My Garden Room Build - 9m x 4m

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Molynoox

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Oct 2021 - Painting and skirting

Not a lot to say is there, I opened a tin of paint and transported it to the walls in the normal way via paint roller with the usual splatterfication side effects. I hear a lot of talk about diluted the first coat with water for fresh plaster, but it's something I never done and I've never had a single issue. I just open the paint, stir it and off I go.
It took two coats to get it looking like it does in the pictures. I don't think I bothered to add a third as its probably going to get painted a proper colour at some point when (or if) we can be bothered.

Skirting was not something I have attempted before but other than handling lengths of MDF which are very long and annoying it was pretty fast and easy to do. I did that funny curvy profile cut at the ends with a coping saw to get them to fit together nicely, that bit took a little experimentation but was fast once you have the method worked out.

coverage with one coat
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coverage with two coats
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skirting stuff
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architrave round the door
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I am rambling a lot less in these later posts :D

Martin
 

Molynoox

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Oct 2021 - Interior details and electricity

Fitted a door, that's another first, seems to have turned out fine though, consistent gap all around etc. I enjoyed doing it actually, bit of chisel work.
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Fitted the TV bracket and the installed the speakers into the walls and ceiling
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Not enough gigantic holes in the ceiling for my liking so created this one, I had to cut into the ceiling joists a little, but they were slightly overdesigned in the first place and also the hole was in a lucky place as the ceiling is actually supported in the middle by the bathroom partition wall.
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its actually going to be a 1200mm x 300mm light panel once installed

Sockets appearing.....
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some electrification happened also, as evidenced by the one billion lumens lighting. Joking aside the lights are quite nice, they are Collingwood diffuse downlighters (I think they are called 'Thea'), and I think they are about 1500 lumens each or something but the diameter of them and the diffuse panel helps reduce the impact somewhat. Also dimmable as they are on a dimmer circuit, which is handy because full power is only really useful if doing DIY dentistry or surgery I imagine.

it's starting to look and feel a bit like a room now, wahey ....

Martin
 

Molynoox

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Nov 2021 - Bathroom stuff

Started to fit some of the bathroom stuff at this stage, although it didn't get fully plumbed in until a bit later.
Here is the plan which I gave to the plumbers to help them plan ahead and get the necessary parts. They did the usual and completely ignored it, then turned up and spent the next 3 hours driving to various screwfix stores to get all the bits they needed because everything is out of stock.
"Oh, you want a washing machine there, ah well I will need a blah blah for that... " 🤦‍♂️

bathroom CAD.jpg

going back in time a little, but here is the inside of the walls. I used sound insulating rockwool because I figured the washing machine might be a little noisy, and I also used 4 x 2 studs which was structurally probably overkill but it allowed for more sound deadening to be installed.
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various bits going into place
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had to modify the cabinet to fit the water heater in by raising the shelf - not quite as easy as I thought it would be, things never are, are they....
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Martin
 

Molynoox

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Nov 2021 - Cladding (sides and back)

The cladding has arrived - this stuff is only getting used for sides and back; for the front I will use something more decorative (TGV Cedar). The cladding is called Pioneer from Envirobuild and I really like it, its a composite cladding. It has a nice matt sheen to it and looks quite premium. I could probably have used something a bit cheaper but I figured this would essentially be maintenance free, and that really appealed to me (fit and forget). I also considered the anthracite metal box section stuff that a lot of people are using now, but I decided against it in the end, honestly can't remember why but I think I had concerns over the window detail despite getting some good advice on here. There may have been other reasons, like leadtime, but I cant actually remember them.

all the cladding needed for the back and sides.... provided the building is 10% smaller than it actually is, which is why I later had to order more
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first few boards fitted
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The one thing that annoyed me with Envirobuild is that they don't sell the screws needed to attach the cladding, but they DO specify what you need to use. So you have to interpret the spec they provide (which was weirdly defined and didn't actually throw up a single google hit) and then try and find screws that match that description. Normally this wouldn't bother me in the slightest but its really not straight forward getting screws that work as they need to be pan / washer head, and also quite short, which is quite an unusual combination. But added to that not all pan heads will fit as the space in the cavity for the screw is quite tight, and there is also massive screw supply issues at the moment so you can't get hold of the very few that actually fit. So you basically have to order loads of different ones from screwfix and then take back the ones that don't work out. I was also having to buy the screws from multiple screwfix locations because they typically only had one packet in each. So that was fun.
Note: when I say screwfix, I mean screwfix/toolstation (y)

