As office rental prices go up and
more businesses reach their audiences via the Internet, company owners are
starting to save money by running the show from their home. We feel that a
garden office pod is the solution to the modern challenge of having a
professional space that’s not only productive, but also cost-effective.
To show you what we mean, here are
our top five benefits of having a garden office pod instead of a traditional
The Benefits of Having a Garden Office Pod
1. You Avoid Frustrating Commutes
A great many of my Brighton friends
have attempted to live out the dream of working in London. But soon the reality
of the daily commute kicks in and waking up on Monday to catch a 6am train
becomes a chore.
Some have chosen to find employment
in Brighton whilst others have decided to set up their own businesses. What
this then creates is the dilemma of where to have your office.
On the one hand, you can choose somewhere nearby, but I’m sure you can take an educated guess on what the office rental costs are in Brighton. That then leaves renting a space out-of-town as the alternative and you’re back to the early morning commuting again. A garden office pod allows people to drop the frantic mornings and expensive rental prices in favour of a leisurely 30-second stroll across the garden.
2. You Save Money
I did some research when writing
this article and looked at some of the rental
costs for an office space in Brighton. Generally speaking, it was
quite difficult to find spaces that charged under £200 per person, per month.
As you can see via our price guide page, our small garden office pod option starts from approximately £98.58 per month. That is half the cost of what I found to be a typical office space in Brighton, if you are planning to use the office alone. If you have other employees, your savings could be even greater! That’ll be very nice when it comes to planning your next holiday.
3. The Value of Your Home Increases Instantly
This is something we’ve discussed before when interviewing Clifford Estate Agent’s Ben Hooper last October. According to Ben, having a visually attractive garden office pod could “easily add about 10/15k to the price of the property” and also be of help when it’s time to sell your property.
4. Your Working Environment is Comfortable
Renting an office space means you
have to adapt. There may not be enough plug sockets, the room might have
maintenance issues or the neighbouring businesses are a nuisance. At A Room In
The Garden, we build bespoke spaces that are tailored to your business and
personal needs. This means you get something that’ll help your business run
smoothly and put you in a productive working state.
A comfortable space is also useful when you have client meetings, as they can feel at ease when discussing business with you. The more comfortable your prospect is, the more likely they are to buy from you. It’s a nice opportunity to create a positive first impression and build a strong relationship off the back of that. This can then lead to more loyalty from your customers.
5. You Achieve a Better Work-Life Balance
One of the greatest annoyances in
my life are delivery companies. You get an estimated delivery time that covers
most of the day and somebody has to be present in order to sign for the
package. If you try to reschedule, the only times available are when you
definitely aren’t at home.
By working from home, this is no
longer an issue. Neither are ill children, as a garden office pod allows you to
have that flexibility when the unexpected occurs. You are able to catch up
later in the day after nursing your poor child back to health. As an added
bonus, you can also catch up on your housework when necessary. It won’t take
much time out of your day to pop on a quick laundry wash, or a dishwasher load.
Some offices that are available to rent have a strict policy on hours of operation, meaning nobody can be in the building or on the estate between certain hours. This isn’t very flexible if you fancied taking the kids out for a daytrip, but with your own garden office you can take the kids out for the day and catch up with work at night. It’s very handy!
Garden Office Pods Are The Future
Technology has improved to such an
extent now that people can run hugely successful businesses from their home
with ease. You don’t need big servers or expensive computers, thanks to The
Cloud and Smart technology.
Our prediction for the future is
that office spaces for small businesses that have fewer than five employees
will become a thing of the past. Instead, garden office pods will become the
modern, up-to-date choice.
Having a successful business is
based upon high productivity and low costs. As discussed in our five benefits
above, having your own garden office can prove to be cheaper than a traditional
rented office space and also boost productivity. If you would like to know more
about our garden office pod solutions, please get in contact today to book a
free site visit.
