It appears to be easy to buy summer houses - just take a look on the internet - see a building which takes your fancy and then search for the best price - 'a piece of cake'! Well - life's not like that. This is because there is such a large range of summer buildings available with the quality (or lack of it on many of the cheap 'make down to a price' summerhouses) varying tremendously. To ensure you are not disappointed you do need to be very careful and do some homework (sorry).
A company which have been established a long time is a good choice as you can be reasonably sure that they have gained a great deal of expertise in the market. More importantly by being in business for a long time they must have listened to their customers. You will find the better established businesses actually do have 'bricks and mortar' site for viewing and the 'web' is just a tool to inform the public of their range of products. These sort of companies also tend to employ staff who you can actually talk to (just like in days gone by - how quaint, but nice) and advise you on what will be best for you. Most 'web site only' firms expect you to communicate through the modern wonder of email, which is OK but will never 'actually' beat talking to a person.
With the internet, with its flashy web pages and, possibly if you are lucky, a glossy brochure you can never really know what your proposed summer house will be like in 'real life'. This is why it's crucial, BEFORE delivery, to try to view any potential summer building. This will ensure that you can see and check for yourself how well it's been made, that there is enough height inside and you can see than the doors and windows are solidly made (and not nasty, cheap and flimsy). As well as that you can check what quality of timber which has been used. It's claimed by many summer house firms, who only operate on the 'web', that it's best to buy online and that you can save money. However it's never possible to be sure what you will actually get. You need to be VERY wary if they are not prepared to let you see their buildings beforehand. It's a fact that the best value building is not always the cheapest one.
It's possible that you can save money by selecting one of these cheaper summer houses but you do need to ensure that only the best and correct materials are used in your new building. This means only using timber which comes from the colder parts of Europe such as Sweden, Norway, Finland where it grows very slowly. This cold weather means it has the greatest density ensuring it remains very stable even in varying weather. The cheaper summerhouses are made using faster growing cheaper whitewood trees meaning there is likely to have more movement in your garden. Which is not good in the long run.
To cut costs the cheaper buildings will use horticultural glass (which is in essence - seconds) or worse still, plastic. This is actually 'second grade' glass and you will normally be able to see defects in it. Away from busy activity it can be just about OK but on buildings which are being used regularly is it not better not to take any chances? If horticultural glass smashes it breaks into jagged pieces and you certainly would not want your children or grand children getting hurt. Horticultural glass does reduce the cost of the building but is it worth the risk? However the better summerhouse manufacturers will, as standard, use toughened glass. A very good choice as well as peace of mind.
Standard sizes and layouts has the advantage that it can help to keep the cost down, but what if you would like a size to suit YOUR garden or you would like doors and windows in a different place then you would be out of luck. This is why it's good practice to talk to a garden building company who can actually make your summerhouse to suit YOU. It may be a little more expensive but the extra cost can make the difference between 'putting up with the available options' or getting the best use for YOUR garden.
I find it amazing that any company would consider supplying a building not finished but there are some factories which will do so. Unbelievable! These cheap summerhouse manufacturers supply panels or floors which need to be cut by you. This saves money but mean more work for you and the possibility of mistakes. Always ensure that all the panels are supplied cut to shape and size.
The advantage of the 'web' and social media means that any 'bad apples' or companies selling bad buildings can quickly be isolated. So this is one way to find out a little more about the company from whom you be thinking of buying a summerhouse from. Can be very enlightening and can help to put your mind at rest. Check out independent feedback sites such as Feefo.
The advantage of long standing businesses is that they share good advice about buying summer buildings This helps you to make the correct decision for you. You will find they will always offer advice which they have gleaned over many, many years and never forget that you may be in the market for another building later in the future.
The key to buying a summer house or even a garden workshop is to ensure you do your homework, ensure you know who are dealing with as well as trying to get the best value building for your home. And at face value this is not always the cheapest price.