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!

Is this a World record?

 

I often wonder if I am the most experienced quoter in the industry - at the high end of the garden room market?

Of all the specialist garden studio companies, we are one of the oldest and over the last 14 years we have supplied around 500 buildings all told, (thats a guess, once we got to 120 my memory faltered and we lost our first few year's emails so can't easily check) but of the number, whatever it is, we have only made about 6 identical ones, all the rest are bespoke.

All well and good, but then it got me to realising something, and it makes me a bit cocky (but hopefully not too much!)

It may mean, indeed probably does mean, that since I have quoted for every one of the buildings and designed nearly every one to be unique, along with the customer, that I am the record holder for the most number of unique garden room buildings in the UK.

I wonder if anyone else in our industry can exceed that claim?

If not then I am top, HOORAY!

(A bit sad! But little things please little minds...)

 

Here's a little bespoke snooker room  - what a great playroom!

Inside

Written by David Fowler at 00:00

Unexpected outcomes - even after all these years!

 

So, a couple of months ago I went on a few customer visits and met with three potential garden room clients. 

It felt at the time that of the three, one baulked a little at the price, one was really impressed with our new Slim Gym product, with me asking: "By the way are you into health and exercising" on the way out, so it looked like we would at least supply a gym if not a garden room building as well. The last client seemed really keen for us to build a larger building, split into two, one half soundproofed for drums and the other as a pilates room

So of the three, it looked like 2 sales were imminent and we'd made a very worthwhile trip.

What happened next?

Well, with the large building, we sent all the spec sheets and requests for further information and duly recieved an email back, ignoring all the requests for info and instead many questions. Fair enough, no objection to that, but with no answers, just statements like "You will do drawings showing designs and you will also do...." it was very difficult to move forwards quickly and easily, so we put that onto the backburner for a while, until we had managed to get all the other emails done, quotes confirmed etc...!

Now my father was an architect (this may sound an advantage and indeed in many ways it was, as this gave me a very good grounding in the building industry), however, it gave everyone the impression that I never 'needed' to learn any drawing skills. Consequently even though I can indeed draw, it takes me an absolute age to do them to an acceptable standard (since the bar was set rather high by my father and I don't want to do a bad job). Meanwhile the phone kept ringing with new business enquiries, more of the usual follow-up queries came in and to cut a long story short, those drawings never got done and by the time I found a suitable window of time, it was too late to follow up.

So what was the final outcome of that trip? 

We received a polite email from the people who were really impressed with the slim gym, the 'dead cert' couple, that they had decided to go elsewhere, fair enough, it surprised me though... 

Instead we got a deposit cheque from the first customer who we did not expect was interested at all!

It just goes to show :)

Written by David Fowler at 00:00

When is a Sound Proofed Garden Room not a Soundproof Garden Room?

 

Soundproofed rooms are visually pretty indistinguishable from our normal garden rooms, it is what goes on inside, hidden within the panels that makes the difference. It's the layers fitted to the inside of the room that makes them soundproof.

So you cannot tell from outside, (unless you know a few subtle tell-tale signs) whether the photos of our rooms are examples of normal rooms or soundproofed rooms.

Of course, there is one blatant and definite way to distinguish between one of our soundproofed studios and a competitor's soundproofed studio, a way which nobody can argue with, and that is a DB meter.

This means that if you are looking for a soundproofed garden studio, and they are expensive, then you must do your due diligence and get it right. Test them with a CD or MP3 you really like (Dire Straits or Wiley - depending on your taste!) and "pump up the volume" to the max, close the doors and walk ten paces away. 

Even better, ask us for the nearest soundproofed garden room to you of the same db suppression spec as you want, and not only go and test that, but also ask the owner what we are like to deal with too. We have many customers all over the Uk so there is always a soundproofed garden room not too far away. Because your a local, they are always happy to help, since we only ask if they are on the doorstep of a potential customer.

Simply measure the sound left at 10 meters away (we use that as a datum since a neighbour is rarely closer than that) and that will give you your answer.