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I had to fabricate some support blocks for the top boards because when you cut off the tops they are not as 'deep' - this seemed really weird but I couldn't see any other way to do it and the fitting guidelines just ignore 'details' like this :D
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behold the rarest of finds, a screw that fits into the gap....
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similar problem around window detail with the reduced 'depth' of the board once cut to size - I used OSB this time and attached to the wall, which was easier than previous attempt fixing blocks to the board itself....
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you can also see the bathroom extractor fan outlet in this picture, also known as 'a problem for another day' or it's alternative name 'out of sight, out of mind'

I do have some corner trims that will be fitted to finish off the window reveals but that is also a problem for another day.
Martin
 

Setch

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The issue with not thinning the first coats on fresh plaster plaster will only come back when you redecorate. I did my kitchen wall and ceiling straight over the plaster and/or plasterboard. No issues at the time, but 5 years down the line I had building work done, and the paint is not remotely stuck to the plaster. Dust sheets were put up with duct tape, and they took the paint off back to bare plaster. Worse, where I have overpainted, the paint bubbles and lifts off, again back to bare plaster. This will mean peeling the whole ceiling and 1 wall bare and repainting the whole lot, instead of touching up here and there.

Too late for your (superb looking) garden room, but I'd hate anyone reading this to assume the concept of mist coating is nonsense, and find to their cost that it isn't.
 

Molynoox

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The issue with not thinning the first coats on fresh plaster plaster will only come back when you redecorate. I did my kitchen wall and ceiling straight over the plaster and/or plasterboard. No issues at the time, but 5 years down the line I had building work done, and the paint is not remotely stuck to the plaster. Dust sheets were put up with duct tape, and they took the paint off back to bare plaster. Worse, where I have overpainted, the paint bubbles and lifts off, again back to bare plaster. This will mean peeling the whole ceiling and 1 wall bare and repainting the whole lot, instead of touching up here and there.

Too late for your (superb looking) garden room, but I'd hate anyone reading this to assume the concept of mist coating is nonsense, and find to their cost that it isn't.

brilliant (y) I do like it when people explain the why and not just the how.
advice fully absorbed, cheers, and you were right to correct me.

Martin
 

Molynoox

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Dec 2021 - Composite Decking

It feels like I'm getting close to the end now. I wont be sorry to see the back of the decking frame which I am quite bored of looking at and tripping over every day.

After much research and staring at samples, I eventually settled on a product from NeoTimber. My wife was also very helpful in the selection process, conversations mostly went like this:
me: "do you like this one?"
her: "yep"
me: "what about this one?!
her: "yep"
me: "this one?"
her: "yeah, fine"
me: "you don't care do you?"
her: "nope"

she was right, they did all look the same, pretty much

here is the pile of stuff, pairs of boards were individually wrapped in clear plastic, no idea why
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I opted to do a 'picture frame' style on the decking because that seemed like the most complex way possible and that fits in with my theme :p
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Going well so far, quick and easy, gaps looking consistent, piece of cake! so far....

the cuts adjacent to the building were a little tricky, not the fiddly measuring part, mostly just executing the long 3m rip cuts with bits of semi-accurate jigsaw work thrown in for good measure, for the cill cutouts. I found the best method was to cut the boards outside on the decking, taking care to put in sacrificial supports and DOUBLE check the depth stop on the saw. At this point I didn't have a track saw, and was using a home made OSB rail solution and my regular non-track 36v circular saw (composite boards need a fair bit of power as your blade will no doubt be blunt after the first 10 seconds).

I admit I did buy a track saw almost straight after this experience as the DIY OSB rails were skidding around, and clamping them wasn't easy because there wasn't enough space under the board because I was only using 11mm OSB as sacrificial boards - basically it just felt like way too much effort for a single cut and the amount of faffing around was quite ridiculous. Oh yeah, add in the fact I couldn't see my pencil marks up against the dark boards (no I don't have a white pencil) not helped by the rain which kept washing the marks off, and I was starting to wonder why it was taking me an hour to cut one single board.

Future plan:
white pencil + track saw

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these are the screws you need when you run out and cant be bothered ordering them through a specialist decking company - very difficult to find some with heads small enough not to sit proud.
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Notice also the waterproofing on the decking frame, I used decking tape on the tops and roofing paint on the sides.

It got quite fiddly around the posts, with the diagonal boards and what not, but it turned out pretty good
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Also plonked the egg chair into its rightful home, and was pleased that it fitted, especially seeing as I designed it that way. Nice to get it off the grass, but even nicer to get it in position as the whole thing is starting to feel close to finished now. Hurrah.

