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Garden rooms/offices - brick built or wood?

(17 Posts)
Mins Tue 01-Sep-09 00:06:05

Currently looking into the possibility of a garden room to use as an office and to store all the books etc we can't fit into our new house! Have looked at companies online such as Homestead, Nordic Wood, Smart etc who have some really nice insulated timber buildings which can be used all year round. Just seen something one of our neighbours has though which is brick built and cost substantially less than we'd pay for a timber one. Does anyone have any experience of using any of the companies that supply timber buildings? Anyone had a brick built one built? Pros and cons? We really need something that is well insulated and able to be used by DH late into the evening for his second job.

HerHonesty Tue 01-Sep-09 06:36:44

we had a wood one in our last house, we loved it. it was double glazed, carpeted and had electric heating and was fine once you had the heater on. i am surprised brick would cost less. ours all in cost less than 5k.

it took 1 day to do the concrete base, 3 days to go up and about 2 days to paint. and about 8 weeks for me to decide style, colour etc! we used these people.

Mins Tue 01-Sep-09 22:19:45

Thanks for this. Am amazed you got one so cheaply - we have been quoted much higher prices. How big was yours and was it insulated? HOw long ago did you get it done? The link doesn't seem to work?

HerHonesty Wed 02-Sep-09 08:50:35

it was about 3 years ago. I know, compared to alot of other people we know it was much cheaper. it wasnt massive though, it was about 3.5 metres by 2 or something, which was enough space for me to work/study/surf ebay on!. this was sort of before the garden office craze so maybe they have gone up a lot.

i do remember that we had to sort out getting the electricity in and concreteing the base, which might be wy they were cheaper. but that really wasnt that much of a hastle! it was double glazed, had carpets and ceiling insulation, you can choose to up or down grade as you see fit.

found there propert website here.

midnightexpress Wed 02-Sep-09 08:54:04

Mins, don't know where you are, but it might be worth going along to one of the big garden shows before you buy, as many of the companies exhibit at them. Obviously the biggies (Chelsea, Hampton Court) are over for this year, but there are others - have a look at teh RHS website.

fatjac Wed 02-Sep-09 10:22:27

Another thing to consider is that a wooden structure doesn't require planning permission but a brick built structure may be subject to planning and building control.

Mins Wed 02-Sep-09 13:26:08

Thanks everyone for messages. Have now had a look at perfect cabins website herhonesty and they are actually very reasonable in comparison with others we've looked at. It's quite hard to compare prices as they all include different things. E.g. Homestead (as rec by Kirstie Allsop!) is quite expensive but really does include everything and I guess saves you the hassle of finding an electrician, painting etc. Surely there must be someone else out there who has experience of some of these companies???

Will now go and look at RHS website and look at details for planning permission - thanks again! smile

monstermayhem Mon 07-Sep-09 20:40:09

Don't forget the small companies often give you a better price for the same size of office as they have less overheads. My dh does garden rooms, designing and building them himself. He does everything, from laying the concrete base, painting the inside, laying the laminate floor, electrics. An electric heater keeps you warm, and the rooms are so well-insulated you can use them all year round.

Seriously, if you have any questions, please shout. I don't mind answering anything.

Mins Mon 07-Sep-09 23:29:11

Hi monster mayhem - that's interesting - hadn't really thought about a smaller co. Where are you based? We are in Cambridge. May well have more questions for you soon.....

monstermayhem Thu 10-Sep-09 20:09:13

Sorry - have been trying to wean myself off MN, hence my silence.

We are in Dorset, so not very near. My husband builds timber (either softwood or western red cedar) garden rooms - all bespoke (ie, whatever size, combination of windows /doors, type of doors (French doors or bi-fold doors), whatever flooring the client wants). A small company or carpenter could give you the flexibility to be able to get exactly what you want, rather than a set one from a catalogue.

Mins Sun 13-Sep-09 11:21:59

Thanks for that - may well contact a local carpenter. Any one else had experience of this?

frostyfingers Mon 14-Sep-09 09:49:31

We put up a wooden office building 3 years ago 4mx3m from a company called Garden Affairs in Bath. They were very helpful and have lots of designs, and you can choose your own layout, doors, windows etc. We insulated the roof and floor but not the walls and it is freezing in winter but we use electric and gas heaters and wear lots of clothes. I only work 2-3 days a week and works ok for this period, although I worked full time we'd probably have gone for full insulation.

It came flat pack, and DH and I put it up by ourselves (on a concrete base put in by builders), it was hard work but surprisingly easy and very satisfying. Painted it ourselves too. If you are keeping books then I think you def must have more insulation otherwise they'll be damp.

Mins Mon 14-Sep-09 13:29:28

frostyfingers - many thanks for this. I have the Garden Affairs brochure and they are one of the companies I am considering. Very useful to know about the insulation element - we will definitely need to use it all year round and my husband needs to work in there late at night too so it's vital it's warm enough! Thanks again.

TokenFemale Mon 14-Sep-09 18:24:10

We got our garden office from this company. DH has worked in it full time for 2 years and has had no problems. Its fully insulated, though on winter mornings he runs a fan heater for about 20 mins to take the chill out of the air.

Mins Tue 15-Sep-09 11:18:38

Thanks for that token female - haven't looked at that one before. frostyfingers - do you know how think your walls are in your garden room? Garden Affairs seem to offer 48mm or 68mm? We would go for 68mm but still not sure if walls would still need to be insulated - will probably go for as much insulation as we can I think.

frostyfingers Mon 21-Sep-09 16:39:18

Sorry - been too busy to check here! 48mm thick. I would seriously consider insulation if you're planning to store stuff, and work full time in it. GA were really helpful, and helped with explaining the constructing, and didn't seem to mind that we had to keep ringing them up!

Mins Tue 22-Sep-09 13:15:56

Thanks for that frostyfingers. Think we will probably go for 68mm to be on the safe side and as much insulation as we can get!

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