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01.02.2015
If you are short of living space,especially if you live in London, you may wish to treat a small back garden primarily as an extra living room, or as an extension of a kitchen-dining room, especially in warm weather.
Mini-gardens often belong to smallish houses so that, while there is plenty of attractive garden furniture available, finding somewhere to store it is a problem.
Concrete usually conjures up impressions of towering skyscrapers and similar giant constructions, but the very qualities that make concrete so valuable in large scale projects are just as useful to the any builder for home improvements.
Concrete is made from cement, aggregate (sand, gravel, pebbles, crushed stone) and water in varying proportions. There are also many cements of a more specialised nature, such as quick setting cement, and masonry cement, which sets slowly and is used for certain types of brickwork. A concrete floor slab-cast on site, without digging foundations-is a straightforward job even for the inexperienced. But if curved edges are required, and for paths this usually gives a more pleasing outline then the formwork will consist of strips of flexible plywood, or even hardboard that can be pegged into a curved shape.
An individual home office can solve many problems for you, especially if you run your own business or your job involves working at home. The reduced clutter and the resulting increased efficiency of your home makes the installation of a home office well worthwhile.
If you are in the kind of job where the amount of work exceeds what can be done during normal working hours a home office will allow you to get on with it and still be near your family. What you expect from your office will have an important influence on its size, design and layout. If you intend to run your own business from home or your job demands that you work at home a lot you’ll need a larger office with more generous allowance for filing and storage than if you need it only to help you handle the domestic bills and personal correspondence.
Ideally your office should be sited in a separate room or best of all in a converted loft garage or in a shade in the garden.
If you want to include a WC toilet, basins and showers,it can be done, depending on the circumstances and Planning Permission laws in your London area.
Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof. Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse. This is quite a rare case as we actually removed a corner of this contemporary garden studio. Dave I had my garden office installed in Shepperton, 3- 4 years ago. I thought you may like some customer feedback 3 years on. This is a great example of a 'max size' building - exactly 15 sq metres from skirting to skirting inside as per the permitted development rights strictures. Odd shaped garden offices and studios are an interesting challenge - here's an example of a unique office studio designed for an awkward shaped piece of land near Horsham.
An example of a timber garden office installed with a piled foundation and insulated cassette floor. Example of an Extraroom building used as a practical garden workshop and studio for an engineering consultant.
Why solar reflective coatings extend the life of felt roofs indefinitely and the benefits of 3 way, reflective insulation.


With the recent slump in property prices, many families are choosing to improve on their existing house rather than buying and selling. There has been a recent increase in the amount of people investing in home extensions as a solution to the problem. The amount of tradesmen that are choosing to work from home is increasing every year, however the space needed for them to conduct such messy work is rarely seen inside homes.
By transforming a shed into a workshop, those who are working or just practising their hobby, can have the freedom and space to work to their heart’s content without fear of damaging furniture and objects around them. Projects, tools, and equipment can all be stored safely and securely, out of reach of children. Simply set up a broadband connection, install your computer, printer, fax, and phone and you’ll have a home office that beats any brick and mortar cubicle.
For practising bands and musicians, or just those who have a huge collection of albums, a garden shed is perfect. In this case a glazed (or better still, double-glazed) door into the garden gives a sense of extra space and continuity where a conventional wooden door would act as a view-stopper. An alternative to the white-painted iron seat, or teak bench, that can be left out all year round, is built-in seating. The technique is the same whether you are laying a drive, a path, or a foundation for a small building.
As an ordinary householder, too, you will find it invaluable for the storage of important documents, stationery and laptops. If you run your own business or your job involves a lot of working at home then having an office in your own home is an economic proposition as well as a pleasant convenience.
You may not run your own business or need to take work home but this does not make a home office any less useful. You should avoid placing a business office in a room which your family regularly use, especially if you have small children.
If your house does not allow enough space for this, you can make do by taking over part of your bedroom. The outdoor buildings can be used for storage, gyms, garden offices, dens, sheds, working studios, workshops, music rooms and any other uses that requires a practical, elegant, dry, warm room.
Flat roof or pitched roof, brick walls or rendering finish,the garden room will be built to complement the garden and existing property. I still love my garden office, I am now able to work at home much more and with a heater and the insulation it is lovely and warm in the winter and fabulous in the summer with the door open onto the garden.
As families expand, work commitments change and personal preferences alter; people are forced to create more space within the home.
Although this is a great idea, a full room must be spared, meaning other rooms in the house have the potential to become cluttered and over cramped.
Homes create plenty of distractions that can disrupt a person's concentration and interfere with their work. Not only will music lovers be able to play to their heart’s content without disturbing those relaxing in the house, but also have the space and freedom to set up musical equipment permanently, in the same place. For a verandah effect, cover a third or half the garden with a pergola or some other roof structure.


A brick or concrete block bench down the length of one wall can be softened with a scatter of gingham cushions for impromptu outdoor meals, and double as a parking place for glasses if you have a small drinks party-or even, since your outdoor room is still a garden, as a table for plant pots ! In terms of weather resistance it is virtually indestructible, and it is impervious to most kinds of chemical attack. You begin with a mould formed by laying planks or other sheets of timber (the form work) round the edges of the area to be concreted. A well planned home office, tailored to your particular needs, will make a pleasure of sending emails and organising paperwork.
You are less restricted when it comes to siting domestic office facilities as you won’t need anything like as much space as that for a business office. Electricity, phone lines, Internet cable, heating, insulated roofs, floors and walls, double glazing, will ensure that the Garden Office will be a pleasant place to work.
A cheaper and more convenient alternative is to convert a garden shed into an additional room. Quarry tiles on the kitchen floor can be continued outside to form a small patio, and possibly link up with cobbles and brickwork to make a patterned garden floor.
This can be glazed, fitted with pull down slatted wooden or canvas sun blinds, or twined with climbing plants. The formwork is held in place by stakes driven into the ground, and protruding up to the top of the formwork. Also, it is cheaper to use part of your own home than to have to rent and heat a separate office. And one day you may find yourself handling enough private work, as a salesman or builder for example, to justify adapting it to your commercial requirements. Also, a domestic office will only be used from time to time and therefore should cause no inconvenience to the rest of your family. A friend emailed me today asking for your details and I was more than happy to pass them to her as a I am a very satisfied customer. Its range of uses includes drives, garages, paths, fencing, patios, walls and even complete buildings. Also popular is white cement, which can be used on its own or with a colourant to provide a wide range of colours. The interior of the mould or formwork is then filled with a concrete mix that is allowed to set before the timber is removed. When it comes to a small domestic office there are a number of ideas for self-contained units.
And all can be produced in a wide range of coloured, textured and profiled finishes for infinite variety.
The choice of materials for formwork is dictated by the shape of the concrete slab required.
If the edges are to be straight, or angular, as is usually the case with drives and foundations for buildings, the formwork can be laid in simple timber planking.



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