Garden Office Guide: Atelier


We chat to Atelier about their range of contemporary garden offices:

What is your most popular garden office design?

Atelier manufactures two ranges of garden studio; the C-range and the S-range. In addition, we produce bespoke designs and home extensions that incorporate the Atelier style.

Of these, our most popular design is probably the C-range with the curve appeal of its roof and walls, and the handsome decked veranda.  Nonetheless, all our models include as standard: high level, vertical and decking powder coated aluminium fascia; cladding to rear and sides; fixed glass and aluminium folding sliding doors; under floor heating; oak internal flooring; seamless finished plastered walls, and; external decking.

In essence, whatever the requirements of individual clients we are able to deliver a garden studio to fit their needs.

Why does your design make the perfect garden office, how have you made it user friendly?

All our garden studios come with folding sliding doors, which make the most of the studios’ garden locations, whilst providing easy access for any user. Additionally, these doors, when coupled with the combination of underfloor heating, connection to energy utilities, and great thermal efficiency, mean that Atelier’s studios are perfect for use all-year around, whatever the weather, and cheap to maintain as well.

Furthermore, once erected our garden studios require virtually no maintenance, other than whatever any proud homeowner may want to undertake for themselves.

How do your garden offices comply with Planning Permission?

Ordinarily, Atelier’s garden studios do not require planning permission, subject to permitted development rights. However, in instances where permission is required, such as in a conservation area, Atelier has an experienced and dedicated planning team that will handle all planning matters on the client’s behalf.

What size garden office do you recommend for one worker to work comfortably?

Our smallest studio design incorporates a floor space of 8m², so we wouldn’t expect to go any smaller than this, unless a client specifically requested us to. This size provides ample room for a desk and the relevant office equipment for one person and a couple of visitors; and, in warm weather, the door system can be opened fully for al fresco meetings.

And for two workers what size garden office do you suggest?

It really depends on the client and their needs. The larger models up from the 8m² entry level model are 10.5m² and 12.9m². The former is perfectly adequate for two workers, but a lot would depend on their type of work and their requirements. It may well be a bespoke design would be required that incorporated additional features such as separate meeting room, or other facilities. Atelier’s driving ambition is to meet the needs of the client, so we would take our lead from them.

Are foundations included in the price, if so what type?

Foundations are included in the overall cost and we undertake their installation ourselves, ensuring there will be no delays caused by using different contractors. We install a foundation system suitable for the site conditions of each individual project. All we ask is that clients provide us with a flat surface.

Are your garden offices suitable for year round use? What type of insulation do you use? How thick are your walls?

Yes they are. In summer our studios’ folding sliding doors allow fresh air to circulate and keep occupants cool; whilst the combination of super effective underfloor heating and highly energy efficient glazing, allows Atelier’s studios to withstand the rigours of the coldest winter weather.

Additionally we use structurally insulated panels (SIPs), which are a highly efficient modern method of construction. The panels consist of a polyurethane foam core sandwiched between two layers of OSB (oriented strand board). The result is a very strong, lightweight, highly efficient building component that when used in a SIP building will create an airtight and weatherproof seal. They are ideal for our structures.

What is the exterior cladding on your garden offices?

The exterior cladding consists of open joint boarded panels with a choice of one of the following timbers:

  • Thermowood (heat treated Scandinavian Redwood) felled from FSC accredited forests. Thermal modification improves durability and stability of the timber meaning that no treatment is needed. Uncoated timber cladding should last for 25-35 years.
  • Western Red Cedar felled from sustainable FSC accredited forests. This durable timber requires no treatment and has an expected service life of 40-60 years. The timber does not need treating but it can be oiled to preserve its natural colour.
  • European Oak felled from FSC managed sources, with an expected service life of 40-60 years.

What is the roof covering?

The roofs of our studios are made to the same specifications as the walls, ensuring the whole structure is weatherproof and watertight.

What is the interior lining and floor covering?

A plastered finish is offered as standard. Dry lined, moisture resistant, plasterboard is skimmed and painted matt white continuing the seamless design style inside.

