Many modern summerhouses seem to follow a conventional design these days and that is great, but sometimes you get a company like, Crane who look to the past for their inspiration and that is what we have here with their, National Trust, Ickworth Summerhouse. Designed to resemble a classically, British style this summerhouse really does look like it would fit in an East Anglian garden from many years ago and that is exactly what Crane were going for. This is a summerhouse that as well as offering a place to relax will really stand out in any style of garden.
When you first see the Ickworth Summerhouse your eyes do not know where to look as there is just so much going on. You have those gorgeous and large windows with the lead cross feature in them, a classic corrugated roof and a set of very large and inviting doors. Classy, elegant and a lot of fun are all great ways to describe the first impressing this summerhouse gives you.
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.
What we rate
Looks absolutely gorgeous!
A nice amount of space to use
Great sized double doors
High quality corrugated roof
What we slate
It does cost over five thousand pounds!
Can take up to three months for delivery and installation
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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!!
Ok so back away from the buy now button and keep on reading to see why this summerhouse is exactly what you need for your garden…… or perhaps not as we take a fair and unbiased gander around the Ickworth Summerhouse.
Shed Type And Roof Size
This is what we would call the “slightly above mid-range” member of the Ickworth Summerhouse family. Offering you an overall floor space of a very even 7 feet 8 inches in both the length and the width, you do have a more “boxy” type of floor space which we feel can make organising and planning the layout of your summerhouse just that little bit easier. This is enough space to have a nice chair (maybe even two if you want some company in here) a table and a few other things as well. We think that designing the inside of the summerhouse is going to be a heck of a lot of fun for the person who does buy this. You do have a nice amount of headroom with the ridge being just about seven feet tall and the lowest point at the eave around six feet. So unless you are really, really tall there is more than enough head room here.
The apex style, corrugated roof is just a joy to look at because it is something that you do not see a lot these days. Go out and look in your street and we bet that the majority if not all the “modern” sheds and summerhouses have roofing felt, go ahead we will wait………………….. see they were nearly all felt weren’t they? The apex design is ideal for keeping the insides dry and the 19 x 125 mm tongue and groove boarding that is used will ensure that the corrugated roof stays put for the whole life of the summerhouse! Now one thing that Crane does and it just goes in with their attention to detail on all of their products is the ceiling…. That is right there is no just looking up at the roof boards! There is this very nice to look at pine effect ceiling that is made from tongue and groove boards. This just finishes the roof off very nicely.
Cladding, Frame And Floor
Now as “classic” looking as that corrugated roof is, it cannot give the Ickworth Summerhouse that classic, East Anglian look that Crane are going for all on its own. But along with this sawn board cladding which is made from Scandinavian Redwood which is some of the nicest and strongest wood we have ever seen. We feel the roof and the cladding come together like some ultimate tag team to make the summerhouse have the classic look that it does. The cladding is a nice thickness being, 12 x 150 mm with an extra topping of 16 x 38 mm. Much like the corrugated roof, the cladding also gives the summerhouse a very stand out look and sets it apart from all the other sheds and summerhouses that will be in your street.
The framing is where some other supposed, high end summerhouses can fall short and after just a couple of years start to get a little bit on the wobbly side! Here though the framing is made from that awesome, Scandinavian Redwood. The frame is 39 x 50 mm thick and we have pretty much zero concerns about this frame still standing strong and tough after many years being battered by our British weather….. or the kids! The framing along with the cladding really does make for a summerhouse that yes it is very expensive, but at the same time, you do know that because of the materials that are used, you will not have to replace the summerhouse or make any kind of DIY repairs five years down the line.
One thing that often goes overlooked when checking out a summerhouse or even a shed is the flooring! This is a summerhouse where hopefully you will be spending a lot of time sitting down in a nice and comfy chair. So you need a good, reliable and strong floor to last you many years. The floor here is made with that same very high quality, 19 x 125 mm tongue and groove boarding which the roof is. We are very keen on this type of flooring and feel it lets you place a lot of weight on it without any issues at all. The flooring does have a bit extra power behind it thanks to the 38 x 50 mm floor joists which like everything else are made with that epic, Scandinavian Redwood.
