If you are looking for a garden office to work from home in, you need to choose one that is fully insulated; this not only creates a room that is comfortable to be in all year round but keeps your possessions and paperwork in ideal, damp free conditions.
Not all garden buildings sold as garden offices are actually insulated, and not all garden offices are insulated to the same standards, so what should you be looking for?
If you plan to use your garden office as an extension of your living space and store electrical equipment, paperwork and soft furnishings in the building and work from it 365 days a year then you’ll want to invest in a garden office which is built and insulated like a timber frame house – this type of construction will ensure the same performance you would expect from any room in your house.
Garden offices built like timber frame houses are either built using traditional timber frameworks which have insulation packed between the timbers or structural insulated panels which are a sandwich of structural boards and insulation. Insulated garden offices built with these systems often meet and in some cases exceed the insulation standards for modern houses.
Some of the cheaper log cabin style garden offices are not so well insulated, although they are made from thick timbers and wood is a good insulative material their construction system doesn’t allow for proper insulation. Some log cabin garden offices are sold as insulated but in reality only have the floor and roof insulated – just think of all that heat going out of the walls of the garden office – the buildings biggest surface area!
The performance of an insulated garden office can vary depending on the type of insulation chosen; a thin layer of foil backed rigid insulation can outperform a thick wall of and insulation like rockwool. Your choice of insulation will depend on the performance you want, the wall thickness you want to achieve, and the type of insulation you want to use – some are more eco friendly in their production than others.
The performance of an insulated garden office will be greatly affected by the presence or not of breather and vapour membranes. The quality insulated garden office suppliers will have incorporated breather and vapour membranes into their construction, a breather membrane works like a pair of lungs and allows the garden office to breath It consists of a special building fabric that is wrapped around the outside of the garden office, any joints are well lapped, this layer allows moisture to escape from within the garden office but does not let moisture in. A vapour membrane is fitted on the inside of the building and can take the form of foil backed plasterboard or a well lapped plastic sheeting, this layer stops condensation forming within the garden office.
If there is one thing you shouldn’t skint on when buying a garden office it’s the insulation, the most highly insulated garden offices on the market will require little additional heating in winter or cooling in summer, this will make them cheap to run so the additional initial outlay for a highly insulated garden office will be repaid very quickly.
Adding extra insulation once a garden office is built is a difficult, expensive and disruptive process so it’s a good idea to get it right first time.