There are several timber frame building systems used in garden room design. From house quality structures to lighter weight quicker to build systems
This archive of articles looks at different elements of garden room floor construction and the finishes you can choose.
Does your chosen garden room come with a final floor covering? Not all garden rooms do especially budget models, but fear not, its not too much of a problem
On the 1st October 2010 changes to Part L of the Building Regulations come into effect. Part L deals with how well a building conserves fuel and power.
Whilst garden rooms don’t have to comply with Building Regulations unless they are over 15sqm and used for sleeping accommodation, many garden room suppliers do build their garden rooms to Building Regulation standards – which is a good thing!
Many garden room suppliers state that their buildings u-values (the rate at which heat is lost from a building – which Part L controls)out perform the Building Regulation standards for new buildings, which is a great selling point as it means the garden room will be comfortable to use all year round and cost effective to run.
So what is a u-value? It’s the measurement of the transmission of heat through an element such as a wall, roof or glass. In timber frame construction each element of the wall, such as the exterior cladding, sheathing, studwork, insulation and plasterboard will have a u-value and a garden room designer can work out the combined u-value of the wall, the lower the combined u-value the better performing the wall. U-values are expressed in W/m2 which equals the amount of heat in Watts that is lost per square meter of material. For example a wall with a u-value of 0.30W/m2 will lose 0.30 Watts for every m2 of surface area per degree of temperature difference between the inside and outside of the building.
The changes to Part L from 1st October 2010 lower the target u-values for walls, floors and roofs (remember the lower the u-value the better) meaning that garden rooms built to these new Building Regulation standards will perform even better. Below is a table of the existing u-values for a new build and the figures for 1st October 2010 onwards.
[table id=119 /]
As a customer it is important that you check the claimed u-values of a garden room with this table, especially if your supplier claims to exceed the Building Regulations for a new build house!
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Under floor heating is becoming a popular feature in garden office and studio specifications, and it offers many benefits over traditional types of garden office heating such as convector heaters or oil filled radiators.
While convector heaters and oil filled radiators heat a garden office well and quickly, as the heat rises you can end up with cold feet! Under floor heating means the whole room is evenly heated and walls are clear from radiators.
The under floor heating used in garden offices is a mat system as opposed to the hot water piping found in ‘proper’ houses. For garden offices with laminate or wooden floors, a foil under floor heating mat is used, this mat contains heating wires which when used in conjunction with floor insulation heat up quickly and efficiently.
Under floor heating systems come with programmable timers which means that you can specify the time the heating comes on and goes off, you can also specify the temperature setting.
Economical to run an average sized garden office with under floor heating costs around 50 pence per day in the winter.
Under floor heating is a standard feature on garden offices by Garden Haze and Vivid Green .
Although materials such as metal and UPVC are often used in garden office construction, by far the most widely used material is wood. Wood is a good choice for garden office construction as its readily available, easily transportable, quick to install, minimally disruptive and more cost effective than other types of construction, it’s also one of the most environmentally sound building materials available.
Why do we advocate the use of wood in garden office construction when deforestation is such a significant global issue? Well, 90% of wood used in European construction is sourced from European softwood forests rather than tropical rainforests, and the more wood we use the larger forests grow, because in Europe we plant more trees than we harvest, each year European forest grow by approximately 3,500 square miles (Source: timber-frame.org).
Wooden garden offices are an effective alternative to other types of home extension, wooden components are relatively easy to handle so require less manpower to build, wooden garden offices are quick to install – a garden office can typically be installed in less than a week, timber construction is minimally disruptive – there are no messy wet trades, and most importantly for the consumer wooden garden offices cost less than traditional building methods – garden offices average out at around £1,200 per sq meter whilst traditional brick builds cost approximately £1,500 per sq meter.
Wood is one of the most environmentally sound building materials available – for every cubic meter of wood used in the construction industry instead of other building materials 0.8 tonnes of CO2 is saved from the atmosphere, and strength for strength wood uses 5 times less energy to produce than concrete, and 6 times less energy than steel, 77% of the energy used in wood production is generated from wood residue.
Even allowing for its transportation wood is effectively a carbon neutral material, Europe’s forests act as carbon sinks, absorbing 9.5 million tonnes of CO2,(source: timber-frame.org) buildings built from wood are easier to heat and cool so use less energy in their lifetime, and wood can be easily recycled at the end of its lifetime.
Companies building wooden garden offices include:
Alternative Space, Blue Forest, Booths Garden Studios, Courtyard Designs, Garden Spaces, Garenberg, Homelodge, Maison d’etre Properties, Roomworks, Pod Space, Smart Garden Offices, Those Garden Rooms, Tor Garden Buildings and Vivid Green
We look at the different types of garden room floor construction, from the types of floor joist and insulation to the essential building membranes which form the basis of a good garden room.