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Could this be a garden office ?

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PaulR

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My job means I’m usually working from home 3 or 4 days a week, and currently my desk is in my 5 year old daughters bedroom

Time is relatively short for me (3 kids) so a full build is out of the question for a garden office, though it would definitely be a project I’d aim for in ten years or so.

We’ve got a summer house that came with the garden when we moved in which gets relatively small amounts of use. So my question is, how could I convert this to an office ?

Insulation for sure, but what would be the best way to install, is there a requirement for vapour barriers etc ?

Any advice appreciated :)


Paul



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Lots of glass ,on the side walls could you remove one frame turn the other on its side and board out the hole .Same treatment both sides keep glass in front wall for good light .Best insulation would be spray foam roof and walls no barrier required and plaster board dry wall installation, or ply for final finish on walls .Floor could be insulated if needed . Power will be required and cable for internet/phone if wifi will not cover
 

PaulR

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Is spray insulation a professional job or is there a diy option? I’ve done some YouTube research and they seem to fit solid insulation in the main but don’t mention vapour barriers (which I am almost sure would be needed)

Yup electrics is being run from the house and phone / Wi-Fi

Thanks

Paul


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MikeG.

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There is no way of insulating that properly with all the appropriate vapour control and airflow behind the cladding. The cladding is fixed directly to the frame, rather than to counterbattens over a membrane on the frame, so you are on a hiding to nothing. The best you can do will cost you a bit of of floor area, and that is to insulate across the inside of the frame, leaving a void the thickness of the frame. Spraying foam leaves no void behind the cladding, and leaves a really rough uneven surface internally which is going to cause a headache to "decorate". With no way of drying the back of the cladding and the outside of the frame, I doubt your building would last 5 or 10 years before rot and mould made it unusable.

I wouldn't start from here, as the old joke goes, but 'twere it me I'd be battening out internally with 50x50 across the frame at 600 centres with 50mm Celotex between, then 25mm of Celotex over that, then foil backed plasterboard over that. If you didn't want plasterboard internally then you would need a vapour barrier behind you timber matching or whatever you chose to use, unless it was an inherently vapour-resistant material such as OSB. Obviously that is going to move the wall line in 90mm all round, which is a substantial chunk of the floor area of a small building. I would also introduce airflow into each compartment formed by the frames, by drilling out for circular soffit vents top and bottom.
 

AJB Temple

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If you are just using it for the summer during Covid 19 lockdown, then I probably would not do anything except get some temporary power for lights, laptop and fan heater.

If you intend to have a proper outdoor office for all year round use, then replace the building using the entire footprint. Make it more substantial and insulate properly. Frankly, sheds make terrible offices. I inherited one at present house and knocked it down pronto.
 

PaulR

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AJB, the office is for the longer term as I normally work from home 3 or 4 days a week anyway.

Mike that’s the sort of info I was after so thank you for that, 90mm does sound big so I’ll measure up this afternoon and see what it means

Both, I’d love to knock down and rebuild but just don’t have the time for that, so need a solution relatively straightforward to last a couple of years when the youngest should be more independent and then the time hopefully will be available

Thanks
 

PaulR

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Just dug down around the base, I’m presuming this would be too thin to build anything for the long term on?

Only thing that makes me wonder is if the summer house has been here for ten years (apparently) then perhaps it is sound enough ?

 

Inspector

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What would the learned thoughts be to pouring a footing/concrete wall around the outside. Strap the existing wall, insulate, vapour barrier/house wrap, strap and re-side. Leave the inside walls as is or paint them white. In other words add to the outside instead of taking away from the inside. I realize much would depend on zoning laws and if the neighbours care what you do or not. Likely cost a little more too.

Thinking outside the box. :wink:

Pete
 

PaulR

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MikeG.":2ggy69no said:
What's the size of your building, Paul, and how thick is that concrete?
The pad is 4m long by 3m wide of which the main building is the back 2.5m long by 3m wide (the verandah is the front 1.5m. The concrete at the exposed edge looks about 3 inches but it seems to vary quite a bit (doesn’t give me much faith in who poured it)


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PaulR

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Inspector":3e93fgsi said:
What would the learned thoughts be to pouring a footing/concrete wall around the outside. Strap the existing wall, insulate, vapour barrier/house wrap, strap and re-side. Leave the inside walls as is or paint them white. In other words add to the outside instead of taking away from the inside. I realize much would depend on zoning laws and if the neighbours care what you do or not. Likely cost a little more too.

Thinking outside the box. :wink:

Pete
Thanks Pete, I’d had a little think about that but if the job got that significant I think I’d may as well rebuild it


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MikeG.

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PaulR":1k9bkxgd said:
MikeG.":1k9bkxgd said:
What's the size of your building, Paul, and how thick is that concrete?
The pad is 4m long by 3m wide of which the main building is the back 2.5m long by 3m wide (the verandah is the front 1.5m. The concrete at the exposed edge looks about 3 inches but it seems to vary quite a bit (doesn’t give me much faith in who poured it)
3 inches is too thin for it to be used as a base for a new building, I'm afraid.
 

PaulR

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MikeG.":3mnab2rs said:
3 inches is too thin for it to be used as a base for a new building, I'm afraid.
I had a feeling that was the case. Asa result of the feedback above I think my plan for a relatively quick job that won't last a long time (2/3 years should do it) will be:
Walls: 50mm Battens on top of the uprights, 50mm celotex between, faced off with Plywood, painted, then soffit vents in.
Floor:25mm celotex then floating floor
Roof: 50mm battens, 50mm celotex between, Plywood again, painted.

My thinking here is that is a relatively quick job, will last me 2/3 years until I have time to build a proper office, and at which point hopefully most of the materials will be re-usable

Any major flaws? And thanks again for all the ideas / feedback - got to love this forum

Paul
 
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