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My Garden Room Build - 9m x 4m

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Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck!
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Construction adhesive comes in caulking gun tubes, either a little under a foot long and an inch and a half in diameter or bigger ones almost two feet long and about two and a half inches in diameter. It is a form of polyurethane but doesn't foam like Gorilla Glue. It gets used a lot on floor joists, studs or rafters just before dropping a sheet of plywood/OSB on it followed by nails or screws. Makes the structure a lot stronger but if you don't have your act together it is messy snot.

Pete
 
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Molynoox

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Jul 2021 - Roof (structure)

This stage is pretty quick and straight forward, it's just a case of cutting the rafters / roof joists to length, and then balancing them on top of the frame before fixing in place with truss clips (front and back).

Overhang
My design has a 400mm overhang at the front and 100mm at sides and back, which makes the rafter length 3,700mm + 100mm + 400mm. This makes it 4,200mm which is the exact length of timber I ordered. I measured each timber and trimmed off a nominal amount from each to ensure they were all exactly the same. So I probably ended up with 4,190mm or something, and a 390mm overhang at the front. I think this looks about the right size but you could easily go to 600mm or even 800mm and it still look balanced I reckon. That could depend on your overall building depth though, to get the proportions right, but it's all personal preference.

structure.jpg

Ladder
One detail which wasn't 100% straight forward was the overhang at the sides. To get this to work I needed a 'ladder' (as I believe it is called). One mistake I made here was to use way too many structural / sideways supports (these are the bits that looks like noggins in the pics), I probably could have used half the amount of 'noggins'. I used 400mm spacing, to mirror my stud spacing, but with only 100mm overhang, and with it not really supporting that much weight, this 400mm spacing feels like total overkill.

you can just about see the 'ladder' in this picture
IMG_20210707_183339.jpg

Joins
I dont know what you would call the component in question here, it is the piece of wood that runs along the front (and back) of the overhang to connect all the roof joists together. Because my building is 9m long, I need to use multiple timbers along the front and back (because you can't buy 9m long timbers, or you maybe can, but I don't want to handle that length!).
There are two ways to handle this, either make sub frames (like I explained with the walls) or try and do it in a single structure. With the single structure option the joining 'front' timbers end up sharing a joist - this makes fixing it a little more of a precision operation.
If you use sub frames then each joining front timber has its own joist, the disadvantage being that you use an extra timber, which isn't really needed from a structural standpoint. For 6 x 2 timbers @ 4.2 metres and with current timber prices it seemed like throwing money down the drain to use the sub frame option. I nailed through at an angle using the nail gun and the fixing felt strong enough
Here are pictures to explain because the above isn't clear:

Option A - sub frames
sub frame.jpg

Option B - single structure
share joist.jpg

Truss clips
I have seen a lot of people using joist hangers to fasten the roof joists in place at the front and the back. I am not sure why this is, because truss clips seem to be designed for this purpose, and are also a little easier to fix in place. Anyway, that's what I did. Hopefully somebody can explain to me why this is not right....

detail showing truss clips and also the joist sharing from option B
truss clips and timber joins detail.jpg

Mistakes
The only thing I can think of which I would change for next time would be to run a string line down the front of the overhang to ensure that all the timbers were lined up perfectly in a perfectly straight line. The method I used was fine in theory but in reality it could introduce small errors. What I did was to assume the front wall of the building was perfectly flat / straight and then simply use a consistent overhang distance of 400mm for all the joists.
I think it would be better to run a string line from the joist at the far right, all the way to the joist at the far left, and then set the remaining 30 or so roof timbers to the string line. This way you know they are perfectly aligned at the front, instead of assuming they are, and potentially mirroring any imperfections in the wall straightness into the overhang.

More pics

IMG_20210704_164432.jpg

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Martin
 
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Molynoox

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Jul 2021 - Roof (boards and EPDM)

Super fast and simple stage. Simply push the boards together and then glue and screw them.

Details
I used floor board screws and I used the 'normal' method of cutting the board for the end of the run, and then using the offcut to start the next run. Same technique as used for the flooring.
I took care to push the boards tight together (I used a piece of wood and large hammer), and also ensured that I got the boards running perfectly in line with the back edge of the roof. I think I did a dry run by laying down all the boards for the first run (along the back edge) to check it all laid perfectly in line before I went anywhere near the glue and screws.
As with the floor, I didn't bother trying to align the board joints with the joists, the boards are really thick and have a tongue and groove and its plenty strong when glued together.