By the way, I have no idea what I'm doing with composite decking so if anybody spots any mistakes please let me know, thanks
(obviously it's not finished yet, still need to do the step and the edge stuff)
Martin
 
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Molynoox

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Dec 2021 - Decking step quick update

I spent the best part of a day messing around with the step, not quite sure why it took that long but it did. I decided that I would make it two boards deep as that felt about right (I know there is a mathematical rule for calculating height and depth etc, but I didn't follow it as I wanted the step quite compact because reasons).
I decided to do 45 degree angles on the sides so it blended in a bit better than simple 90 degree edges, which meant two 22.5 degree cuts on the top for the mitres of the boards at the side. You really need to look at the picture as none of that makes sense...
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The structure of the frame ended up being quite substantial due to where I needed support for the individual boards. This si the exact same problem which I didn't really plan ahead enough on the main decking itself. Typically I need to make a mistake twice to learn from it so I'm hoping that next time I nail this straight out of the blocks.

I sketched an improved joist design on the floor as a reminder to future self about what I did wrong and how to do it better next time. In reality I could probably simplify even further by just using 6 x 2 timber or something.
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I had to use some 1mm yellow (they didn't have to be yellow:ROFLMAO:) spacers at the edges - the reason for that was because the fast clips (as they are called) are about 1mm high which raised the board at the joins and created a very small angle front to back at the mitred joints, that probably nobody else would ever notice, but bugged me enough to sort it out. You wouldn't get this 'problem' if you used starter clips at the front edge of the boards near the edge of the support frame (because those are also 1mm), but I wasn't using them (despite ordering loads of the things)
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Overhang
the reason for not using the starter clips (these are specifically designed for the front edge of the initial board, and not where two boards join) was because I have an overhang at the front edge to accommodate some poncy LED lighting that will run all the way around the decking and point down at the ground. This overhang is 40mm (22mm to accommodate the board which will be used to trim the edges/sides and 15mm for the LED strip conduit + a 3mm buffer)

The downsides to doing this is that you can't use the starter clips and hence need to use the special colour matched decking screws, which are then visible, but to be honest they are quite non-visible unless you go looking for them; check out the pictures :cool:

Clipping system
Just a final word on clipping systems, if I did this again I would not use the 3mm wide metal 'fast clips' again - they just don't work quite frankly - I would instead use the 6mm plastic ones that have 'secret' fastenings accessible through the gaps in the board joins.
With the metal ones, you have to modify them for some of the boards (those at the building edges) by hammering down one of the 'hooks' or you will never get the last board in. I did try using the starter clips for this but that didn't work either. You also need to use the colour matched visible screws through the board face in some places for a similar reason. Finally, if you ever needed to remove a board it would be impossible with these clips unless you took the whole deck up.

As a full discplaimer, I don't have any experience with the other design (which I didn't use but wish I had), other than what I have seen on yoututbe etc, but they do look like a more well thought out solution to me. But I could certainly be wrong.

Martin
 

Glitch

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Just took another look, I think some of the products are like you say very premium / expensive but I think others are pretty good on value. For example a 1200mm x 600mm (5mm thick) screen for £45 seems pretty good to me, and £60 for 16mm thick option. But then you see fence panels at over £500... so as I say some of it does look quite high end but other products are certainly more 'accessible'.
Martin

I put a Screen with Envy panel in my BBQ shelter to fill an opening.



 

Molynoox

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Glitch, how come you've only got 4 barbecues in there? That's only two per person looking at the seating arrangements.
 

Molynoox

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Jan 2022 - Cedar Cladding

Finally got around to doing the Cedar cladding on the front. I was looking forward to this one as I felt like it would all come together once the cladding was in place. I was only partially right about that one, because now that the cladding is done I just see all the other things still left to do, such as the decking fascias and the path / patio.
But its a big step forward and its feeling close to done so I'm happy.

I decided to go for horizontal cladding, the vertical looks nice too but I think I'm a bit bored of seeing vertical so I went with horizontal. Now that its done I do think I prefer it.
The Cedar came from Silva Timber, and it is the 142mm 'Prestige' boards which are classified as 'No.2 clear and better' which basically means it has been hand selected and there are no defects or knots in the wood. It also means that you will need a small mortgage to pay for it so it's best to sit down before looking at the price.
Everything was fastened in place with 50mm stainless steel nails - I tried the secret nailing technique but it wasn't working out so fastened direct through the face (as recommended by all the Cedar cladding suppliers)

Window details
OK so question for those with experience; how do you do around the windows with TGV boards? See below for how I did it, not sure this is the best way? It felt kinda stupid but I couldn't think of a better way.

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Roof detail
I put a bit of thought into this part.
My roof is a vented cold roof, meaning there is a 50mm air gap above the 100mm PIR. The air can move between front and back because there are vents in the soffits at both sides. My problem is that I don't like the look of the normal vented soffit boards you can buy. But I do need to vent it, so I need an alternative.

