This is the largest building in the Village Hall range and it enjoys 5.5 m in width. This makes it a very wide building, and one that can easily be used for entertaining or a substantial home gym, for example.
There are eight windows in the building that provide a good amount of daylight to the spacious interior. These windows all open and so provide excellent ventilation.
A key feature is the 44mm cladding that is fitted as standard throughout the exterior to the building. These walls are very thick and should provide plenty of insulation as well as toughness throughout the year.
Tongue and groove is also present elsewhere, with the option of a 19mm tongue and groove floor, for example. In the roof, 19mm tongue and groove has been used as standard.
As with other BillyOh buildings, the manufacturer does offer a range of finishes with the unit. You can choose between standard and premium finishes, as well as premium varnish.
What we rate
An impressive amount of tongue and groove, both standard and optional
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How We Rate It
Longevity Of Materials10/10
Size and space10/10
Ease Of Installation8/10
Value For Money9/10
Let's Take a Closer Look...
Shed Type and Roof Size
It’s hard not to be impressed by this building when you first see it. Large and grand-looking, it struck us here at WhatShed? as the kind of building you could use all year round. Which is why we were so confused about one aspect of what BillyOh has created here. We will get to that later in the review, but it does have an impact on how much enjoyment you will get from this building.
Before we talk about the one thing that BillyOh should have added to this summerhouse, let’s look at some of the facts. It’s the biggest one of the Village Hall range, with a huge 5.5 m in width. This makes it a whole metre wider than the Village Hall I at 4.5 m. And 4.5 m of space isn’t too shoddy either. So it’s big,and it’s impressive.
The space makes it an ideal place to use for a home gym. And a well-furnished home gym at that. You could have a number of machines here and still have room for a sofa and chairs. So it really is an extension for the home. We liked the extra high door, which just cuts out the need to bend down when you enter. So far, so good.
We appreciated the light in the building too. Eight windows provide plenty of natural daylight, and the Village Hall is the only one of the three models that has eight windows (the other two have six). This feels fantastic inside. We walked around this model on a particularly sunny day and it felt bright and airy. The windows open too so ventilation is taken care of.
But if you want an all-year round building…
Here is that one thing. Whenever we see a large building here at What She’d we think insulation. It’s important that you have a building that can be used all year round when it’s a big one it because it just means more value for money. Having somewhere spacious means utility, and a home gym or ‘second room’ in addition to what you have in the house is possible if the space is there. But insulation is important.
You’ll get insulation with the cladding in this building to a large extent, but the windows in this summerhouse are not double glazed unless you upgrade. This means this is a building that is ripe for all year round use, but doesn’t have the double glazing that would give the full insulation required. We also felt that having single glazed plastic windows on a building this size just didn’t feel right. It needed more.
If you’re going to buy double glazing you will need to spend nearly £500 more on top of the purchase price. This is the way it is, and if you’ve spent this much on a building a little more won’t necessarily be a problem. But it would have been advantageous and much easier to have double glazing included. This building will not be at it’s best throughout the year until that glazing is installed.
We would buy the double glazing. And what we recommend is that, after reading this review, anyone who is thinking of purchasing this building just remains aware that if they’re happy to use it in the summer only, it’s perfect for this in many ways. But an all year round building can only really happen if that double glazing is there.
As it happens, you may be fine with using this for the summer months only, and if you are, you’ve got single glazing in a modern style. It looks good, but customers can also choose the Georgian style if is is more appealing to them. If we were asked to choose, we would opt for Georgian, simply because we like the visual impact.
Putting the window thing on one side, there is a lot of insulation in the walls at least, with 44mm cladding it really makes for a thick shell for the building. The tongue and groove element here interlocks and this is a real benefit because it just provides a more rigid wall.
We liked it, it felt good to the touch as we walked around, and you won’t find anything thicker at the moment. BillyOh has made a good job of this cladding, and the fact that it is supplied as standard is fantastic. It works with the size of the building and does provide insulation.
The building also has the opportunity to purchase 19mm tongue and groove flooring. This only adds to the toughness of the construction, and we think it complements the walls well.
To finish off the tongue and groove here, there is a 19mm tongue and groove roof as standard. No roof covering is supplied but we liked the choices here. Mineral felt is a great option, and is strong in all weathers. It’s easy to fit too. But if we were to really create the building we would like here we would purchase the shingles covering. It is heavier and gives that little extra protection against the rain. There’s a nice choice of colours too, and we appreciated the opportunity here to add a little bit of flair to the looks of building. It’s big and grand-looking anyway and deserves a little extra on top to make it striking.
To finish it off
BillyOh provide their natural colours for standard treatment. This will need applying as soon as you take delivery. The colours are very attractive and there is a great choice with the premium paint that the company offers. We liked the standard and think this provides a strong level of protection, but customers can choose the premium option, which has nine colors as well as a varnish option. Just remember that there is no treatment applied at the factory here so you have to choose something, and this does obviously include a treatment that you can buy from somewhere else if you want to. We will say that the premium paints do really complement the building, so are well worth considering.
The glazing thing
Let’s just have another go at the glazing issue, because we think this warrants a bit more thought. You get four of the eight windows up front here (with two down each side of the building), and they are very good-looking, covering most of the height of the wall. But we just think that there should have been a double glazing element. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means. This is a great building, and very spacious too. But at this cost we would expect to have a more solid approach to insulation and soundproofing as standard. That’s just us, we have an opinion. It’s the same with all the Village Hall models anyway, but we thought that this high end, top of the range version would give us the double glazing treatment, that’s all.
We look at this building and it screams ‘use me all year round’ but we know that it won’t be as warm and cosy as it could be because of the glazing. This is a large building that can be a great home office or gym, as well as an entertaining space that is generous and fun. But BillyOh, in our opinion, could have made it even more spectacular with double glazing as standard.
So, How Does It All Stack Up?
There is a huge amount of quality here. The tongue and groove is pretty much everywhere, and this leaves you with a building that is tough, and very long-lasting.
Longevity Of Materials10/10
You can’t really go wrong with the tongue and groove element. Be sure to treat it annually and this should be an excellent and durable building.
Size and space10/10
There is enough space here for almost any usage you require, even a home gym.
Ease Of Installation8/10
Following the clear instructions carefully, 3-4 people could put this up within around three days.
Value For Money9/10
Plenty of value here, just missing out on a ‘10’ because of that single glazing problem.
Final Thoughts: We were a little annoyed about the single glazing because this is a big building and we generally feel that the bigger buildings out there deserve the very best in all aspects. So it’s a bit of a let down, especially when you consider the price.
As an indicator of the quality of the building though, it doesn't matter as much as we thought it might. You get so much for your money here that single glazing can almost be forgiven. And we like the eight windows, because they really help to make for a much brighter interior than you might expect.
Don't forget the strong presence of tongue and groove either. It’s everywhere,and this leads to a tough and very durable building that is a pleasure to use.