Choose your supplier based upon that. From that point onwards, we look forward to suppling your guaranteed soundproofed extra room.

Written by David Fowler at 00:00

A sound bit of advice

 

Well, ExtraRoomers - we are building on 2016 - which was a record breaking year that culminated in the largest single garden room to date. Read on to learn more...

We pride ourselves in being the quickest installers of garden rooms in the UK, because we make them twice!

Let me explain - we make them once in our factory, then we take them apart and simply reassemble on site, so it's so much quicker than constructing them on site for the first time.

BUT this was not a normal garden room, it was a sound-proofed music studio, with a 40db suppression spec, and that is a very different kettle of fish! 

The layers of soundproofing materials must be heavy, the reason being that in order to suppress sounds effectively, you must have resilience, and mass.

The resilience comes from the special way we layer materials together to give them some space to move, and the mass, in this instance and with a building this size, comes from many, many tons of soundblocking boards.

Many competitors use factory made, pre-bought SIPS panels, but they are all made to a standard non sound-proofing spec. They have either polyurethane or polystyrene within sandwich of two layers, one each side, of oriented strand board. This has little mass and is not at all soundproof...

whereas our panels are bespoke, especially for soundproofed garden rooms, and the internal sandwich has a very dense soundblocking board, which can move when hit by sound, thereby getting a major head start on suppression before the sound even goes though the first layer of wall.

This board is cushioned either side to allow the boards within to move, and this de-powers the sound, especially the deep bass, even before it meets the internal wall surface layers.

This makes the panels far heavier than normal, which is good for soundproofing but makes them difficult to work with, so we reduce the size but add many more layers we get the db suppression to 40db.

For a 50db spec we add even more layers, some fixed, some movable by the sound as before, but that's another story!

Actually this customer thought he needed a 50 db room since loud drums were being used, this would normally be the case, but his neighbours were not immediately next to him, the glazed face of his building was towards his house, so we suggested we did a 40 db spec with construction that woudl make it easily into 50db retrospectively, if it was ever needed.

Once completed, the customer thrashed the drums and the noise levels were well low enough for his needs, so it was just as well we did it to 40db - the price difference was substantial, so he was doubly happy.

We are here to help with just that sort of issue - we make it our business to help you get the correct specification - after all we have years of experience and hundreds of happy customers.

IMG 1196

Written by David Fowler at 00:00

How's it Overhanging?

We recently did a job near Bristol where the garden room was planned to face directly south.

This can cause problems if not taken into account, since even though this is what the customer wanted and insisted on, too much sun directly into a relatively small space can be a real issue. Luckily there are ways to compensate and there are quite a few choices.

The choices are blinds, tinting, solar glass, or an extended roof overhang/parapet roof, and each has its own pros and cons.

We are the suppliers of these buildings to the end user so we often have to bear in mind that when something fails, even something as minor as a blind, it could cause us grief, since even though our guarantee does not cover minor cosmetic issues it still reflects on us. So we plan to avoid these things happening as much as we possibly can.

We don't do blinds any more, tinting was ok most of the time, but it can get a bit dusty in our factory (any woodworking area has some dust!) and if we managed to get a bit of dust trapped behind a couple of window panes on a job at the far end of the country, we'd be going back to sort it out. So what is the most foolproof solution?

When directly facing the sun, the best, most permanent and least problematic approach, is a large roof overhang, a built-in 'canopy' if you will. Shade all the time when the sun is fierce and high up in the sky, but allowing that lovely early morning and late evening sun, at a sharp angle from the east in the morning and the west in the evening. 

That was our answer on this occasion, and exactly what was required for this particular building, oriented as it was.

Every customer is different and every building we do is different, so it's essential we give it some forethought to make sure that the customer's extra room, not only looks presentable, but works too!

Coombe

Written by David Fowler at 00:00
david fowler extra rooms garden office blog

David Fowler, Founder of Extra Rooms

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