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Garden Office Guide: Sanctum Garden Studios

The-New-Garden-Office-Guide

We chat with Sanctum Garden Studios about using their buildings as garden offices:

What is your most popular garden office design?

All our Studios are popular for use as offices. The most common sizes seem to be between 3m x 2.4m and 4.8m x 3m.

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

Our flexibility. Because of the wide range of businesses that are now being operated from home offices around the country each has their own specific requirements and an ‘off the peg’ solution just won’t work for them.

We manufacture all our Studios ourselves in our own workshops and can therefore adapt our design quite easily to suit the individual- usually without a premium. In reality very few of our Studios are the same.

How do your garden offices comply with Planning Permission?

We keep all our studios just under the 2.5m permitted development rule so it is as easy as it can be for our customers.
We do build higher for customers who have already gained planning permission or for those who can move more than 2m away from their boundaries.

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

2.4m x 2.4m is easily manageable if a little cosy with equipment, if you need more storage for filing cabinets, photocopiers etc then maybe move upto a 3m x 2.4m.

We are just about to launch a Self-Build 2.4m x 2.4m Garden Office aimed at this market. It has the same contemporary look as our other Studios and will be £5500 inc Vat. We will also offer an installation service on these.
Watch this space!

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

A 3m x 2.4 would be fine for two workers without too much equipment.

Lots of customers choose to have a multi-functional room splitting it into say a work space in one half and home gym in the other. A 4.8m x 3m would provide a decent sized work are for two people and allow space for a running machine and weights area.

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

Yes we include foundations as standard.

We use mini concrete piles in conjunction with pre-stressed concrete ground beams which we bring with us pre-formed so there is minimum mess on site.

We are happy to deduct the foundation costs if there is already a concrete slab in place.

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

Yes our studios are designed to be used year round. We use only Celotex or Extra-therm PIR insulation which is far superior to mineral wool insulations of the same thickness. Our walls are over 135mm thick.

On some of our models we use a ‘Composite’ roof panel which is a sandwich of insulation and specially coated steels. This has superb insulating properties and is truly long life and maintenance free.

What is the exterior cladding on your garden offices?

We use only Western Red Cedar as it is one of the most durable timbers available. Its naturally occurring oils protect it for dozens of years without any treatment and it weathers into a lovely silver grey in time. It can be oiled if preferred so that it retains its original natural colours.

It is also one of the most thermally insulating timbers due to millions of microscopic air pockets.

What is the roof covering?

Either EPDM or a plastisol coated Composite roof panel from Kingspan depending on the design and size of the Studio.
Both systems are chosen for their simplicity and therefore reliability, longevity, zero maintenance, and they look good!

What is the interior lining and floor covering?

The internal walls are lined with a white faced super tough MFC board. This has a wipeable finish and shelves etc can be screwed straight into it without worry or need of Rawl plugs etc.

The standard floor covering is a commercial grade laminate.

How many electrical sockets do you include as standard?

We are really flexible with the layout and number of sockets. We sometimes fit a media trunking system so that customers can add or move sockets easily as their needs develop.

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

We use wall mounted directional spotlights as standard. These can take low energy led bulbs.

We know that flush ceiling mounted spots look good, but because we keep under the 2.5m rule and because we try to maximise available headroom inside the Studio we don’t think we can fit them without them either overheating or by removing the insulation from around them and thereby compromising the thermal efficiency of the building.

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

Not as standard. We, and our customers have found that a small panel heater or an oil filled radiator is more than ample even in the depths of winter- because of our high levels of insulation.

We do offer underfloor heating as an option if required.

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

Wireless is obviously the simplest way to get connected for both telephone and broadband. However if customers want to get a hard wired connection then we are happy to wire the studio with data points and terminate them in a separate junction box outside the Studio.

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

We think we’ve included all the essentials in our standard package, but we do offer a number of options to give our Studios even more of a wow factor.
These include:-
Bi-folding doors
Integrated Blinds
Underfloor heating
Extra windows/ doors in any elevation

What is the lead time on your garden offices?

It can be as little as two or three weeks, but can also stretch out to a couple of months. This obviously depends on our workload and seasonal factors do come into play.

What is the typical onsite build time?

We build most Studios in two days on site, the largest ones can take three as can more complicated bespoke units with multiple rooms.

How much does a typical one person office cost?

A 2.4 x 2.4 costs £7300 including VAT and installation.

As mentioned earlier a Self-build unit will be £5500 inc Vat.

A 3m x 2.4m costs £7700 including VAT and installation.

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

There are no ‘hidden’ extras but you will have to arrange for a local electrician to connect the mains to the outside junction box on the Studio. You won’t need planning permission for our Studios in most cases, but if you do there will obviously be associated costs.

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

They are designed so that maintenance is kept to an absolute minimum. The external roof and walls are made from incredibly durable materials as are the windows and doors. They will last indefinitely as does a new house.

What guarantees come with the office, are they free?

We don’t subscribe to a company offering formal guarantees at the moment, but customers are covered by our very fair Terms and Conditions and of course their statutory rights.

For our customers peace of mind and by popular demand we are looking at taking on the CPA guarantee system. Hopefully this will be in place in the next few months. Nothing will change with the studios or the service we provide but customers may feel more secure in these testing times.

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

There are now many companies offering garden buildings from the humble shed to state of the art, ultra contemporary designs built to standards of efficiency that most house builders can only dream of.

Look at all the options, decide which you like the look of, then look carefully at the specifications of your short list.

The difficult part is to make sure that you are comparing apples with apples. Some ‘log cabins’ may look good in photographs but they don’t really compare with the majority of buildings featured on this site. Good Luck!

Interested and want to learn more? Give the Sanctum Garden Studios team a call on 0844 800 9750 or visit their website www.sanctumgardenstudios.com

 

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