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We bought this last year from B and Q. I had always wanted one of these but was worried that it would eat up space in my tiny plot to the extent that the garden would feel smaller. It's weird, but now its up it has the opposite effect. It's oddly made my garden feel bigger - and I don't even pretend to understand the psychology behind that. It looks fantastic, is used throughout the year whether it's for a summer BBQ or watching for the fireworks in November and it has made my garden feel complete. Planning~~ Before buying this summerhouse we checked the website of our local authority for planning advice. This is essential. In our case there was no problem with the size/height/position of the shed - but that is not always the case. It is always worth checking. Buying~~ I have to say that buying it from B and Q was problematic. We had to have it home delivered and to cut a long story short - as this is a review on the summerhouse not B and Q's challenging customer service - it was a while and a few trips to the superstore before we had all the bits for this product and before they had replaced some of the glass which arrived smashed. Building~~ Anyway. Once we had all the parts, my husband and myself, armed with a few basic tools: large and small hammers, screwdrivers, drill, wooden mallet, etc. and a basic level of DIY skills, attempted to build the summerhouse. The ease of fitting this summerhouse is described as 'easy' by the B and Q website. We had prepared the area where it was going to stand first by digging out an area slightly larger than the base of the summerhouse and laying and levelling out several inches of gravel to help with drainage. The summerhouse was going to be placed on a slightly raised, previously lawned area and we wanted to avoid drainage problems on our heavy clay soil. In addition to this we had purchased the base/plinth that is available separately for this product which raises it off the ground a little. For us, this was a good investment as the base of the summerhouse remains dry. Hopefully, it should extend the life of the summerhouse by several years. We decided to paint the panels of our DIY build before we constructed the summerhouse. This is a good idea as it helps to preserve the sides of wood panelling that you are not going to ever be able to get at again when the product is erected. It took quite a few cans of wood-stain but we were quite pleased with the transformation. The actual build took an afternoon. The instructions which came with our summerhouse actually belonged to another type of summerhouse entirely, so were of limited use. (And no - we didn't want yet another journey to B and Q.) To be fair, however, where the pieces go is pretty much self evident so long as you have a picture of what the summerhouse looks like when you've finished. Once you are happy that your site is level you can put down the floor and start putting up the walls. It is certainly a two person job this, as one person needs to hold the panels in place whilst the other fixes them securely. The kit comes with plenty of screws of different sizes. The floor and the side panels were erected quite quickly. Having read one or two reviews on the B and Q website about some of the panels moving (wood contracts and expands all the time) we followed the advice by someone on the site and piped a bit of clear sealant suitable for outdoor use along the panels as we put them up to stop drafts/rain coming in etc. The glass in the door needs fitting with extreme care - it conforms to the standard required - but it is very thin. If you have small children you might want to buy the plastic coverings you can get for glass to stop accidents - or consider an alternative altogether. The gate latch door handle supplied with the product is attractive and easy to fit. The fitting of the roof required a couple of extra hands to help out and careful positioning of the ladder. We had never done it before and found it tricky to line up the solid sheets which make up the roof - but eventually we managed to get it securely in place. Roof felt is supplied with the product but it is very poor quality indeed. It rips very easily - even as it is being put on. We decided not to use it in the end and get a better quality felt - for the additional cost at least we bought peace of mind that the summerhouse would be protected. How it looks~~ Our summerhouse looks like the picture above only better - it is painted in soft blue with white trims. It looks vastly more expensive than the current £249 price tag at B and Q. It is a small summerhouse but we easily fit 2 lounger chairs and a coffee table in there and it's very comfortable and dry. It is 2.11m high, 2.05 wide and 1.55 deep. The double doors are mortised and tenoned: size (H)171 x (W)136cm. The wood used is a mix of shiplap cladding and solid sheets. There is a 10 year anti-rot guarantee on the product so long as all care instructions are followed. This purchase was not without its issues but once erected it looks great and has been used constantly. It gives the garden a focal point and a touch of class for a low price. It looses 1 star for the terrible quality felt which was supplied with it but otherwise much recommended.
