Our Guide to garden office foundations
A permanent garden office needs solidly constructed foundations. Rock solid foundations protect your building from variable ground conditions. They also stop your building blowing away in storms. Unpredictable weather in the UK means that ground conditions can go from drought to flood is a short space of time and that inadequate garden office foundations can easily be undermined.
A lightweight or temporary office may be OK placed straight onto a level concrete or garden area, but you need to think about the pros and cons. It could be blown away. It could subside. Usually it make sense to have a solid, purpose built concrete foundation or metal, pile driven support of some type. An old garage base can sometimes be anadequate garden office foundation if the concrete is thick and hasn’t degraded in any way.
Some garden office suppliers will install a base or foundations for you. Others expect you to organise this yourself. Ask your supplier if they intend to install the foundations for you, or of you have to put them in yourself. Find out what is included in their price.
Are they going to survey the garden for you and provide drawings etc for foundation installation. This is particularly important if you are building an office with a W.C or shower room. Who is going to take responsibility for the drainage? Drainage always needs a building regulations application. Will your office builder make the application for you?
It is always better to ask questions now, to avoid problems and mistakes later!
As well as traditional concrete foundations there is now a quick contemporary alternative using ground screws which are a type of domestic, pile foundation.
Ground screw foundations
Groundscrew supplier Stopdigging! kindly provided us with the following photographs and information about their product:
Ground screws are an innovative alternative to concrete foundations, typically costing around 50% less than a concrete base. The galvanised ground screws were designed and developed in Sweden and are manufactured to cope with tough Nordic conditions.
- The installation process starts with an online, gps survey of your garden with service providers (such as electricity, gas and water) to check that there are no major cables or pipes running across your land.
- This is followed by a site scan & inspection to ensure there are no other underground hazards.
- The area is then set out, pre-drilled and the ground screws installed at specific locations.
- They are then leveled using a laser to ensure level, stable foundations.
One major advantage of the ground screw system is the ability to hold the building clear of the ground, allowing ventilation and reducing damp, thus significantly increasing the lifespan of the base and therefore the building.
The installation process removes the need for any groundworks, typically being carried out in a few hours rahter than days using conventional foundations.
Suitable for most ground conditions, the installation process requires no heavy machinery, skips or mess and can be installed in areas with very restricted access, making it a practical foundation choice for many garden office companies in the UK.
Loadbearing and usage
Typically, each screw has a SWL of between 700 – 2500kg depending on the size used and ground conditions. With a wide range of attachments available, the ground screws can be used for all types of timber & SIPS buildings as well as for decking and fencing. They have a 25 year anti-corrosion warranty.
More information about office construction.