Garden buildings for accommodation

Garden Buildings for Accommodation

Garden buildings make great accommodation annexes

Sometimes there comes a point where there is not enough space in your home and you simply need to expand. Or perhaps you need extra room to accommodate a dependent relative, for example an aging parent who will benefit from living very close by, or a son or daughter who is ready to fly the nest but simply doesn’t have the resources to afford their own property.

So, what are the options?

An extension or loft conversion is an obvious choice, but both are extremely expensive and will also disrupt the home for several months or more. Be prepared for a mess, dust everywhere, perhaps muddy footprints and the company of workmen walking about in your property for a seemingly never-ending period of time. If your extension involves knocking down walls to create access and new openings in load-bearing walls, also be prepared for cracks appearing in nearby walls and ceilings, existing doors suddenly not fitting as well as they used to because they’ve dropped, and an enormous amount of decorating and making good at the end of the process. Then there’s the ‘snagging’ stage, which can sometimes be like getting blood out of a stone, and don’t forget ‘budget creep’ as the extension runs into unforeseen problems and complications that, whichever way you look at them, always seem to cost you extra money.

Is there is an easier way?

Absolutely. Compared to the potential nightmare of traditional extensions and conversions, a timber-framed garden building is plain sailing. Firstly the cost will be a fraction of the price. Moreover, the time for construction will be days rather than months. There will be no walls to knock down, no cracks to make good and no dust to clear off every surface in the entire home. And your ‘visitors’, the workmen, will be gone before you even know it. In fact, most of the build will have happened before they even arrived. With modern timber-framed buildings, custom modules are made up in advance, making the assembly time on site incredibly fast. What’s more, all of the action takes place outside the home, not in it. Companies like Gembuild will do it all for you, right down to painting the fascias and woodwork in the colour or finish of your choosing, so you don’t have to. Such things are all included in the price. Take a look at a few Gembuild examples:

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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.

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Uses for a Garden Building

Garden buildings have a wide range of uses, whether it’s for work, leisure, relaxation or a combination of all three. Here’s our guide to the many different things they can be used for – there may be some you hadn’t thought of!

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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.

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