Hovis builds a garden office*

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  • *Actually to be used as Woodworking workshop

    My garden is 10m wide and quite long. The back is a bit of a mess so I've decided to build a big old Garden office at the back and use it as a workshop for my ever deepening furniture making hobby.

    I like the look of these cedar cladded big bifold glass door jobbies that a variety of outfitters are selling, but not so keen on their prices, so going to have a bash at making one myself.

    I'm starting this thread for anyone that's interested, and also to chronicle my progress / suffering.

    In terms of design, I'm going for a 6m x 4m x 3m, which puts it inside of the permitted development regulations. The roof will be single pitched, sloping down to 2.5m at the back. Plan is for 3m bifold doors offset to the side, and possibly a window or two. Would love a roof window too but have yet to research the ins and outs so thats tbc.

    It will be timber consruction, with PIR insulation in the floors walls and ceiling. I want the finish inside to be like home so I'll be plasterboarding it up, although plywood is as an alternative I haven't ruled out.

    Rough plan in terms of layout shown below. Sketchup is so useful.

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  • Phase 1 - Clear out.

    Didn't feel too good to kill all these trees but it had to be done. The previous owners didn't care for the Garden for 30 years+ according to the neighbours so it was very much a forrest when we moved in. I've hacked away at it over the course of the last year, and had a proper tree cutting session a couple of weeks ago so I'm left with a reasonably clear site now.

    Today I cut the stumps down as low as I could and drowned them in stump killer. Between that and covering it all with a weed barrier membrane they shan't pose a problem in the future.

  • Before

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  • After

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  • Subd

  • Phase 2 Foundations and base
    The garden is on a slope, and there are a couple of raised sections lined with concrete and stones. This somewhat dictates the distance from the back fence, which will be approx 3m. Would have preferred to get it closer to the back but theirs a big jump in height there that I don't want to deal with.

    At my 4m desired depth, I'm looking at approx 0.5m elevation drop between the back and front. Between that and the large tree stumps, I've ruled out the traditional concrete slab option - I don't have the energy to excavate it all. Instead, I'm going for piers. I'm more or less settled on screw piles. I initially wanted to do 2m even spacing but I have a concrete pathway directly where 3 of the piers would need to go, so I'm going to offset them to avoid this area and compensate with deeper floor joists. I may try and add some additional supports in this area later with fence posts or something if I feel it needs it.

    The front piers will stick out of the ground by 650mm and the back by 150mm to give me a minimum 150mm gap from the highest ground level and the bottom of the suspended floor. To do this, I'll be using 1.7m long piles at the front and 1.2m for the rest. I'll have to figure out how to clad over this / build a deck and steps / ramp but I haven't thought that far ahead just yet.

    The alternative to screw piles could be concrete plinths instead, which would work out a fair bit cheaper, but having dug 0.5m deep in a few places I never found any hard substrate so it would end up being too much concrete for me to handle.

    Hopefully will pick up the screw piles this week and have a go at laying out the site next weekend.

  • interested to see how this goes.
    planning on doing this at some point in the near-ish future as well.

  • Subbed. Your DIY efforts have impressed me.

  • Subbed. Looking forward to this!

    And the sketchup files...

  • Thanks. I have until September to keep it up until mini Hovis enters the world, we'll see what happens after that..

  • Hah, get everything done before mini H day!

  • Subbadubbed.

  • Really looking forward to this. Always impressed with your ATD.

    we'll see what happens after that..

    Not much I'm afraid!

    Just in case you haven't, remember to factor in Hovis2 coming early as well as all the extra tasks / time to help Mrs Hovis that will get sprung on you.

    Also I'd really, really recommend trying to get away somewhere before she gets too massive and uncomfortable.

  • Sweet, i'm about to start something similar, although a lot smaller (3m x 3m).

    I thought permitted development was max 2.5m

  • Nice! I'm mostly intrigued to see what massive machine tools you'll stick in there.

  • Subbed. Thinking of a similar, albiet smaller, project like this as I've just moved to a house with no garage anymore and my missus isn't keen on me having pillar drills and my work bench in the living room! Love the sketch up.

  • will also be reading, those diy screw piles look interesting - not heard of them before

  • Where is Hovis-ville?
    [I have a concrete breaker that would make short work of the concrete path,
    allowing you to position your screw-piles on a regular spacing].

  • Ooh, I'm interested. Viewed a house at the weekend with a shed/office. House wasn't quite right for us, but definitely inspired to try add a shed/office of our own to any future house.

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  • I thought permitted development was max 2.5m

    It is if it is within 2m of the boundary. You're allowed 3m if you're more than 2m from the boundary. Although I do find the wording ambiguous

    "Outbuildings must be single storey with a maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of 4 metres with a dual pitched roof, or 3 metres in any other case.

    If the outbuilding is within 2 metres of the property boundary the whole building should not exceed 2.5 metres in height."

    Does this mean I can have a flat roof of 3m, or does it need to be 3m to 2.5m pitched. I'm reading the later but some sources indicate the former.

  • SE London. Any good?? That would be amazing. I need to head out there and drill a couple of holes to see what depth I'm dealing with though.

  • Does this mean I can have a flat roof of 3m, or does it need to be 3m to 2.5m pitched. I'm reading the later but some sources indicate the former.

    Pretty much! But each local authority reads permitted development differently so if you want to see what you can get away with just submit a "lawful development" planning application for like £60/70 and they will either grant it lawful or refuse it.

  • ah ok, mine is within the 2m so max 2.5m height overall.

    You've probably seen it (if you've done any youtube research) but this guy has some good videos on his shed build (click the playlist link not the
    video): youtube playlist

  • 100% plywood not plasterboard on the walls. So much better for hanging shelves etc. You can always put PB over it later. Just don’t, for the love of god, use OSB.

  • Thanks for the top tips :) We just had that chat this chat the other day, we'll have a little excursion in July I think.

    Not the end of the world if we don't finish by then. If I can get the roof done and chuck a tarp over it then it should be all good to just chip away at bit by bit until its done.

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Hovis builds a garden office*

Posted by Avatar for Hovis @Hovis