So what I decided to do was first cover the soffit with mosquito netting to keep out insects etc and then cover it with cedar battens with 10mm spacing between each batten to allow it to breathe. I figured this would be both functional and also look pretty cool. I'm happy with how it came out. It also allows the passage of air from the bottom of the cladding up to the top of the cladding, so it should stay nice and dry behind the cladding too.

In case you hadn't guessed it from the clue in the picture, the netting is stapled in place.
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Here you can see the first two battens going on at the leading edge, over the top of the netting.
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I was going to paint the joists black so that they weren't visible but after some experiments with the netting I decided that they wouldn't be visible through the netting and through the gaps in the battens so I didn't need to bother painting them in the end.

I was pre-nailing the battens with 400mm spacings before offering them up and nailing to the joists with 50mm stainless nails. This is because it's quite a faff trying to hold a batten and hammer in a nail all at the same time. I was using 10mm plastic spacers to get the gaps consistent.
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Window Trim

I quite liked the clean look of the windows without any trims and thought about leaving them without frames, but i figured it might look better with some and it would also be more waterproof so decided to add some.
Here is how the windows look without trims / frames:
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I made the reveals from cedar cladding boards by ripping them down into two 60mm strips.
I also made the window trims (architrave?) from cedar board but I realised that this was problematic as the boards have grooves in the back which are visible from the sides. To solve this I needed to cut some tiny strips of cedar and glue them into the grooves. Quite ridiculous but needs must. You can see the little additions in the pic below:

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Here is how the windows look with the trims added.
You will notice that I didn't mitre the corners - this is because (apparantely) the wood movement through seasons will open up gaps at the corners if mitred. So I created that sort of crossbar type look instead. I also added a roundover to all edges other than where the horizonatal meets the verticals, which I left with a 90 degree sharp edge so that it mated up without a gap.
I think the trims look good - but I am undecided if I like the untrimmed look from previous picture better.
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I need to add the Osmo oil to finish the look and to protect it but it's already looking pretty nice :)

Quick tip on the Osmo oil - don't buy the 'Cedar' stuff and apply it to Cedar, that will darken it - get the 'clear' and that will enrich the Cedar tones. If you apply 'Cedar' Osmo to cedar it will add an additional / artificial cedar colour over the top of your existing cedar wood.

Final picture

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Martin
 
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Molynoox

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I said it was the final picture, but I lied:

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oh look, it's raining:
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Doors fully open:
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We stashed the egg chair inside the garden room overnight during the mega storms. None of my cladding came off in the 70mph winds, and it all stayed watertight and windproof so that was a good test.

Martin
 

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Very nice Molynoox 👏👏

I'll bet you feel rightfully very proud of how it looks.

I'm afraid there will have to be one more 'last photo' when the garden has been tidied up and the black plastic has gone. It will look fantastic

I built a simple garden shed last year and every time I look at it I say to myself 'I did that' and have a little smile
 

Glitch

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Glitch, how come you've only got 4 barbecues in there? That's only two per person looking at the seating arrangements.

Yes, only 4 BBQs in our empty nest.

I've sold two since that photo and swapped over to a better looking ugly drum smoker.

Bought 2 more to upgrade the collection 😁

Might sell the portable gas one that was an impulse buy in a B&Q half price BBQ sale.

Bit of an obsession. I BBQ all year round (under a parasol pre-shed) and haven't cooked meat indoors for several years.
 

Molynoox

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Very nice Molynoox 👏👏

I'll bet you feel rightfully very proud of how it looks.

I'm afraid there will have to be one more 'last photo' when the garden has been tidied up and the black plastic has gone. It will look fantastic

I built a simple garden shed last year and every time I look at it I say to myself 'I did that' and have a little smile

Haha yes I am sure I will add some more pictures as I am still working on a few additions that should finish it off.

I know what you mean about the shed and thinking 'i did that', it does feel good 🙂

Thanks for the nice feedback 👍

Martin
 

Molynoox

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Yes, only 4 BBQs in our empty nest.

I've sold two since that photo and swapped over to a better looking ugly drum smoker.

Bought 2 more to upgrade the collection 😁

Might sell the portable gas one that was an impulse buy in a B&Q half price BBQ sale.

Bit of an obsession. I BBQ all year round (under a parasol pre-shed) and haven't cooked meat indoors for several years.
Wow that does sound obsessive, you have a very cool BBQ shelter there so I'm not surprised you cook outside, looks brilliant.

I've bought some screens, I will post a picture at some point and add to this thread.

Martin
 

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