A garden office blog from Extra Rooms

Welcome to Extra Room’s garden office blog.

We love sharing all our garden building knowledge and stories with you!

Garden Office Weekly Update – 6th – 20th May

Once again, apologies are in order for the lack of blog posting over the past couple of weeks – for another month we have been super busy and our humble garden office blog has had to take a back seat! Nevertheless, we’re back now and we’ve made some serious waves since we last spoke…

For the most part we have been working hard the past couple of weeks to build up our collection of stock buildings. Year-on-year we try to increase the amount of stock buildings we keep so we can meet demand quickly when customers come to us wanting an excellent value garden building. As well as this, another great advantage of constructing stock buildings is that we can now present many more special offer garden offices!

So, during our stock building mission this year we have also developed a new way of manufacturing our stock garden buildings and a new colour scheme!

New manufacturing

For single-pitched stock buildings we used to build the front wall tallest and the back wall shortest, allowing for the sloped roof. However, we have now started to build all walls at the same height, creating the fall of the roof within the roof itself. Now, I can appreciate that for anyone outside the Extrarooms workshop this information could be seen as mind-numbingly dull! However, where this gets interesting is how this can benefit the client – the advantage is that if someone wants to buy a stock building but wants to modify it in some way (i.e. have a wall with a window that doesn’t already exist) then they can just swap one wall with another in stock because they are all the same height! More choice for you the customer - great hey!

Colour scheme

We’ve been noticing more and more that lots of people are now opting for powder coated aluminium doors with black frames – and we can see why, it looks very smart! Considering this, we thought about how we could practically incorporate this new trend into our stock building collection and concluded that we would use OSMO (oil with sun-blocker) alongside a black stain ('Black ash" from the Cuprinol garden shades range) to extenuate this new colour scheme whilst adding discolouring protection. On all garden buildings the fascia boards (edges of the roof) suffer the most from bleaching. Therefore we thought that we could start to paint the fascia boards black using a stain and then paint the OSMO on top which not only compliments the powdered doors and black frames nicely but incorporates a sun-blocking element. Have a look and see what you think:

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Finally...

Finally, this week we have been working on a large garden building for a client in Anglesey. Rather than explaining the ins and outs of the build how about you have a look for yourself…

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More to come on the progress of this build next week!

 

If you would like to discuss garden rooms in more detail or the types of garden rooms we have designed and installed then please send us an email or give us a ring on 01159 899 555 in the day and 01949 813 813 in the evening! Alternatively check out our garden room case studies page.

Written by David Fowler at 17:41

New Special Offer Garden Building!

 

Good morning everyone. 

We have been very busy the past couple of weeks constructing a number of stock buildings so we can bring you some more of our special offers!

Our latest special offer garden office is one of our most popular designs with a new colour twist. 

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Have a look at the full specification here on our garden office special offers page.

If you would like to discuss garden rooms in more detail or the types of garden rooms we have designed and installed then please send us an email or give us a ring on 01159 899 555 in the day and 01949 813 813 in the evening! Alternatively check out our garden room case studies page.

Written by David Fowler at 11:31

Garden Office Weekly Update: 22nd - 28th April

 

Hello all, sorry we’ve been out of contact for a while – it’s been a busy few months for us at Extra Rooms and as a result we have neglected our poor garden office blog!

 

Considering this recent blogging hiatus, we thought the best thing to do would be to post a weekly garden office update keeping you informed with all our latest projects, garden office musings, special offers and general goings on!

Anyway, enough talking! Check out what we got up to last week…

We kicked off the beginning of last week replenishing our garden building stock supplies. It’s always useful to have a number of garden buildings in stock – primarily so we can give potential customers the opportunity to experience our buildings for themselves and also so we can bring you our garden office special offers listings!

Bearing this in mind – a customer phoned us on Monday enquiring about one of our special offer garden offices. As we were building new stock anyway, we suggested that he gave us his specifications (without a commitment to buy) and we would build a small office to match his preferences.

 

 

Here is the building being finished off in our workshop:

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Fortunately this coincidence turned out to be beneficial all round as within the week this small garden office had been built (to specification) and installed in the client’s back garden in Maidstone, Kent. Have a look at the pictures below to see how much better it looks sat in the customer's sunny back garden:

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Following the installation of the beautiful little garden office in Kent we got a call from an existing customer who we built a large garden room for about four years ago. He called to get some advice on one of his doors that was occasionally sticking (a problem occasionally experienced if not maintained properly). Considering he was in Darby – a stone throw away from the workshop – we decided to pop down for a quick look at the door and a catch up!

Turns out it was lucky we did because the customer had let all his cedar cladding becoming discoloured. For a small sum we eased the door and applied a reflective solar coat to protect the building from UV damage and any more discolouring. Like a car - a garden office needs some TLC to keep it looking great. If treated well your garden office will last you for an indefinite amount of time - you just have to look after it!

 

Unfortunately we were unable to get a picture of the office before we treated it but check out the after shot – good as new!

