It has been a while since we featured a project by Executive Garden Rooms, but this large garden office is worth the wait! Built in Wimborne, Dorset, the 8m x 4m garden office has been designed as a professional, multi-person workspace. Interestingly, Executive Garden Rooms have designed the garden office to not only to meet the needs of their customers today but also with an eye for the future.
Low maintenance garden office
The striking garden office has been finished externally with low maintenance materials. Your choice of external finishes will affect how your garden office will look as it ages. Your preference will also dictate how much annual maintenance you are committing to keeping your building in good condition.
Executive Garden Rooms customers chose to mix two popular external cladding materials. They opted for a dark grey Cedral cladding for the walls. Cedral is a very low maintenance cladding option. It is a fibre cement board that is coloured during the manufacturing process. It does not need painting or maintenance to maintain its appearance. It comes in either a smooth finish or with a woodgrain texture. The woodgrain texture was chosen for this project.
The second material chosen is Cedar. This has been used to detail the roof soffit and fascia. We think, the two materials, the natural and the manmade, work well together.
Cedar cladding, while a highly durable cladding option, will weather to a silver-grey colour if left unprotected. We have written recently about applying a UV-oil to new Cedar to maintain its colour. Executive Garden Rooms had a UV-oil applied to the Cedar in the factory before delivery; this is the ideal solution as all faces of the board are coated. It also ensures that the boards are protected before they are exposed to the sunlight. To maintain the UV-protection, a coat of oil will need applying every couple of years, but as we have found, this is a straightforward process.
Cladding, the fascia and soffit with Cedar, is a clever design choice and has broken up the blocks of grey.
Home office with kitchen and toilet
The pictures don't show it, but a kitchenette and w.c have been incorporated into the office. The w.c has been positioned in one corner. This has been fitted with a toilet, corner vanity unit with basin, an electric towel rail and an extractor fan.
The kitchenette sounds high spec, with 1.5 bowl composite granite sink. A water heater has been fitted under the sink for hot water on demand. As well as storage cupboards, a fridge has been incorporated into the kitchenette. The ideal setup for making coffees and snacks during the working day.
Futureproofing the design
While the Executive Garden Rooms team were installing the water, foul and electrics for the kitchen and w.c, they also made provision for a shower to be fitted in the future. A shower wasn't needed now, but Executive Garden Rooms customer were mindful that the building could be used differently in the future.
Executive Garden Rooms are built, as standard, to building regulation standards, and all works signed off by Building Control. As a result, there is the potential, with the right planning approval, for the office to be transformed into a living annexe. Because the Executive team have made a provision for adding a shower, this would be an easy and relatively inexpensive task.
Remote controlled air conditioning
All Executive Garden Rooms have a good electrical specification. This project is particularly good. A key element is the air conditioning system which will both cool and heat the room. While air conditioning is not unusual in garden office design, this system is higher spec than most we see. The system has a movement sensor fitted, so it will power-down when the room is empty - saving energy. It is also wi-fi enabled and can be remotely controlled by an app on a smartphone.
The electrical specification also features:
- 8 x double power sockets
- 18 x LED downlights recessed in the ceiling
- 7 x Cat6 data points
- Smoke alarm
- External security light
- External power socket
Executive Garden Rooms handled the connection of the garden offices electrical system to the mains supply in the house. They did this as part of their turnkey service, whereby they handle the whole project for their clients from initial design through to final connections. The project was completed in four weeks.
This high-spec garden office cost £1,450 per square meter, which is very good.