove cladding ensures an extremely thick and water-tight design. Large Rim locked double doors open up to reveal a spacious and high quality storage area and the apex roof supplies a fantastic amount of height for easy tall tool storage.
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How We Rate It
Longevity Of Materials7.8/10
Ease Of Installation7.5/10
Value For Money7.5/10
Let's Take a Closer Look...
Shed Type and Roof Size
This is a wonderful medium sized, high quality wooden storage shed by industry leader Mercia. Offering a more attractive design over most other wooden sheds due to its antique style hinges, this building comes with a range of spectacular features. The roof has a stylish and very practical apex roof protected with heavy duty mineral felt. The apex design alone helps to provide protection against rot as it does not allow any rainwater to sit on top of the building. Instead it runs down and off the roof before it has a chance to even run down the sides of the shed. The mineral felt helps to not only add to this water protection, but it also protects the roof from any falling debris.
In width and depth, this shed is ideally sized for the majority of gardens. It measures 2.57m wide and 2.44m deep. One of the benefits we have highlighted above is the extra tall eaves and apex roof. In height the roof measures 2.27m and the eaves height measures 1.72m. The doors also make it easier to use the storage space without bumping yourself on the building whilst transporting items. They measure 1.30m wide and 1.77m tall.
Cladding, Frame and Floor
The cladding used to create wooden sheds determines its overall quality. Mercia have used an incredibly tough 16mm Shiplap tongue and groove construction for an exceptional quality finish. Whilst Shiplap is used on a lot of wooden outdoor buildings, its thickness ranges between manufacturers’ and tends to mostly be used at a thickness of 12mm. So the fact Mercia have designed this with extra thick 16mm cladding makes it one of the most durable sheds on the market. The company has also followed through with this tough construction on the floor and the roof. This means you’ll have no problem storing heavy machinery or bikes for example.
So why is Shiplap considered one of the highest quality types of cladding? Well it offers a very thick, naturally water-resistant finish. This doesn’t mean it won’t need to be treated, it just means before treatment it benefits from a naturally durable quality. It’s also got an attractive style and leaves a flawless finish that looks superb in any garden. Not forgetting this shed also benefits from tongue and groove construction. This helps to give the Shiplap a tighter design, whilst leaving an expansion gap that supports any swelling in the timber caused by climate changes throughout the year. Without this gap the building could become unstable if changes do occur.
We’re even impressed with the framing of this shed. To support the thick 16mm cladding, the frame too has been made with an extra thick design. It measures 44mm x 44mm and has been developed with a planed and rounded finish.
Treatment Requirements and Warranty
As briefly mentioned above, you are required to treat the shed in order to make sure it is fully weather-resistant. Generally speaking you have two options when it comes to treating Shiplap buildings. You can opt for either a spirit based or a water based treatment. The water based varieties are cheaper and come in a number of colour finishes. However, they will only provide a protective coating over the top layer of the timber. This is enough to ensure that rainwater doesn’t become a problem, but it will only last around a year before you need to reapply the treatment.
We always recommend that you use a spirit based treatment on Shiplap sheds. Granted they are more expensive to purchase initially, but over the life of the building they actually save you money and don’t always require annual touch-ups. This is because unlike the water treatments, spirit based ones penetrate within the timber to give a much better level of water-resistance. They don’t just sit on the surface which is why you can often get away with not reapplying them annually. This isn’t always the case however and we highly advise you to check the reapplication instructions provided by the treatment’s manufacturer.
To give you reassurance about the quality of the shed, Mercia include a 10 year anti-rot warranty. However, one of the conditions of this guarantee is that shortly after assembly, you need to treat the building with a spirit treatment. The company highlights that it has applied a water based treatment before shipping the building, but that doesn’t give it protection after its been assembled. So if you do opt for a water treatment, you may not be covered by the warranty.
Doors and Windows
What we like about the doors on this shed is that despite it being a fairly compact building, Mercia have still provided big, wide wooden double doors. This gives a fantastic amount of access to the building. They also have a stylish appearance due to the antique hinges and different coloured paint job. So if you’re looking for a shed with character, this is definitely a good choice.
Two windows are supplied on one of the panels and you have the benefit of being able to choose which side you install them on. They are single glazed and measure 6mm thick. This helps to keep the heat in during winter, whilst also limiting the amount of noise. They can also be opened so you can ensure the shed is fully ventilated to reduce condensation.
Security and Privacy
This shed does offer a good level of security, though it definitely isn’t the most secure building we’ve reviewed. For one thing, all of your storage can be viewed from the outside. So if you don’t have a private garden, there’s the potential for thieves to see inside, providing more temptation for them to try and break in. The windows also obviously limit the amount of privacy you have if you choose to turn the shed into a workshop. So this is something you will want to think about before deciding if this is the right model for you.
As the doors come with a built on Rim lock, some security is guaranteed. The thick cladding also makes it a more secure building. So this model does have good and bad points in terms of security and privacy and we feel it would best suit a fairly private and secure garden.
Customisation Options and Extras
The one and only customisation option available with the Ultimate Shed is where you place the windows. It requires no additional effort to install them on either side of the building and gives you a lot more potential of where the shed can be built.
There are a few extras we do recommend if you want to make sure you are getting the most out of this building. As it isn’t the most secure shed on the market, it would definitely benefit from the 49mm weatherproof padlock which is supplied with a hasp and staple. This basically just gives you more peace of mind that the contents will be extra secure and safe from thieves.
The range of treatments offered are also a recommended extra. While it is a requirement of the warranty to invest in spirit based treatments, you don’t have to choose the ones that are supplied on the website you are purchasing it from. However, if you want to make sure you’re using a good quality treatment, we do advise you to buy the Cuprinol treatments offered.
Other optional extras you could find useful include the electrical pack and draper accessories. These are mainly useful if you are using the shed as a hobby room or workshop.
So, How Does It All Stack Up?
This is a superb quality building made with exceptionally durable materials.
Longevity Of Materials7.8/10
You may think this is a pretty low rating considering the quality of the materials used. However, we’ve taken into account the treatments required in order to ensure the materials last for at least the length of the 10 year warranty.
This size option of the Mercia Ultimate Shed is ideal for most gardens. It may be compact, but it boasts a great amount of space that you can use to store anything from lawnmowers and BBQs to basic gardening tools. Not forgetting the fact you can hang hooks and shelves on the inside of the building thanks to the stability offered from the extra thick cladding.
Ease Of Installation7.5/10
This is a standard rating we tend to give a lot of the sheds we review. Broken down for this building, it means the tongue and groove design is easy to put together, though the extra thick cladding does cause a few issues. These mainly include the fact that the panels are heavy and time consuming to put together. Other than that however you will find this building surprisingly easy to install.
Value For Money7.5/10
If it wasn’t for the extra money having to be spent on treatments, we would have given this is much higher rating. However, all things into consideration, we do think the shed provides substantially good value for money.
Final Thoughts: When you’re looking for something a little more impressive than a basic storage space, the Ultimate Shed is a fantastic alternative. It benefits from a rustic design and is armed with all kinds of useful and impressive features. Durable, stable and weatherproof; this is a fantastic quality building that is designed by one of the industry leaders.