In desperate need of his own workspace in the pandemic, David, like many others, turned to the garden to create dedicated office space.
We recently visited his home to see how the extra space had helped - and the difference it had made to the family.
After a career in corporate and agency marketing, David changed gear in 2018 and moved into self-employed consultancy. An early adopter of the home-working model, he had a few years of using the spare bedroom as his office.
David’s wife, an interpreter, also started working from home when lockdowns were announced - switching from working face-to-face to interpreting online. The spare bedroom became the interpreting office and David moved to the dining room.
“Working from a corner of the dining room isn’t ideal; filing and work equipment soon dominated the space and there was no ‘barrier’ between work and home” David stated.
The time had come to look for alternatives. Rental offices were hard to come by and expensive - it became clear that the space required had to be created.
The previous owner of the house had, many years previously, built a large wooden workshop in the garden where they repaired and refurbished optical equipment. Since moving in David’s family had used this as a craft workshop, gym, and store but, after more than 30 years, the building was tired, the floor completely rotten, and it was becoming a bit of an eyesore.
The best solution was to replace the old, tired workshop with a brand-new garden building to accommodate a new dedicated office space. The new building could be constructed on the existing concrete slab to exactly the same footprint and height.
Researching garden offices online proved to be more difficult than expected, David commented. “It was really hard to get a feel for quality from the websites and the show sites we visited failed to inspire”. He eventually found Garden Affairs in early 2021 and visited our Trowbridge show site. By the end of their appointment, David and his wife were so impressed that they placed a deposit for a log cabin office and store.
When asked about their experience at the show site, David replied, “The quality of the buildings and well-informed, non-salesy staff were just what we needed.”
After the building had been manufactured and shipped from Europe, our team arrived with it on the lorry. With some expert manoeuvring, they managed to access a small parking area without blocking the lane. After a few hours, the building was unloaded, and construction could begin.
Unfortunately, the pre-existing concrete base turned out to have a significant slope. It is critical that log cabins are perfectly level. Our installation team can adapt and overcome many unforeseen issues and were able to skilfully cut timber scribes to counter the slope and continue the installation without delay.
By the end of day one the building had reached roof level. By late afternoon on day two the building was fully installed with all doors, windows, and roof in situ. The site was cleared, and the building was ready for handover!
With a dry spell forecast, David painted the newly constructed cabin in a battleship grey colour to help the building disappear into the landscape, which, judging by the positive reaction of neighbours and passers-by, was a well-received choice.
A local electrician completed the wiring which included an ethernet cable connection from the router in the main house.
“Finally, I could move in – a few old items of furniture, some new lighting and some pictures on the wall made it perfect”.
The office space is 3m x 3.5m and the insulation and double glazing mean it’s comfortable for use all year round and heats up rapidly using a ceramic radiator.
When asked for his final thoughts on the project, David said “For a relatively small outlay my new office works even better than expected. Although it’s only a few metres from the house there is a proper distance between work and home life. The space is light and airy – although I’m told it’s becoming increasingly man-cave!”