Here we have the Rolls Royce of summerhouses, The Flatford Summerhouse. Crane have been doing an incredible job in bringing back those old, classic and proper, English style sheds that were a huge feature of many East Anglian gardens many years ago. Well in addition to sheds, Crane have a series of just drop dead gorgeous, summerhouses in their National Trust line. This is the “big boy” of The Flatford Summerhouse range and it is near impossible not be impressed by its classic style and grand stature.
With those huge windows and that very English, apex corrugated roof, you cannot help, but feel like you are being invited to come inside, have a sit down, glass of wine and just relax when you see this summerhouse. Made with the finest materials, you will certainly have a summerhouse that will be long standing feature in your garden if you pull the trigger and purchase this!
IMPORTANT – Why we recommend buying this product from the National Trust over other sites.
At WhatShed we strive to help give you the customer the best possible information to help you decide what garden building is right for you. The following are the reasons why we say – Buy from the National Trust for maximum consumer protection!!
All online retailers are obliged under the distance selling regulations to offer a 14 working day right to withdraw from the contract to purchase. Starting the day after the date the item is delivered. If you buy your garden building in a store or showroom please be a ware that you are NOT coved by this and you are stuck in many ways with your buying decision if you decide to change your mind a few days later.
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How We Rate It
Longevity Of Materials8.5/10
Ease Of Installation10/10
Value For Money7.5/10
Let's Take a Closer Look...
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!!
We know that as soon as you saw the photos, you were breaking the piggybank and trying to figure out a way to make this summerhouse part of your garden. Well before you start looking down the back of the couch for pennies, keep on reading and see if this summerhouse lives up to that awe inspiring first impression.
Shed Type And Roof Size
Wow this is a large summerhouse! And we love that we really do when the main problem you have is finding stuff to fill the space, you know you have a lot of space on your hands. Inside you have a length of 9 feet and 8 inches which along with the 7 feet 8 inches of width mean you have more than enough space to put in a sofa bed so you have a place to sleep when you get in trouble with your other half. Being serious though this generous amount of floor space means that you can decorate your summerhouse the way you want and not have to make any kind of sacrifices like you would with a smaller summerhouse. At the front is the highest point and it is just about seven feet. This is an ideal height as it gives you some good head room, but does not require any kind of planning permission or interference from the local council before you build it! Even at the lowest point of the summerhouse, you still have 5 feet 9 inches of height.
One thing that really sets this summerhouse apart from the sheds in the National Trust line is the roof. Now it does use that same, corrugated roof sheeting that the sheds use in order to give it that classic look, but the front and back of the roof is at a slightly different height. This first of all looks fantastic, but it also makes sure the rain just flows right off the summerhouse and does not sit on the roof. Crane use these very sturdy and long lasting, 19 x 125 mm tongue and groove boards to hold up the corrugated roof, but you do not see these when you are inside the summerhouse because Crane have gone that extra mile by putting in a very nice pine, tongue and groove ceiling.
Cladding, Frame And Floor
Using Scandinavian Redwood the vertical sawn board cladding which is just so incredibly strong and durable means that as well as offering a very unique kind of look (well unique by modern standards) you will also have walls that will last for many years. The cladding is 12 x 150 mm, but topped with 16 x 38 mm and we think it really does look fantastic. The choice of Scandinavian Redwood is very interesting as while it does make the price of the shed go up at the end of the day, you know it will still be standing strong many, many years in the future…. So far in the future there is a good chance you will have some kind of robot doing your gardening for you.
Hey you actually could probably just screw together that Scandinavian Redwood made cladding and be good to go, but a summerhouse must have a frame and what a frame this monster has! It is made from that same wood so you know it is as strong as a T-Rex. At 38 x 50 mm thick, Crane have really made sure that this is going to be a very sturdy and long lasting structure. Even after years of being out in the garden, you will still have a very strong summerhouse.