Treatment Requirement And Warranty
We are pretty sure that because of the materials that are used, The Ickworth Summerhouse will last you a very long time and cause you no problems……… but let’s face it things can go wrong and as good as Crane are they are human, but thanks to their two year warranty, you are covered against any kind of general wear and tear. So if there is some kind of issues, give them a call and they will come and fix it. There are a couple of things that can “void” your warranty such as you causing damage or you insisting that Crane build the summerhouse in an area of your garden they have advices against.
Doors And Windows
Two huge doors in the middle of the summerhouse are just what we love to see! These doors when opened up give you just so much room to get things in and out without having to dance with it, twist it or even get angry and just throw it! Offering you 1830 mm in width and 1100 mm width in height. Unless you are planning to store giraffes (although, baby giraffes might be ok!) in here we cannot think of anything that will cause you any problems getting inside. The doors just have had some much design work we cannot help, but smile each time we look at them. First of all there is the windows, each door has a nice window that has a lead cross detail inside it and let us tell you, it looks amazing. The hinges that are used are very high quality and as well as making sure your doors stay in place look great also.
Having six windows this is a summerhouse that is just going to be so pleasant to sit in on a nice summers day. With the two on the doors, you have six windows in total here! Four on the front (including the two on the doors) and then one on each of the sides. It is worth mentioning that these other four windows are a little bit taller than the ones on the door, but they are made from the exact same glass. Using 4 mm, toughened glass was a great choice here and it certainly does add to the high quality look of the summerhouse. Two of the windows even open (the ones on the sides) and they do so with these nice hinges that fit in with the door handle and hinges.
Security And Privacy
Crane are using a mortice lock to make sure your things are kept nice and safe at night. This lock is done in the exact same style as the hinges and door handle is and we really do love that! Now if you ask us these windows are at their best when left alone, but some people do like their privacy. Well we think a nice set of blinds would offer you the privacy you want and not take away from the design of the summerhouse.
This is a great looking summerhouse, we have established that, but to make sure that this is something that can slot into any type of garden. Crane have on offer six different colours of paint for you to finish the summerhouse. Disraeli Green, Painters Grey, Terrance Green, Earls Grey, Dome Ochre and Wades Lantern are on offer for you. All these are nice colours and we are sure more than a few people will have a tough time deciding between a couple of the colours.
So, How Does It All Stack Up?
Wow Crane really do make a high quality and classy looking summerhouse! The price is high, but then again this is a high quality summerhouse. We certainly have a case of, you get what you pay for here!
Longevity Of Materials8.5/10
Scandinavian Redwood is some of the best wood, you can build a summerhouse out of and it is throughout. A corrugated roof is always going to last longer than one made with felt and the way that Crane build the summerhouse just ensures you have a long lasting structure on your hands.
Thanks to the “box” type shape of the summerhouse, we feel that you will not have any problems making it look nice inside. 8 x 8 is a good size and while not huge it does offer you enough space where you will have a few options in regards to how to lay everything out inside.
Ease Of Installation10/10
You do not get much more easier than signing for it and then just standing back with a drink while Crane build it for you! Installation is included when you buy this summerhouse so put down the hammer and pick up a nice beverage instead.
Value For Money7.5/10
8 x 8 is a nice amount of space and the summerhouse is made from the finest materials, but still £5,295.00 is a lot of money and you have to decide if you are ok with paying this much for a high quality summerhouse or if you want to try your luck with a far cheaper (and possibly larger!) summerhouse made in a more conventional way.
Final Thoughts: The Ickworth Summerhouse is not cheap we know that, but for you folks who want nothing, but the very best and are not just buying a place to sit and relax in, but want something that is a real feature and something that adds to the overall look of your garden then you will fall in love with this the moment you see it. If you can afford the high price then we are sure you will get many great years of fun out of this summerhouse.