EPDM
I ordered some EPDM and trims from Firestone. I did a bit of looking around and this company seemed to offer the nicest trims, and also the EPDM seems to be a slighter darker 'black' colour rather than the sort of dusty grey you get sometimes. I preferred the look of this.
Anyway, the big challenge was getting it onto the roof so that I could roll it out and finally make the structure (mostly) waterproof. The EPDM weighed 80kg which is quite significant when you need to lift it 2.5m. I guess the 'normal' way to do this was to use two people and two sets of ladders and walk it up in tandem. I didn't have two ladders or two people available, therefore I opted to do it on my own. I won't go into too much detail, but suffice to say this was right on my limit. I hoisted it up onto my shoulder and walked it up the ladder. I needed a proper sit down afterwards.
I rolled it out and manoeuvred it into position so it covered the whole roof. There is 150mm overlap on all sides which is what Firestone recommends when ordering the EPDM. I clamped it in place with 8 large Irwin spring clamps, which will be in place for quite some time because I won't glue it in place for quite a few weeks.

Mistakes
I didn't really think about the glue dripping down through the joints and onto anything below. Not a problem for the floor, because it scraped off really easily once it was dry. But my wife's egg chair thing was sat under the overhang and hence that got covered in the PU glue and so did a few other things. No too smart...

Pictures
Stage 1 of me ruining my expensive mountain bike armour by crawling around in PU glue. Also did a bit of roofing.
IMG_20210711_153641.jpg

IMG_20210711_153656.jpg

looking like a building now (ish) - you just need to squint a bit, and use your imagination
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First time standing 'inside' felt great
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Egg chair after clean up - it's like it never happened.....
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Martin
 

Molynoox

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Jul 2021 - Front wall sheathing

Pretty simple stuff here, just screw the OSB in place. The only interesting part was cutting out the apertures, and how best to do it, or not do it...

State of play before I started work...
IMG_20210722_103958.jpg

...looking quite nice in the sun. Also notice the PIR tower of shame is now hiding inside the structure. It was nice to finally see the building in full view.

Method 1 - fix and cut
Screw OSB in place, cut out aperture 'in situ'.

Method 2 - mark and cut
Temporarily screw OSB in place, mark the apertures in pencil, remove OSB and cut out hole, fasten OSB back in place.

Method 3 - measure and throw
Measure the aperture, transfer measurement to OSB, cut out, fasten in place, realise measured hole is not right size, throw OSB in bin.

So I found that cutting things 'in situ' with method 1 was a little problematic and therefore method 2 was my favourite from those tried. I used a circular saw to cut the hole, but you could use a jigsaw, or even just normal manual saw I suppose. I made sure to clamp the board firmly in place before marking it.

For method 1, I tried a few different ways to cut the hole with the OSB fixed in place. Router, circular saw, jigsaw. None of these felt very safe or accurate. The router option seemed to be going quite well as the roller bearing sat flush with the timber frame thus ensuring that the final dimension was exactly perfect. However, at one point (the point at which I stopped) I had a big nope moment as the router quite voilently backfired and shut itself off. I'm not entirely sure what I did to cause that to happen, but I took it as a warning to 'not do that'.

Mistakes
Another repeating theme, which starts from this point onwards, but continues ALL the way through the build, is forgetting to mark the positions of the studs before its too late. It's no trivial matter to measure and mark those positions once the boards are in place and covering the studs up. Frustratingly, it is incredibly simple and quick to do if you think ahead and mark them before fixing the board in place.

Pictures
IMG_20210722_172603.jpg

engage movie lighting mode
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Evidence of router incident
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Martin
 

Molynoox

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Jul 2021 - Wall insulation

Finally I got to use the PIR.
The key thing at this stage was having an efficient workflow, the 4 key factors for me were as follows:
  1. Measuring
  2. Marking
  3. Cutting
  4. Moving material around
Measuring and marking
Even though I had a fairly consistent aperture (1200mm x 353mm in theory) I still measured every one before cutting the PIR. There were some small variations of a few mm here and there, and many of the apertures were non standard shapes. Also, measuring it became super quick so I didn't mind doing it. The method that worked for me was to install one PIR 'block', then at the (almost) same time measure the next one (which was always right next to it) and rather than take a note of the measurement I would just lock the tape measure at the right size and then walk over to the PIR sheet and use the tape as a pre-configured scribe, and use it to score the cut line on the PIR with the tab on the end of the tape. Once you get into the zone this whole measuring and marking operation takes just a few seconds.