Recently, I welcomed a new life into my family and it got me thinking about how garden rooms from us and other manufacturers are often thought of as sanctuaries, spaces or offices for adults. But what about the children? I wanted to share some of my top garden baby room ideas with you.
In hindsight, I actually find it a little odd that we don’t consider the younger people of this world when discussing rooms in the garden. If you’re anything like me, you will constantly find yourself treading on toys and tripping over building blocks that haven’t been packed away. It can really get on the nerves of some parents, so perhaps we could use the spaces in our respective gardens to provide an indoor area for our children to play, develop and make a mess whilst also allowing us to reclaim our home space. What do you think?
Baby Room Décor Ideas
At the age where you have to make decisions for your child, it can feel a little daunting to say the least. Some may think that a newborn baby won’t necessarily need much, but there are a lot of garden baby room ideas you can use to help nurture their development whilst providing a stimulating space that the child can use. It is also important to remember that the room layout and features will need to adapt as the baby grows.
Wallpaper that your child can colour on could be a great idea. We found this one at Resurface
Soft Rug or Play Mat
Firstly, you can start with a soft rug that’ll provide a comfortable place for your baby to continue doing what it’ll spend most of it’s early months doing: Lying on it’s back. Eventually, this will lead to what many like to call ‘tummy time’, followed by crawling and, finally, their first steps. One additional thing you can also do is spread out several rugs made from various materials around the room in order to provide your baby with different sensory experiences.
This is 3cm thick play mat found on ebay.
Whilst your baby is spending lots of time of their back or tummy, you should also place mirrors just above the skirting boards, so they are able to see themselves and interact with the mirrors. This is actually very entertaining for the baby and the benefits of this simple object include facial recognition, speech development and an overall sense of self.
Those mirrors are safe for children. Found on Perspex Sheet UK.
Images of Loved Ones
Along with being able to recognise their own face, many parents, myself included, look forward to the time when their baby can recognise mummy and daddy. To hear those words for the first time is a memory almost all parents will hold forever. Perhaps your baby garden room ideas can include pictures of special people and animals involved in your child’s life? Of course, I do not recommend traditional photo frames with glass screens, as that could get very dangerous. Instead, consider laminating some photos and using Velcro to attach them to the walls. The Velcro means that your baby can pull the images off the wall if they wish, which helps to develop their physical development.
Those soft frames are child safe and found on Etsy.
Cosy Corner and Bookcase
As parents, we obviously want to be involved in the life of our children, so the next items to explore in your garden baby room ideas would be a cosy corner and bookshelf. This allows the baby to relax in a cosy environment whilst you read to them and develop your bond further. As stated before, you should always consider your child growing and how your garden baby room can adapt to that. So be sure to purchase a bookcase that is low enough for a slightly older child to peruse and take down books when they reach that age. This same thinking can also be applied when installing shelving units to store toys. You want your baby to be able to access those toys themselves.
This little corner is available at Cuckooland
Garden Baby Room Ideas
We often think of garden rooms as a place for adults to indulge in hobbies or operate businesses, but a baby room could be as much or maybe even more of a benefit to you. It could be time for you to start thinking about garden baby room ideas in order to reclaim your living room and avoid treading on any more toys. I’m hoping these ideas will spark some inspiration for you when developing your ideas for the room. Parenthood is a magical time and the one thing all parents have in common is wanting to give their baby the best start in life. Could a specific space dedicated to their development be the answer for that?
Have you got any garden baby room ideas that you want to share? Please leave a comment below or contact us directly to let us know. We genuinely want to hear your ideas. Or if you think a garden baby room sounds like a good idea, why not book a free site survey with us?
When we’re dreaming of our garden office or summer house, we start by thinking of its use. We start to imagine ourselves sitting or working surrounded by all the creature comforts we need and looking out onto our beautiful garden. When we think of walking towards it… it becomes more nebulous. We might think of garden paths or decking, but the actual building itself can take a little longer to smooth into focus.
