|Best of the Best||Great Value||Contemporary||Compare 4||Compare 5|
|Crane Insulated Summerhouse||Adley Insulated Garden Room||Crane Hub Garden Room||Crane Octagonal Summer House||Malvern Astwood|
|Roof type||Hipped Apex||Pent||Pent||Apex||Reverse Apex|
|Roof material||19mm tongue & groove||12mm tongue & groove||19mm tongue & groove||19mm tongue & groove||12mm shiplap cladding|
|Roof covering||Resin and limestone moulded slate-effect||EPDM synthetic rubber||Heavy duty felt, propane torched onto roof||Cedar shingle roof tiles||Cedar shingle roof|
|Walls||19mm tongue & groove cladding||16mm cladding. Total thickness of 72mm including double skinned, insulated panels.||19mm tongue & groove cladding||19mm tongue & groove cladding||12mm shiplap cladding|
|Floor||19mm tongue & groove||12mm tongue & groove (matchboard)||19mm tongue & groove||19mm tongue & groove||12mm tongue & groove|
|Framing||38mm x 75mm||44mm x 58mm||38mm x 75mm||38mm x 75mm||57mm x 32mm|
|Insulation||Walls, floor and ceiling (included)||Walls, floor and ceiling (included)||Walls, floor and ceiling (included)||Walls, floor and ceiling (included)||Walls, floor and roof (optional extra)|
|Door||Double. Mortice lock||Double. Mortice lock||Double. Mortice lock||Double. Mortice lock||Double. Mortice lock|
|Windows||4 opening||2 opening, 2 fixed||5 fixed, 1 opening||2 opening, 2 fixed||2 opening, 2 fixed|
|Window panes||Double glazed, toughened glass||Safety glass, double glazed, 14mm thick, argon filled||Toughened glass, double glazed||Leaded glass, 4mm||Single (upgrade to 4mm toughened double glazed)|
|Dimensions (overall)||4.2m x 3.0m / 13’9 x 9’10||4.19m x 3.19m / 13’9 x 10’6||3.6m x 3.0m / 11’10 x 9’10||3.04m x 3.04m / 10′ x 10′||2.44m x 1.83m / 6′ x 8′|
|Other sizes||3m x 3m upto 6m x 4m||8′ x 6′ upto 14′ x 12′|
|Treatment||Protective microporous paint||Untreated||Protective microporous paint||Protective microporous paint||Pressure treated roof. Weather resistant paint|
|Guarantee||2 year manufacturer||15 year anti-rot||2 year manufacturer||2 year manufacturer||10 year anti-rot guarantee|
|Summary||Fully insulated as standard, supplied pre-painted. Slate effect resin moulded roof covering. Solid brass fittings. Scandiniavian redwood.||Walls, floor and roof are fully insulated with Airtex and Eco-quilt.Pent roof with durable EPDM covering.||Two walls of glazing and overhang with veranda. Roof has 4 tier insulation and lining. Walls are internally and externally clad with Scandinavian redwood. Smart alternative to a custom build.||Insulated as standard, supplied pre-painted in a choice of colours. Custom made to order with a quality finish.||Pressure treated cedar shingle roof as standard. Comes pre-painted in choice of 20 colours. Painted MDF internal lining.|
- 1 Buying Guide for Insulated Summer House
- 2 For Work Use?
- 3 For Relaxing and Socialising?
- 4 Traditional Insulated Summer House – Crane Summer House
- 5 Best Value Insulated Summer House
- 6 Contemporary Insulated Garden Room – Crane Hub
- 7 Heating Your Summer House during Winter
- 8 DIY Insulation For Your Summer House
- 9 Other Insulated Summer House we Considered
Buying Guide for Insulated Summer House
A fully insulated summer house will allow you to enjoy your outdoor room year-round. Most ordinary summer houses are best suited to the warmer seasons as their name suggests. However, if you budget extra you’ll be able to buy an insulated version which will be usable every season of the year.
For Work Use?
If you plan on using your summer house as a studio or work area, insulation is a vital consideration, otherwise cold weather will force you back indoors and your professional life could suffer. When viewed in these terms and weighed against your income, the moderate extra expense of insulation becomes a necessary cost of doing business.
For Relaxing and Socialising?
