As part of our tenth anniversary, we have been showcasing the work of the companies we featured in the first few weeks of The Garden Room Guide, back in 2009.
Garden Spaces was the third company we featured, but they were the first range of SIP's built garden rooms we showcased. Ten years ago, the Garden Spaces team were ahead of the curve adopting house quality structural insulated panels (SIP's) as the core structure of their garden rooms.
Two early Garden Spaces
The Garden Spaces team headed up by Roger Hedges and Karl Plummer, didn't stop there. They have continued to be at the forefront of innovation in the garden room market for the last decade.
For us, it has been fascinating watching the Garden Spaces brand evolve and innovate. They haven't stood still, and have often been the first to offer innovative designs, materials, door styles etc. Where they have led, other companies in the sector have followed!
We'll let the Garden Spaces team share their journey over the last ten years:
In these rather tumultuous times, it is sometimes good to hear of a business success story, and that of long standing mutually beneficial relationship built on respect and hard work. Garden Spaces and The Garden Room Guide’s journey is such and tale of collaborative growth and success going back almost 10 years.
Our story starts back in 2007 in the teeth of the worst recession in decades. Garden Spaces www.gardenspaces.co.uk was founded by Karl Plummer and Roger Hedges. Karl had a long career serving Queen and country, and subsequently run several successful small businesses’ before moving into the garden building arena. Roger, a qualified Mechanical Engineer, had cut his teeth working at high level in technical sales for a global rubber company ending up as OE Sales Manager for Europe.
We both bought franchises in another garden building company, and when the recession hit in 2007 it rapidly went into receivership. As with many good news stories, success comes out of adversity, and Roger and Karl appreciated that there was a great business in there somewhere but they just had to find the right model, and apply the right level of energy and commitment.
After battling to gain initial traction, Roger and Karl incorporated Garden Spaces UK Ltd in late 2010 and haven’t looked back since.
“When we look back at the Garden Building market place back then in its infancy and relate it to where we are today, we have to pinch ourselves and also laugh with some of the things we did at the start. As they say, you live and learn …… and that is very true in our case.”
If we look at what we are providing now both in terms of our design philosophy, our flexibility, our technical knowledge of installations and materials its like ‘chalk and cheese’. The SIP buildings we are providing today are so much more advanced from the foundation systems (understanding and arresting ‘heave and subsidence’ as the climate changes), flooring strengthening, multiple varieties of external claddings, various levels of internal acoustic treatments, flexible data connectivity and remote control via smartphones …… the list is almost endless. We will continue to push forward and integrate new materials and new technologies where they offer real benefit to our clients.
A maturing market
The market place has become far more mature, as initially we had to educate people regards our solution for a simple garden office space. Now our clients are far more aware regards the possibilities of creating additional flexible space - be it for a garden gym, music room/recording studio, home cinema, art/craft room, pool room or even flexible living space.
Clients are also aware of the value an extra room will add to their homes to improve their work life balance with a boom in home working. A little extra space often affords families the room they need to breathe and grow, whilst retaining family cohesion. A flexible space for relaxing and entertaining rapidly becomes the most sought after room in the house.
Having a Garden Space is often a ‘deal-maker’ when our customers come to sell up and move on, and this in turn often leads to repeat business as people get ‘hooked’ on the huge benefits offered by our garden rooms, and want one in their new home too.
Commercial opportunities are also now arising as people become more aware of the benefits of a SIPs build – speed, quality of finish, thermal performance and longevity.
We have now grown from just supplying Garden Rooms and are now supplying Annexes www.annexespaces.co.uk and School classrooms www.educationspaces.co.uk with all the complexity and complication that brings. We are now so much more, and in fact we are now The Spaces Group.
One stop shop philosophy
We offer a genuine One Stop Shop experience as we have years of experience and comprehensive knowledge of all the requirements needed to support projects efficiently, effectively and in timely fashion. Our clients only have to deal with one experienced contractor for everything, which removes the unnecessary complexity, inefficiencies, stress and anxiety of juggling multiple contractors.
We have in house capability to cover all Planning Applications, all relevant and essential building approvals (including SAP thermal performance requirements and Building Control certification), as well as being able to supply all the necessary on site services required - waste, water and electrics (inc. Part P certifications) - and much, much more.
Long standing business relationships/collaborations
We have always promoted long standing relationship in terms of our supplier base, and in all our business relationships. We believe in working with our suppliers to insure we get the very best service and pricing. In return they get ever more business from us – a genuine win/win scenario. At the Spaces Group we firmly believe loyalty means a great deal.
We have partnered with quality providers such as The Garden Room Guide, and also Grand Designs Live where we have exhibited every year since 2011 at ExCeL at London Docklands (2nd- 10th May 2020).
Sustainability and future growth
As ever we started out small and have grown our presence in a sustainable manner. We now design and install about 200 buildings annually across our 3 businesses of hugely varying size and specification. We hope to double this in the next 5 years.
We are as ever ambitious with our growth plans but always realistic, and will never over extend ourselves – “It’s bad business and exposes not only us but also our clients to unacceptable risk.”
So here’s to another 10 years of successful collaborations …… and in particular with The Garden Room Guide. There are definitely very exciting times ahead, no matter the outcome of recent political upheaval …… and we truly believe our success story has really only just begun.
Roger Hedges & Karl Plummer
Directors at Garden Spaces UK Ltd