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So overall a very positive few days at Extra Rooms with lots of happy customers. Fingers crossed the weather holds out for us in this coming week so we can come back to you with some more sun-filled garden office activity.

If you would like to discuss garden rooms in more detail or the types of garden rooms we have designed and installed then please send us an email or give us a ring on 01159 899 555 in the day and 01949 813 813 in the evening! Alternatively check out our garden room case studies page.

Written by David Fowler at 12:19

Garden Room Plumbing

 

Most garden room manufacturers and installers make the majority of their garden buildings off-site and assemble and complete on-site. Staff utilised to do these installations usually come from outside the delivery areas and therefore struggle to provide staff to plumb these buildings economically.

 

Of course, it can all be done, but normally at a greater cost than a local tradesman or contractor, due to accommodation expenses and increased working away rates. Similarly, it is for this reason why we at Extra Rooms normally suggest that groundwork, laying of services and drains are performed by local tradesmen. However here is some advice you should always keep in mind when planning your garden room plumbing:

  1. When people find the drains for their garden rooms are at the wrong level to be discharged (against gravity) it will not be possible to have a toilet and sink as they wished. However, it is virtually always is possible and a good plumber should be able to take care of it all for an affordable price.
  2. Most garden rooms generally do not need planning permission as long as they fall within the parameters of the permitted development rights. This is on the basis that they are not being used overnight for domestic habitation. However, local councils are often wary that requiring a toilet generally means that the garden building may function for overnight use. It is therefore very important that you make it abundantly clear that this is not the case as some council may insist on planning permission and full building regulations compliance.
  3. It is often an advantage to use the "Saniflo" system for connecting drains from studios to the mains drainage. Some benefits of the Saniflo System:

 

- Uses a smaller pipe which does not have to be laid to a fall (as normal)
- Can be used as a life saver when the drains are falling in the wrong direction
- Uses a macerator and pump that is situated behind the toilet which pumps waste to  wherever it is required (even uphill etc.)
- For more information of Saniflo systems check out their website or ask your local plumber.

 

As I said previously, quality garden room suppliers should be capable of preparing your garden building for plumbing as well doing the garden room plumbing itself – we are anyway! However, if you are looking to save a little bit of money, it is my advice that you employ a plumber that will not charge additional fees and works close to the building site.

Written by David Fowler at 15:54

Garden Office Security

In my experience, the majority of garden offices and studios are situated in a location distanced from the main house or dwelling. This separation often functions to keep domestic and commercial life separate as well as to not block off the view of the garden from the house.

However, this deliberate distancing can sometimes bring about issues of garden office security. Considering the various functions of garden offices and buildings, you will often find lots of valuable items kept within them from confidential papers to expensive laptops and because of this it are imperative that your garden building is completely secure.

 Garden Office Security

 

Here are some tips to take into account when thinking about garden building and garden office office security:

  • Place any valuables out of sight when the garden building is not in use.
  • Alarm your building back to the house.
  • Install double glazed windows and doors.
  • Install high-quality 5 lever insurance approved mortice locks or go for UVPC as the espagnolette locking mechanism for doors and windows is superior
  • Preferably choose inward opening doors so there is less likelihood of hinges being attacked and the door being lifted out.
  • If possible have your garden building built so it faces towards the house. The last thing a burglar wants is to be seen and will not want to risk being spotted from an occupant.
  • Install a simple P.I.R at the front of the studio which will trigger a light (even during daylight) when movement is detected.  Our attention is drawn to a light appearing and most P.I.Rs can be set to trigger during daylight as well as at night.
  • For less than £100 you can buy a camera with a mobile sim card in it that will call and text you, wherever you are in the world, when the alarm inside your studio is triggered.  On this device you can go online and look at live images from the camera to check if it is a false alarm or not. Additionally, if the camera does record a burglary, you can use the images to identify the intruder making it much more likely to catch them. There are more expensive versions of this type of technology that have battery backups so any power cut will not affect them. However, they all use the mobile network so they are not rendered totally useless if the power is cut.

Extra Rooms security

With this in mind, as standard all garden buildings supplied by Extra Rooms include the following garden office security measures:

  • Keyed locks on our timber windows (we also offer UPVC windows as an option – there is no extra charge for windows but UVPC doors are a bit more).
  • Glazing units that are security glued into the casements
  • All doors toughened double glazed.
  • All windows fully double glazed.
  • Security locks supplied as standard. Insurance approved 5 lever locks and all opening windows have keyed locks.

In addition to this, all our studios are lined with plywood, not plasterboard, though it is plastered after the addition of a special adhesive, so this makes breaking in from the rear or sides extremely difficult as plywood is so much stronger than OSB or plasterboard, which can be breached too easily by removing the cladding in many other studios but is why extra rooms are such strong rooms.

 

Written by David Fowler at 16:02
david fowler extra rooms garden office blog

David Fowler, Founder of Extra Rooms

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