Saturday, 27 September 2014


Now that summer is over and the weather is changing,  we've made a decision on a summerhouse.

We've spent several months thinking about this, with spurts of activity where we went to look at garden buildings of various sorts.

We had originally planned to get a proper garden studio.  We had even got down to the final two suppliers, and had been discussing the merits of both.  It was difficult to make a decision.  They were both similarly priced,  the outside of the buildings were very similar,  but the two suppliers had some very fundamental differences in their offerings.  

We couldn't decide.  It wasn't that we couldn't agree,  it was that neither of us could decide.  I think the problem was that neither was exactly right,  and it was a lot of money to pay for not exactly right.   We knew that whichever we went for, it would be fine. 


We left it for a while, waiting for inspiration to strike.  We occasionally talked about sizes. We talked about whether the existing concrete base would need to be removed.   We didn't get very far.

Some time later, I had time to kill before an appointment, and I wandered into a garden centre.  I ambled round their sheds. log cabins,  and summerhouses.  I had discounted these structures because, by the time we'd paid extra to have the walls, floor and ceiling insulated, and had double glazing, and folding doors, and a proper floor, we might as well pay the then bit extra to have a proper garden room.

But some of these were quite pleasant. I could see them working for what we really wanted from a garden room.

When I got home, I looked online for nearby places that did log cabins.  We drove out to one, which was totally uninspiring.   We saw another place on the return journey, and they had an absolutely lovely summerhouse.  Folding doors.  Pyramid roof.  Really gorgeous. The downside was it required planning permission.

We investigated the cost of planning permission.  Sadly. the local authority makes no distinction between a shed in the garden which is taller than 2.5m, or a full blown extension. The cost, plans requirements, etc, are all the same.

We parked it.

We looked at summerhouses and cabins which didn't require planning permission. My concern was that the pent rooves were a bit...claustrophobic.   But Apex = planning permission.   We went to visit one on a neighbours garden, which  was really pleasant - but it wouldn't meet our needs.  We did, however, arrange to visit the manufacturers showroom to look at what they did that might suit us.

Once again, they didn't have quite what we wanted.   We came away with options. I wanted to see my Pyramid roofed one again, so we went to see it to compare.  

We stared at pieces of paper.

DH proposed an option on one of the ones we had travelled to see.  I wasn't sure.  I guess I knew that I really wanted the one that required planning permission.   We'd already missed the summer, so it didn't matter if we had to wait for planning permission.  I checked prices and roof heights for the size we wanted.  All looked good.  I thought we might as well go for that one.

DH started to lay a base on the other side of the garden so we could relocate the existing shed. This would need doing whatever we decided, and we might as well get on with it before the really bad weather came.

Then I was staring out of the window one day, and I realised that the pyramid roof would be great at the bottom of the garden, but would look a bit odd at the proposed location.

I thought about it some more.

And then I agreed with DH about the other one.

It took us some time to work out exact sizes and what we would need to do. On the day we were discussing it, the chap from the showroom (show site, I suppose), phoned to see if we had made a decision.  I asked him to confirm prices  to cover the extras we wanted. He promised he'd call back in 15 minutes.

He didn't.

He did call back the next day, and explained why it had taken so long. They had been trying to work out the most cost effective way to accommodate our requirements.  He gave me the quotation.  On speakerphone, we went through it step by step, to make sure it would work.   I asked him to email me all the details.

He did.

I phoned back the next day to place the order.

He was on holiday.

The next day we were at the NEC.  I phoned him on my return.  

He was at lunch.

When I am indecisive about something, I take these sort of things as a sign that I should maybe reconsider my decision.

I didn't.  I phoned back and we placed the order.

Now we just need to get the existing shed emptied,  dismantled, moved, and repainted.  And extend the concrete base.  And take down the trellis and extend the terrace to meet the concrete.   And take out some  productive blackcurrant bushes.  And work out how to lop off a corner of the fruit cage.  And agree on a paint finish for the new summerhouse. And think about electrics and air conditioning. And. And. And.

It's a DIY job.  The company does offer installation, but DH is adamant he wants to do it himself.

It's good for him to have a project on the go.

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