If your Garden Room is primarily an extension of your house, then you may be willing to forego using it during the colder months of the year. In most areas of the UK the cold means you’d be unlikely to use it regularly from late September to March.
With that in mind, if you’re considering an insulated summer house in lieu of an extension, it’s a fair guess that you don’t want it to be out of action for 6 months of the year. In that case insulation becomes a “no brainer”. During Christmas time for example. an extra room can be invaluable, especially if you need some time out from the more raucous family members!
Traditional Insulated Summer House – Crane Summer House
Our top choice, but also the most expensive is the Crane Summer House (external link), constructed from high grade Scandinavian redwood and painted in your choice of four micro-porous paints, this summerhouse oozes quality. The doors are made within the Crane workshops from hemlock. This is a timber specially selected for it’s durability and resistance to warping, an affliction which affects many inferior summer houses.
Brass fittings add an extra touch of luxury and are resistant to corrosion. The mortice lock firmly secures the double doors and should provide peace of mind for any equipment you store inside.
Four large opening windows give an airy open feel to the Crane summer house. As you can see from the pictures above, it’s suitable for a range of uses and different people buy it with different purpose in mind.
Micro-porous paint provides excellent water-proofing whilst allowing wood to breathe
Best Value Insulated Summer House
The best value insulated summer house is the Adley Garden Room, this includes Airtex and Ecoquilt insulation in the roof, walls and floor as standard and is available in a range of sizes. The largest size is 6m by 4m, with a bigger footprint than all of the other buildings compared. Despite this, the cost is still cheaper than the other buildings.
Large double doors and floor to ceiling windows make this an appealing summer house which can be used in all seasons. Read the in-depth review of the Adley Garden Room here.
Contemporary Insulated Garden Room – Crane Hub
The sleek “Hub” (external link) is a collaboration between John Lewis and Crane Garden Buildings. It’s striking design is guaranteed to elevate any outdoor space. It can be used as a garden room for all seasons, or as a studio or garden office. Excellent illumination is provided by two fully glazed sides, which allow uninterrupted views of your garden.
An Alternative to a Bespoke Garden Room
The price is under £14000 which compares very favourably with a custom designed garden room. If you’re looking for an alternative to building an extension this could be the answer, it’s profile is low enough that it doesn’t normally require planning permission.
Excellent Build Quality and Manufacturers Guarantee
The construction quality of the building is top drawer and if any issues do come to light it’s reassuring to know that you’d be dealing with John Lewis. In my experience their customer service has always been top-notch.
Notwithstanding that, there is a 2 year manufacturers guarantee from Crane Garden Buildings. A prestigious UK company with a 40 year pedigree and backed up by excellent reviews on Google (4/5) and Trustpilot (4.3/5) at the time of writing.
The roof has a 4 tier configuration. A heavy duty felt is propane torched onto a layer of ply, this ensures exceptional durability and weather resistance. This is followed by a layer of insulation and finally the internal matchboard.
Heating Your Summer House during Winter
You’ll need a way to heat your summer house, irrespective of insulation. Below is a brief recap of common heaters and here’s a link to a forum thread at MoneySavingExpert about heating a summer house.
- Calor gas heaters. These add a lot of moisture to the air when the gas is burned, this can lead to condensation and potential damp and mould problems, so they are less than ideal.
- Log burner. A great talking point and adds a very homely feel. You can buy a full kit which includes a heat shield and flue system. Will require a hole to be cut in the roof which will need to be properly waterproofed.
- Electric fan heater. These are fairly cheap and can quickly heat a space but can become expensive if used continually. They will also require electrics to be run to your building, allow £750 and contract a qualified electrician.
DIY Insulation For Your Summer House
If you are a DIY expert there’s nothing to stop you doing the insulation yourself, although how straightforward it is depends on the construction of the building you buy.
It’s a project which is better undertaken before your summer house is assembled, otherwise you’ll find yourself pulling up floorboards, and ripping up roofing felt. There’s a brief summary on out insulated log cabins page which gives a good high level overview.
Be mindful that the materials cost of insulation may not be cheaper than a package from the company selling the building. However, it does give you more freedom to choose the exact specifications you deem most suitable. Kingspan, Celotex and Ecotherm are reputable names if looking for foil backed insulation.
Other Insulated Summer House we Considered
These are some other buildings we looked at, but which didn’t quite make the cut for the top 5.