Alternative method
Sometimes, you might have a slight 'angle' to deal with, in theory you shouldn't do, but for whatever reason sometimes the hole for the PIR was maybe 5mm different from top to bottom. This is enough to cause issues getting the PIR block into position. I did want it friction fitted so it stayed in place, but if its just a few mm too big then it creates a bit of a PIR dust / faff nightmare to shave off that few mm and get it to fit.
Anyway, the way I dealt with the angle was to measure top and bottom and just remember the difference between the two (if any). Then, when I score the cut line on the PIR using the tape I would just slowly pull the tape over that extra few mm as I scribe down the sheet. This doesn't sound like it would work, but it did - in fact it is surprisingly easy to do and get it accurate. Does that make sense? Probably not. Moving on...

Cutting
The key was to setup two tables to facilitate cuts on the end of the boards and also through the middle of the board. If I had an offcut on the end of a sheet that was smaller than my standard 353mm I would put it to one side as it can almost always be used later. A tip here is to first (before setting the offcut aside) measure it and mark the width with sharpie so its clearly visible from head height. This way, when you have a pile of 5 or 10 offcuts lying around, its very fast to find the one most suitable, rather than measure them all every 5 minutes over and over again. Not that that ever happened.... ;-)
I used the old rusty hand saw technique for cutting the PIR as this was established early on (while doing the floor) as the most efficient method for me. Note however, that I didn't trust past self and hence performed the PIR cutting experiments again, only to get the same outcome that the manual saw was the best method.

Moving material
The other key factor was to have the PIR pile, right next to the cutting table. The ultimate setup would probably be table in the middle of the building, with PIR pile to the right or left. This minimises the #metres walked because the common operation is moving between cutting table and the building stud work / apertures. By the way I was walking 5 or 6 miles per day doing this stuff according to my Garmin, so that's probably 2 or 3 hours of walking per day. I can get a bit obsessed with efficiency sometimes so sorry for that - I am sure sometimes I make myself inefficient because I spend too long trying to optimise processes. Slightly ironic perhaps.

Aperture size
I've mentioned it one or two million times already but setting the height of the apertures at 1200mm when I did the wall studwork was a winner because I didn't have to do any cuts of the PIR in the width dimension, which means no material waste and also no time wasted making cuts that I dont need to. Hurrah

Wedges
I found that having a few little slivers of PIR floating around was handy if I needed to wedge the PIR bocks in place to keep it in position. Sometimes I would get the measuring and marking slightly off which means it doesn't friction fit and wont hold itself in place. So using the little wedges was a quick and easy way to fix that problem

Duration
Once I had figured things out I was able to install it quite quickly. I think I managed to do all the walls in 2 days (it might have been 3, cant remember, but then that includes some inefficiency at the start when I was figuring out the best workflow).

Pictures

Cutting tables
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Note: its very important to have a few random object lying around that don't need to be there such as step ladders, tripods, bicycles and scooters, otherwise you have nothing to trip over. Imagine how boring that would be!

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PIR jigsaw puzzle
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Room of mirrors - the PIR makes it super bright inside :D
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Molynoox

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Jul 2021 - Cement Board and House Wrap

As I mentioned previously, I needed to use cement board, not OSB, because my building is within 1 metre of the perimeter of my garden. This was required to make it exempt from building regs because the building needs to be made from 'substantially non combustible materials'. Planning officers local to me were OK with this.

The downside to using this material is the cost and weight. The boards weigh 45kg each so not very easy to hulk around on your own. I found that the sheet goods carrier I bought was an essential piece of kit for picking up the boards and carrying them around the back of the building.

Cutting
I cut the boards 'in situ' from the pile on the floor inside the building. I made the cuts using a cheap 16 tooth blade (this was advised from the internet) and a Makita 36v twin battery circular saw. I don't know if this monster of a saw was needed or not, but my Makita single battery jobby was struggling cutting lengths of timber when it was wet and figured that a more powerful saw would be good for cutting the cement board too. That was my justification to myself. That saw and blade combo was a winner as it was going through the boards like butter, I managed to cut all 17 boards without any issues with blade sharpness, cuts were fast and clean. It did create a lot of dust though.
Oh yeah, I also used a home made guide rail which I had made out of OSB, which worked absolutely brilliantly. You lose 12mm of cutting depth I suppose, but that is rarely a problem. It meant that I didn't really need to see what I was doing once the rail was lined up - you just whiz the saw along the guide and the cut comes out perfect.

