Gareth Howell had recently retired and wanted a garden office building of his own to escape to; to watch films, unpack his vast LP collection and feel as if he was in his own home from home. The loft of his bungalow had already been converted to bedrooms so he decided to explore the garden and to research detached garden offices. Surrey planners at Woking Council, as Gareth was about to find out, were not as keen on his building ideas as he was!
What Woking council thought
When we first met Gareth to discuss garden offices, he had a very clear idea of what he wanted and his ideas included a shower room. As a keen cyclist and gardener he wanted to shower without having to tramp mud through the main house.
Woking Council had other ideas.
They thought that if the building contained a shower someone could live in it full time and they weren’t willing to allow for that possibility. Consequently Gareth had to compromise and he settled for a cloakroom instead.
Garden offices and flood risk
Also Gareth didn’t know that his bungalow and garden was in a flood risk area and that special measures would have to be taken to get planning permission for garden offices in his part of Surrey. Fortunately our architect had dealt with flood risk before and we quickly provided a solution for this particular problem by proving that the floor of the building would be at least as far off the ground as the main house and hence had the same flood risk as the house. Surrey planners were now happy and Gareth got his planning permission.
Gareth almost gave up
This is what Gareth thinks about his garden office:
“When I first started to look for a garden offices in Surrey I almost gave up. Firstly I couldn’t find anything that resembled the quality and specification of a house extension and secondly I couldn’t find anyone that was able to supply a building with a limited site access. However, InsideOut were able to fulfill this on both counts.
With the quality of the timber and materials used, along with the excellent workmanship my building must surpass the quality of many modern house builds. The double roof, floor and wall insulation plus double glazed windows and door puts it in the Scandinavian and Canadian timber house class.This building is not a shed by any stretch of the imagination and I can say without doubt that I am totally delighted with it.”
*Though InsideOut no longer build garden offices in Surrey, our architect’s practice is still happy to design offices and bespoke garden buildings in Lancashire and Cumbria. See www.gordonsmitharchitect.co.uk