Our design team will help you with this at our initial site visit. We’ll look at your garden and current buildings and will find something that fits effortlessly with them.
What we will also do is to take you through all the options that you have to make sure that the exterior of the building is something you love to look at as you’re walking down that beautiful path and walking through the perfect door.
The majority of garden building are finished on the outside with cladding. But ‘cladding’ is no longer restricted to a fake stone facade or basic wooden slats. Take a look below to see everything that’s on offer today.
Yes! You have read correctly! There is now an Italian company that has been designing and creating vanguard wallpaper that you can use for outdoor walls. It’s resistant to rain, yellowing and even has anti-smog properties! The maker is the well-established Wall&Deco’, should you want to go and check out their designs. The beauty of this product is that you can either choose between their beautiful creations or we can help you design a unique one. The price per square metre will be the same! Also, there is no a minimum order, so you can decide to cover the whole of your garden room or just use the wallpaper as an accent. At A Room in the Garden we got quite excited when we discovered this product and all its possibilities!
Cement Particles Boards
Cement Particles Boards are perfect for those who like ultra-contemporary design and love new technologies. Thanks to their high resistance to all weather conditions and biological attacks, cement particles boards are ideal for outdoor buildings. It’s worth noting that there are a few companies that produce cement particles boards and the price can vary quite a lot. We will always make sure we find the best product and the best value for money for you.
Viroc Cement Wood Boards
Thanks to its resistance to atmospheric corrosion, insects and moisture, Viroc cement wood board can be used indoors and outdoors. They are panels made of composite materials, composed of a compressed and dry mixture of pine wood particles with cement. This use of wood fibre means that you get a a non-homogeneous appearance, giving a more natural look. You can choose from 6 different colours: white, yellow, grey, black, ochre and red.
So here is the cladding you’re probably thinking of, but did you know how many different looks you can achieve with simple wood?
We have finished several of our buildings using what you could call a traditional wood cladding. However, due to the modern technology that’s used to create these boards, they are anything but old! All our cladding is weather and mould resistant. You won’t need to treat the wood constantly to maintain its quality.
There are a wealth of different woods you can choose from, not just your typical oak or pine (though both oak and pine can result in absolutely beautiful effects!) You can get lots of different colours and might choose to use a glossy, varnished finish, or go with a more the more natural matt. One of the nicest things about working with wood is that the building blends effortlessly with the natural world around it.
We’ve used wood here and here, and you can see the different results from this one material.
And here’s the thing that’s often overlooked. You can use metal cladding! Not only is this beautiful, modern and sleek in its own right, but we have also used it to create very unusual, completely personal designs. Take a look at our rabbit hole. Here we have taken out a silhouette out of the metal and backed this with a stunning piece of stained glass. It’s fantastic to know that nobody has a building that looks quite like this!
And we end here with what is probably the most traditional material of them all; brick!
Even though bricks are one of the oldest technologies, it’s very clear from looking around in the streets to see why this is! Brick buildings last a phenomenal amount of time and continue to look good even after they have aged a little. These days you get to choose between different colours and sizes too. The only thing that you need to remember about building with brick is that the material is more expensive than the other options, and it will take us much longer to install, so there will be additional cost there.
So there you have it. As always, this list is not exhaustive. You might have seen someone else’s building and thought, ‘That’s a great look!’ We’ll always do our best to find a material that fits the vision in your head. We just wanted to create a few more visions for us to play with.
Here’s hoping we can find the most beautiful material for you during our free, one-hour site survey. Book now!
One of the most common question we get asked when meeting with potential clients is: “Can you connect water to my garden room?”
The answer is yes!
Although there are a few things that you do need to consider depending on what you want. You may want to install a washing machine or have a sink with cold water. But perhaps a toilet and a shower would be handy for your garden gym…
Let’s explore the different possibilities one by one.