~~~LUMLEY SUMMERHOUSE~~~ WASTED SPACE In a corner at the end of my garden there was a space which, to my mind, was wasted. My garden, although not huge has a lawn, and borders each side mainly with established shrubs growing in them. This particular spot at the end is only partly visible from the house or the patio. Because of this I thought we could have either extra storage here, by erecting either a shed or a small summerhouse. I wanted this extra storage facility because the garage is bursting at the seams (and not with cars) and I needed somewhere to store my garden furniture for the winter. I only wanted something small, the intention being to store a few items from the winter weather and in a decent looking construction. I spent a few months looking at wooden sheds and summerhouses, still undecided as to whether to go for a shed or small summerhouse. My search had begun on-line and then had taken me and my husband to Homebase, Wickes, B&Q as well as various local garden centres which stocked sheds and summerhouses. We had both thought most of these wooden buildings were overpriced and many were of dubious quality. We were thinking a shed would be a better option and when looking in B&Q we found a shed we quite liked and were thinking of purchasing when we came across The Lumley summerhouse. APPEARANCE This summerhouse measures seven by five feet and we have enough space for that or a little bigger. In our opinion this summerhouse looked attractive. I like the fact that this summerhouse has double glazed doors. This feature, along with its apex roof, makes it an attractive building for a garden. It doesn't have windows, just the two half-glazed doors. As it fits into a space covered one side by a tree and shrubs and the other by a wall then for us, this is ideal. But we were told that it was out of stock at this particular store or we might have purchased there and then but, instead we went home still undecided. PURCHASING AND ORDERING When at home I spotted a Facebook post from a fellow reviewer and good face book friend who said the Lumley Summerhouse was being bought for her sons as a playhouse. She mentioned the sale price and I had to agree that it did seem a good buy and this swayed me. Not liking to be out of anything I had a look on-line to see if I could order the summerhouse and have it delivered; unfortunately it couldn't be delivered on-line but could be reserved and collected from a store that had it in stock. The trouble here was that others must have seen what a bargain this was and subsequently it was out of stock in many stores. I set about searching for the elusive summerhouse and saw that it was in fact available in the store nearest to me which is a mini warehouse. I reserved it for collection the following day (Sunday). I didn't think it would fit into our people carrier and so knew we would have to arrange for it to be delivered. The next day hubby and I went along with our reservation number to B&Q. I'm always wary of B&Q as I find communication between staff sometimes seems to be lacking, therefore I wasn't really surprised when we were served at the help desk and told that the store didn't in fact have this summerhouse in stock. I was annoyed and told the salesperson my time had been wasted and I was not amused. Soon a manager appeared and he looked again on the computer. Well the computer said YES! The Lumley Summerhouse was in stock. But, it still couldn't be located and so the manager went a to have a look. Ten minutes later he returned to say there were in fact four in stock. The manager then went out of his way to help with our order. We wanted the summerhouse delivered along with materials for constructing a base but we didn't want to pay delivery charges so added the bags of ballast and cement to our order. As our purchases came to over £250, delivery was free. DELIVERY From B&Q if an item can be ordered on-line then it can be delivered for £5 but this item could only be bought from store. Charges are as follows: Order value- £0 - £250 delivery £20 Over £250 delivery FREE Delivery was arranged for the following Wednesday. I asked was this kerbside delivery and was informed that it was but the delivery person might be able to leave the purchases on my driveway. I thought leaving it kerbside wasn't really an option; as my husband wouldn't be home until the evening I knew there wouldn't be much of this order that I would have been able to carry to a better and safer spot. It would be in the way if left kerbside. Before delivery I received a phone call confirming the date and again asking questions I had already answered in store, such as: Is there space for a lorry to park in my road? Are there stairs to the property? And some further questions regarding access to my house. On the day of delivery the van driver phoned to say he would be delivering my order within half an hour. When the van arrived I was surprised to see that the driver was the only delivery man. I asked if he could leave the goods on my drive and as close as possible to the house. I felt somewhat guilty as he was alone but he carefully put every item onto my driveway against the front wall of my house and the side boundary. It was a cold day and he told me to go inside in the warm and he would ring when he had unloaded the entire order. When he'd finished he rung on the doorbell, confirmed that everything on my order had been unloaded and asked me to sign the form. Of course it would have been difficult to know for sure that everything had been delivered as the hose came in many pieces but I did count the bags of cement and ballast and then signed. I could not fault the delivery service on this occasion. INSTRUCTIONS My husband found the instructions both clear and helpful. The different stages were numbered and the diagrams were also helpful. No complaints from him here. BUILDING THE HOUSE Before the summerhouse and materials for the base arrived, my husband had dug out surplus earth from an area of around eight by ten feet, larger than the actual building, to give a good base with a concreted area to aid walking in and out of the house. My husband had shuttered this space (made a wooden frame that would hold the concrete and then be removed when the concrete had set.) and now that he had the materials for the base he set to work making up the concrete with the cement and ballast and pouring it into the shuttered area. The base is about three inches deep and is a strong base for the summerhouse. There are bases that can be bought for sheds and summerhouses but my husband thinks a concrete base is best. As he spent many years working with steel and concrete I will trust his judgement on this. Two days later and the base was completely dry. Now my husband began to construct the summerhouse. He did have some help from one of our sons and his fiancée but as they had places to be, he mostly did this job alone, although the dog seemed to shadow his every move. It took most of Saturday to construct the summerhouse and a few hours on Sunday to fit the windows. The windows proved to be