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!

The Artistry of Cladding - a tale of patience and passion

So we had a call from a lady in the Isle of Wight wanting a garden studio to use for her business dealing in stamps, collectables and artistic items.

We quoted and added a bit to help cover the costs of the extra travelling time and it was all duly accepted. Incidentally the customer mentioned later that in fact no other company she had contacted was willing to even consider installing in the Isle of Wight!

It is hardly an 'ocean crossing' but 'the competition' did not like it so we did it, no problem!

Anyway, the customer has an eye for patterns and also hates waste and likes to try to look after the environment, so with that in mind we got to tallking on the phone one day about the different tones of cedar.

I remembered as a child being told by my architect father that in some countries people were willing to pay more for reject bricks than ordinary ones of a consistent tone and colour. Reject bricks, if laid reasonably randomly in a wall, offer a mottled pattern which is far more interesting to the eye.

I suggested, if that was the case then would she like us to clad her garden room in cedar off-cut?

It was going to be a lot more time consuming so there would not be a cost advantage for her, indeed it was a bit of an unknown as we had never done that before, and in fact it really did take a lot longer as we ended up having to finger-joint each peace and glue them together in rows of three, it took ages, but I think she was right.


We think the resulting garden office looks excellent >

Extra1 (1)

Written by David Fowler at 00:00

Man cave! - Woman cave! ++update++


Hey Extra Room Bloggers!


Perhaps you remember this recent post from june showing the garden room being prepared in our workshop, prior to assembly on site?

Well take a look at these photos from the VERY happy customer!

Let the games commence :)






Written by David Fowler at 00:00

I need it bigger ++ UPDATE ++


You may remember this post from a while back - well just take a look at these beautiful photos of the garden room in SITU!!



Bigger 2x

Written by David Fowler at 00:00

Made to comply with the regs. (Literally!)

Even though many people choose to have a garden room rather than a house extension because normally no planning permission is required, it often puts people off once they find that if they want to use it for overnight accommodation, then building regs come into force.

However, whilst normally we only have to make the glazing and wiring up to house building standards and regs by law in normal garden rooms, our standard construction methods almost reach the full building regs as they are.

In this case here the client wanted the building to be used officially for occasional overnight occupancy so we had an inspector come and visit our factory to see how our buildings are constructed.

When he examined some examples we have and the works in progress he said most of our buildings would comply "as is" but fire regs may require some extra fireproofing of some of the cladding that faced adjoining neighbours, dependant upon the distance of the buildings from the boundary and also what the boundary was made of.

If required the additional fireproofing would normally consist of a bromide solution to fireproof the cladding where required but this is decided on a case-by-case basis following a site visit, to ascertain distances from adjoining houses to common boundaries.

We had taken it as read that a proper mains operated smoke detector would be required but that was all as far as the occupants of the building were concerned, other considerations relevant to fire were to do with fire spread elsewhere rather than within the studio itself.

All our buildings, whatever the category are all plastered out properly so this helped a lot.

We do offer an upgrade to reach the house regs of 0.39W/degK so this was fitted and that was it.

Now if ever the client decides to sell up he or she has a garden studio building at the bottom of the garden that could be used as a 'granny flat' which is an added bonus and places extra value on the garden building and in fact the house too.

(Sheep not included!)



Written by David Fowler at 00:00

Kit or caboodle?


Up to now we have been offering nothing but bespoke and complete garden rooms, installed and including a foundation and maybe we should give some more options?

Most of our customers want everything done for them, turn-key but some have asked if we can do a DIY version, and really we ought to offer that choice.

We did have a dalliance with it many years ago for one project only, and when it came to it, I did not like a building leaving the factory incomplete, it hurt, so we withdrew the offer and carried on as before.


But was that right?

Who knows, perhaps we ought to rethink.

Having worked our costs out (hopefully accurately - we shall see on that score!) we are going to do the experiment again and offer part-completion but with all the kit and components for the whole build but at a 25% discount.

The difference between our buildings and many other with the "roadside delivery only" option, is that the building usually arrives at the roadside in a packing crate and that is the end of the story, the customer literally picks it all up from there and often struggles to get it all together. The weather frequently intervenes in these non sunny climes, turning it into a bit of a nightmare!

What we leave still to be done is a much easier assembly, as the building will still be in bespoke S.I.P.S panels but sized to suit the building, as we make them ourselves so they are appropriately sized for the building, minimalising the number of panels and reducing or removing joints.

The buildings, being in panel form, will already contain the wiring etc and be full sized so it is not a matter of starting from the ground plank by plank like a summerhouse and then having to line it out and wire it on site with surface mounted plug sockets and surface conduits.


We insulate them and line them out and plaster them as before, so all that arduous work will already be done.

Kit Caboodle Blog

We shall see how much interest is generated but it will save customers 2.5k plus vat on a 12.5k job so if it takes a few weekends and evenings to complete, there may well be a few takers (quite a saving for a bit of time spent on DIY on a weekend or over evenings).

We'll make the option available from this coming week.

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

David Fowler, Founder of Extra Rooms