19 x 125 mm tongue and groove boarding is what is used for the flooring and if that sound familiar it is because this is the same type of boarding which is used for the roof. Now using the same boarding for flooring and roofing is something that many summerhouses and sheds do, actually this whole National Trust line does it. And to be honest we think it is a very smart design choice so we have no issues with it. The summerhouse will sit on some 38 x 50 mm floor joists which do give the flooring some extra muscle behind it. We think this is a very good floor which is a good thing as with the summerhouse being so large, you will probably be looking to have a lot of stuff on the floor!
Treatment Requirement And Warranty
You get the standard, Crane two year warranty with the Flatford Summerhouse. This will keep you covered against general wear and tear and will see any repairs or replacements that may need to happen, carried out at your house. There are a few things to know about the warranty such as it will be void if you have Crane build the summerhouse in a section of your garden where they have warned you is not ideal. Also accidental damage is not covered so keep your drunken breakdancing out of the summerhouse!
Doors And Windows
The double doors are one of the first thing that catches your eye when you see the Flatford Summerhouse for the first time. These are a nice 1100 mm high and 1830 mm wide when open so as well as offering a nice amount of fresh air when you are sitting inside. It means that you will not have any major (if any) issues when trying to bring in chairs, tables, shelves, pool table or whatever it is you are planning on putting inside here. These doors each have a nice, large toughened glass window that has this really cool, lead iron cross inside. Fleur – de- Leys hinges not only look really nice, but they are also very strong and will make sure the doors stay where they are supposed to be.
The windows are a major feature of this summerhouse and on a nice day we bet sitting inside here with your favourite book, glass of wine and the doors and windows open would make for a fantastic day. The two windows on the front and the sides are a little bit bigger than the ones on the door, but they are made in that same style with the lead cross and the toughened glass. The two windows that are on the side actually open up to let in a nice cross breeze.
Security And Privacy
Crane know that you will have some nice things inside your summerhouse so that is why they have a very good, secure and actually nice looking lock on the doors. With all the windows it is of course very easy for peeping eyes to be able to peep inside and see what you have. If this is a concern of yours then some curtains or a set of blinds is a way to solve this and add a little bit more of your own personal touch to the summerhouse.
With six different colours to pick from ranging from some nice, laid back and kind of “normal” types of colours such as Wades Lantern to colours that are a little bit more edgy, playful and stand out like Painters Grey. We feel that Crane really do have a colour for everyone. These six colours all go great with the jet black that is used for the hinges, handles and the lock on the door.
So, How Does It All Stack Up?
We really could not score the Flatford Summerhouse any lower than a 9 as from the photos alone, you can tell that this is just a very high quality summerhouse which of course is reflected in the price. But as high as the cost is there is no denying the outstanding quality this is.
Longevity Of Materials8.5/10
Even with our unpredictable, British weather this summerhouse will last for a very long time. Thanks to the Scandinavian Redwood, corrugated roof and the expert way that the summerhouse will be built, you can rest assure that this will still be the pride of your garden for a long time after it has been built.
This is a monster of a summerhouse! It is just huge and you really can lay this out any way you desire! You really can go wild and have your dream summerhouse with this as there is just so much space available to you. Of course though, you will need a large garden to be able to have this.
Ease Of Installation10/10
You do not get much more easier than this! Crane will be the ones who handle the building of the summerhouse so you can just sit back and watch how the pros do this and also save yourself some cuts, bruises and your neighbours having to hear you swearing when things go wrong!.
Value For Money7.5/10
Look this is a very, very expensive summerhouse at over five thousand pounds this is no quick and easy purchase…….. but the amount of space you are getting, the way the building is designed and just how amazing it looks make it far more worth the money that you may initially think. While the price tag is high we are sure thanks to the materials that are used, you will be enjoying this summerhouse way into your golden years.
Final Thoughts: This is the summerhouse for you people who want to spare no expense and have a really nice, almost luxurious type of place to relax on a nice summer day. The price is high, but so is the quality and it is a case of you get what you pay for. If you really want to go all out and get a dream summerhouse then honestly we feel that you will find it hard to beat the Flatford Summerhouse.