Gembuild show unit last winter

Finding the right garden office to suit your needs.

There are a lot of companies selling garden offices and outdoor rooms on the web and it can be a daunting proposition choosing the right construction to suit your needs.

If you are planning on working from your garden all year round, then choosing a building that has adequate insulation to keep you warm through the winter is imperative. You might be tempted with a Summerhouse and whilst they are lovely to look at, the chances are they are not going to be designed with a view to keeping you warm.

The winter of 2015/2016 started off relatively mild and wet. We walked around as if winter was never going to come or had forgotten to turn up. In gardens throughout the UK daffodils and snowdrops were hoodwinked into believing that spring had arrived.

Of course, this mild weather was never going to continue and a couple of weeks ago a bitter north- westerly front moved in from the Arctic sending the mercury below freezing and this week we’re contending with storm Imogen.

What has this to do with Garden Offices?

‘That’s all very well but what has this got to do with garden offices’, I hear you say – well, everything.

Garden offices not only come in all shapes and sizes but are also built to different specifications. For example, the garden summerhouse is not designed for use during the winter months. If it were a sleeping bag it would be a season 1.

The wall thickness of a summerhouse and ensuing cavity insulation will be non-existent and minimal at best. A garden office intended for all year use will need to be well insulated.

The other very important aspect that a lot people do not realize is that good insulation is also paramount for keeping a building cool in the summer as it acts as a barrier between the outside and the inside.

In the winter it keeps the heat in by impeding its loss to the outside.

The insulation specification varies between companies, so check this carefully when considering the right garden office for you.

Gembuild’s garden offices are built to the highest standards. Their above ground construction is identical to a modern timber framed home. Each office is insulated to the highest specification and have walls that are 170mm thick and a cavity four times larger than most of their competitors.
spec_wallinsulationThey have u-values of 0.22 to the floor, 0.33 to the walls and 0.23 to the roof. (Download Gembuild’s 2016 brochure for more information)

The u-value is a measure used in the building trade to demonstrate how efficient the insulating material is at inhibiting heat loss. It is important to understand that the lower the u-value the better insulating properties the outdoor building will have.

The other positive aspect of having good insulation is of course its overall energy efficiency. This can only be a good thing as not only will it save you money on your electricity bills, but it is also a step in the right direction towards contributing towards the environment.
Gembuild show unit last winter

This photo is a picture of the Gembuild show unit. It was taken last winter during a particularly cold spell and is a good demonstration of just how well insulated the garden offices at Gembuild are.

For further information regarding the insulation or any other enquiries do not hesitate to contact Gem Build directly who are always happy to talk over your plans for a garden office.

Skinny Faygate with a sedum roof002

Sedum & Wild Flower ‘Green’ Roofing

Here at Gembuild, one of the options we offer is ‘Sedum & wild flower’ roofing, a type of covering which is becoming increasingly popular in the UK — but what’s it all about? Here we give you some insight into its features and benefits. First, some background information:

Skinny Faygate garden room with a sedum roofSedum roofs fall into the category of ‘green’ roofing, which denotes a roof covering which, instead of using traditional roof tiles, slate or shingles, features a ‘living’ roof of growing vegetation and even flowers. This is highly attractive, natural-looking and has many other benefits (more about those below). At Gembuild we use a Sedum & wild flower mix when customers opt to have a ‘green’ roof on their timber garden building, office or studio. Once established this will form a very soft outline to the upper part of the building and, in terms of the garden design as a whole, blur the edges between what’s known as ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ garden landscaping. With a sedum roof, garden rooms will sit within the natural flora and fauna of the garden in a much more natural, organic way — almost becoming part of the garden itself.

Click the following images for a larger view: Read more

5 years old cedar cladding test board

Fifty shades of grey cladding

The great advantage of Siberian larch and Canadian cedar cladding is their high resistance to decay and high durability from natural preservatives. We use both types of cladding for our garden buildings and all our cladding is FSC or PEFC certified timber from well-managed forests.

Siberian larch has long been used for cladding in Russia and Europe and is very slow grown and consequently much denser, straighter grained and less knotty.

Western red cedar has become one of the most popular species of timber cladding, both internally and externally. The majority of red cedar is imported from North America, particularly Canada. It is also straight grained and largely free of knots.

Our cladding has a fifty year plus life without any need for treatment. The natural oils and resins within the boards keep them free from fungal and insect attack.

As well as a long maintenance free life, you’ll also get pleasure from seeing your garden office changing colour to a beautiful silvery grey.

We have had a cedar panel on test at our offices for over 7 years now (see below). This has gone through several stages of greying but has now settled into the lovely silver colour you see on old churches.

You must not confuse the natural and healthy weathering of your building with fungal attack. The progress of greying is influenced by rainfall and the orientation of the building, and eventually the whole unit will settle in to a uniform silver colour and will remain that way for the many years of life you can expect from a Gembuild garden building.

It may well go through 50 shades of grey before it reaches its final colour but I hope you will agree it was well worth waiting for! 😉

5 years old cedar cladding test board