Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Moveable garden offices: guest post

Following my various comments over the years doubting if anybody really takes their garden offices with them when they move house, Charlie Dalton from Smart Garden Offices got in touch to say that actually he had undertaken many move/removes over the years so we asked him to write a guest post on the subject.
I have always quite understood why Alex has been pretty damning when it comes to the moveability of most garden offices. For sure, a building that is primarily of plank or log construction is not the perfect arrangement if you want to move. The mere act of removing multiple components on these buildings means significant damage and many items become expendable.

Similarly, a SIP based building with its initially rough OSB internal face that then requires a plastered finish effectively renders the building completely permanent. Recently, I spoke to one supplier of SIP-based garden buildings who claims the theoretical ability to build on a movable steel base which can be craned out in due course. In reality, I’m not really convinced of the practicalities of an industrial crane in a residential street and then the specialist truck required moving the building to its new location along with the requisite police outriders. Pricy, I’m sure.

On that basis, I completely agree with Alex.

However, (and it’s a pretty big however) I like to think that we at Smart Garden Offices are different. We have always factored in genuine moveability into all our garden offices and we now regularly move our buildings – for whatever our customers' reasons.

Apart from our first few 2001 prototypes every single one of our designs has been fully moveable. By “designing-in” moveability from the outset allows us to then remove a building as readily as we install it. The basis of our panel-based design allows for fewer components (less to break), greater individual portability and ensures a rapid disassembly by our team. Our linings, for example, are self-faced which means that there’s no coating which will crack or mark during the removal process. Every part is loaded back onto our lorry in the same way it was installed.

Similarly, our unique ISIS manufacturing and installation system means that our customers keep HMRC happy with a demonstrably moveable building which of course is a key factor in their assessment of VAT, capital gains and capital allowance issues.
The biggest advantage, though, to Smart owners is the flexibility afforded by this moveability.

For example, in August we received a request from a customer who had sold his house and was moving to a new house with a smaller garden. Rather than sell the Smart Solo [pictured top] he wanted to gift it to his sister, 100 miles away. No problem, we removed the office from his garden on the Thursday and reinstalled at his sister's on the Friday. No replacement parts were required at all.
If you've got any experience of moving - as a shedworker or supplier - please do comment below.
Wednesday posts are sponsored by The Stable Company®, the UK's premier supplier of garden offices and garden rooms. Click here.


  1. Henley Offices has always offered a remove-and-move service. As Charlie says, the exception being our early prototypes in 2001, amongst them the Varispace that I believe his wife still uses as a consulting room. Of the circa 1,070 buildings we've installed since that time, our GM - John Norman - reckons we have relocated as many as 60 - so getting towards 6% . If the incoming purchaser doesn't see the need for an office or garden room, then it follows that the vendors will opt to take it with them. Customers can become very attached to their 'Henley's'. We've moved some that have been in place 12 years. Given the expense of the move, it's usually worth giving them a paint touch-up, but with the panel system pioneered by Henley (with Charlie's involvement at the time) very little else is required,

    Nick Hopewell-Smith, Chairman, Henley Garden Buildings

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