Most garden office suppliers offer a site visit to discuss your garden office requirements, many companies offer this as a complimentary no obligation service whilst other companies make a charge for this service (can be up to £500) which they normally offset against the cost of the building if you proceed with the order.
Some suppliers don’t offer a site visit and their argument is that it is their way of keeping their costs down – fair enough a site visit at the other end of the country can cost a company quite a bit, but it does save problems occurring later in the project.
A site visit is a really important part of the garden office buying process and it’s imperative if you are opting for a bespoke design garden office.
A site visit involves a representative from the garden office company visiting you at a mutually convenient time, if you are going down the bespoke design rout the designer themselves will normally do the visit, sometimes a qualified surveyor will conduct the survey, on standard designs you would expect a general sales person to visit.
You would expect the site visit to start with a general chat about what you want from your garden office, for you to express your likes and dislikes and for you to set a budget for your project – don’t be embarrassed by this its best to set the budget early on in the process so everyone knows where they stand – a good garden office company is not going to try and make you spend more than you want too.
After an initial chat you will go outside and look at the site, the designer will take detailed measurements, sketch out the site, take photos and you would expect them to test the soil to see what the site conditions are to judge which the best type of foundation for the site are. The designer will advise you on planning permission and suggest options on the orientation of the garden office, window position etc. The designer may do some ‘napkin sketches’ to check that they are thinking along the same lines as you and will show you photos and maybe videos of past projects and sample materials.
One of the most important elements of a site visit and the bit that can save problems down the line is checking the access to the site; you should walk the route from the delivery point to the site and check for any potential obstacles like gates and low hanging trees. Most things can be overcome we have known panels and materials be taken through the front door and right through a house where there’s been no side access.
After the site visit what you have discussed will be put in writing, you will receive drawings, visualisations, specification, price, contract and terms and conditions, payment schedule and a delivery schedule.
In the next part of this guide we start looking at the construction options with the Garden Office Guide: Foundations