Locating
Once the boards were cut I carried them to where they needed to be fixed at rear and sides of building, using the sheet goods carrier thing that I bought from amazon. Before doing this however, I first put support blocks in place, which were approximately perfect (oxymoron?) height for the boards to rest on. Once I had placed the boards down on top of the blocks I would fine tune the exact height using 5mm ply spacers which I had knocked up. Once the board was in the perfect position I screwed it in place through the studs.
Note that (again) I rarely remembered to mark the position of the studs before fixing the board in place at either end. So ended up measuring and marking the studs in the middle of the boards. This is becoming my go-to method for eroding all my efficiency.

Fixing
To fasten these boards I used the special Timco screws which the board manufacturer (Fermacell) recommends. These had quite small heads, and were available in a pozi drive only (I like the torx ones much more, because they work). I recommend using gloves for this task as the screws have a habit of inserting little metal burrs into your thumb and finger after you have put in 1000 of them. Same problem with plasterboard screws. So if you are not going for the glove option, then factor in an extra 30 minutes at the end of the day to remove all the little metal splinters from your fingers.

Apertures
Actually, I only had one, the bathroom window, but I had to deal with that somehow. I decided to fix the board in place and go for the cutting 'in situ' option, despite that being previously established as a bad idea when using OSB on the front wall. I used a multi tool this time, and that worked pretty well. It was a bit noisy, and a bit dusty, but I got the job done with quite neat cuts. I think I tried using a multi tool when cutting the OSB on the front walls too, but although very accurate and safe, it was too slow. Or I am too impatient.

House wrap
This would be waaaaay easier if you were able to do it when the walls were laid flat, but that wasn't an option for me. Anyway, it just took some perseverance. I stapled it in place using a cheap Titan electric nailer / stapler that I had lying around - that seemed to work ok, but the cable is very annoying. Probably just a manual hand held stapler would be better. I didn't have one of those 'at this stage'. As regards tool ownership, it doesn't seem to be a case of 'if', but more a case of 'when' you have it...

Dupont flexwrap
I honestly don't think I needed to use this product, and it was quite expensive. It forms a waterproof layer around the edges of the frame for windows and doors. I consulted with the window/door fitters when they arrived and they say its not necessary, and in fact have never seen it used before. I suspect it is more applicable for an older design of window or building, but I'm open to any feedback from anybody with thoughts on that one.

Pictures

Pile of cement board - just 765kg
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wrapping up my wife's Christmas present (little did she know it would be for NEXT christmas... )
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apertures cut
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Flexwrap stuff and seam tape
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IMG_20210803_201906.jpg


Martin
 

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Molynoox

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Aug 2021 - Internal Walls and TV and Office Planning

Time to put up the wall between the office and the workshop. Oh yeah, and create a bathroom also. Quite a lot of learning in this stage

Partition Wall
The partition wall was very straight forward. First create a top and bottom plate and fix it into position. Then just measure the height of the required studs, and cut each stud and nail it in place, ensuring it is plumb. I used 400mm centres, as with the external walls, even though it isn't load bearing and probably doesn't need to be that strong. I wanted to keep it consistent to make finding studs easier, and also thought the added strength would be good with the bathroom door slamming shut all the time. I did use 4 x 2 though, instead of the 5 x 2 which I used for the walls.

Doors
This was the bit I was quite clueless about, I didn't know that door linings existed until I was building the bathroom walls and did some research into how best to do a door opening. I decided to use a 'standard' 30 inch door, or 762mm. This means that sourcing the door lining and door is fairly straight forward. So I went out and bought a door lining and then when I got back home I tried to figure out how deep I needed it to be, and also how tall I needed it to be. The width is fixed at 762, or probably a bit more I guess, I'm not sure how much more as I don't remember measuring it, although I'm sure I will have done just to avoid the disaster scenario.