Installing cold water
Cost: from £1500+
If you simply want to have a sink for washing your garden tools, or maybe even a washing machine for your laundry, all you need is to have cold water reaching your garden room. The first step will be identifying the nearest cold water, mains connection in your house (for example a kitchen or toilet sink). Then we have to create a system for the water to flow in and out of your garden room. One pipe will bring the fresh water in and another will take the dirty water out.
The pipes must be buried a minimum of 750mm underground. To do this, we have to build a small trench to accommodate the pipes. If we are digging through soil, we can do this simply by using a narrow spade. Things get a bit more complicated if we need to go through concrete. Of course, it’s still possible, don’t get me wrong, but it may take a bit longer which increases the final cost of the build.
Once we have sorted out how to get the clean water to the garden building, we then have to work out how to get rid of the dirty water. If there is an existing soil drain point (not a rainwater drain), we just have to add a connection and bring a stub soil stuck into your garden room.
But if that is not possible, we have to create a flow from the garden room to an outside drain. To do so means installing a pump station. The bigger the distance between the garden room and the outside drain, the bigger the pump station you will need. Another factor to consider is whether the pipes are going uphill, horizontally or downhill. The cost for a pumping station starts at around £400.
Garden Buildings are Permitted Development and do NOT require planning permission as long certain criteria are observed. To learn more about it read our article 7 garden office or summer house planning permission rules to keep in mind
Installing hot water
Cost: from £300+
To avoid of having to deal with all the regulations that come with installing a boiler, we highly recommend using an electrical shower (cost starts from around £50), which will generate its own hot water. You can also install a small hot water heater under a sink, which provides you with 7 to 10 litres of hot water (cost starts from around £50).
Installing a toilet
Cost: from £2000+
If your garden office or summer house is right at the back of the garden, you may want to consider the possibility of adding a toilet. To do this, we will need to install a macerator, which will reduce the waste to a pulp, and then we need to gain access to a soil pipe to take the waste to the main sewer. If there is no soil drain near the garden room, we will need to fit a macerator pump station which has a foul water or sewage pump that can cope with solid waste. Another option which would definitely help you to keep the price down would be installing a chemical toilet, like those used for a camper van.
Depending on your requirements and the intended use of your garden room, you may need to apply for building regulation or planning permission, but that is a whole other article!
A very important part of building a garden room, no matter if a garden office, a summer house or simply a small storage room, is to make sure that the foundation is solid, strong and long lasting.
The traditional way to prepare the foundation for a building is using concrete, but, thanks to the continuous improving of technology, new ways are now available: Ground Screw, Screw Pile, Pads and concrete. All valid ways but here at A Room in the Garden we have opted for the Piling System.
There are several different good company selling screw piles in the UK but we have decided to go with UK Helix simply because their screw piles, in addition to be of a very high quality, can be easily adjusted in length depending by the size of the project and the kind of soil.
Paalupiste warehouse in Finland
I am here today with Rin Gamble, CEO of UkHelix, who very happily agree to meet me for a coffee and answer all my questions.
I: Hi Rin. First, thank you very much to join me for a coffee. First question, as always, please tell us a bit more about your company, UK Helix.
R: Hi Ivana. The pleasure is all mine. Thank you for inviting me!
UKHelix is an authorised sole distributor for Paalupiste screw piles, a leading quality screw pile manufacturer based in Finland. They have been designing and building screw pile since 2001 and they are considered a well-recognised and forward-thinking company. Always trying to improve their products and their offer. All the production is made in Finland to the highest standard and it is backed it up by an ISO90011 quality certificate and ISO 14001 environmental management certificate.
We are very proud to be their exclusive distributor in the UK!
I: The use of screw piles as foundations is well used in the Scandinavian countries, while here in the UK still seems to be a novelty. Is that correct?
