Friday, October 18, 2019

Five expert tips on buying a garden office

If you’re looking for an easy, lower cost alternative to building a bricks and mortar extension to accommodate a new home office, a log-based garden room is a great solution. It's quick to install, normally no planning permission is needed, and it could add value to your home - a survey last year by the HomeOwners Alliance and the Federation of Master Builders revealed installing a garden room could add more than £35,000 in 14 days to an averagely priced home in Surrey. Moreover, with bifold doors, cosy heated interiors and on-trend looks, these kinds of structures can be a great asset to any garden.

Nick Forrester founded Norwegian Log Buildings more than 20 years ago and has come up with his top five tips for Shedworking's readers on how to buy a garden office that really fits your needs:

Tip 1. Establish whether you’ll need planning permission

In most cases, if it’s sized under 30m2 and under 2.5m high, garden buildings do not require planning permission or building regulations - provided they are 1m from a boundary - as they are considered as a ‘Permitted Development’. But, if you want a larger garden building or live in a National Park/AONB, then the chances are you could need planning permission, and if you live in a Listed Building, then you definitely will. More information on that, here.

Tip 2. Think about access

Think about how your new office building will be delivered to your garden space. Is there adequate access? For example, if you live in a terraced house, can you access the garden from the rear? If not, make sure you choose a supplier that can either use a crane or supply the building in parts which can be walked through your home or side gate.

Tip 3. Research product quality

In line with home garden offices becoming more popular, the number of suppliers offering this kind of building on the market has also increased, so make sure you check out customer reviews online and make sure you visit a showroom to get a real feel for the quality and workmanship of the products in their range. If the supplier is a decent one, they should give you the option of talking to (or even visiting!) an existing customer so you can get a first-hand account of their customer service. Here are the questions to ask:
• Do they offer a complete build and install package?
• Ask whether their buildings can be used year-round
• What is it constructed from?
• Will it require insulation, and will it need any regular maintenance of any kind?
• Does it come with a warranty?

Tip 4. Consider where you’ll install it

Think in advance about where you want the building to be erected and what view you want it to have. For example, is there an awkward nook in your garden that can be better utilised? Do you want the building to face east for the morning sun or west to make the most of those stunning sunsets?

Tip 5. Remember the end use

Garden rooms can be a wonderful candidate for housing an at-home office if planned correctly. Remember the fact that you will need an internet connection, lots of plug points and some sources of light! Buying the right garden room can really transform how you live or work in your home. It allows some people to ditch their commute and work from their back garden.

“You’ll find that, in the marketplace, there’s a garden room for every budget," says Nick, "but be savvy and do your homework before you buy to make sure you pick a model that fits your needs, as some are just glorified sheds. At Norwegian Log, for example, we specialise in high quality, eco-friendly garden rooms made from solid log which have high levels of natural insulation so comfortable for year-round use with minimal running and maintenance costs.” -------------------------------------------------------
Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

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