HEIGHT
So, standard door height is 1981mm (78 inches or 6.5 feet) so I had to think about my floor build up in order to calculate the height that the door liner needed to be cut to. My floor was probably going to be 5mm underlay + 12mm laminate. So I added those together to get 17mm (so far so good) and then added a random fudge factor to give me some door clearance underneath. I probably looked this up, and I can't remember the number I got, but maybe 10mm? Anyway, I added the 27mm or whatever to the door height, and then cut the liner to what I assume was about 2008mm, but I honestly don't remember.
When I come to fit the door we will see if my calculations were sensible or not.

DEPTH
Basically set the depth of the liner to your wall thickness, plus a bit for plastering. When they plaster the walls, they need a small lip to plaster up to and give you a neat '90 degree' finish. I went for 3mm each side which meant the liner was 6mm deeper than the thickness of the wall. So liner was probably 98mm if my timber is 92mm, but I honestly can't remember. I ripped this down with the circular saw and the guide fence thing that projects from the side of the saw. I think I ended up taking off about 5 or 10mm.

Tip
When fitting the door liner, I strongly recommend connecting together the bottom of the two verticals with a piece of timber - this would keep it fixed at exactly the 762 or whatever it is supposed to be. The top is restrained by some rebates that set the verticals at the correct width, but the bottom isn't. If these are out by even 1 or 2mm, it will show as a taper against your door edge when its fitted. Although I suppose you could plane the door down. I suspect I will need to plane my door down a bit, as I notice one or two mm difference from top to bottom in my frame / liner, even though I fixed the bottom like I just described. So maybe don't listen to me...

Build it vertical
Note that when it comes to putting up internal walls, you cannot build them flat, because you won't be able to rotate the wall up into position without fouling the ceiling. This makes it a bit trickier to build the door opening stuff.

from workshop side
IMG_20210806_171332.jpg

from office side
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without door liner
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with door liner (and children)
IMG_20210810_183126.jpg

Mistakes
If I was doing this again, I would probably build the wall with enough space for the liner PLUS 10mm. Then when I installed the liner I would install it into the opening using spacers / wedges to get it perfectly plumb and with consistent 762 width from top to bottom (or whatever that width is!). I am sure if you look it up on youtube they will probably do it something like that and not the way I did it with the opening the exact same size to accept the liner. I should go and look that up now.

Desk planning
At this point we had the electrician round to do first fix and I had to do some impromptu planning / decision making for the lighting placement. It was only of importance for the area above the desk, because my wife is a math's tutor and does a lot of stuff with whiteboards and cameras over zoom. For this reason, the lighting is quite tricky to get right - not enough light and you can't see what's being written, but too much or more importantly badly positioned light and you get glare (specular highlights) from the light bouncing back into the camera and/or also shadows cast by your hand as you write. So with shadows and specular highlights to contend with the only option (in my mind) was to setup a mock desk, and get the laptop fired up in a virtual zoom meeting and play with the light placement and see which position worked best.

The conclusion from this research was that all lighting positions are terrible and therefore she will need to work in complete darkness. Seriously though, it was very challenging to find a good lighting solution, and what we settled on was a large 1200mm x 300mm light panel, situated slightly behind the chair position. Oh yeah, and that will also be on a dimmer circuit so it can be controlled quite accurately. The backup option if all this planning doesn't work out is to use the 'desk lamp' setup which she is currently using (this works ok but it isn't optimised).

desk planning
IMG_20210811_172405.jpg

I also did some 'very important' TV planning at this stage to try and figure out what size to buy, and also what type of speaker setup to go for (in wall, on wall, bookshelf, tower, soundbar etc.). That is probably getting a little off topic for this audience however, so perhaps I won't go into the details for that unless somebody is interested in which case I am happy to cover it. Not that I know much about that stuff - just enough to make decisions.

TV planning
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Martin
 
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Molynoox

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Aug 2021 - Doors and windows - part 1

Oops, I missed a stage!
The doors and windows were fitted before the partition wall stuff. Well, sort of. There was a bit of a screw up on the part of the supplier (I won't mention them):
  • The doors arrived with a low profile threshold, not the weathered / rebated threshold which I ordered.
  • The glass for the doors and windows did not have the internal blinds
  • The glass for the doors did not fit into the frames (but they would have fitted a rebated threshold door)
So after a few emails and phone calls we had a plan. Unfortunately it would take them 8 weeks to create the new glass. I settled on keeping the low profile threshold frame with a negotiated discount. I was actually quite happy with this as the discount was nice to have, and I always wanted to low profile threshold anyway, but didn't like the risk. Once I could actually see the product, I was able to make a better decision and I decided that the low profile threshold was plenty weatherproof for my application.

