Complete on-site builds
When it comes to building a garden room, companies have different approaches to the manufacturing phase.
Many of the big names in modular garden room design have factories where they construct the different modules which form their buildings. These modules are designed so that they lock together and can be finished quickly once on-site. Some of the smaller garden rooms built this way can be installed in just a day.
Companies that specialise in SIPs garden rooms also do much of the work for their buildings off-site. Rather than running expensive workshops themselves, they source the different elements of the building from specialist companies and project manage them to arrive on-site as they are needed.
Another approach is to construct a garden room on-site completely. Garden rooms built this way usually have a traditional insulated timber frame structure.
With a complete on-site build, the raw materials are delivered to the site, and the installation team cuts them to size and creates the core structure. Skilled carpenters will lead the installation team.
In this article, we will look at some of the benefits of this approach.
Often smaller, local companies led by skilled carpenters
In our experience, the garden room companies building their rooms on-site are smaller family-run companies. The size of these businesses allows them to offer each client a personalised service.
These companies also tend to work on fewer projects at once than their larger modular counterparts, so they focus on the individual build.
There are companies that install this way, offering a nationwide service, but often with this approach, the company works fairly locally to where they are based.
There can be cost benefits to working with a local garden room manufacturer as you can subtract delivery charges that a company based further a field may apply.
Check which garden room companies work in your area
Not all of them do!
No expensive workshops
Building their garden rooms entirely on-site, negates the need for the company to run large, expensive workshops. They also don't have to employ large teams to staff both the off-site and on-site phases.
This saves a lot of money in both terms of staff wages, but also buildings and equipment. For instance, when you consider that some of the CNC machinery used to manufacture modular garden rooms can cost as much as a small house. Not having big workshops saves these companies a lot of money!
These savings are usually reflected in their garden rooms' price tags.
Often traditional timber frame builds
Companies that completely build their garden rooms on-site typically use traditional timber frames for the core structure. However, we are seeing more companies utilise light gauge steel frames rather than timber.
Traditional timber frames create a sturdy core structure for a garden room. This is further strengthened by a sheathing layer added to the exterior side. The gaps in the timber framework are filled with insulation, and then several more layers of material are added to both the exterior and interior faces of the core structure.
On-site construction comes into its own when a non-standard design
On-site garden room construction comes into its own when the site is tricky, or the building is a non-standard shape or design.
If you have limited access to your rear garden, getting loose timbers and sheet materials to the building site can often be easier than transporting heavy, pre-built modules.
Over the years, we have featured lots of projects where lengths of timber etc., have been walked through the house because there was no rear access to the garden. Recently, we featured a large garden room where all the materials were craned in over the house.
Garden rooms built on-site come into their own when the owner wants to maximise the space available. It is far easier to create an angled wall that could make the most of an odd-shaped plot with a timber frame than it would be with a pre-built module.
Some designers are happy for the design to evolve on site
Some, though by no means all, companies that specialise in complete on-site garden room builds, are happy for tweaks to the layout and design to happen as the build progresses.
We have known clients to stand inside the frame of their new room and wish they had positioned a window to frame a particular view of the garden, and the company accommodated this deviation from the plan. They quote for it separately.
It would be wise to get a feel if the team would accommodate on-site tweaks during your initial design consultation. Not all companies are happy to deviate from the plan once on-site.
There is not this level of flexibility with a garden room largely constructed off-site.
Complete on-site builds take longer than those constructed off-site, but not much
Modular garden rooms that are mostly constructed off-site in a factory are designed to go together on-site quickly. A small pod can typically be installed within a day. Bigger modular rooms can often be completed in a working week.
SIP's based garden room projects are often fully completed within a fortnight (Monday to Friday) on-site.
The length of time that a complete on-site garden room build will take will depend on the size and complexity of the build and how many people make up the installation team.
When looking at the build time of medium to large garden room projects we've featured that were completed from scratch on-site, they are typically 2 to 4 weeks (Monday to Friday). This really isn't bad.