Join the revolution

March 13, 2011
Commuting to and from work costs the average employee a fifth of their wage – meaning they work until 10 March to cover the cost. 

With the average petrol price at an all-time high of 129p and more a litre, commuting to and from work now costs an average of £3,782 a year – with the average distance of a commute being 19 miles a day, the study by Virgin Media Business reveals.

Mark Heraghty, managing director of Virgin Media Business, says: "The thought of spending a fifth of your salary on commuting to work is enough to drive most people up the wall, but every year millions of us are doing just that.”

The research suggests that, with the rise in smart phones, high-speed broadband and inexpensive laptops, encouraging employees to work from home could save companies money.

Heraghty continues: “The idea that to do work you must be in the workplace no longer rings true. Many workers can now do their job just as well, if not better, from home.

“The fact that working remotely could save staff a small fortune, while offering a far greater work/life balance is an added bonus.

Contact Roomworks to join the revolution and see what life changing savings can be made.


Where to put your new garden room and making sure it stays there!

January 15, 2011

There are a surprisingly large number of considerations when planning your 

new garden room; the design and specification of the room itself, how it will 

be used and of course budget. It goes without saying that choosing the right 

spot for your new room is pretty crucial too, if you want to get the most 

enjoyment from it, or even avoid having to move it!

Most important of all is understanding your legal obligations in respect of

planning and building regulations. In Oct 2008, new regulations came into effect 

which considers outbuildings to be permitted development (not needing planning 

permission) subject to a few limits and conditions. If you wish to avoid the planning 

process these conditions need to be met, although many people decide that they 

require a building that falls outside of permitted development and submit successful 

applications. Full details can be found on the planning portal website at but here a few useful guidelines:

Siting your room to the front of your property generally requires planning permission.

Most people prefer their garden room to be in the back garden and unless your 

property is a listed building, or is situated in a national park or area of oustanding 

beauty this is permitted ...with a few buts! 

If your garden room is less than 2 meters from any boundary line then the height

is restricted to 2.5m. More than 2m away from a boundary and the maximum height

for a dual pitch roof increases to 4m and 3m for a mono pitch roof.

The building shouldn’t be larger than 30m2 or occupy more than 50% of the garden.

The building should not be used for accommodation such as a granny annex etc.

Building regulations also apply if the room is more than 15m2 and less than a meter

from the boundary in respect of the spread of fire.

Planning issues aside there are other important points to consider before you decide 

on the best position for your room. Light and shade can dramatically change the way 

your room will feel and perform. Depending on what the room will be used for, it often

makes sense to have windows on the south and west elevations to capture natural 

heat (solar gain) and light from the sun rather than on the north and east elevations 

which will be cooler. 

Positioning the building under the canopy of trees can be used to create shade when 

necessary or frame the building - sometimes where there is limited space this can be 

unavoidable, especially if the trees are large or protected. Two issues to consider 

though are the build up of leaves and debris on the structure or sticky residues from 

certain trees. The root system, may also complicate the groundworks stage of the build.

The view to and from the building is also very important. Framing a great view from 

your garden room can make all the difference.


Do you want the building to be a key design feature in the garden and make a statement 

or a descreet addition where privacy is important? Often a new garden room can be the 

main element in a new garden design scheme - sometimes it needs to blend 

unassumingly into a well established landscape.

Ground conditions and access are obvious areas to think about - if you position 

your amazing new building at the far end of the garden will you need a pathway to 

avoid muddy footprints? Remember too that you need to link the building to an

existing electric supply! If you are installing the room in the summer think about how

access will be affected in the winter. Is the sloping part of the garden really the best 

place when other ares are level? Sloping sites are a challenge rather than impossible 

but challenges tend to be more expensive!

Last but definetly not least you will want your new garden room to make a positive 

addition to your lifestyle - somewhere you can relax. A happy neighbour can only help!  




2011 - future proof your garden shed/office/room/gym/annex

January 8, 2011
Even though garden offices/studios/rooms are a relatively new concept, with a huge market yet to discover the benefits of this type of extra space, there are a growing number who are already thinking ahead.

Roomworks have had quite a few projects where the customer's brief has been for a
room that will evolve as they do, as their family grows (or shrinks) and as their work/play
requirements change. With the significant costs involved, "future-proofing" your
room and your investment makes a great deal of sense. What might start out
as an office today, could become a granny annex in a couple of years time, so thinking
ahead about your likely requirements is something Roomworks encourage their
clients to consider as part of the design process.

Roomworks only build bespoke buildings, (in fact so far they haven't built the same
design twice) which makes future-proofing a natural part of the design process.
This is also one of the reasons their building specification is so high. Because their
rooms surpass building regulations, a change of use from say an office to living
accommodation is straight forward, assuming there are no planning issues.

It might also make sense to remodel a garden room if you decide to sell your home.
A chill-out space for your dog for instance (and Roomworks have built them!) might
suit you but not the saleability of your property. Extra accommodation for the new
owner's mother on the other hand might be a more attractive proposition!
Thinking ahead means that provisions can be made - the shape and size of the space
can be properly considered, services built in (even if they are not connected until required) and any potential modifications made easier to make at a later date.

Another question Roomworks are often asked is " Can I take my garden room with me
if I move?" Some garden room suppliers refer to the fact that their rooms can be easily
taken apart as a key benefit, and for some, this may well be the case, but Roomworks
take a different view.

"It would be easier to knock a brick building down than take a Roomworks structure
apart" explained Paul Barton their design director. And he makes no apology for this -
"Our rooms are built to last and perform - " he explained.
Assuming the building isn't too large for transportation and where access to the site is
however, a Roomworks structure can be lifted and moved to another site.
Again, if factored in at the the design stage, this process can be made less of a challenge.

As we all give some thought to our plans for 2011, if this is the year you have decided to
invest in a new garden office, it might be worth giving a little thought to 2015 too!


Break out the popcorn - it's Roomworks the MOVIE - click on the image below to show movie

January 7, 2011
Roomworks first showcase movie clip.


About Me

Brand new blogger and design director of Roomworks, possibly the UK's POSHEST shed company.


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