Product details
The product I ordered was a 'Cortizo' with aluminium frames, double glazed, in anthracite colour - I believe the panels / frames they use are Dutemann ones, which are very well regarded ones. The product is very similar to the Express bi-folds ones from what I can figure out, but it's a bit cheaper. Shuco and Origin are the other two big names with small sightlines etc that seem to be getting used everywhere under different brand names / companies. I am convinced they are all pretty similar but you pay for the marketing and customer care with some of the more expensive companies (which may well be worth paying for)

This was supposed to be a bit of a high point for us as getting the doors and windows fitted felt like a bit of a milestone, so it wasn't quite the event we had hoped for with all the problems that were uncovered on the day. However, the supplier was happy to sort things out so there was no animosity from either side, it was just a bit disappointing for us.

Pictures

Notice the special non-reflective glass (not) in the doors... :D
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Martin
 

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Nyuck, Nyuck, Nyuck!
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Nice doors. I couldn't use them though. Blows here too much and the wind would rip them off. Have to be careful opening cars doors for the same reason too.

I've built partition walls inside on the floor and tipped them up. You make them a touch short and put shims or wedges on the top where you nail them to the joists or rafters. 😉

Keep the pictures and commentary coming.👍

Pete
 

Molynoox

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Nice doors. I couldn't use them though. Blows here too much and the wind would rip them off. Have to be careful opening cars doors for the same reason too.

I've built partition walls inside on the floor and tipped them up. You make them a touch short and put shims or wedges on the top where you nail them to the joists or rafters. 😉

Keep the pictures and commentary coming.👍

Pete
clever stuff! (y)
 

Molynoox

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Fantastic - looks like a significant investment.
yes it should be a big change for us a family, gives us all a bit more space, and jazzes up the garden a bit for the summer. I haven't added up the costs yet but I imagine it will add enough value to the house to pay for itself
Martin
 

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How did you manage to get it exempt from building regs? It’s over 30sqm and less than a metre from the boundary and has running water. Any of these could put it in building regs territory, let alone all three.
 

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How did you manage to get it exempt from building regs? It’s over 30sqm and less than a metre from the boundary and has running water. Any of these could put it in building regs territory, let alone all three.
Hi there, here are my answers

1. The exterior dimensions are not relevant for BR and the interior of my building is under 30m2
2. It is within a metre from the boundary but I made it from 'substantially non combustible' materials (Fermacell etc)
3. the building meets all exemption criteria under class 6 (small detached buildings) and does not contain sleeping accommodation - part P still applies but the electrical work is being subcontracted to a qualified electrician.

maybe I missed something, could you point me to the part of the building regs that states that running water means BR? thanks

Martin
 

Sheptonphil

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Hi there, here are my answers

1. The exterior dimensions are not relevant for BR and the interior of my building is under 30m2
2. It is within a metre from the boundary but I made it from 'substantially non combustible' materials (Fermacell etc)
3. the building meets all exemption criteria under class 6 (small detached buildings) and does not contain sleeping accommodation - part P still applies but the electrical work is being subcontracted to a qualified electrician.

maybe I missed something, could you point me to the part of the building regs that states that running water means BR? thanks

Martin
Ok, I assumed your title dimension meant you had more than 30sqm internal. However, even though you have made adjoining parts predominantly non combustible (a condition of building regs for buildings greater than 15sqm and less than 30sqm internal if closer than 1m from boundary), the fact that any part is closer than 1m it is no longer exempt from building regs under section 6 As it is over 15sqm internal.
 
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Molynoox

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Hi Sheptonphil,

my building is falling under item 1 as defined below (this is a screenshot from building regulations), and as far as I understand it you don't have to satisfy all 3 items, it's not that type of a list, otherwise I would also have to be building a nuclear bunker to satisfy item 2 :D

as an additional hypothetical scenario, if your building is under 15m2 then (according to the definitions below) you could build it close to the boundary (<1m) and still be exempt, and you wouldn't need to think about using non-combustible materials either.