the most troublesome part as the thin beading nails were too long and two of the glass panes become cracked during the process of fitting them. My husband was getting cross at this point and decided to instead use Hard as Nails glue and this seemed to work much better. In my opinion it would be better to use Perspex in this summerhouse especially if children are around as the glass on the panes supplied is very thin and won't stand up to much in my opinion. I think my friend agrees with me in this respect. A Perspex sheet is available DIY stores including B&Q and Homebase. These sheets can be cut to size and I think they are a safer and more practical option than glass. I thought he might have found the roof difficult to fix, especially as at this stage he didn't have any help; he often prefers this as then he can feel free to say a few choice words here and there, unheard by others, I believe! But he found it easy enough. Green roofing felt was supplied to be nailed onto the apex roof with the tacks provided. Apart from the windows my husband found that all sections of the summerhouse fitted together well and he found no major problems in construction. Everything which should have been supplied was. FINISHING TOUCHES When we first ordered the summer house we had also purchased a large tin of wood preserver but I had trouble deciding whether I would rather paint the shed in pastel colours and make it look more like a beach hut, and return the unopened tin to the store, or whether to stick with what we had already bought and cover the house in the more conventional wood coloured shade of medium oak. My husband, not so helpfully, left the choice of finish to me. I eventually decided to stick with the wood preserver; autumn was fast approaching and the summerhouse needed something to protect it from the elements which would soon be on their way. I thought if I changed my mind then next spring we could paint over it. Now it has had a couple of coats of this preserver and I am pleased with the effect. We had already purchased a set of blue solar fairy lights in readiness for our little house. My husband tacked these all around the apex of the house and then they no longer worked. We bought a further set of white solar lights from B&Q which were reduced. My husband added these to the front of the summerhouse and then. As if by magic, the first set began to work (loose connection somewhere we thought) and so we now have two sets to decorate our garden building. My son and his fiancée on seeing these lights said we should turn the summerhouse into a Christmas grotto, which quite appealed to me in truth. Now the summerhouse is being used to store my patio table and chairs, barbecue stand, outdoor games and a few other bits and pieces from the garden. I don't want to cram things into it as want it to look okay from the outside when looking in. QUALITY Quality wise I would say that the Lumley Summerhouse exceeds our expectations. My husband is impressed and this doesn't happen that often with things of this ilk. He thought it was easy enough to assemble, felt strong and sturdy and, for the price paid, it's a bargain. USES As this summerhouse isn't huge it isn't really going to be used for many people but I would say it's an ideal size for a table and two chairs although actually I have four chairs around a table in there at the moment so I suppose tea for four in here isn't really out of the question. When it was first put up and I was inspecting it I went inside and closed the double doors. I then discovered it was a perfect place for bird watching. The bottom of my garden is regularly visited by different species of birds, squirrels and foxes...and the black and white cat that likes to tease my westie. For our use, we are thinking when we next have a party in the spring or summer then the Lumley Summerhouse will really come into its own, making a good place to keep drinks in or even (covered) food. It will be useful when we have barbecues too. My friend's idea of using this as a children's playhouse is an excellent idea as the price we paid would make it cheaper than many wooden playhouses. As already said though, I would rather the windows had Perspex fitted than the glass supplied. If I had a larger garden then I would have purchased a larger summerhouse but for the purposes we bought it for (extra storage and a useful feature when entertaining) it really is perfect. AVAILABILITY/PRICE The Lumley Summerhouse is manufactured by Blooma who make many sheds, summerhouses and garden furniture. My summerhouse was reduced when I purchased and cost only £199. The normal retail price is £299.98. Of course, I am pleased that we bought it when it was reduced, but think it is still worth the normal price. I paid for the self-assembly package which currently sells for the price of: £299.98 The summerhouse is also available already assembled for the price of: £579.98 Or already assembled with base for the price of: £679.98 A base is available for: £49.98 MAINTENANCE Maintenance of this summerhouse won't be too difficult or time consuming. Initially, once constructed, it needs to be protected with creosote or other wood preservers or external wood paint. After this a coat or two every year should keep this summerhouse looking good and strong for many years. SPECIFICATIONS (From diy.com): Height (m): 2.17 Width (m): 2.2 Depth (m): 1.94 Brand: Blooma Colour: Honey Brown Timber Certification: FSC Chain of Custody Number: TT-COC-003110 Warranty/guarantee details: 10 Year anti rot guarantee if care instructions are followed, see assembly instructions for details Material: Planed Timber Roof Type: Solid Sheet Category: Width 2.01 to 4m wide Finish: Shiplap Construction Type: Tongue and Groove Shiplap OVERALL I am very pleased with this purchase. It looks good and fits well in the chosen location. I feel it doesn't spoil the view of the garden from the house or indeed from the neighbours' gardens; in fact I feel it has improved the overall appearance of my garden. I love the way it seems to nestle cosily under the tree branches and I feel it blends perfectly in my garden. For any further information please see: www.diy.com