With many of us being asked to work from home to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus, we have had a flurry of emails asking how quickly you can get a garden office. People are realising that working from an insulated building in the garden offers a lot of benefits.
You don't just buy a garden office 'off the shelf'. Okay, there are some buildings that you can order and have delivered a few days later (you typically then have to put them together yourself), but these are not what we define as quality garden offices!
Tips for buying a garden office quickly:
- Don't compromise on quality for speed - you will be spending a lot of money, and a lot of time in your garden office. It needs to be well specified and designed to stand the test of time.
- Consider a standard or modular design - these tend to have a shorter lead and build time than bespoke garden offices.
- Choose a system that includes the foundation - this will allow for a quicker build, as you won't have to organise another contractor or wait for the foundation to set.
- Choose a Permitted Friendly design - if you can build under the permitted development rules, this will save you waiting for planning approval which can take a few months.
Buying a quality garden office will take a couple of months at the quickest. Buying a standard or modular design is your quickest route with lead times typically 4 to 6 weeks from placing your order. You would need to factor in time prior to ordering for research, arranging a site survey and honing the design.
Installation of a modular garden office can be as little as one day, with larger, more complex buildings taking a week or ten days. Modern foundation systems such as ground screws and plinth foundations can be installed in less than a day, and work can start straight away on the build. If you choose a garden office design that requires a concrete slab foundation, you would have to factor in extra time for this to set. Concrete slabs are typically installed a week or more prior to work starting on the core structure.
Bespoke garden offices have a longer lead time
By nature of the design process, a bespoke garden office will typically have a longer lead time than its modular counterparts. This is because the design process takes longer with more focus on tailoring each element to your needs and tastes. Bespoke garden offices tend to be non-standard sizes and incorporate materials that have a longer lead time than modular buildings.
You could reasonably expect to spend a few weeks working with a designer on the plans for the office, with times between 4 and 10 weeks between placing your order and work starting on-site. The size of the company will play its part in the lead time. Some firms work on one project at a time while larger companies are structured with several installation teams for multiple projects to run concurrently.
Will you need planning permission?
In your rush to create a new workspace, don't overlook the planning rules. The majority of garden rooms are built under the Permitted Development rules, without the need for a planning application.
The Permitted Development rules outline where certain height garden rooms can be positioned in the garden. If you can't comply with the Permitted Development rules, you would need to make a full planning application.
Applying for Planning Permission can add 2 to 3 months to the lead time on a garden office. Some companies will take a deposit to reserve a place in their order books while the planning process takes place, allowing work to start on-site soon after permission is granted.
The sooner you get the ball rolling...
So, if you are wanting to buy a garden office quickly, the sooner you get the ball rolling, the sooner you will have your new workspace. Lead times will typically get longer as we hit the peak summer months. We would suggest you take a look at the work of these companies, narrow the search by your area of the UK, to find companies who work in your area.