R: Yes and no. The screw pile or piling system has been used in the UK for quite a long time now but mostly in the commercial constructions or in general in the construction of big building, which require a big excavation or where concrete is not a possibility. A perfect example is the Fishbourne Roman museum in Chichester. To preserve the Roman Villa a museum was built on top of the archaeological funds using the screw pile system. Also, a lot of projects in London are now done using screw piles due to the limited access, which makes it sometimes impossible for the concrete TIR to get there.
I: So, the novelty is that now screw piles are more and more used in the private sector and for smaller projects.
R: Yes. The screw pile system is getting more and more common. It is a perfect solution for garden rooms, fencing and elevated paths. But also, for houses and house extension. At certain scale, it is often cheaper, easier and faster and less messy than concrete. But not always. There are several options available now and what is good and more cost effective for one it is not necessary for another one.
I: One of the limitation of concrete is the weather. If it is too cold or if is raining the concrete can’t be applied. Is that the same for screw piles?
R: No. one of the many advantages of the pile system is that it can be installed with any weather condition. In addition, while with concrete you have to wait for it to set, with the screw piles you can start building straight away. Making the all process way faster!
I: How long does it takes to put a screw pile in the ground? And, will you do the installation?
R: This is actually another unique point of our product. We can send our team to install the screw piles but in all honesty is so simple that anyone can do it. Especially if you take our installation kit (£12). I have tried myself with my husband simply using a crow bar and I managed fine! And, how you can see, I am quite petite!
One screw pile will take around 10/15 minutes to install! And even less to unscrew it! And they can be reused!
Helix Screw Piles explanatory video
I: So, no more breaking the back to excavate the ground to prepare it for the concrete! No more breaking the back for taking the concrete away if you decide to redesign your garden!
R: Exactly! Pile screw are especially good if the new building is located on a slope! Instead of wasting time and energy excavating the ground to make it flat you can simply adjust the height of the screw piles. And job done! Our screw piles go from 70 cm to 3 metres long. And if 3 metres is not enough we have extensions that can be added.
There is no slope that we can’t tackle!
I: And what about if you hit a rock? Or a tree root, cable or a pipe?
R: Like any other digging job the ground has to be inspected to make sure that there are no cables or pipe. If you hit a rock, as when you excavate to prepare the ground for concrete, you can try to dig it out first. If that is not possible you can simply reposition your screw pile. In the unlikely situation that you hit another rock you can use a special drill which will go through it.
I: The pile system seems to be much more environmentally friendly than concrete.
R: Definitely. You do not disturb the vegetation at all!
I: Are the screw pile long lasting?
R: They will last forever! All other companies galvanise their product with a layer of around 80 to 100 microns. Our screw pile, including our cheaper range, has an average of around 200 microns. Technically, it takes 1 year to go through 1 micron… quite a simple calculation. And this is without considering the steel factor.
I: I have seen your screw pile. While the screw piles sold from other company have the shape of a giant screw yours have a smooth surface with a helical head at the bottom. Why is that?
R: To prevent any frost to get attached to the pile. In Scandinavian countries temperature often drops very low causing frosting. In any kind of foundation, you must consider the frost factor. If your foundation is above the frost level when the winter comes the water in the soil will freeze and expand. This will lift the foundation and cause the soil to move underneath. In summer time, the water will defrost and shrink back but the foundation will not be able to get back to its original position. We are talking of a lift of millimetres each time, but over time that will cause a problem to the whole construction. Because the smooth shape of our screw piles the water does not have a surface to get stuck to, preventing the formation of frost. The important thing is to make sure that the helical head is installed below the frosting level.
I: What about costs?
R: The price varies. As I mentioned before, every project is unique and we try to give to each client the best cost-effective solution. But as a guide line the price for a screw pile goes from 45 pounds up to few hundred pounds per set.
I: Thank you Rin for your time today. After our chat I feel even more confident about the pile system.
