My initial thoughts were ‘big shed’ possibly with insulation. However, after a bit of research I encountered a whole new world of ‘garden offices’ – this industry appears to have sprung up in the wake of changes made to the planning laws in the UK at the end of 2008. The new rules allow – under certain circumstances – fairly substantial single story buildings to be erected without the need for planning permission.
There are dozens of companies that will supply and construct a garden office, generally to a similar design (SIP construction, cedar cladding, folding doors) and all with eye-wateringly high price tags. For the size building I am aiming for (about 4m x 4m) the prices start at around £13,000 and go right up to £20,000+ depending on the quality of fixtures and fittings.
Beyond my means by a quite a large margin, but i really did like the idea of building a substantial, properly insulated and attractive building, so I began to wonder how much it would cost as a do-it-yourself project.
This is the how I imagined the companies able to do the job for £13k arrived at the price:
- Costs of running the business and making a profit = £4k (30%)
- 2x people for 1-2 weeks to do the construction, incl travel & transport = £2k
- pre-sales site visits, drawings etc = £1k
.. leaving £6k for materials.
Subsequent investigations have shown this calculation to be woefully inaccurate, but this was the starting point.
Now, six thousand pounds is a lot of money for a glorified shed, but it is a lot less than having someone else make it. So I was off.
Here is the design I came up with (borrowing heavily from a design by one of the commercial suppliers – http://www.sips.uk.com/).