The Garden Office

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Off to a Good Start

Day 1 : 19 Oct 2020

As we had already prepared the ground, Donovan's team were able to quickly get started. A damp proof membrane was laid and very quickly, construction of the external walls commenced.

At the end of day 1, the team had constructed the frames for the walls and erected them and began to cut the OSB boarding to create a floor.

Day 2 : 20 Oct 2020

The focus for day 2 was to complete the frame and get a roof installed before the arrival of poor weather.

By the end of day 2, the roof was up and temporarily covered with damp-proof membrane...

Day 2 Progress

Day 3 : 21 Oct 2020 : Electrics

Day 3 saw the arrival of the electrician (Donovan's brother). He laid all the cabling prior to the installation of the plasterboards.

Day 3

While out for a run and with the office now at full height, I decided to take a photograph external to our property to see the impact of the office. It can be seen, poking above the garden wall, but generally, the impact is very minimal... Take note of the house behind; the office is now obscuring their ground-floor windows - this I am sure will be a contentious issue as they did complain when we temporarily placed the kids trampoline in this location.

Day 4 : 22 Oct 2020

By the end of day 4, the external walls had been completed, the walls fully insulated and the majority of the plasterboards installed.

Day 4

In the above photograph, additional OSB boarding can be seen where we expect a television to be mounted - this is extra reinforcement for the wall. The wide angle lens of the camera makes the inside look bigger than it is; but it's still going to be a good space.

Day 5 : 23 Oct 2020

By the end of day 5, the team had completed the plaster boarding and attached battens on the external walls ready for the cladding to be fastened. With poor weather expected and with the windows and doors not yet sourced, everything was sealed up [no sneaky peep of the inside today].

Down Tools

After good progress in the first week, the build paused due to bad weather that unfortunately coincided with the school half-term [typical]. It was also becoming very apparent that the inner wall at the top of the steps needed to be shortened to avoid becoming a trip hazard.

One Week Later

One week later and after the recent appalling weather, we had a visitor on the morning of Halloween from the neighbour that views the back of the Garden Office. They were clearly not happy as she mentioned they had lost the view 'through our garden' and out the other side [I suspected this was going to happen]. She also acknowledged that we are perfectly within our rights to put this building up [they'd obviously done some research], so I wasn't entirely certain of the purpose of the visit. I re-assured her that what they see now is only temporary and that it would be cladded and look much nicer than the flapping damp-proof membrane that is currently installed. This was also the same neighbour that wasn't happy when we placed the trampoline temporarily on the concrete base earlier in the summer. At that time, I did explain that we planned to build an office and mentioned that we could plant bushes or shrubs to improve the aesthetics for them. At that time I was assured it wasn't a problem.

After the visit, I double checked some measurements to assure myself that everything was within the planning regulations. I'm pleased to say, that Garden Room Space were completely on top of this and everything was within the regulations (not exceeding 2.5m).

Days 6-7 : 3-4 Nov 2020 : Plastering

With the return of improved weather, work resumed and over the next two days the side window was cut out and the inside walls and ceiling plastered.

Over the weekend I confess to unsealing the Garden Office to take a peep at what they'd been up to...

Wall Adjustments

With plans for a composite deck to be laid along the front and side of the Garden Office and the earlier building works from NESW Building Services which resulted in some, shall we say, complications with the steps, it was evident the wall needed to be shortened to avoid potential trip hazards. With a newly acquired angle grinder, I was able to trim the wall to align it with the top step. Unfortunately, more and more of the coping stones that had been laid by NESW Building Services continue to pop off (see Phase 1 : Issues with Coping Stones).

Continue on reading to The Build Stalls...