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Longtermrenter

Suggestions For Garden Office

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Mods, can you leave thus on this forum for today before moving. Fellow HPCers, I'm hoping you can help with some suggestions. Hoping to rent a property soon where the landlord is willing to help with funds for building an office in the garden which I will work from. There's already a dilapidated shed there with power to it on a decent concrete base around 5 x5 metres sq, p ossibly a bit bigger. I'm good with DIY and I'm thinking of a fairly lightweight construction which I could improve by framing out with studwork, insulation and finished walls of plasterboard. I wondered if anyone had done anything similar and whether they had any suggestions for a ready made starting point. Property is in Kent. We will probably live here for the next 4 or 5 years so I could save quite a lot as I currently pay about 250 a month rent for an office.

Edited to add: Does anyone know the maximum size under permitted development rules?

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Does anyone know the maximum size under permitted development rules?

Bookmarked this a while ago: http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/outbuildings

I'm not quoting anything from it here, in case there's new or more relaxed planning rules under consideration.

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Also will you or the landlord be liable for business rates once the council finds out?

Something that small would have zero rates at the moment and even if they kicked in they would be minimal. Sharing internet, phone and electric bills will also save me money. Think it might be in a conservation area so need to check carefully.

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Also will you or the landlord be liable for business rates once the council finds out?

Not if its just one private individual doing office work. If you employ additional people then yes, otherwise it's just like working in your spare room....

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If you have the DIY skills self build shoudln't be hard.

I'd be thinking along the lines of couple of courses of bricks/blocks around the bottom, DPM sat inside and up the side of the blocks and tucked under a DPC, 4x2 timber frame on top of the block work, wood floor, insulated sat on the DPM, rock wool or celotex (more expensive) insulation in floor and wall cavity. Don't forget your vapor barriers and damp proof on the walls, rustic shiplap cladding externally, steel sheet roof with plenty of insulation for sound as well as heat. Internally plasterboard would be fine. Try to find some uPVC windows on ebay or go to local window suppliers and see if they have anything thats been canceled/rejected, if you do this before you plan you can build it around the windows you can get, possibly knocking off £100s.

The current power supply probably won't be up to code so budget for replacing that.

If you're in a conservation area that could be a problem, if not <15sqm is exempt (except for Part P on the leccy), over 15sqm under 30sqm and as long as its not within 1m of the boundary you are also exempt. Within 1m of the boundary you will need fire protection (cement fiber board), but contact your council and get it in writing what you need to do to comply so it will be exempt form BC.

I'm in the process of doing a 19sqm garage very similar to this except some more blockwork involved, total cost including the door is <£2000. I too had a slab ready.

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30m2 maximum area, as long as not attached to house and there are height restrictions is within 2 metres of a boundary. Much more stringent regs (and pp) if in conservation area or area of oustanding natural beauty.

If planning on 4/5 years and say not longer than 10 years no need to go overboard on spec - especially if renting. Also if only paying half then effectively any work you do you are working for your landlord (half or more of the benefit).

If going plasterboard lined then really needs to have the right construction - plasterboard, stud walling, membrane, fruther studding and then weatherboard for walls for example, roof similar. Felt shignles of reasonable quality will last min 10 years.

I;d be tempted to see what you can get fitted, the bigger savings on DIY'ing it can be made on larger build, design for longer life structures. Consider quite how much space you need and don;t go the full 5x5 unless you really need it. Loglap building look pretty good and should easily outlast your requirements and are much simpler and quicker to erect - hence their popularity with off the shelf suppliers. Dunster for example do some pretty cost effectve ones for an all in price if you don't mindthe log cabin look though feedback for some of their builds is less than great, but something like that could be quick, reasonably cheap and low hassle - there is a long materials list to get and a lot of ficings to put in which would be a PIA without decent equipment to hand - nailers, screwguns etc.

Dunster are close to me so had a look at them and was quite impressed with this for the price. Security of the doors would be my major concern if security were a big factor but then nothing is 100% secure, would bee to look at medium spec double glaed and higher for year round working. If you can go for a slighly smaller size then just put decorative slab onto remaining unused pad.

http://dunsterhouse.co.uk/log-cabins/45m-x-35m-lanterasup-sup-350

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Is there a road very close? If so, just get a building site office of the small portakabin sort and get it plonked in with a lorry hiab. Probably sell for about the same you paid when you eventually move and easy to lift out again.

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Thanks for all the replies - even though it can feel like we are all one vexed part of society here on HPC it is still amazing how there is a great range of commen sense advice available when needed. Some usefull stuff here and will have a good think about the next step forward. Just found out the house is in a conservation area so I might look to improve the interior of the existing shed that is there as otherwise I think I will need planning permission or a certificate of lawful development, either of which could lead to a no. OIt is possible I could get these applied for and an answer before moving in however.

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Thanks for all the replies

How do you get a landlord to agree to 4-5 years of renting?

3 yr AST then renew? But how do you know he will?

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How do you get a landlord to agree to 4-5 years of renting?

3 yr AST then renew? But how do you know he will?

In this instance the landlord seems pretty decent and I think it is her main income. Of course circumstances could change but in the meantime if I can secure 2 or 3 years and build a cheap office then I'll save money. I think she is also open to discounts for monies up-front guaranteeing no voids. I could possibly get 10% return on my money compared to leaving it in a savings account.

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Edited to add: Does anyone know the maximum size under permitted development rules?

I had a good look through this website when I did plans for a 8m x 6m outbuilding: http://www.permitteddevelopment.org/

Basically, max size is 50% of garden. You can go as large as the house if you want. Distance to boundary may limit the size, this depends on your roof height/style.

I went for a pre-development certificate (CLOPUD) for ~£90 to be sure it was legal. It took 3-4 weeks to get but this means I can't be forced to take it down.

The 30m2 limit is for building regs rather than planning/PD rules.

p.s A little bit of news I had from one neighbour that has built without planning permission is that the local council has spent all their enforcement budget on shifting travellers so have nothing left to act against householders.

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  • 238 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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