Alternatively, textured white laminate panels are offered as an option. These panels are manufactured from high strength board and laminated with a choice of impact resistant laminate. Panels are fitted to a framework offsite to ensure their precise fit. Using these panels will reduce installation time, they will not fade or discolour, and will wipe clean.

Engineered oak flooring in a choice of finishes is offered with all our studios.

How many electrical sockets do you include as standard?

A consumer unit and several high quality brushed aluminium sockets with matching switches are installed as standard on all our structures. The exact location of these can be adjusted at the General Arrangement Drawing (GAD) stage.

What sort of lighting do you use in your offices, why have you chosen this type?

We offer hand-made, low energy lighting from Delta Light as standard on all models. The lighting is stylish, contemporary and extremely energy efficient.

Do you include heating in your garden office as standard, if so what type?

We include under floor heating as standard in all our studios. The system comprises a 1mm thick, laminate, polyester sheet with carbon coated heating elements fitted over 6mm insulation board. It is CE and BEAB approved with an output of 90-100 Watts/m2. The under floor heating system has running costs of just £3-£4 per m2 per year when used as the main heat source.

Broadband and telephone are important in a garden office, how do buyers get these to the office?

We are very happy to assist clients with all their requirements, and these requirements are no different. However, increasingly we are finding that wireless technology is alleviating the need for such physical connections to studios.

What optional extras would you recommend to create the perfect office setup?

All Atelier’s studios come ready for use, so the need for any extras would come directly from the personal requirements of each client. For instance, it may well be that they want solar panels to help power their studio, or require blinds for privacy. Whatever, the requirement Atelier can meet it.

What is the lead time on your garden offices?

From the point of order, it usually takes 12 weeks for an Atelier studio to be designed (if a bespoke design), manufactured, delivered and erected.

What is the typical onsite build time?

A typical Atelier garden studio takes 7-10 days to erect.

How much does a typical one person office cost?

The smallest non-bespoke studio we offer is the S1, which costs £23,835 (inc. VAT, base, delivery and installation), and offers a floor space of 8m².

How much does a typical two person office cost?

Our S2 studio costs £30,422 (inc. VAT, base, delivery and installation), and it offers a floor space of 10.5m².

Are there any hidden extras? (planning fees, electrical hookup etc)

No. All Atelier quotations include all specific requirements, as outlined by the client during their meeting with one of our designers.

As previously stated, we offer, as standard: high level, vertical and decking powder coated aluminium fascia; cladding to rear and sides; fixed glass and aluminium folding sliding doors; under floor heating; oak internal flooring; seamless finished plastered walls, and; external decking.

Additional options we provide can be discussed and approved prior to the point of sale, and these are virtually limitless depending on the requirements of the client. These extras can consist of something simple such as internal, laminated panelling, to wet rooms or solar panels.

All we ask is that connection to the relevant mains is undertaken by approved professionals prior to installation, and a flat surface for construction is provided.

The only other additional outlay would be for any necessary planning application which we can handle on behalf of the client.

What is the lifespan of your garden offices, is there any ongoing maintenance?

Virtually no maintenance is required – only what any proud homeowner may want to undertake as a matter of course.

The timbers we offer have been chosen because they require little or no maintenance during an expected life cycle of up to 60 years. The timbers can be left to weather and age naturally (greying in the process), can be stained or can be periodically treated with oils or waxes. The programme for maintenance is entirely up to the client but we recommend an annual inspection.

What guarantees come with the office, are they free?

We offer a free 5-year guarantee, and a dedicated aftercare support team to remedy any problems that may very occasionally arise.

If you could give a buyer one piece of advice about buying a garden office, what would it be?

Do your homework and be clear of your requirements from the outset. The garden studio market includes many companies offering structures of differing quality, and it may well be that extra money spent on a higher standard of studio will save you many pounds in your pocket in the years to come. Atelier’s studios are extremely high-specification, but, beyond the outlay of their purchase, they will last for several decades to come meeting any future requirements during that period.

Want to learn more? Give Atelier a call on 0800 046 1296 to talk about garden offices or visit their website

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