I believe that's what the regulations say, but based on feedback that I received on this forum I was strongly advised that local planning officers should be consulted anyway. I spoke to mine and they were very happy with my designs and gave me confirmation that I am exempt from BR.

Hopefully that has cleared things up but if not please comment so we can clarify, thanks

Martin

class 6 Building Regulations.jpg
 

Molynoox

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Aug 2021 - Planning for Pergola and Decking

I thought it was worth mentioning this 'stage', because even though nothing was achieved in terms of building work, it was a significant event as it enabled decision making for the 'outsidey' bits; the decking, path and the pergola. The pergola was never really in the initial plans but as things progressed my wife discovered that adding a pergola would be an excellent way to complicate the build further. In reality we both decided that a pergola would be a pretty cool addition. We also made the foolish decision to use cedar, despite the fact that this could be the worst possible time to purchase cedar in wood purchasing history.

Design Options
Some of the design options are captured in the below sketches and ultimately the main decision was choosing between having an angled pergola (to match the angled decking) or to have a simple 'straight' pergola. I say simple, it was enough to give me a headache.
IMG_20210720_110122.jpg

IMG_20210720_110830.jpg


Prototype
To help decide which option to go for, I cobbled up a rapid prototype out of sticks and clamps. Although we liked the look of the angled pergola, in the end we decided against it. Honestly can't remember why now but I think needing an extra support post to the left of the bi-folds was a factor as it would end up looking a bit more clunky, whereas the straight / cantilever style design we ended up with has a nice clean look to it. Also, the extra support post could get in the way, not just visually but physically.#
IMG_20210810_164316.jpg

IMG_20210810_164418.jpg

The prototype was really useful for getting a feel for things before making a decision so defo the right call to make one.

Final designs
Pergola: straight (not angled like decking), cantilever design
Decking: 800mm wide path in front of building and larger diagonal area for lounging around on, eating etc (dark grey in CAD)
Path: some sort of stones / tiles running between decking and house (and around the sides a bit) (light grey in CAD)

I will cover the actual build of the pergola in a later post but here is the final design:
pergola design pic A.jpg

pergola design pic B.jpg

pergola design pic C.jpg

pergola design pic D.jpg

pergola design pic E.jpg

pergola design pic F.jpg


I have ran out of picture allowance in this post so will roll over to the next...
 

Molynoox

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Aug 2021 - Planning for Pergola and Decking (continued...)

Foundations
I have decided to use self install groundscrews to support the posts. Why:

• Fast to install and don't need concrete
• Posts do not need to be buried in ground (which is a rot risk), instead they sit a little above the ground in brackets on top of the screws so the rain water can drain away.
self instrall groundscrew 800mm.jpg

The only issues with groundscrews is they work out a bit more expensive, partially due to the delivery costs which are about £100. Once installed the pergola posts will also serve to support the decking base (screwed through the side) in addition to the adjustable plinths I plan to use for the decking base.

Screen stuff
One the key reasons for the pergola was to enhance privacy to / from neighbours, especially as the garden room is about 250mm off the ground at one end.
Note: There is a restriction under 'permitted development' guidelines about decking (I think they may call it a veranda or balcony or something). I believe the maximum for a raised platform is 300mm, so we are legal, but ultimately we wanted a secluded feel anyway and the regulations weren't the driving force.

The plan was to have some screens along the back of the pergola, made out of trellis type material, or maybe even strips of cedar. The trellis stuff would work well because you can still see through it when viewed 'head on' and hence it doesn't block all the light, but when viewed on an angle it would (theoretically) block the view from the garden room into the neighbours house / garden. I reckon it will give quite a nice secluded vibe to the garden, but even future Martin doesn't know if that's true or not yet.

Here is a design that a friend built, also cedar, and also using the trellis. Note that the trellis is just bog standard B&Q stuff, but it colour matches really well so I will be looking into that when the time comes.
rich pergola.jpg


Here are my sketches showing planned placement of trellis
pergola design - trellis 1.jpg

pergola design - trellis 2.jpg

Plants will be encouraged to live on said trellis and hopefully integrate the structure into the garden a little better.

Here are some views showing the effect on eyeline / visibility / privacy stuff:

WITH trellis
pergola design - trellis 3 view.jpg

WITHOUT trellis
pergola design - no trellis 4 view.jpg


I don't really like the look of the trellis so will play with some other designs at some point but the basic concept is in the right direction I think.

Martin
 
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