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Office Gardens, A Green Idea
 

With the advent of internet, working from home has become a popular option for businesses to allow their staff to operate from home.

The benefits are many for both the employee and the employer.

Benefits for Employee

Savings in commute time

Saving in transportation cost

Less pollution and hence a ‘Green’ option

Ease and convenience of working from home office

Flexi-time option

No need to dress up

Benefits for Employers

Savings in transportation costs

Increase in productivity

Good for overall employee morale

Many people are now creating dedicated work spaces in their gardens, away from home life and all of its distractions. Whether you fancy a big DIY project, or will find a specialist company to take on the work, here are some pointers to consider when building a garden office.

The most common style of garden office kit is the log cabin style building of interlocking timbers, which are relatively quick and easy to build and you tend to get a large building for a relatively small budget, but this style of building is not comparable with other styles of garden office when it comes to thermal performance because they are not as well insulated and often not even double glazed.

Other styles of garden office kit come as just the basic framework, this forms the basis for you to work off and you source the materials and finish the exterior and interior of the garden office. This is quite a good option as you get a sturdy structure designed by professionals but have the flexibility to put your own mark on the building.

The final type of garden office kit is the complete package where you buy everything from the supplier you need to build and finish a garden office including the cladding, doors & windows and interior finish.

If you want more control over the appearance, shape and finish of the building than even a kit offers you could of course design your own garden office.

When designing a garden room you need to bear in mind the Permitted Development rules for Outbuildings. In many cases, a garden room can be built without the need for full Planning Permission, as long as the positioning and dimensions comply with Permitted Development. Flat roof garden rooms under 2.5m high are very popular as they can be sited close to the boundaries of the garden. With pitched roof designs you will need to site the building at least 2m from each boundary.

The Planning and Building Regulation rules will have an effect on your design and choice of materials.

Key elements

Foundations

A concrete slab used to be the foundation of choice for a garden room, but today plinth foundations have revolutionised the market. These adjustable pads are quick to install needing very little site preparation and overcome any unevenness of site. These foundation systems are also very popular because they are made from recycled materials and can be cleanly removed from the site should the building ever be taken down.

Core structure

Garden room suppliers either favour a traditional timber frame for the core of the building or Structural Insulated Panels. As a self-builder you have these options open to you too. The traditional timber frame is what most self-builders tend to favour, but you do have the option of working with a SIPs manufacturer who will precision cut the SIPs to your plans including door and window openings.

Exterior

As with any timber frame building it is important that a breather membrane is present in the built up. Over this, garden rooms tend to be timber clad.

Roof

By far the most common roof covering for flat roof garden rooms is EPDM and you can buy kits for garden room size buildings online. Insulated roof panels which form both the interior and exterior finish and the external finish are popular with some designers.

Doors and Windows

The doors and windows are often one of the main design features in a garden room. It’s common practice to use house quality doors and windows in garden room designs, whether they be UPVC or Aluminum clad. It is fashionable to have large expanses of floor to ceiling glazing. Bi-fold doors which fold back to open up the whole wall are a must have feature with buyers.

Interior Finishing

This is where garden rooms tend to vary. Basic models are lined with MDF or vinyl coated boards. Higher spec buildings have fully plastered interiors which have the feel of a room in a house. Birch plywood linings are also popular, offering a modern pared down style. When it comes to the flooring, laminate or engineered flooring are the most popular options, but you could also fit carpet or rubber.

Electricals

The electrical system is the one job that you need to call in the professionals for. Like with any building project there is both a first and second fix phase. The garden room normally has its own consumer unit which is connected to the house’s mains supply via an armoured cable buried under ground. An earth rod is also fitted. With garden rooms often being used as home offices, it’s a good idea to incorporate data, telephone and audio visual cabling into the system. Trunking for these cables is normally buried in the same trench as the electrics.

Plumbing

Toilets or full shower rooms are designed in creating a truly self-contained building. You may need to call in advice on this aspect of the design and build as work will need to comply with Building Regulations and you will have to give thought to the sewage connections and water supply.

By designing and building a garden room yourself you will not only get a building tailored to your needs and tastes but it will be the fraction of the cost of buying one on a full installation basis.

Interiors Fit-Out

Once you have created your garden office structure, the next challenge is to do the interiors fit-out. JasonL, specializes in providing office furniture that is state-of-the-art and stylish in design.

The Open plan workstations & desks facilitate open plan offices by allowing multiple people to sit together, sharing a common desk space.  JasonL offers 2, 3, 4 and 6 person workstations and desk combinations.

You can also select from a wide variety of meeting rooms furniture and cabinets to house your office documents and filing systems.

 

 
 
 
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