It is faster
It is cheaper
It is cleaner
It is more environmentally friendly
And it can be installed in minutes under any weather conditions
Garden offices or summer houses are becoming more and more popular. In addition to being an easy and cost effective way to add space to your home (with a few rules to be respected, but generally no planning permission is required) they often represent a good investment for homeowners. But for an investment to work well, you want to make sure that what you’re getting will serve you for a long time without any problems.
Many of our clients – especially those who are more technically orientated – like to know how we build a room in the garden, and what materials we’ll use, before spending their money with us. This knowledge often allows them to confirm their choice.
Every garden building requires stable and reliable foundations. In our case, we mostly use ground screws. These are about 1 metre in length and are screwed right into the ground. This provides a perfectly levelled foundation, even in the most uneven garden.
The advantages of using the screw system are:
– You get a lasting garden building: the mounting plate is around 5cm higher than the ground allowing ventilation below the floor level, therefore protecting your garden room from humidity.
– There’s no damage to grass, tarmac or paving: only the small area where the screw is to sit will be disturbed.
– It will save time: the screw will be installed in just a few hours and we can start building straight away
– There’s no damage to the surrounding area: it will be clean and tidy with no mess or mud.
– It saves money: it’s a smart and efficient way to build foundations.
– They can be installed all year round with no delay for rain or snow.
To build the main frame of your garden building, we use SIP construction boards (Structural Insulated Panel). They provide amazing insulation, are sturdy and long-lasting, and allow us to build quicker than a traditional timber framework. The main walls and roof are often ready within the first 2 days of the build.
SIP panels come in various thicknesses. As standard, we use 100mm boards, which will provide 78mm of insulation. No other product on the market gives such great insulation value at this thickness. This makes your building larger inside, warmer in winter, and cooler in summer.
The floor, walls and roof are all constructed using SIP boards, effectively creating a thermos. We want to be sure that your room in the garden conserves as much energy as possible, so you won’t need to use much heating, even when you’re working in the middle of winter.
Your garden building floor is also constructed from SIP panels, which provide very sturdy support for desks and chairs. Again, it’s all fully insulated to make a much warmer room.
On top of the SIP panels, we put floor underlay, and on the top of this, we install the floor panels. Our standard designs come with Luxury Vinyl Panels. They have a very nice wood-like finish, but because they are made entirely from plastic, they will not absorb moisture like MDF boards, so you get a perfect floor for years to come.
But the possibilities are endless, and depending on the use of your new garden room, you may prefer engineered wood, ceramic tiles, a hard-wearing metal floor or rubber (perfect for a home gym).
Internal walls and ceiling
Each of our buildings is finished with moisture resistant plasterboard, smoothed and painted, which creates a perfect finish; just as you would expect from a wall in your home. We spend a lot of time making sure that your building is utterly perfect for you. In the long term, it’s definitely worth getting this part done right.
The roof will be made using 150 mm thick SIP panels covered with a EPDM RubberCover. This offers superior quality and gives a durable membrane, which offers 50 years’ of life expectancy. This type of solution also allows you to choose an optional green roof if you would like to.
Lights, sockets and internet
All our garden rooms come with lights and electric sockets, complete with USB ports, which are installed by our certified electricians. The number of them depends on your needs, and if you would like to change them to chrome plated, just let us know. Depending on the size of your building, we will make sure you have plenty of light and several sockets. We position them based on your needs.
To make sure you have an internet connection we will also run an internet cable to your building, alongside the electric cable. This will insure you have good connection even far from home.
Depending on the model, or your imagination, we use various external finishes, from traditional British redwood cladding, to special facia boards such as cement particles panels.
Before any type of external finish is applied, your entire building will be wrapped in a breathable membrane, which will protect the main construction, and add additional wind and water protection.
Windows and doors
All our doors and windows provide you with great insulation and ease of use. Depending on the model you choose or your preferences, we install uPVC, aluminium or wooden doors and windows. They are all certified, and are exactly the same as those installed in all modern buildings.