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Garden Office Guide: Homelodge

The-New-Garden-Office-Guide

In the latest in our garden office supplier Q&A sessions we talk to Homelodge:

What is your most popular garden office design?

Pretty even popularity with our dual pitched roof Classic 3.6 and Classic 5.4. Also our new mono pitched Homelodge Studio is proving very popular.

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

All our lodges are designed to suit the garden and use – the position of windows, doors and internal partitions is flexible. The Studio can be made to a bespoke size thus suiting any size garden. Our American siding ply can be finished in a high quality stain or micro-porous paint in a range of colours that will blend in with surroundings. We can install a w/c & shower room adding to the versatility of the space and can be used for the occasional over-night guest accommodation. Highly insulated with double glazing and heating providing comfortable all year round use. Roof lights and air-conditioning can also be added.

How do your garden offices comply with Planning Permission?

Planning permission will definitely be required if the main dwelling house is a listed property.

Otherwise the Classic range if positioned more than 2m off any boundary and described as a study would not need planning, coming under the The Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No.2) (England) Order 2008, Class E.

If the lodge needs to be positioned closer than 2m to a boundary then planning will be required – we are pleased to act as the planning agent for our clients.

The Homelodge Studio however being under 2.5m high can be placed closer than 2m to a boundary without planning permission thus making this lodge ideal for the smaller/urban garden.

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

Our Classic 3.6 or Homelodge Studio (which could be made smaller than the Classic 3.6) would be absolutely ideal for one worker.

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

The Classic 5.4 would be very comfortable for two workers. Again our Homelodge Studio could be designed and made in a size to suit/accommodate two workers.

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

We don’t include the cost for ground works in our price list simply because all garden sizes and soil types can be different. However through experience we can offer a guestimate initially followed by a confirmed price once our ground worker has visited site. We use hand dug concrete pad-stones leveled with a paving slab on which our lodges sit, thus meaning minimal disruption to the garden.

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

All our lodges can most definitely be used all year round. High insulation, double glazing and heating provided as standard. We can install Velux roof lights and air-conditioning/heat pumps for additional comfort.

We use 60mm Kingspan in the roof, 80mm Rockwool in the walls and 160mm Rockwool in the floor.

The wall thickness is 110mm.

What is the exterior cladding on your garden offices?

We use a specially imported American Siding 14mm exterior grade grooved plywood. We use the range of Sadolin stains and micro-porous paint which are available in a good range of colours. The stains have a recommended re-decoration of every 3 years and the paint every six years – we offer a maintenance agreement whereby we offer to carry out this work for an agreed rate.

What is the roof covering?

On the Classic range we have a closed panel construction of Tegola asphalt shingles over 12mm plywood & 38 x 89mm rafters. These shingles come with a 10 year guarantee with a life expectancy of 30 years.

On our Homelodge Studio we have a closed panel construction of Alwitra Evalon-V (Vet Type) polymetric membrane with integral polyester fleece backing as main field sheet and unbacked Evalong for all detailed work bonded onto 12mm ply. This roof covering comes with a 20 year guarantee with a life expectancy of 40 years.

We can offer alternatives to the above such as Cedar Shingles.

What is the interior lining and floor covering?

The interior walls are lined with either 6mm plywood or 12mm plasterboard decorated with a resilient wall covering and finished with emulsion paint.

The floor finish is generally a chipboard flooring allowing the customer to choose their own flooring although there are optional flooring’s available such as carpet or vinyl.

How many electrical sockets do you include as standard?

The Classic 3.6 has 3 double sockets. The Classic 5.4 has 6 double sockets. The Studio will have the same according to the size. We can include more if required and be positioned to suit.

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

We use halogen or low-energy LED spot lights fitted onto the pelmets. These we find to be efficient in the provision of adequate positional lighting. We can also install central fluorescent lights.

As standard a PIR external light is fitted by the external door.

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

We include thermostatically controlled wall mounted electric convector heaters with a time switch as standard.

We are able to offer air-conditioning/heat pumps as an alternative.

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

The ground works will include a trench to be dug from the lodge to a connection point in the main dwelling house. Within this trench we would have a duct whereby the wiring can be pulled through for the provision of electric, telephone, data and tv cabling. If all these were not going to be installed at the time we can leave tails in this duct to allow the cabling to be brought through at a later date.

We can include all the connections for these services or the customer can source.

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

We could design where the furniture would be best placed and therefore place the appropriate electrics/data sockets to suit.

The addition of air-con would provide an even temperature through our, albeit brief, Summer. We can install blinds to the windows and roof lights.

Landscaping could also be designed to add to the ‘separation’ of the office from the main dwelling house.

We can also provide a ramp to the entrance door for disabled access etc.

What is the lead time on your garden offices?

Obtaining planning permission can take up 8 weeks.

Because we manufacture and install a lot of school buildings we would need to look at the current manufacturing programme to give an indication of when a lodge can be delivered but generally a lodge can be provided within 3 months or less.

What is the typical on site build time?

Ground works will take 3 – 5 days
Manufacture of the lodge in our factory will take about 5 days and the installation on site would be 5 – 10 days.
Leaving a lodge ready to use.

How much does a typical one person office cost?

A Classic 3.6 would be circa £13 – 14,000 + VAT – inclusive of ground works and connection to services, ready to use.

The Homelodge Studio is a bespoke design – prices would be on application

How much does a typical two person office cost?

A Classic 5.4 would be circa £18 – 20,000 + VAT – inclusive of ground works and connection to services, ready to use.

The Homelodge Studio is a bespoke design – prices would be on application

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

If planning is required we can act as the clients agent – our fees would be circa £285 + £60 to download the OS plan + the Council application fee of £150.

If a Building Regulation application is required (eg: if a w/c is installed) the application is part of our service however there will be application and inspection fee charged by Building Control.

We will supply a comprehensive quotation to the client detailing every likely expense so there will be no nasty surprises.

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

Homelodge has been in business since 1986 and have produced nearly 800 lodges. No. 1 lodge is used daily and in very good condition.
Being a timber structure external maintenance is very important. All timbers are pressure treated and we use the Sadolin range of stains and paints. We encourage our clients to take advantage of our on-going external maintenance contract which includes scheduled visits and redecoration when due. The cost of this is broken down to an annual fee over a six year period.

What guarantees come with the office, are they free?

All our buildings come with a 10 year guarantee on the external fabric. The Tegola asphalt shingles have a 10 year guarantee with a life expectancy of 30 years.

The Alwitra Evalon polymeric membrane is guaranteed for 20 years with a life expectancy of 40 years.

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

To consider the whole project, not just the building and buy from a tried & tested supplier who can take care of everything from design, manufacture, installation, ground works, connection to services and on-going maintenance.

Like to learn more? Have a chat with the Homelodge team on 01962 881480 or visit www.homelodge.co.uk

 

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