Friday, June 22, 2007

Bespoke garden office - take a tour

One of our favourite clients has just emailed through photos of the garden office we recently built for her. She rented an office in Reading, but finally decided that she wanted to stay at home and watch thered kites, foxes and squirrels in the garden rather than the traffic on a dual carriageway!

She has put of her own personal style into the interior of the office.

And painted the loo a fabulous colour.

Great garden office, Judy!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The one metre rule

Some people considering a garden office have been led to believe that to not need planning permission the office must be at least one metre form any boundary. This is not the case. The 'one metre' rule is about building regulations.
Any garden office, with a floor space of less than 30sq metres does not need building regulations if it is built more than a metre from any boundary. [Unless it has a shower room - but that is for another day's post.] Many garden office suppliers want to avoid building regulations becuase their offices don't have enough insulation to meet current regulations and have too much glass.
so, if you want to put your office closer than a metre to next door's fence. No problem if you buy a building regulations standard building such as InsideOut's.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Planning permission

It is possible than Ruth Kelly's changes to the planning laws will mean that our some of our client's will get their garden offices faster. I think it is likely that garden offices in Conservation areas will still need planning permission, [80% of the offices we build are in Conservation areas] but until we see the detail of the new legislation we won't know for sure.
The planning system is not something to be afraid of, as far as garden offices are concerned. We have never had a situation where planning permission has been turned down.

A small way to save paper

This is a small rant about websites. When you have to print something, such as receipt, off a website it must be possible for the website owner to ensure that the item only needs one A$ sheet. How many time do you print something that adds two lines of print to a second peice of paper?

Friday, May 18, 2007


Trees are vital to those of us who build garden offices as they are the main building material. However it is a necessity that local wood is used or you are just adding carbon miles to the building. Here at InsideOut Buildings we use European CLS from sustainale sources for structural timbers and larch cladding sourced in Scotland or Northumbria
In addition it is key that we all support the fight against rain forest deforestation. Planting a tree in the Uk to offset climate change doesn't help. Planting trees and protecting the rain forests does, becuase these forests are the lungs of the earth. Friends of the Earth have a full list of all the organisations involved in protecting trees. see

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Keep fit at your desk?

I sometimes feel as if I am surgically attached to my computer and less than comfortable office chair. A friend of mine has a cooker timer next to his computer to remind him that jhe has got a body that needs to move occasionally. Birkbeck college have a series of exercises that none of us will ever remember to do but here is the link just in case.

Better still, the Guardian report today about a treadmill desk. You stroll gently whilst typing or phoning. This could be alarming if you have a web cam.,,2079763,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront
The £1000 price tag is a little demanding.

Whats for supper?

Living in a rural area in darkest North Lancashire, we travel miles visiting garden office clients. The best thing that's happened to British roads in recent years is M & S simply Food opening at motorway services. Late home? Vere into a SF and grab something reasonable to eat.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Is your phone always ringing?

If you work from home in a garden office or in the house, I hope the phone rings all the time. Ours does. To the point where none of us could get on with running InsideOurt or our architectural practice. So, something had to change.
I consulted various other small businesses and the solution was a telephone answering service. I heard horror stories about the cheap ones but lots of good things about and these good natured and efficient people handle all our calls. This is especially useful when we are on an office building site.
They are great at getting rid of people trying to sell us services that we don't want.
So, give it a try.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Working From Home Day

Working from Home Day May 18th - Are you insulated?

‘Many people can easily do their jobs from home……….Working from home also significantly improves productivity, enabling businesses to be more competitive, and enhances work-life balance for staff, with added health and leisure benefits.’ Fine as far as it goes, but with the current emphasis on climate change, what about the home environment?

As more and more PLCs, government bodies, local government and small businesses send their employees home to work, the responsibility for carbon footprint shifts from the employer to the employee. The employee turns up the central heating, or, if working in the loft conversion, rushes to the local DIY store to buy an air-conditioning unit. The badly insulated homes of Britain already generate more than 25% of the UK’s CO2. The more people work from home, the easier it is for employers to appear to lower their organisation’s carbon footprint.

Some forward thinking businesses, and many of the self-employed, are building garden offices. Many garden office buildings are too small to require Building Regulations and hence lack an adequate level of insulation. Purchasers often don’t realise that larger garden offices [over 30sq m floor space or smaller offices built within a metre of the garden fence] are subject to building regs and should be highly insulated. Because garden buildings often escape building regulations, companies offering these buildings can claim that their offices are ‘fully insulated’ without providing a clear definition. ‘Fully insulated’ can mean anything from 40mm [bad] to 200mm[good] of insulation materials in some or all of the buildings surfaces.

So, will we become a nation of home workers huddled next to the central heating radiator in winter and turning up the air-conditioning in summer or can we hope to see employers offering insulation grants, instead of cars as the latest company perk?