If you were walking past the Lavenham Summerhouse and just glanced out of the corner of your eye, you could be forgiven for thinking that this was a shed…… but when you take another look and you see that classically British corrugated roof, the interesting cladding style and those nice large double doors, you realise that this is something very special indeed and that it would look fantastic in any garden.
The idea behind the design of the Lavenham Summerhouse is that it is just like the way British sheds used to be made many years ago. If you want to get really specific then it is the gardens and allotments of East Anglia which were the inspiration for this line of Summerhouses. One thing’s for sure when you do take that first glance, you immediately want to go and have a second and closer look.
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.
Support WhatShed: by making a purchase after clicking a link above, a portion of the sale supports this site.
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 are getting our hands dirty and making sure that you fine folks know for sure if this is the right summerhouse for you garden. We know this is no small chunk of change so we will be sure to let you know all the ins and outs of the Lavenham Summerhouse!
Shed Type And Roof Size
At 10 x 6 this is a very nice sized summerhouse. The exact specifications if you want to get properly into it are, 5 feet 9 inches in width and 9 feet 8 inches in length which is something we really like. This is a very nice shaped summerhouse and the generous floor space means that when it comes to placing your chairs, table and most important of all….. wine cooler that you will not have any issues getting everything to fit. This should be enough space where you can sit back, relax and not feel cramped. The height of the summerhouse is nice and high and Crane have been sure to keep it under that 2.5 m “planning permission needed/interference from local council” threshold at the ridge. Even at the eave, you still have just about six feet of height. Being able to move around inside without having to be bent over the whole time is something we really like.
The roof that is on the Lavenham Summerhouse is very interesting first of all it is an apex roof with corrugated roof sheeting on it. That is certainly a throwback to those old English style summerhouses and sheds, but the way the roof is on the summerhouse does make it at first glance look kind of like a shed……. This is weird, but weird in an interesting and unique kind of way and we do actually like it. As we expected, Crane are using their standard, 19 x 125 mm tongue and groove boards for the roof. These are great, reliable and are made from Scandinavian Redwood so we have no complaints at all. To really go that extra mile, Crane have put an actual ceiling inside! This was a nice surprise and the pine, tongue and groove ceiling really does look very nice indeed.
Cladding, Frame And Floor
Scandinavian Redwood is what is used all through the summerhouse and the 12 x 150 mm cladding is made from that also. We love how the cladding also has 16 x 38 mm topping which is a nice little effect that of course will add a little bit more protection ins some places, but it also looks really nice which is what it is really there for. Sawn board cladding is not something you see all that often these days, but that just makes this a summerhouse that stands out from the rest of the pack! It looks just so smooth and just so classically British and we think that is amazing!
Crane are once again using that tough, Scandinavian Redwood that makes up most of the summerhouse for the frame. This frame is 19 x 50 mm thick and boy is this one very solid and durable frame. Not that you want the kids messing around in your summerhouse, but the walls in here are certainly capable for a little bit of rough and tumble. We know that one concern people do have when spending some serious money on a summerhouse is “how long with this last?” if your summerhouse starts to get a bit on the wobbly side and get a little flimsy then it is because of the cheap frame……. A cheap frame is not something you have to worry about with the Lavenham Summerhouse.
Flooring needs to be strong on a summerhouse and thanks to the same 19 x 125 mm tongue and groove boards that are used for the roof, you do have a good and sturdy floor here. Walking around we could tell that there had to be more to the floor than just the boards and we were right (which we like to think we usually are!) as there are some impressive, 38 x 50 mm floor joists. We are pretty confident that no matter what you plan on doing with this summerhouse……unless it is some kind of wrestling federation you plan on running in here…. although we are sure the chances of that are slim. That you will be able to put what you want inside here and never hear any complaints from the flooring!
Treatment Requirement And Warranty
Thanks to the strong and top of the line materials that are used to make the summerhouse, we do not think that you should have any issues here. However just in case and to help you sleep a little better, Crane do give you a two year warranty which will cover against general wear and tear (well what Crane class as this) they also will come to your house and carry out any repairs or replacements that may need to happen. While you will surely have a spot picked out in your garden for your summerhouse, Crane will advise you on where they feel is the most “sound” place to build it. If you insist they place the summerhouse in a location they have warned you is not right then you are not covered.
Doors And Windows
Hey what is the point in having a fantastic summerhouse if getting things in and out of it is hard because of a tiny little door? There is no point! Anyway the large double door on the Lavenham Summerhouse really is nice. Of course it is very practical so it makes getting things like chairs, tables or whatever into the summerhouse not a pain in the rear end. At 1830 mm wide and 1100 mm high these doors do offer a lot of space to manoeuvre things inside. The doors have a window on them that looks great and to really finish the doors off, Crane have used these nice, black hinges, door handle and lock. Practical and great looking what more could you want from a door?
Any good summerhouse needs a decent amount of windows to let the sun in that is kind of the point of a summerhouse isn’t it? Well this summerhouse has six good sized windows with four on the front and one on each side. The four on the front include the two that are on the doors. These are just a little bit smaller than the rest of them, but they are the exact same style. Made with 4 mm glass (real glass!) with a nice lead cross effect on them. The windows really are something that makes this a nice looking summerhouse. The two on the sides do open and they open with these good looking hinges that fit in with all the “door furniture” that is on the doors.
Security And Privacy
The mortice lock that is on the doors is a very secure way to keep all of your belongings nice and safe during the night. While the most important part of any lock is of course being able to keep people out! This one actually serves as a nice bit of eye candy on the door as well which is something we really do like.
The six windows let in a lot of light, but for some this may also mean nosey neighbours looking in! So if you do want a bit more privacy then get yourself some curtains or even a set of blinds.
With six interesting colours to choose from, The Lavenham Summerhouse will just slot right into any garden. The colours that Crane have are very interesting and rather unusual, but they all work well with this design. Earls Grey, Disraeli Green, Dome Ochre, Wades Lantern, Terrace Green and Painters Grey are what you have to choose from and when you actually see the colours it is actually quite hard to know what colour you want!
So, How Does It All Stack Up?
We will always score a Crane summerhouse that uses materials like Scandinavian Redwood, toughened glass and of course that corrugated roof highly. There is just no way we can criticise the quality of this summerhouse!
Longevity Of Materials8.5/10
The price is high on this summerhouse, but Crane have designed and built this summerhouse with the idea that you will never need to buy another summerhouse! This is made to last and we are sure that many years from now, you will still be enjoying having a few glasses of wine in here.
Having just a hair under ten feet with another six feet of width means that the Lavenham Summerhouse has a nice amount of floor space that will make laying out your dream summerhouse not a hard or stressful experience as you try to fit everything in. While most of the space inside is in the length we are still very happy with the space that is offered here.
Ease Of Installation10/10
The only lifting you have to do here is the lifting of a pen to sign for the summerhouse! Crane’s army (well probably just a couple of guys) will come to your house and take care of the installation for you.
Value For Money7.5/10
This certainly on the high end when it comes to the price, but we do feel that you are getting a good amount of floor space and in an interesting shape to boot. As it is made from long lasting and high quality materials if you look after it and treat it right this could be the only summerhouse you ever need.
Final Thoughts: There is no getting away from the fact that this is a well-made summerhouse and its classic, English design really does make it different from the rest of the summerhouses and sheds that are in your street. While we do like this summerhouse we do think that part of what will make or break this for some people is the way the roof does look more like a shed roof than a roof you would expect to see on a summerhouse…….. But hey that could be the exact thing you are looking for and if so we think if you can handle that price tag, you will love this summerhouse.